Okay, let’s get serious, do any of us truly love our hair? It’s kind of hard to answer, right? I have always had a love-hate relationship with my own locks, but as I’ve gotten older there is definitely more love than hate.
Part of that comes with getting older and just accepting things as they are. But even more than that, it’s because I’ve spent years finding the perfect products that have finally tamed my crazy mane.
I have extremely thick hair. Always have. When I got my hair done for prom in high school I booked the standard one-hour appointment for my up-do. But with about 15 minutes to go my hair was nowhere near completion. So, my stylist had to pull over another stylist to help her finish curling it all. Because in 1997 the more curls you could pile on the top of your head, the better.
Now in 2018 I totally believe less is more. But unfortunately, that doesn’t always apply to the price tag of my favorite hair products. The following list of items aren’t cheap, but for me they have been worth every penny.
Not only is my hair super thick but it has always been super strong as well. That is, until about 12 years ago when I was in my mid-20s. At that point I was a TV sports anchor and reporter and highlighted my hair every 4-6 weeks, washed it almost every day, and styled it with heat constantly. Around age 27 my hair began breaking, especially around my face. I never actually knew when it happened, I would just go to style my hair the next day and find chunks that had broken off 2-3 inches from the ends. It was incredibly frustrating.
The problem continued until I moved to San Francisco for a job and started going to a salon that was all about Kérastase products. My stylist quickly suggested getting me started on a full Kérastase regimen.
Kérastase Bain Satin Shampoo—My favorite part about the Kérastase system is that even within the same collection there are products for different hair types. I prefer this shampoo in the “dry and sensitized hair” category (Bain Satin 2). It smells great and doesn’t dry out my hair at all. It sets things up perfectly for the conditioner.
Kérastase Masquintense Thick—I believe this is one of the products that saved my hair (keep reading for the other). I still experience breakage occasionally, but nothing like before using this conditioner. It is very thick and a little goes a long way, so the jar lasts a long time. After shampooing I towel off my hair and then apply this starting with the ends and then comb it through with my fingers. Leave it on for five minutes (more if you need the extra moisture), rinse out, and you can already feel a difference.
NOTE: I’ve used Kérastase products for years but recently they gifted me a supply of the shampoo and conditioner featured here, which are the same products I had been using.
Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo—I use this shampoo once or twice a month as needed. I had been experiencing a very dry scalp with flakes and itchiness and it was driving me crazy. I tried this shampoo just once and the problem almost completely went away. I use a generous amount and massage it into my scalp and then rinse out. The peppermint smell totally wakes you up and the slight tingling sensation makes it feel like it’s working. It isn’t a cure-all, which means I have to continue using it here and there. But it has made my scalp much more comfortable and the occasional flakes are few and far between.
When it comes to styling your hair there are so many different types of brushes and hot styling tools out there that all claim to be a game changer when it comes to the overall texture and look of your hair. That is all well and good, but I once read somewhere that no matter how much money you spend on fancy hair tools, it really comes down to the products you are applying first. I couldn’t agree more.
Kérastase Ciment ThermiqueBlow Dry Primer—As mentioned above, there are two products I believe saved my hair and this is the second. I began using this several years ago when I first began experiencing the breakage problems and it has made such a difference. It’s the first thing I apply to my hair after I’m out of the shower and right before I blow dry. You just need about a nickel-sized dollop that you then massage into the ends of your hair. I usually begin closer to the roots on the pieces around my face that are prone to breakage and then work my way to the tips. I don’t know how, but it seems to provide a shield from all of the hot styling tools that soon follow.
Iles Formula Haute Performance Finishing Serum—Next up I apply a little serum throughout the length of my damp hair. I discovered this product about two years ago and loved it immediately. It makes my coarse hair feel silky once it’s been blow dried. It’s shiny and healthy looking, too. You don’t need to use a lot, but even if you do go overboard with the application it still won’t weigh your hair down or make you feel like you need to wash it again immediately.
Je Veux Cheveux Argan Oil—Okay, I hesitated to even put this on the list, not because I don’t love it, but because I can’t find it in stock anywhere! Which is crazy, because this stuff is so good. I currently just have two tiny bottles left and am already starting to panic about what I’ll do when it is gone. I’m holding out hope because the company still exists and has a website, so maybe they are just regrouping? Fingers crossed. If anyone has any intel let me know! This is the last product I apply to my damp hair. I put a tiny bit in my palms and rub them together, then apply the oil just to the ends of my hair. I then comb through my wet hair and blow dry. This oil has provided a great level of protection for my split ends and also tames the frizz.
Growing up and into my early adulthood I fully believed that every time you took a shower you also needed to wash your hair. That meant I was washing my hair every single day. Yes, every single day. Not only was it exhausting but it was completely stripping my hair of all its natural oils. Because of that every day it felt like I had to wash my hair.
Fortunately, somewhere in my mid 20s I finally got the memo: I was hurting my hair way more than I was helping it. So, I started washing it every other day. Every other day then turned into every three days, and so on, until now when I wash it only 1-2 times per week.
Scrubbing down your hair less often not only helps you avoid extra blow dries and opportunities for heat damage, but it also allows your natural oils to do their thing. In order to keep it that way I will need a little assist on the last day or two before washing again. That’s where dry shampoo comes in.
Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo—I use this when my hair needs some life support, and after going to the gym on the days I don’t wash it. It smells great and gives an instant boost to my tired out locks. You just spray your roots, fluff it all up, and go!
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