As you may or may not know, I am particularly fond of getting more value for my buck.
It's crazy how unnecessarily expensive things can be, when there are equally awesome (and less expensive) counter parts out there that often work just as well!
With that said, people often ask me which hair salon I go to or what type of product I use on my hair. And truth be told the answer is: I do not go to a hair salon. I mean, unless it's an extremely special occasion. In fact, the last time I "saloned" was for my wedding, in 2013.
In terms of hair products, I kinda use whatever quality product that Clicks has on promotion. I'm not particularly fussy. I'm not saying that you should go out there and buy Shampoo El Cheapo but I am saying that maintaining and caring for your hair goes beyond the shampoo and conditioner. It's an every day thing yo. I've found that there are ways to ensure your hair is happy all the time, and it doesn't include hair products or salons.
My hair has grown really long in a short period of time, due to pregnancy hormones (preggy hormones for president) but I've always sported a longish mane and this is what I found worked to help keep it healthy and glossy:
Pregnant hair. And a tummy.
I only wash and condition once a week
Yep. I know. It's a real thing yo. Apparently Avril Lavigne goes for weeks without washing, resorting to dry shampoos (spray ons or powder) to keep her roots looking fresh. You can totally train your hair to not over oilarize itself. (Hey, that's a word, okay)
Why would you want to do that? Well, the benefits of not over washing is that you don't strip your hair of all the natural goodness that your body creates for it. Your hair NEEDS those oils. The other pluses are that hair is easier to style when its "not fresh." Hair stylists have also confirmed that skipping days between shampooing actually decreases oil production. Go figure.
What about the smell, I hear you ask. Well... I don't really have the "dirty hair" smell thing going on, but I know that the struggle is real. A drop or 2 of essential oils massaged through your hair will help with that. Essential oils are quite pungent, so you don't need alot to get the job done. If you must wash your hair more often, try to use a light weight shampoo that is specifically designed for regular hair washing, which is meant to be more gentle on your mane. I only apply dye to my roots
I have inherited my mothers "grey" genes and literally have to dye my hair every 6 weeks or else I start to look like I'm aging like Benjamin Button. The greys take over so quickly and stealthily that I sometimes go to bed with dark hair and wake up looking like like a Golden Girl. Needless to say, I dye my hair regularly.
I stick to dark colors (the amount of peroxide in going lighter is never a good idea for anyones hair!) and I only apply the dye to my roots (or the areas affected by the greys). Dyes, in general, are not something you'd want to be applying to your hair often, because of all the chemicals and stuff. After dyeing, it's also a good idea to find a good nourishing hair mask to treat your hair with now and then. I normally apply a hair mask the week after I've dyed my hair, which helps to keep my hair feeling loved and amazing and not like I am trying to change it into someone that it doesn't want to be. Clicks has awsome hair masks that costs less than a Macdonald's meal.
I cold rinse
I always try to make sure that my final rinse (after shampooing and conditioning) is a cold rinse. I've found that my hair appears to be shinier after a cool rinse.
The scientific explanation says that: when you wash your hair with warm water, it opens up the cuticles, which is a good thing while shampooing and conditioning. The cold rinse then helps to "close" and seal the cuticle. The cold water also helps to increase the circulation of blood in your scalp. So all in all, a cold rinse is a good thing!
As I've said in pre-paragraph, I don't have a specific shampoo and condish that works for me. I generally just go with whatever my heart tells me. (Look at me making it an emotional thing).
A couple of experts say that making your hair get use to one type of shampoo is not a good idea and that if you use the same kind of product too much times, it becomes ineffective. So swop it up a bit! Shake it up! Woahhhh crazy times!
Other things I do while shampooing and conditioning:
I apply conditioner to my bottom ends first and focus more on them, working my way up to the scalp, so as to not make my scalp too oily. I also try to focus on shampooing my roots and not my scalp - which, to me, was the same thing, but apparently it isn't. Clue: Your scalp is your actual skin.
Combing vs Brushing vs "Did I brush my hair today?" Combing: I only comb when my hair is wet. This helps to avoid breakage and is generally the only way you should be unknotting your wet hair yo.
Brushing: I brush my hair from the bottom up. So I would first detangle the bottom ends and work my way up to the roots.Again, this helps to avoid breakage and split ends.
"Did I brush my hair today?": Don't judge me. I have a baby. And in retrospect, not only is running your fingers through your mane the best way to brush it, but over brushing your hair is like hair suicide and can cause hair loss and split ends. Oh and brushing too much can also cause your scalp to produce too much oil, which results in greasy hair, which results in having to wash your hair every day, which results in you failing part 1 of this instructional. Be wary. Be alert. Do the right thing.
I air dry like a boss
Look, I was not always brave enough to air dry my hair. Especially not when we had visitors over and I feared looking like Tina Turner in her glory days. But applying as little heat as possible to your hair can only result in magical things happening to your mane. Trust me. My routine includes air drying and then flat ironing a bit, where needed/when needed.
Ponytails and Buns
I only ponytail my hair, like, never. That's because I hate my ears. But if you love your ears, then please, by all means, ponytail your hair. Just make sure you are using a hair friendly scrunchie or hair tie. Preferably something that is not overbearingly elastic.
I am the avid "bun"ner and if I must, I rather opt for tieing my hair in a loose bun with a grip or hair clip.
I wear my hair down alot more often though. Like right now. It's down right now.
So there you have it. My super secret guide on how to not have to go to a salon every month. I love that there are such amazing products out there, which caters to every single hair type. That is really wonderful and I encourage you to find what works for you. Google your hair type and you'll find that there are tons of great advice on the net that will help to make YOUR hair routine super easy and beneficial to you.
Hair is such a personal thing (look at me making hair a personal thing) and everyone's "draad" is different.
So mix and match ideas and advice to find what makes YOUR hair happy. xxxL