All About My Hair

Monday, April 9, 2018

Aside from my tattoos, my hair has got to be the one thing I get asked about the most. Who does it, what products do I use, what is my “secret”, are all questions I get on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I don’t have a magical cure-all when it comes to how I got my hair so long and healthy, but I do have some advice I can offer from personal experience. I will be going over some of my favorite products and brands, as well as some tips and tricks that will hopefully benefit you on this hair journey. I will start off with going over exactly what my natural hair is like. While I have genetics to thank for how my hair grows, I still have to take care of it to keep it in the best condition possible. Knowing and understanding your hair type will only benefit you in retaining its health. 

Length and Texture: My hair is about medium thickness and naturally curly when short. At the length it is now (the ends hit my lower back), the curls get weighed down into more of a wavy texture, and my hair also tends to be more on the dry side. 

Color: My natural color is a light, mousy brown, but I don’t remember the last time my hair was actually at its natural state. I have been getting it professionally dyed for years and started dyeing it very UNprofessionally when I was a teenager (box color anybody?). My hair grows extremely fast, and now at the ripe old age of 31, I do have a plentiful bounty of greys. My mother and her mother started going grey in their mid-twenties, and sure enough that is when my first few grey buddies started popping up. They have since multiplied, so I now dye my hair more out of necessity than for fun (although I still enjoy it!). I go every six weeks and I get my hair dyed a plum/burgundy color that shifts depending on the lighting. It can pull more red tones in certain light, or it can pull more purple depending on whether I am in direct sunlight or artificial light. 

Professional Care: I get my hair done at Sage PVD salon in Providence, Rhode Island. My hairstylist (and amazing friend) Ashley does it, and while she is not accepting new clients at this time, you can always fill out the contact form on their website for any inquiries if you are local. I have been going to Ashley for quite a few years now, and I will NEVER let another person touch my hair. When I have an appointment for the full shebang, we will typically do my roots, have the color pulled through, apply a glaze, and recently we have been adding a treatment that helps seal in the color and prolong its vibrancy and life. As I mentioned above, I go every six weeks for a color touch up and I get a trim/cut usually every other appointment. Getting your hair done professionally IS EXPENSIVE and I cannot emphasize enough that you get what you pay for. It is always worth it to spend the extra money (if you can afford it obviously!) because if you try and cut corners, the results will show. I invest in my hair, and that, along with my routine, is why it looks the way it does. 


Washing: My hair very rarely gets oily, so I can get away with washing it only once or twice a week. If I were to wash my hair every day or even every other day, it would completely dry out and probably break right off of my head. Also due to my hair being processed and because the color contains red tones, washing it too much causes it to fade more quickly. So, my first tip is to stretch out the days between washes as much as you can. A few ways to extend your freshly shampooed hair is to, one, use as little product as possible. Some light leave-in conditioner or hair oil is all you need, and make sure you apply sparingly to the middle of your strands to the ends. Be sure to avoid your roots, especially if you have oily hair! If you have to style your hair for work, trying no-heat hairdos are always beneficial (no need for heat protectant, texturizing sprays or powders, etc.). It allows you to continually style your hair, minus the damage that comes with it. You’ll be able to go longer between shampoos and also protect the integrity of your hair. If your hair needs an extra boost, you can always opt for some dry shampoo. The key is to not overload your hair with it, whether it is in a powder or a spray form, as it can build up as well! Just a little application where you need it most before bed, brush it through, and let it do its thing while you sleep. You will wake up with refreshed tresses and have another extra day that you can avoid washing it.

Styling: As I mentioned, you want to try and apply the least amount of heat to your hair that you possibly can. Let it air dry when you’re able and try out new styles that don’t require a curling iron or a straightener. Braids and buns can work for any occasion and sleeping in rollers can give you some stunning curls. I also don’t brush my hair every day. Most of the time I have it twisted up in a bun for work, and only brush it when I really have to. Never brush wet hair! Your hair is more fragile when damp, thus more susceptible to damage. I use a wide toothed comb in the shower after I have applied my conditioner and let it sit. Whether I am combing my hair or brushing it, I always start at the ends. If you start from the top of your head and try to run a brush root to end, you risk tangles, knots, and splitting your strands. It’s best to start at your ends and gently work your way upward. I use the Tangle Teezer and I promise it is not a gimmick! You have to give it a try to see what I mean.  

