Healthy Hair Routine


Big news: I finally got a job! I won't have as much time to blog anymore but thank god I can finally earn some mahoney!

Anymore more about that later, this blog post is a follow up of my previous one about my hair and the after care that went into restoring it. I only started this routine a month ago but it has made a huge difference (even my boyfriend can tell and he's oblivious to any changes to my looks whatsoever). So this is what I did to repair my damaged hair:

Phase 1: Causes of Damage
My first step was to avoid doing anything to my hair which would cause a lot of damage. And because I wanted to stop coloring my hair, I had to color it just one last time, to it's natural color, so that I wouldn't have to do any root touch ups and I could just leave my hair to grow. So no more chemical treatments whatsoever!

I also avoid everyday processes which are known to damage hair:
  • I don't use straighteners, curlers, or blow dryers on a hot air setting . In fact, I left my blow dryer at my moms house, so now I just let my hair dry naturally; if I have somewhere to go and my hair needs washing, I allocate time for my hair to dry at home or wash my hair the night before. If I want to style my hair differently, I use heat-less methods such as velcro rollers for volume or soft curls, or use the hair band curl method.
  • I try to wash my hair less, apparently you should only wash it twice a week to retain the hair's natural oils. I still wash it 3-4 times a week at the moment, but gradually I'm going to try to reduce it to 2. I know it sounds gross but if you wash your hair less, it is less prone to get greasy quickly.
  • I  only brush once once or twice a day. Too much brushing causes breakage. I will only brush when my hair is dry as the hair is more elastic while wet so breaks easier. I don't know what the best brush is or if such a thing exists, but I like to use a wide set brush with soft synthetic bristles. I've heard that tangle teezers are awesome but I don't own one yet. I also use my hands and stroke downwards instead of brushing if it needs a bit of smoothing out in the middle of the day.
  • I try to avoid hair products containing a lot of alcohol. Hairspray is the biggest culprit here and I can't completely stop using it, but I definitely use less and in some cases replace hairspray with mousse. I'm also generally using less products so that I don't have to wash it as often.
Phase 2: Trim Your Split Ends.
This article is copied from wikihow, I thought it would be a much clearer explanation than me trying to describe the process myself:

1.  Obtain a pair of hair shears. Normal scissors will gnaw through your hair and cause you more split ends. You can purchase them online or at a local beauty supply.

 2. Cut perpendicular to the hair strand. This will keep the end stronger than a slanted cut would.

 3. Make the cut about 1/4” above the split to ensure a healthy end.

4. Try trimming against a light background if you have dark hair and vice versa.

Yes, it is time consuming but really rewarding. Without getting rid of the damage, your hair cannot recover! I've been in denile so many times and avoided getting my ends chopped off at the salon but then I'd always give in because the quality of my hair would just be unbearable. But now, by trimming my split-ends myself, I don't lose any length. When I started, it felt kind of pointless and like I would never run out of split-ends to cut off but eventually they begin to lessen and now I have to look harder to find them. I do this in the daytime while watching tv once or twice a week. You can only really see split ends in good lighting, and I have a window just behind my couch, so I always get a lot of good natural light to see the splits in. Otherwise, just a table lamp will suffice. And only do this with shears and not kitchen scissors or whatever you have at home. I bought a pair of shears from  my local boots for about £20 and they are very useful to have. This is the most important step in this whole after care process and if you don't want to get a trim at the salon and lose a lengthy portion of hair, this is the only other option.

Phase 3: Nourishment

First of all I'd like to mention that I no longer wash my hair with hot water, even though I love hot showers, after doing some online research I have read that it is best to rinse your hair with luke warm water. I don't know the scientific reasons behind it, but again heat is damaging to the hair even in water form. 

I'd never stick to a particular shampoo or conditioner and I'd usually just grab any random bottle or brand when I went shopping. However, recently I've decided to stick to the same shampoo and conditioner suitable for my hair type. I'm on my second pair of bottles of Schwarzkopf Gliss Oil Nutritive Shampoo and Conditioner which are supposedly for longer hair prone to split ends. Now I know that there is no product which can actually repair split ends, only reduce their visibility temporarily, but I still think this is a very very good shampoo. And each bottle only cost 99p from the 99p store! The smell is absolutely amazing and I do think that this shampoo has strengthened my hair and put a lot of moisture back into the ends.
I also use a second conditioning treatment after the Gliss conditioner, once or twice a week, and leave it in for about 10 minutes. My absolute favorites are Boots Coconut & Almond Intensive Hair Mask and Pantene Pro-V Color Seal Concentrate. They really make such a difference to my hair! It becomes so soft and supple and it's very difficult to choose a favorite between the two. The Pantene Concentrate is suitable even for non-colored hair and it's just a little miracle worker, although I'd say the effects of the Coconut Mask are longer lasting (as in the hair stays super smooth for longer). I will definitely keep using these products for a while and they are also very affordable.

So that has been my hair care routine for the past month or so and I see big changes already, not just to the outside of my hair, but also it's general healthiness. I will keep this hair care routine until I discover something better, but right now this is the best thing that has happened to my hair.


Michy said...

Congrats on the new job! ^^
And damn that is dedication to your hair right there, my hair is really damaged & dry as well especially as it still has bleached parts from last year so I've tried to be nicer to my hair. I will definitely follow through with some of your tips. Do you use serum? I just purchased a product from Ojon - Damage Reverse Serum (read about it in LOOK mag xD), its like a oil but it doesn't make your hair too greasy and so far so good. My ends are left shiny and soft.


Well done on getting the job! An inspiration for me to keep on trying, hehe.

I did a summer internship in R&D on hair care products last summer and just have to say that it definitely looks like you've done your research well.

If you are looking for a shampoo that will repair hair that is dry or damaged, maybe try Dove's Intensive Repairing Shampoo since the Dove range is generally targeted towards damage.

With regards to hair masks, they are only a stronger conditioner, so you can get the same effect if you leave in your normal conditioner for 15-20 minutes before rinsing out.

I think the best temperature to rinse is a few degrees below body temperature. In the lab during summer, I worked on products that required me to test them out, and the research standard temperature for rinsing was always a little below body temperature, so if the products were optimised for this temperature, then it makes sense for consumers to get the best effects this way too.

Hope this helps!

Yishi x

The Good, The Bad, and The Beautiful said...

Wow thanks for the awesome feedback~! That must have been an awesome internship. I've heard about the dove range before so I'll definitely give it a try, as well as the Ojon serum :)