Alright. So I get a ton of questions about my hair all the time and I know I keep making promises of doing a full hair post so I think it’s about time? I’m sharing EVERYTHING related to my own hair routine, the bad phase I had with my hair and how I repaired it, some real hair talk and then a few tips that I’d love to offer if anyone’s listening. (At no point am I imagining I have the sexy mane of a stallion that can obliterate militaries spanning multiple geographies, I did see a change in my own hair, so here we are).
First up, the questions and comments I get about hair can be summarized very quickly into the following: how does your hair look good/I’m frustrated/my hair sucks. Legit, 90% of them. We all need to internalize one thing: a LOT of people with fantastic hair can pretty much attribute it all to genetics. Genes are a bitch and some of us don’t have the good hair ones on our side. It’s important to understand how some things cannot be altered beyond a certain point and therefore it’s irrelevant to have unrealistic expectations or have your frustrations grounded in something unachievable. I know my hair is in decent shape but there are tons of girls out there with absolutely stunning hair; I don’t compare myself to them or invest non-value added time in trying to get somewhere I cannot.
HOWEVER, while genes do play a big part in all of this, there is a lot to be said for taking care of your actual hair type and quality. I had a really bad phase with my hair a couple of years ago and I knew that it was a bad phase and not just my hair being itself, because I could compare it to what it was like ten years ago. In my very humble opinion, it IS possible to revert your hair, at least partially, to what it was like; i.e. what your genes delivered to you when you were born.
So this post is going to be realistic. I’ll share my basic hair routine, something that I don’t spend incredible amounts of time on, because there needs to be sustainability. And some general hair tips. No life-altering magical substances that make your follicles sprout unicorn hair will be discussed. Let’s keep it real and easy.
MY HAIR TYPE
My hair is naturally straight. Not the super sleek, glossy kind; kind of rough but straight. There can be a slight wave on the first day of wash, depending on the shampoo I use. Gets straighter/limper each subsequent day after washing. Good shampoos give me volume, bad ones make it look limp and dirty within a day.
I’m sharing this because people keep asking me how I’m making my hair straight. When it’s naturally that way, and yours is not, my answer is not going to work for you. Hair type is very important, specifically when you’re asking someone for tips.
MY HAIR ROUTINE
Shampoo & Conditioning: I wash my hair about 2-3 times a week. And I rotate between a few drugstore shampoos and conditioners. I talked about my favorite ones here. I found these after many, many years of trial and error and I’ve straight up loved them for a few years now. When I stop using them (i.e. when I’m trying out stuff for the blog), I can see my hair suffer, it looks kind of wild. As soon as I go back to them, I immediately feel like the hottest head of hair ever.
Deep conditioning: Once a month (which I imagine to be once a week but that’s me being delusional), I deep condition my hair after washing. My favoritest hair mask ever, ever is Hask, which I posted about here. None of the other variants work for me, only the Macadamia one. I also try and oil my hair once a month.
Protection: I have a shower filter in my bathroom and I make sure it’s always working to its fullest potential. Which means changing the cartridges on time and not just install once and then forget about it forever. I use this one.
Heat Styling/Coloring: I have reduced my heat styling like nobody’s business since a very long time now and use it very sparingly. I airdry my hair always. I add waves with a hot iron a couple of times a month only (even though I lahvv them). The blowdryer I love is this one by Babyliss, for when I want to dry quickly. My curling iron is absolute shit in terms of quality, in fact it stopped working last month so I have no curling iron recommendation currently. I also use this heat protectant before heat styling, I don’t know if it’s that good, but I only started getting split ends now, after getting my haircut back in April 2016 so it must be doing something I guess (I randomly picked it up from the salon after my haircut). I also don’t color my hair frequently, my last color was 15 months ago. (I do think if you do heat styling and coloring with the right products, you can avoid hair damage. I just stopped doing that because of laziness and I also realised later that my hair slowly started to look better when I didn’t subject it to too much heat).