Helpful Tricks: Satin pillows. I am not an expert on this, but supposedly, satin pillows are better for your hair than regular cotton ones. It is less abrasive and tends to smooth the hair rather than disturb it. I use satin textured pillows anyway because they are better for problematic skin, so it is always worth a try! Avoid direct sunlight. This may seem obvious, but you really don’t realize exactly how much sun exposure your hair gets on any given day. The sunrays beating down on your head not only leaves your scalp exposed to sunburn or irritation, it will also dry out your hair and fade the color. Always sit in the shade when you can, and wear a hat, scarf, or turban when outside for prolonged periods of time. Avoid salt/salt sprays and citrus. This may seem a little counterintuitive with so many products containing these ingredients, but they aren’t beneficial to the overall health and condition of your hair. During the summer, the salty ocean (and chlorine in pools for that matter!) can wreak some serious havoc on your locks. Occasionally, I will throw a deep conditioning treatment in my hair when I go to the beach just for a little added moisture and protection. I personally also avoid salt sprays as they not only dehydrate my hair even further, but it also strips my hair color, as is with citrus ingredients. Orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, anything along those lines can and will disturb your hair color, so be wary! 


Shampoo and Conditioner: This took a lot of trial and error. While there are tons of cruelty free and vegan haircare lines, it was difficult to find something that really worked for my hair. I needed something that would sustain the color richness and nourish my tresses at the same time without being too heavy and weighing it down. Unfortunately, the line I was previously using has become unclear with their testing policies so I had to discontinue my use of their products. On the other hand, this gave me the opportunity to discover a different brand that is extremely transparent not only with their testing policies, but their ingredients and their production! Rahua Hair is a luxurious line that has top quality ingredients and products that are true to their claim. From their website: "All Rahua® products are vegan, organic, sulfate-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free and support indigenous economies." I currently use their classic shampoo and conditioner, but I will be trying out their new 'Color Full' line when it is time to repurchase. Everything else I have tried from Rahua I have loved, so I am looking forward to future purchases!

Other brands I love for shampoo and conditioner: EVOLVh

Styling Products: As far as styling products go, I am always trying new things. One product I always tend to repurchase though is the DryBar Detox Dry Shampoo. It refreshes my hair without adding any gross build up and does not leave a white cast. DryBar can also be found at Sephora, Ulta, and Amazon. My current favorite hairspray is the Paul Mitchell Express Style Hot Off The Press spray. When I want a little more texture, I use the Rahua Defining Hair Spray, but very sparingly. Each provide a flexible hold, but the Rahua spray adds a tiny bit of grit that is great if you have freshly cleaned hair that needs help with volume and texture. Typically, this is all I use for styling. While I will try something new once in a while, I find that loading my hair up with too many things actually makes it look worse. 

Treatments: Coconut oil! I know this seems typical, but it is genuinely what I use the most. For an all over treatment, I melt a couple tablespoons of organic coconut oil and I slather it all over my dry hair. Then, I twist my hair up and I put on a shower cap, and over the shower cap I will wrap a towel to keep all of the warmth and moisture locked in. I have to admit, I don't do this as often as I should and it's just out of sheer laziness. I don't put much of the coconut oil near my scalp and I avoid the perimeters of my face since coconut oil is comedogenic. Do not do this if you have very thin hair - you will have coconut oil in your strands for days. For thinner hair, I would recommend mixing the coconut oil with a lightweight conditioner, applying it mid-length to ends, and only leaving it on for 20-30 minutes. If you did want to spend the money on a "high end" treatment, I would recommend the Josh Rosebrook Enrich Mask, which can be applied roots to scalp. 

I hope this was helpful! What are some of your favorite or must-have hair products? Do you have any special tips to keep your hair healthy? I'd love to know! Comment them down below, or find me on Instagram.

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