14 September 2015

Hair Care 101

For as long as I can remember I have been frustrated by my hair. It's thin, difficult to manage and temperamental. It always seemed to be frizzy and damaged or noticeably oily. That was until I reexamined the way I took care of my hair and realised all the mistakes I was making. 

Until a few months ago, I was committing dozens of hair sins all the time. I would wash my hair every single day, with the wrong shampoos and conditioners, under searing hot water. Then I would rub it with a towel, or dry it with a hair dryer without using a heat treatment. Having thin hair, I couldn't bear to not wash it every day. I was so self conscious of how oily it would get. So instead I opted for washing it all the time. My hair would break and fall out so often I started to wonder if I was going to go bald. 

I decided it was time to make a change. After some research and asking my hair dresser what I could do to prevent losing my hair, I discovered that hair comes in all different types. Not only in terms of texture (thin, thick, straight, curly, etc.) but, just like skin, it also be dry, oily or combination. My hair is definitely combination. My ends are bone dry and my scalp becomes oily quickly. While some of this is probably genetics, it is also due to the way I treat my hair. Taking away the natural oils from my scalp every day meant that it needed to make up for what I was stripping from it, therefore overcompensating and becoming even oiler, faster. 

My first step was to stop washing my hair every day. It was hard at first, but now it is second nature to me. I chose a time when I could hide away for a few days and let my hair become oily. Then I began to wash my hair every second day. While I know some people can go even three or four days without washing their hair, it really is not an option for me. Those people most likely have a different hair type to me. Having thin hair means that the oil is more noticeable and sometimes, depending on my activity from the day before, I will need to wash my hair two days in a row.

I then needed to choose the correct shampoo and conditioner. Learning that I had combination hair made me realise that I didn't necessarily need a matching set sitting in my shower. I needed something for an oily scalp and damaged, dry ends. I am currently using Garnier Fructis Oily Roots Dry Ends Shampoo and Garnier Fructis Goodbye Damage. Being young and trying to save my pennies, I tend to choose drug store/grocery store products and avoid high end. These products have done wonders for my hair. The shampoo removes the oiliness from my roots while not stripping my ends. The conditioner is extremely nourishing and always leaves my hair feeling soft and full. I am careful to just use the shampoo on my scalp/roots and to use the conditioner on the lengths of my hair (from around the middle of my ears downwards). I make sure I squeeze as much water from my hair as I can before applying conditioner, so it doesn't just slip off. I also turn the temperature of the water down, using lukewarm water instead of hot. This technique has definitely helped to keep my hair balanced and healthier.

Garnier Fructis Hair Products

After I wash my hair I gently squeeze it with my towel. Rubbing your hair with a towel, or wrapping it up in a towel, can cause a lot of damage and breakage. Hair is vulnerable when it is wet. When my hair is partially dry I apply a protein spray. I am currently using JUSTICE Hair's Protein Spray. I apply it every time I wash my hair and I find just a few sprays to do the job. It protects and strengthens my hair. It also smells amazing! Sweet, floral and lasts all day. I also do not blow dry my hair, always leaving it to air dry. Occasionally I may smooth down a few fly aways around the front of my hair on a low heat setting, but generally I just leave it. 

JUSTICE Hair Protein Spray

Dancing and exercising often means that I need to keep my hair up and back most of the time. Tying it up, pinning it back and even sometimes teasing it means that it is super important for me to take care of my hair. Changing my approach to hair care has totally improved the quality, feel and health of my hair and my confidence. 

I hope this post has been educational and possibly helps to change the way you take care of your hair if, like I used to, you struggle with dry, difficult hair. I am by no means an expert, but I have found that these products and methods work for me. Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips or tricks! 

Hannah x


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