I hope you appreciate my title, it took me all of about 5 minutes to think up... which may or may not have anything to do with the fact I've spent most of the day massively procrastinating doing the research to finish up an essay. There's only 550 words left, but it's just so much effort... Anyway, I've decided that since my posting has been pretty sparse on here recently I'll finish up this old draft post before I finish up that essay.
That is the kind of thing I do. I live on the edge.
Today's post is all about hair. Last Easter, during my 'two week transformation', I decided to dye my hair... three times. In one night. Not a good idea. It left my hair in the worst condition it's ever been - and my hair has been in some pretty bad conditions. From the time I had to have a bob cut in year 6 because my hair had been ravaged by head lice at my old Primary School (clearly, some mothers didn't spend every night putting foul-stinking creams and dragging very sharp, painful combs across the scalps of their offspring like mine did, the selfish cows), to the time I got highlights which became steadily more brassy - and ratty - as the months wore on, my hair has been through the ringer. Being naturally curly doesn't help either, because it's more predisposed to dryness. The triple-dye, however, was what tipped me into realising I had to do something to change up my hair routine if I wanted to keep my locks and not go for the bob chop again (not a great look with curls, unless you're in a 1920's costume drama). After I'd made that mistake, the ends of my hair where literally white, and had a not so attractive elastic quality. Also, it fell out. A lot. Not just when I brushed it, but just when I moved around.
Since then, which was around Easter 2012, I haven't dyed my hair again, or done anything vaguely 'exciting' to it other than get the odd trim. It is now in the healthiest condition it's ever been in, which is to say that it is somewhat less frizzy (hey, it's curly, 90% of it is made up by frizz), it feels a hell of a lot softer, and I barely have any split ends despite being well overdue for a cut. So, what's my secret? Well to be honest, it's mainly common sense:
Disclaimer: Obviously, I am not a hairdresser, or in any way an expert. This is what works for me, and it's my personal opinion. What works for me might not work for you.
I wash my hair fairly irregularly, like two or three times a week, maximum - more often two than three. I would say "I know that sounds disgusting", or "I realise that's a bit grubby", but actually... no. Obviously, I wash the rest of me more than twice a week! And if you look at hair FAQ videos or blog posts of any blogger/vlogger with envious tresses like Zoella or Beautycrush, you'll find that so many of them say that they do not wash their hair on a regular basis (having said that, I remember watching these videos some time ago, so if neither of them say that then that's egg on my face, really, and you'll just have to trust me that other people do say it. I swear.). If you wash your hair daily, which I used to do, you can strip it of the natural oils which is produces, and that's a bad thing - it can become more limp and stringy, which is obviously not what you want! Now, as I've said my hair is pretty thick and curly, so it can take not being washed for three, sometimes even four days and still be easily styled and look (in my opinion...) good. If you have thinner hair you might have to experiment a bit in order to find the best time scale for you, but it really does make a difference once you've gotten into a routing - the first couple of weeks will be a bit nasty as your scalp will still be used to over-producing the same amount of oil as it was if you were washing your hair every day, but after it gets used to the new routing you will notice a difference - or at least, I know that I did. Plus it's sooo much less bother to get up and re-style your already dried hair (you'll definitely need to get some dry shampoo, it's a lifesaver) than to wash and dry it every single morning.
As for normal (wet?) shampoo, I have a few favourites to share with you...
- Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo - review here - I use this once a week as a clarifying shampoo to get all the crap out of my hair, and I love it. I won't go on too much as I've done a whole review of it, but it's definitely helped me in how often I now need to wash my locks.
- Lee Stafford Argan Oil Nourishing Shampoo - review here - I don't use this regularly any more, but when I did use it at the start of my 'healthy hair' campaign it was a great way to make sure that my hair was getting what it needed to begin it's journey to healthiness.
- Tigi Bed Head Foxy Curls Shampoo - review to come - this is the shampoo I've been using the longest, and I love it for my hair. It's sulphate-free, which is good for us curlies, and it smells like skittles. It's literally flawless.
- Aussie Frizz Miracle Shampoo - I use this sometimes in alternation with the Bed Head shampoo to keep them both working so my hair doesn't get too used to either of them. It's also especially good in the summer, when my hair is at it's most frizz-tastic. It tries it's best to tame.
