I want to start this post by acknowledging how incredibly aware I am of my privilege in this matter. They always say that you want what you can’t have, but in the case of my hair – this just isn’t true. I grew up with friends with all different hair types: curly, coarse, wavy, thin – you name it. I watched my friends wash their hair, spend the next 30 minutes using a diffuser to blow dry it, then onto the straightener and god forbid you want curls – tack on another 45 mins.
My hair is literally the one thing I don’t want to trade anyone forever.
But since I get this question almost daily, I owe it to you to answer honestly and share what I do to keep my hair healthy & shiny. In fact, I’m going to do you one better and tell you 5 things that I don’t do. Ready?
BLOW DRYING COMPLETELY
The benefit of a blow dry is to style and go, but more often than not, we end up spending far too long with a heavy dryer burning our scalp. The best use for a blow dryer is to wait to use it. Let your hair air dry or use a microfiber towel for the first 30 minutes and then go in with a blow dryer. Dripping wet hair will do you no good with a blow dryer. My stylist recently recommended Royal Blowout by Oribe to me and I’ve been using to for a few months. Stupid expensive? Yes. Worth it? Yes. It speeds up my drying time and works as a heat protectant.
COLOR AT HOME
Box colors are botch jobs waiting to happen. You wouldn’t play with a beaker of chemicals and think you can apply them safely to you skin, so why do it to your scalp? Save up and invest in a good colorist. If you find someone you like, you can get away with going just once a twice a year with small toner touch ups in between. It’s worth it to make an investment and your hair will thank you for it.
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APPLYING CONDITIONER ALL OVER
Conditioner bottles and shampoo bottles should not be made in the same size. You use far more shampoos then you do conditioner and when it comes time to repurchase you’ll need one and not the other. The truth is while you need less conditioner, you also only need it on the ends of your hair. Don’t use conditioner on your roots or scalp, it will actually cause more harm than good.
WASH MY HAIR EVERYDAY
It’s so surprising to me how many women still do this. Seems like common knowledge that the more often you wash your hair, the more oiler your scalp becomes. Let me explain: overwashing causes the scalp to become drier and therefore produce more oil to compensate. Tie your hair up during workouts and keep it off of your neck with a headband. Wash every other day at a maximum.
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USING HOT TOOLS ON WET HAIR
This never works and I don’t know why we still do it. Your straightener will burn your hair, your curls won’t stay, and your blow dry will take ages. Be patient and wait for your hair to be at least half dry before blowdrying and fully dry before applying hot tools.
My straight hair might have split ends, be extremely heavy at times and not have any volume (literally ever), but I realize what women go through for tamed manes and I get away doing the bare minimum. I try to wash my hair at night, air dry it for 30 minutes, blow dry briefly and then sleep on it and wake up to hair that I can style.