I rinsed out the dye and noticed that my hair was the color I had so actively been avoiding the past few years.
Apparently it's May? I don't remember giving my permission for time to move as quickly as it has, but here we are. May means my allergies are in full swing, I've got a 24th birthday swiftly approaching, and soon I'll finally get to hang out on weeknights with my friends who work as teachers!
May also means it's been six or so months since I embarked on a journey called, in retrospect, "HEY LET'S TOTALLY RUIN MY HAIR."
I went blonde in December, and it was a lot of fun (and money) but those days are done. I went back to brown two months ago because I was tired of the upkeep being blonde requires. There are a lot of things I'm willing to put lots of time and money into (cooking, food, eating, etc.) but my hair is not one of them. I'm glad I gave it a chance, but I'm back to the dark side, kids.
Between the bleach, the cold weather, and a few very stressful months I had, my hair and I were NOT GREAT, Bob! When my hair started falling out in large clumps, I knew it was time to start giving it some tender loving care. I've been babying my hair for about a month and a half now, and have noticed a huge improvement.
First of all, I went back to my natural color. Well, actually I dyed my hair slightly darker than my natural shade of brown. (If I'm even remembering my natural hair color correctly. It's been a while since I've seen it.) There's a bit of fading in the back, but it isn't extreme and I'm putting the brakes on more coloring for now.
I've been washing my hair MORE, which is not advice you'll get from a lot of beauty writers. I know. It's, like, 90 degrees here every day already and now that my hair is longer than it's been in four years, it gets very sweaty and requires washing. I've switched from washing my hair once or twice a week to washing it four or five times a week. It's a big deal. There's not a lot of time between washes anymore, but I've noticed my hair has become less stringy and weak in general. It seems to be pretty excited about this newfound cleanliness.
Of course, if I'm going to wash my hair this often I need to use products that are gentle and moisturizing, so as to not to strip my hair of its natural goodness. I'm still using the L'Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Color Vibrancy Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner I wrote about a few months ago.
From that same line of L'Oreal products, I've been using their Color Vibrancy Root to Tip Fixer as a leave-in conditioner. My hair is very fine and thin, so products like this can often weigh it down and leave it stringy or lifeless. This L'Oreal product is lightweight enough to avoid that, while still making my hair feel nourished and moisturized.
Rather than spray it directly on my hair, I spray a couple spritzes into my hands before working it into my hair, focusing on the ends because they tend to be the driest.
I love deep-conditioning my hair, but doing it too much actually makes my hair very greasy, so I try to do it only a few times a month. About once a week for the past six weeks, I've been using the L'Oreal Paris OleoTherapy Deep Recovery Mask. The words "Deep Recovery" drew me in when I saw this stuff, and I was not disappointed.
Free of sulfates and formulated from a blend of flower oils, this mask has sort of changed my life. My hair feels moisturized, healthier and thicker without feeling like there's still a bunch of product in it, which is an issue I've had with some thick masks like this.
Its consistency is thick. There's no heavy scent, and a little goes a long way. Depending on how well your hair handles masks, you can use this stuff for as little as a few minutes or a few hours. Like I said, my hair can't handle too much product.
Once a week, I apply this mask to my hair after regular conditioning in the shower and I leave it on for about ten minutes while I shave my legs and sing "Don't Tell Mama." I make sure to rinse it out thoroughly, and my hair feels silkier and softer every time.
Sometimes though, my hair still feels a bit dry or sad, especially if I blow-dry it. That's when Lush R&B Hair Moisturizer comes in to play.
This is my go-to smoothing product to use once my hair is already totally dry. Made from organic avocado butter, oatmeal, olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, jojoba oil and candelilla wax, this is not only one of the best hair products I have ever used but is definitely the best smelling. It's like a tropical vacation for my head!
Using just a tiny amount warmed up in my hands, this stuff immediately smoothes and shines any frizz, flyaways, or sad-looking ends I've got going on. I've been avoiding any heat treatments beside the blowdryer, opting instead to smooth down my hair with some R&B. Because it's so lightweight, it won't weigh down curls or make your hair hang limp or stringy.
Also, did I mention how good it smells? For real. After I rub it into my hair, I've been known to rub the rest of it into my hands or wrists just so I can keep sniffing it all day.
Besides products, I've been aiding my hair by (as usual) drinking TONS of water and eating a diet rich in protein and healthy fats, like avocados. I eat a whole avocado every day, for real.
I've been using all these products for a couple months now and they've been my hair's SAVING GRACE. Healthy hair makes me happy.
Since adopting these new hair habits, I feel much better about my hair's health and my overall appearance.
Now you tell me: what are your favorite products for reviving damaged, sad, broken hair?