Heat Styling: I Quit Cold Turkey

4 products that are already making my bleach-damaged, blow-dryer-abused hair feel a million times better.

About five months ago, I got the brilliant idea to bleach my own hair. And for some sick, pathological reason, after I started inching over to the blonde side, I kept bleaching more of my hair myself and getting highlights practically every weekend.

It was like an addiction. The people around me were worried and begged me to stop.

Reason cannot explain my actions, because they were completely irrational, and I completely damaged my hair. I have very fine, wavy hair that doesn’t take kindly to peroxide. I knew I had it coming.

These days, I am being a lot gentler to my hair. I need to be if I don’t want a pixie cut. Just the word "pixie" makes me shudder with memories of the time I hacked off all my hair in my dorm freshman year. My mom thought it looked cute, but all I remember is wearing a bandanna for about six months.

So what is getting me through this tough time? Conditioner, barely washing my hair and quitting my blow-dryer. And this is coming from a person who always had an excuse to use a blow-dryer.

“It’s cold.”

“I’m sick.”

“I hate having a wet head.”

Yet I always secretly envied the girls with gorgeous hair who would ever so casually mention, “Oh, I don’t use a blow-dryer that much.” I used to think that was insane--that it must be terribly uncomfortable to wait for your hair to dry! But I knew I needed to try it.

I swore off the flat iron when I started aggressively lightening my hair, but I was I was so seriously attached to blow-drying; I started blow-drying my body when I would spray-tan; I would blow-dry my liquid eyeliner.

I think I was negatively influenced by the TV show My Strange Addiction. Did you guys ever see the blow-dryer addiction episode where the woman takes her dryer to bed with her and burns herself all the time? My kind of TV.

Since I can imagine myself scoffing at this advice a month ago, let me explain what I experienced when letting my hair dry naturally for the first time in AGES: My hair feels nothing short of miraculous.

Last night, I washed my hair with the best toning shampoo ever, Lee Stafford Bleach Blondes, deep-conditioned with Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask (thanks for the suggestion, Annie!), and combed my wet hair. I used Garnier Fructis Fall Fight Strand Saver Anti-Breakage Spray to detangle, and then I waited for my hair to dry.

I became paranoid. I was literally getting up every 10 minutes to check on the drying progress, to see if it even would dry in time for bed.

As my hair dried (and it actually did dry), I rubbed a pea-size amount of Fekkai Salon Technician Highlight Care Illuminating Cream into the ends and just let nature do its thing.

The result? My hair feels silkier than it has in months, and I finally know I can let my hair air-dry and it actually looks fine! Now I feel like I’m one step closer to healthier hair!

Good thing spring is here, because this would be considerably more difficult to do in winter.

Do you guys heat style during the warmer months? How often?