My hair is definitely not what it used to be. Before I started coloring a couple of years ago, I had the most resilient hair. It was shiny and healthy, no matter what I put it through. I could wash it every day, flat iron every day, and it was hardly damaged.
And then I got highlights.
I was in for a rude awakening. I couldn't just do "whatever" to my hair any more. I had to take good care of it. WTF was that all about?! I had become "high maintenance"?! Or is that part of getting old?! Nonetheless, I am a perfectionist and had to make sure that my somewhat damaged hair looked friggin gorgeous at all times.
After some research on my favorite beauty secret, makeupalley.com (shh.... they don't like to advertise it.... like I said in another post, it's got a whole "Fight Club" vibe there...), and other various things, I have learned some little tricks that help keep my hair in tip top shape! So, if this is totally old news to you, go read something else on my blog or watch my kitty, Dexter, play fetch! I'm telling ya - THAT's some new news for ya! Does your cat play fetch!!?!??!?!?!?! OH! Speaking of which! He likes playing fetch with a weird pink snail beanie baby now. I've gotta videotape it and post it because it's hilarious.
Back to the hair crap. This is what I do.
O.'s Hair Mantra
- NO OVERWASHING. Wash hair every other day. This concept was foreign to me, but gosh darn it, it works. Invest in dry shampoo. It's a lifesaver for me because my roots tend to get oily on second day hair.
- LITTLE HEAT. Try to heat style only every other day. On second day hair, only do touch-ups. I wash at night (I'm DEFINITELY NOT a morning person so whatever lets me sleep in longer is worth it to me) and I don't blow dry most nights. I let my hair air dry and I style in the morning.
- HEAT PROTECTANT. Get yourself a good heat protectant to use in conjunction with your other styling products. Basically, it coats your hair to minimize damage from heat and UV rays. I've seen these popping up everywhere, including the drug store.
- DEEP CONDITION. Use a good deep conditioner once a week. I love Aveda's Dry Remedy. Just get something super moisturizing; it doesn't have to be expensive. I've also used straight up Extra Virgin Olive Oil on my damp hair as a deep condition (it works, trust me)! Sometimes I'll leave the conditioner on 30 minutes to an hour with a cap on. Once in a while I'll also apply heat to my head with a heating pad to let the conditioner really sink into the cuticle. I know they sell heating caps at beauty supply stores, so I should invest in that instead of balancing a heating pad on my head.
- PROTEIN/RECONSTRUCTOR. Do a reconstructor right before coloring. I had no idea what a "reconstructor" was. Basically it's a protein treatment that adds protein back into your hair (this is a good explanation). I love the ApHogee 2-Step Treatment (look it up and read up on it!) found at Sally's. This isn't to be confused with a conditioner, as it might feel a little dry after you do the treatment (although you are building protein back into hair). Just deep condition afterward. And like I said, do this before coloring because it can strip color. I usually do this about 4-5 days before coloring. If you don't color, then do a reconstructor every six weeks. Honestly, I've seen 85% of my damage get significantly better after doing this. I don't have crazy damaged hair, I'm just a bit of a perfectionist, like I said before.
- CUT. Be consistent about cutting your hair, even if it's just a trim. That is an automatic way to be rid of damage. And I've learned my hair actually grows better and faster when I trim. I'm growing my hair out now (I go through phases of growing it out and chopping it off) and this is helping.
I hope my ground-breaking, earth-shattering new news totally threw you in and wowed you. This mantra has worked wonders for my treated hair. Highlighting/going lighter really can do a number on your hair, and it requires the most attention! Oh, the price of beauty.
Yeah, it's friggin expensive. And time consuming. Uh.... wait a second. Maybe I should just go back to my natural color?
Too bad the world isn't more like the mind of a cat. Dexter doesn't look at my hair and think about how pretty/shiny/soft it is. He just likes to eat it and play with it. He loves me because I love him and feed him. If life were more simple like that in other ways....
Dexter would approve of this hair mantra, but he doesn't really care.