Low Energy, High Expectations: A Hair Care Love Story
I have never claimed to be a hair care expert or even to love and care for my hair the way I do my skin and makeup routines. I wouldn’t even stretch to say that I’m a big “hair person” to begin with, but one thing I do get compliments on very regularly is surprisingly, my hair. Over the years, I have tried my best to really get a routine down that is not only low maintenance, but also healthy for my mane. Through trial and error, and the ever-loving and awesome guidance from my hairstylist Erica and TopKnot Salon, I think I’ve cracked the code to finding a really good balance between quality hair care, and not spending a fortune OR an entire evening caring for your locks.
Wash Your Hair LESS
Seems easy enough right? Well, I am here to remind you that you will be greasy for while, but I SWEAR it passes. Think of it this way: If your scalp (or any skin for that matter) is naturally oily, and you’re stripping your skin of its natural oils that it perhaps oversupplies you with, your oil producing glands are going to wake up with freshly washed skin every day, and work themselves to the bone trying to replenish you. I, for instance, have oily skin everywhere. But I found that the less I washed my hair, the less oil my scalp (eventually) supplied me with on a daily basis, thus, leading me to washing my hair less and less. The process of not washing my hair truly was a tough one. It took me about 3 months of weaning off washing my hair (I went from every other day to once a week, and now sometimes even longer than that!) for the oils to get to a reasonable level. Lets just say I utilized a lot of updos, hats, and headbands to distract from my greased up hair by Friday, but I spend far less time and money on hair care products afterwards. I also heat style my hair less as a result (hello three day old curls, that now look like beach waves), spend less time getting ready on an everyday morning, and have less to mess with at night since there was no drying, combing, or extensive gooping to be done. Seriously, stop washing your hair.
Rinse, and Repeat
When you do stop washing your hair as much, you’ll feel… well… ready to wash your hair when that day comes around every week. It’s like a mini spa vacation; a treat to wash your hair! We’ve all read the bottle instructions, and most shampoos advise for users to “rinse and repeat” the process once the first ‘poo is completed. The second time around, you won’t need as much product. I will normally use 3 pumps of shampoo the first time around, and one the second. Take care to really scrub your roots. The cleaner the better on hair-washing day!
Invest In Quality Products
Spend the extra money upfront, and you’ll probably end up spending less in the long run. I would really encourage purchasing a salon brand of the following hair care products, and I’ll offer links to the specific ones I use and fully endorse:
Shampoo and Conditioner (I love Alterna Caviar Rx Shampoo and Conditioner, I also buy the biggest container available because you save a TON of money that way and only have to buy shampoo once a year. You can get the smaller sizes at Sephora or Ulta, and bigger ones on eBay or Amazon)
Detangler/Leave in Conditioner/Repair Spray or Balm (I prefer Paul Mitchell Forever Blonde Dramatic Repair Spray, use on ENDS ONLY. Amazon again for the win!)
Dry Shampoo (My hands down favorite is Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo, but I used and liked Amika Perk Up and Batiste Original if you’re looking for a cheaper option. I’m telling you, this is worth the extra coin. All available at Ulta, Sephora, or, you guessed it, Amazon!)
Hair Spray (I will fluctuate between Chi Keratin Flex Finish when I can find it, it’s only sold at weird times throughout the year, or Paul Mitchell Super Clean Spray. I can’t help you much with the Chi hairspray, but the Paul Mitchell one is at Target and Ulta… aaaaaaaaaaaand Amazon.)
Don’t Overdo It On The Goops
Though I do advise using the previous set of products, I do not want you guys to get the wrong idea. You can use too much goo in your hair and end up with product build up. This build up can obviously make your hair appear dirtier, but it can also make your scalp itchy, or look to have dandruff (ick!). This is where the dual shampoos on wash day make a big difference, but you wanted to be low maintenance too, so don’t add to your list of to dos just for the sake of having a routine. Ask your hairstylist if they recommend or would prefer for you to use a specific product that can help with your hair needs. If you do end up with an excessive amount of flakage (is that even a word?), my stylist recommended the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo & Conditioner Duo, and these guys are awesome! They really remove all the ick without stripping your hair of the natural oils and starting this awful cycle all over again.
Take A Break From Heat Styling
These 2 photos were taken about 30 days apart, the first on my first day of no-heat styling, and the second after my hair appointment around 30 days later. My hair was absolutely amazing, even after bleaching my ends! Some of the best advice I can give you is to learn a few different braids and buns, or even how to wave and curl your hair without using heat (I’ve heard wonderful things about the Allstar Innovations Sleep Styler Curlers, but never actually tried them. Let me know if you do!). I went a full 60 days without heat styling my hair earlier this year, just to let it recover a little. I’m a natural brunette and I have golden blonde dyed hair. I also change my mind every once in a while, and my hairstylist is a saint, so I try to make her job easier by “no heat styling” once in a while. Check out Pinterest for some great ideas!
This one is pretty self explanatory. Don’t mess with your hair as much, and you won’t have oil build up or gunk from your hands making its way into your hair. The less you wash, the less you style, the less… well, you get it.
Dry Shampooing Is An Art
If nothing else, invest in a good shampoo, conditioner, and dry shampoo. Dry shampoo will be your best friend, secret keeper, and obsession when you figure out how much this product can actually cover up. Most brands make a light and dark version of dry shampoos as well, so there’s essentially a “blonde” and “brunette” formula; what a day and age to be alive! Dry shampoo should not be used on day one, following hair washing day, and try your best to not use it until at least day two, if not three. The longer you can make it before using it, the longer your mane will stay fresh. Dry shampoo can also cover up grown out roots (to a certain extent), so feel free to use it for that purpose as well! If your dry shampoo is making your hair feel coarse, it’s probably time to wash. Again, too much product build up is never a good thing.
Quick Tips To Remember
Bangs will ALWAYS make your life harder. You have to style them every morning.
Shorter does not mean easier. Remember all the cool, easy stuff you can do with your long mane… like throwing it up in a bun when you can’t stand it anymore?! Well you can’t really do that with a bob.
Talk to your stylist. If you are EVER unhappy with your hairstylist or the outcome of your hair, don’t be afraid to speak up. You’re paying for a service, you should get what you want! (Just be nice, and tip well when they do a good job!)
That being said, if your stylist can’t perform what your desire is, also don’t be afraid to try someone else if you’ve voiced your opinion and still can’t quite get the look you want. Again, it is a service and not all stylists are created equally.
Try some treatments. If you’re having an issue you’ve never dealt with before, communicate with your stylist and see if the can recommend a deep conditioning, hair loss treatment, etc. for your issue. If my hair is really needing some extra lovin’ I like to use the Caviar Repair Rx Fill & Fix Treatment Masque. This stuff has worked wonders for me!
Try out balayage (Bah-LEE-ahge), where your natural color is growing at the roots, and color is strategically painted into the hair to frame your face. This can take a pretty advanced hairstylist, so shop around. The benefit here is that as your hair grows out, you aren’t touching it up as often because it’s blended into your natural color.
Remember that good hair care starts with you. Your stylist only sees you every once in a while, and they aren’t wizards. You walk in with your untended mane, and expect to leave a Victoria’s Secret model? That’s like seeing your personal trainer once a week and eating like crap the rest of the time. You’re still gonna be a fatty if you don’t put in the effort.
Let me know who my tips work for you! Join my army of women washing their hair less, and sleeping in a little more!