“INVEST IN YOUR HAIR, IT’S THE CROWN YOU NEVER TAKE OFF.”
Hair really has ways to make or break us, doesn’t it? On the days you need it to look good, it wants to be complicated, yet it wants to look amazing on your average Tuesday when you have nothing going on.
Not to mention texture – we’ll think and over analyze our hair and complain about everything it’s not: not shiny enough, not thick enough, not curly enough, not long enough, not silky enough… whatever the case may be. But I’ve got a few tips on how to get better, stronger hair. I struggled with dry, frizzy hair for the longest time; but in the last 10 months I have drastically changed my hair care routine and have seen incredible results, and I want to share it with you!
Here is a before and after of my new hair routine! Excuse the (shameless) selfies.
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Lately it seems like trying to find all-natural hygiene products is all the rage – all these products we use every day are jam packed with chemicals that seep into our systems and pose potential risks to our health. When it comes to shampoos and hair care products, the big bads to try and avoid are sulfates, parabens (preservatives), and phthalates. Various articles also say to avoid “fragrance” as this is a way of hiding other chemicals without having to actually state them… but obviously this is hard to avoid when it comes to beauty products that are so dependent on scent.
It’s so easy to let the labels mislead us. It wasn’t until I decided to write this post that I thought to take a look at what my current “natural” shampoo contains. The shampoo I have been using is free of parabens, gluten, and colorants, but it still contains sulfates as some of the top ingredients (sulfates are what make shampoo sudsy).
According to Livestrong, sulfates aren’t particularly bad in the small amounts that are in shampoos and the claims stating that they cause cancer aren’t backed up by research – most of the assumptions that sulfates are carcinogenic come from the previous ingredient ethanolamine lauryl sulfate, which was related to increased cancer risk. The downfall of sulfates is that they have tendencies to dry out the scalp (especially those with sensitive skin) and strip it of the skin’s natural oils, which can in turn dry out your hair and make it look dull.
don’t wash every day
This is where some of you are probably grossed out, right?
When I say “don’t wash your hair,” I don’t mean for that to be synonymous with “don’t bathe.” But giving your hair a break from sulfates and other chemicals that could be drying out and dulling down your hair’s shine can be beneficial.
While you work on transitioning to washing your hair less, you’ll probably feel a little icky and greasy. But before too long, your scalp will adjust and you’ll notice that your hair won’t get as greasy as fast. If the grease bothers you, use some dry shampoo! Again, I try and lean towards the natural versions (-:
Some of the benefits include (via Bustle) : increased shine, longer lasting hair color, and less split ends.
My Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray has become one my favorite hair products. It’s something I received in my Spring FabFitFun box back in March/April, and I just had to buy a new bottle a few weeks ago. I use it in place of regular conditioner you use in the shower – it leaves my hair feeling softer, shinier, less frizzy, and less prone to heat damage compared to normal conditioner.
Its claims says that it’s for all hair types (including treated hair), that it “adds softness and shine, diminishes frizz, and shields from heat and UV rays,” and that it’s free of: parabens, sulfates, phthalates, gluten, silicones, DEA, and artificial dyes. And it’s vegan-friendly and cruelty free! You can find it here.
I prefer a spray when it comes to leave-in conditioner because I find it to be easier to evenly distribute throughout my hair without using more than I need, but there are creams available as well if you prefer.
Yes, my hair oil is yet another product I have thanks to my FabFitFun box (I’m telling you, these boxes have changed my life! Get $10 off your first box by following the link and using the code SOCOLD; affiliate link). I got the Marrakesh oil in my winter box in December 2016 and I still have yet to use half of the 2 fl oz bottle. I simply apply it to the ends of my hair and blow/air dry as normal.
It uses Argan and hemp seed oils to nourish your hair. It comes in three scents: original (which is the one I have – it has a very earthy scent), dreamsicle, and high tide. Its claims are as follows: significantly improves hair condition and texture, improves elasticity and manageability, leaves hair feeling silky and smooth, eliminates frizz and adds shine, makes hair more flexible and easier to style, safe for color treated hair.
Furthermore, it is free of animal ingredients, alcohols, parabens, glutens, dyes, propylene glycol, THC, petroleum, and phthalates, and is cruelty free. Find it here!
When my hair was long, I used to have to straighten it all the time to keep it from looking messy or unkempt, which only perpetuated my problem of dry, frizzy ends. Once I cut my hair short, though, I haven’t felt the need to use heat as frequently because:
For a while, if I curled my hair, the curls wouldn’t stay but the volume would and I just ended up looking like a soccer mom :///
Shorter hair tends to look okay with the “wavy/messy” vibe without looking knotted, so I wasn’t reaching for my straightener as much,
My hair has been much easier to style in a wide variety of ways – top knots, messy buns, braids… If I straighten my hair one day, I can get away with styling it the next day, and
My hair dries a lot faster now that it’s shorter. Additionally, my hair tends to have more volume if I let it air dry rather than blow drying it. For this reason, I don’t use my blow dryer as much anymore either – only when I’m in a rush.
Now this section probably sounds a lot like I’m telling you to cut your hair, and I swear I’m not. But everyone knows heat damage is one of the top offenders to happy, healthy hair. My point is this: try and find other ways you’d like to style your hair that doesn’t require heat. It doesn’t have to be all the time, just a couple different styles that give you leeway to avoid the straightener a few times a week.
I used to essentially commit hair suicide by going at least a year (and sometimes more) before getting a trim. I had people telling me left and right for as long of hair as I used to have, it didn’t look frizzy or damaged – so I ran with it. I’d always tell myself it looked fine and I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of the “fresh cut ends” when it came to styling.
It wasn’t until I chopped my long locks up to my shoulders in January that I realized just how unhealthy my hair was – my ends had gotten so thin that there were split ends all over the place, my hair got knotted so easily, and it didn’t take long for it to start looking messy as I started to go about my day. There are times I miss my long hair, but cutting it as much as I did gave my hair the real refresher it needed.
I went in to get my hair trimmed in July (so about 7 months later) and my hair stylist was honestly impressed with the condition of my hair. I might not have needed the trim, but I went ahead and got it anyway for the sake of keeping it healthy.
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