Since I started The Stranger, and joined Instagram, I have noticed a lot of attention and curiosity directed towards my hair. My followers made certain observations about my hair that I was entirely oblivious to. Sometimes I am asked about the types of voodoo I perform to maintain my hair. While my hair is naturally thick, it does take effort to maintain its quality and length. A few years ago, whenever I tried to grow my hair past my waist, I would have to deal with a severe case of “dried roots” and a sickening amount of split ends. One of my friends even joked that my hair resembled ginseng roots…
Sorry for the traumatizing picture… I’m glad my ginseng root days are over. Here are some of my hair care secrets.
♥ ♥ ♥
1. Start brushing your hair from the bottom. Detangle your roots first, and eventually work your way up. Attempting to detangle too much hair in one stroke may only be damaging.
♥ ♥ ♥
2. Always use a conditioner! If possible, dry your hair with a towel before applying the conditioner. I’ve found that conditioners work as well as masks if you leave them on damp hair (as opposed to wet hair) for 5-10 minutes. Take advantage of the conditioner’s “detangling” properties and brush your hair before rinsing off the conditioner.
♥ ♥ ♥
3. In case you’re curious, I use Redken’s All Soft Shampoo and Redken’s All Soft Conditioner. I’ve been hooked on them for years now, since I discovered them through the Makeupalley community. Both the All Soft shampoo and conditioner were rated highly (with over 600 reviews each), so I decided to give them a shot. The two used in conjunction leave your hair feeling ridiculously silky and smooth. In fact, I can’t stand most other shampoos because most of them are overbearing and leave your hair feeling stripped of moisture.
I always purchase the 33.8oz bottles because the 10.1oz ones run out fast. It’s much cheaper to purchase them from drugstore.com (here and here). If you travel as much as me, I always carry my shampoo in those little rubber containers you can buy from Muji.
♥ ♥ ♥
4. If you have extremely damaged hair and you aren’t on a tight budget, I would strongly recommend Kerastase’s Masquintense (the mask is also available specifically for thick hair, and for fine hair). It’s a quick and effective fix for hair that has been damaged by the sun, heat, and harsh chemicals. I started using it when my hair still resembled ginseng roots, and eventually moved onto Redken after my hair quality started improving.
5. Don’t blow-dry your hair. Let it air-dry instead. This is a controversial tip, so I can only champion its effectiveness on a subjective level. Please don’t come running back at me with an axe if it doesn’t work for you. From what I understand, the heat from blow-drying your hair is terribly damaging and dries up your hair. Some people complain that when they don’t blow-dry their hair, they end up looking like a frizzy poodle. I used to have that problem too, but then I discovered The Body Shop’s Grapeseed Glossing Serum (thank you Catherine). Prior to that I used an oil from Kerastase, but it simply became too costly since I apply these oils very generously. I always apply the serum while my hair is damp, and after it dries my hair becomes soft, sleek, and shiny, without appearing the slightest bit oily or heavy. It’s an incredibly light oil designed for all hair types. I carry it everywhere I go so that I can apply it over the course of the day. Sometimes my hair gets a little rebellious from the humidity of New York City, and I need to tame it with this little gem.
♥ ♥ ♥
6. If you really must
torment blow-dry your hair, for whatever reason, always use a heat protectant like Kerastase’s Ciment Thermique (my personal favorite). Never neglect it if you straighten your hair or apply any form of extreme heat to it on a regular basis.
♥ ♥ ♥
I know this is not even remotely in sync to what I typically blog about, but with the voluminous amounts of compliments heed upon my hair, it would be selfish to keep these simple tips to myself. I hope you found this little guide useful.
Now that I think about it, you guys are quite right. My hair is ridiculously long and maybe even idiosyncratic …After all, it’s not too often that you come across a female who looks so strikingly akin to that little girl in The Ring. I think I’ve found my doppelganger.
Okay I am slightly creeped out by the parallels. I don’t think I can look into the mirror for a few days…