My Hair Care Picks!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

So let's take a departure from food for a minute.

I am widely known as completely insane when it comes to my hair.  It's black, it's red, it's blonde, it's short, it's long, its REALLY short, and all of this in just shy of 2 months. I have almost become a certifiable expert in bringing hair back from the dead (with a little help from some of my pro friends) and thought it might be nice to share this with the world. I have done A LOT to my hair and am always here if you need advice, of if you need to be direct to someone who knows better than me. I could fill a Rolodex with my go-to helpers. But in the meantime, here are my regulars.

I am not a licensed hair professional.  All of these tips and products are what I've found works for MY hair through trial and error.  You may have different results.

1. Kristin Ess THE ONE Shampoo + Conditioner - Target, $10 each

It has taken me YEARS to find a sulfate free shampoo that actually cleans my hair and doesn't make it feel greasy and weighed down.  I have fine hair, but TONS of it and it has absolutely no texture whatsoever (that stick-straight, lay there and do nothing Scandinavian hair).  People love to say you have to stop washing your hair more than a couple times a week if you want to repair it and that is absolutely not an option for me. I have cut down to every other day, but I have to wrap it up in a scarf on my off days.  This sulfate free shampoo and gentle conditioner combo is perfect for my hair type.  I feel like I can shampoo every day if I need to and it's not wrecking my delicate strands.  I had to have a major hair overhaul a couple months ago and chopped off all but around 2 and a half inches of hair.  I like to think that switching to these deliciously pink products has helped it grow out a bit, and it has grown quite a bit since I got a wild hair up my ass to lop it all off.  It has also started to look super healthy. But cute is the packaging? I'm such a sucker for great marketing.

2. Kristin Ess Reconstructive Moisture Mask - Target, $14
Another steal from Kristin Ess, I use this mask about once a week.  It has replaced just about every other masking product in my arsenal.  It is light, but effective and is probably made from some kind of dark witchcraft because I can find no other explanation for why Kristin Ess's products are so phenomenal.  The directions say to apply after you shampoo and leave for 5 minutes, but I often apply to dry hair before I shower and let sit for about 30+ minutes.  I use most masks this way, regardless of the wet-hair instructions.

3. Olaplex No. 3 - Amazon, various, but usually around $20 (you can buy it directly from the Olaplex site for $28)

Made to be part of a 3 part system, Olaplex actually rebuilds the bonds in your damaged hair.  You are probably familiar with this product as an additive to salon lightening services, as steps 1 and 2 are made to reduce damage caused by lightening your hair.  This last step is used after the lightening process to complete the service, and is regularly given as an at home treatment to keep the good times rolling after you've become a blonde bombshell.  This was recommended to me by a friend of mine who owns a salon when I was desperate for help.  It is a goddamn lifesaver.  I used this every other time I shampooed in conjunction with the next product, and it brought my hair back from certain death.  It saved about an inch of hair that I would have had to part with otherwise (and I barely had that much to give). For steps 1 and 2 you'll need to be a licensed pro, but step 3 is available to us mere mortals.

4. Lush Cosmetics H'Suan Wen Hua -, $21.95

Pronounced "Shwen Wen WAAH" (I used to work at Lush...), I alternated this product with the Olaplex every other time I washed and I really noticed a difference.  This product is vegetarian, but not vegan (it has eggs for protein), but it was a miracle.  I leave this on dry hair for as long as I can stand it (sometimes an hour or so) and then rinse and shampoo and condition. It smells like an Autumn fantasy and last for around 4+ applications (less on longer hair, my hair is quite short), but you don't need to use a TON of it for it to do its job.  I've even heard of people using it as a leave in on dry ends.

5. Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Leave-in Conditioner - Target, $10

Yes, another pick from Kristin Ess.  This Target-exclusive line is my new favorite, and for good reason (accidentally typed "god" reason, almost left it).  This product line is super affordable, and Kristin Ess said that she wanted to create a line of products that would make you fall in love with the ENTIRE line.  So many of us use our favorites from different lines, but she really has done something special here. I love everything I have tried, and they will be staples from now on.  I spray this on generously after I shower to detangle, and it doesn't feel gross or greasy.  Super light, but super effective.

6. John Master's Organics Dry Hair Nourisher and Defrizzer - Whole Foods, $20 (about)

I can't remember exactly how much this one was, but I don't use it frequently.  This is what I use when I'm having a particularly rough hair day (literally) and need a bit of shine and smoothing.  The bottle last a while, because I use it so sparingly and the guy who helped me at whole foods said he swore by it...and his hair was long and perfect so I bought it.

7. Mane n' Tail Herbal Gro Leave-in Creme Therapy - Various, around $7.99

This is kind of billed as a leave-in, but should really be used as a styling product.  It's too heavy and sticky for me to use daily as a leave-in, so I use it to style finger waves, curls, or swoopy retro bangs (this is actually perfect for retro hair styles, if you want something more nourishing than pomade).  I bought this in a set with the matching shampoo and conditioner, and honestly could have done without both of those, but this product is sneaky and has it's good uses.  Like I said, it's too heavy for daily use as a leave-in but as a lighter substitute for pomade it works nicely.

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