I use quite a lot of conditioning products, because again curly hair can be pretty dry naturally so keeping it well conditioned keeps me from getting too many tangles or split ends. Because I do a couple of different things with my hair conditioner-wise, I'm going to split up this category:
I try to do an intensive conditioning mask on my hair at least once a week. Usually, this is in the form of coconut oil - my number 1 favourite discovery for hair care. I've raved about it before in this post about my 'Hair Rehab' routine (which is basically a quick-fix one night/morning routine using a lot of the same products I'll be talking about here), so please excuse me if I sound like a broken record. In a nut(hehe!)shell, coconut oil is fab - it's natural, cheap, and it makes your hair super soft and shiny, if used often. Most of the time that I use this, I melt a couple of tablespoons of it and massage it into my hair, then put it up in a bun and leave overnight. However, sometimes I like to shake it up a bit (see above, RE: living on the edge).
When I'm doing this edge-living, I do a mask during the daytime, which is two tablespoons of coconut oil... with an egg thrown in. Eggs are, as I'm sure you're aware, pretty much 100% protein, which helps your hair in all sorts of ways - it nourishes it, makes it shine, strengthens it... it's basically fantastic. You can overdose your hair on protein though, according to certain forums I've come across, so I'd be wary of doing this too often - I'm tempted to alternate it with the overnight treatment so that I do it once a fortnight. Also, this might be an obvious thing to say, but it's an actual mistake I've made: melt the coconut oil before you put the egg in. Otherwise, you cook the egg, man. Sometimes I honestly worry about myself.
Obviously, when I wash my hair I use a 'normal' conditioner afterwards. I try to leave it on for as long as possible, usually I put it on before I start to faff around shaving and exfoliating etc.. Again, I have a couple of favourites that I use regularly:
- Tigi Bed Head Foxy Curls Conditioner - review to come with shampoo - like the shampoo, this is fab because it SMELLS LIKE SKITTLES. And it's sulphate free and makes my hair really nice and bouncy yada yada yada. SKITTLES.
- Trevor Sorbie Beautiful Curls Curl Replenishing Mask - this is actually an intensive mask, but I use it in the shower after shampooing, so I didn't put it in the 'mask' section. I leave this on for around ten minutes about once a week and it makes my hair nice and springy and soft. Also, Trevor Sorbie do a really good line for curly girls - let me know if you'd like a full review!
- Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment - this product exploded all over the blogosphere a couple of years ago, and it deserved it! Now, I'm not saying this will make your hair go from Mia Farrow to Rapunzel, but if you actually read the tub - and, you know, use common sense - nothing can. The principal behind this product is that it nourishes and deeply conditions your hair and scalp, because your hair will grow at it's best when it has the best condition to grow on, like using fertiliser on soil. Whether you want to grow your hair or not I'd recommend using this product because even after one use it does fantastic things to your locks. You use it between shampooing and conditioning (it isn't a replacement for the latter).
My Sunday Routine
This is what I most put my new hair health down to. Every week - generally on a Sunday - I either do an overnight coconut mask or egg and coconut mask, then wash my hair using my Sunday shampoo, followed by the Lee Stafford Hair Growth treatment and the Trevor Sorbie mask. This might seem like a lot to do to your hair so often, but it really works for me - my hair doesn't feel overwhelmed with product (i.e. it doesn't end up too soft or gunky) and it's nowhere near as dry as it used to be.
I've also been loving a couple of other products to make my hair super-healthy recently:
- Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance Leave-In Conditioner - I don't think you can underestimate the use of leave-in conditioner. If nothing else, this really helps me get rid of knots and tangles in my hair when wet brushing.
- Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends Split End Perfection Cream - Too much of this can leave your hair a little crunchy, and in order to keep your hair free from split ends you do still need to use intense conditioners, but a little bit of this does help to seal up any ends starting to look a bit scraggly when you've not had a chance to book a trim in a while.
- L'Oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil (All Hair Types) - you've probably seen the adverts for this - three beautiful women, with miles and miles of shiny hair, slow-mo-ing the fuck out of a black background. In this case, the seductress narrator of the advert is right - in my opinion at least. I use it after washing and the above two products, and it not only smells divine but it literally makes my hair feel so smooth and velvety between my fingers. I love it!
And that's all, folks! My easy-peasy recipe to fixing over-processed and dry as sticks hair. If you have any questions or want a more in-depth review of any of the products mentioned, please let me know in the comments! Or just let me know if you liked this, and would like any similar posts in the future - maybe one specifically on curly hair?
Do you have any top hair tips? Until tomorrow...
Stay gold. kiss kiss, dahlings xx.