Salon Treatments: I don’t do any currently.
THE BAD PHASE OF MY HAIR:
I had a truly, truly bad phase with my hair. It was thinning, fried, dry, damaged, looked terrible (refer to sample in the picture above). I did a ginormous post once upon a time on how I managed to heal it, so I’m not going to repeat myself and cause you pain, you can just read all about it here if you haven’t before. Bottom line: it’s possible to fix your hair, if you do it the right way.
Important note: In the above post, you’ll see that I took Priorin for a month on a doctor’s prescription, which I think really helped me. However, one year after having my hair in good shape, I tried to be a smart ass and took Priorin again, without any prescription just randomly. I thought, hey it’s good for the hair so let’s just take it and maintain things. I actually saw excessive hair growth on my face within a week and I immediately stopped taking it (the growth went away eventually). Therefore, always consult with a doctor and don’t try to be a self-appointed hair medic and make things more complicated.
TIPS/COMMENTS/AMATEUR HAIR WISDOM:
Some tips/comments I feel I need to put out there. (Sidenote: am so much thinner in the above picture, *tears*)
- First, relax. If your hair is in bad condition, drying, falling, relax first. Don’t excessively stress about it and cause more damage. Figure out steps on how to fix your hair (like I mentioned above) and slowly approach the problem. There can be no changes overnight, accept slow progress and then begin.
- If your hair is fried, get the damaged part chopped off. When I got my short haircut last year, I immediately saw a step change in my hair. It felt fresh, bouncy, healthy. Nothing works better than a fresh chop. Our side of the world is obsessed with long hair, people are like how will it grow back if I cut it all of. Even going to the salon and asking for a trim exactly 0.55 mm long, when the damage is actually spanning a continent, and then vomiting on the stylist if they do a tiny bit extra (been there, done that). I mean, what good is long hair if it looks like pubic raccoon hair (not that I’ve seen a raccoon like that…)? Healthy hair responds to products and general everyday life better. If you keep it damaged, it doesn’t look good even if you try the best of stuff (currently what’s happening to me since I desperately need a trim).
- There are a lot of people who have literally come to me crying and I’ve suggested some things to them. Their response: ‘Oh my god, this is too much, can’t do it’, then go back to crying. I’ve done the same at one time myself. There is a whining phase where you don’t want to do anything except complain and wonder and possibly wait for an overnight miracle. If you want to see a change, move to a phase where you’re ready to commit to doing some things religiously.
- Get your hair/scalp checked. I did and it did wonders for me. If you can find a professional, get it checked out.
- Hair loss in the shower is normal. A lot of my hair comes out when I’m washing, it’s okay. Unless it’s not absolute large clumps of hair, go easy and enjoy your shower.
- I have a lot of water and a lot of eggs. I don’t know if this contributes in any way but I’m putting it out there because this is something I do consistently.
- A clean scalp is a healthy scalp. Some people can go a week without washing, some can’t last beyond a day. Keep your head clean, that’s all that matters.
- Don’t compare your hair with others. Please. Understand your hair type and make it look its own best, not someone else’s. Beautiful hair is not long or short, straight or curly, fine or thick, black or grey. Beautiful hair is healthy, clean and not damaged.
- Remember what I said about genetics up there.
- Cameras add a lot of shine to your hair that doesn’t exist in real. You might feel my hair looking extra nice in pictures but it’s not always that way.
- Some people will have their hormones screw things up hair-wise. If you really can’t figure anything out, it’s always best to get a hormone panel done and see if there’s something going on there.
- There are a lot of hair growth oils, serums, salon treatments, nani ke totkay out there that probably work for some people. Just remember that nothing will work alone and needs to be done in conjunction with overall good hair habits, so if you try something, get on it with discipline.
If you have any hair secrets, please tell your hair type and share your gems for the mutual benefit of our traumatized hair community. Bye bye.