It Now Takes A Dozen Products To Get My Hair To Look Like It Did Before I Started Using Products

There was a time when I didn't care about what I shampooed my hair with, or how frequently I used a hair mask (or what a hair mask was).

I used to have pretty great hair. I’m talking soft, voluminous, shiny and generally envy-worthy. All the cliché qualities you find in shampoo commercials. Unfortunately, I cannot provide photographic evidence because this was during my nose-too-big-for-my-face-but-still-skinny part of high school. Just take my word for it.

I’m sure I would still have this beautiful head of hair had I not discovered dye. And lots of highlights. My hair rebelled like a pimply-faced teenager, and the result was a loss of hair freedom. No more silky strands, no more straightening it once and leaving it until the next wash. No. My hair was mad as hell. It felt like straw and wouldn’t do the things I told it to do anymore.

You need to understand that I never cared about what I shampooed my hair with, or how frequently I used a hair mask (or what a hair mask was). I hated the word “product” and all its implications. Firstly, when did we stop pluralizing “products” and secondly, why do I need to spend money on stuff that goes in my hair when I can just use whatever is in the shower?

I have been forced to rearrange my life philosophy, and, along the way, I learnt which brands and tricks could help my hair not feel so crunchy and unruly.

My first savior was switching to salon-grade shampoo and conditioner. I invested in Kérastase and have never looked back. I have dabbled in other expensive stuff, too, but nothing comes close to this stuff. You can buy the exact right kind for your exact kind of hair. It’s so fancy.

The shampoo doesn’t strip my hair of all the oils and um, minerals? And the conditioner may as well be a mask. You need to towel dry hair and then leave it in for a couple of minutes, which gives me ample time to beat my highest score on Minion Rush while naked. Which is always a plus.

I’m currently using the super-nourishing Bain Nutri-Thermique because winter here just ended, and I switch between the Masquintense and the Fondant Nutri-Thermique conditioners, depending on how much moisture I’m in need of.

In between washes, I try to always extend the time by faking it with dry shampoo. I only trust Batiste on this. When my bottle finishes (which happens quite often – I mean I can now go a comfortable one and a half weeks without washing my hair), I turn to my trusty Johnson’s Baby Powder, which has been with me since before “dry shampoo” entered my vocabulary.

I have also learnt the value of hair oils. I love the Kérastase Elixir Ultime and Moroccanoil. Both make my hair feel like it did before I ignored all advice to the contrary and dyed the living hell out of it, but I have found that the Moroccanoil is better at making my hair less fuzzy pre-GHD. Which brings me to my next point.

I know that flat-ironing your hair only serves to make the problem worse, but when your ends are puffing out and the top of your hair won’t stay put, you gotta do what you gotta do. And what I gotta do is sometimes iron my hair lightly (I don’t clamp down too hard and it somehow makes it seem less sinful) to remove the unwanted hay-like quality.

Waving random pieces of hair with my GHD straightener also helps me to feel more comfortable with my next-day kinks.

I have also learnt to trust in heat-control products, like the GHD Style Heat Protect Spray, or the cheaper option, Pantene’s Heat Defense Gloss Spray. Also, my GHD is purple, so how harmful can it truly be?

Another saving grace for when I have to leave my house ten minutes ago and my hair is straw-ing up is my handy bottle of John Freida Frizz-Ease Glossing Mist. It just smooths those funky hairs without leaving a sticky mess.

Come bed-time, I now know to sleep with my hair in a plait every single night and use a scrunchie (sexy) so that my strands aren’t damaged. Double points for a fat satin scrunchie. Triple points if you forget the scrunchie in your hair when you leave the house.

Although I still feel like a major dick every time I talk about “product,” I am comfortable enough to rely on them. I have found ones that don’t make my hair all sticky. No more does that word bring up images of hardened mousse and oily stains on my pillowcases.

I am liberated. I am free. I am silky-haired and I can use the word “product” any time I want, because I have real life sufferings behind me. Anybody else just sounds pretentious.