Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Spring Hair, Don't Care + My Haircare Story

Hey there, friends!

Just wanted to post a quick fun little update on my hair refresh for spring, and how I've updated my haircare routine in the first few months of 2020 ♥

I recently went to the salon and got some fun rose gold balayage highlights to ring in spring! 😊

If you read my new year's resolutions, you might remember that one of mine was to make a more concerted effort to take care of my lovely locks.

A little backstory on my hair:

I've been growing out my hair for the last six-seven years, originally from a pixie cut.  For the first about four years of that, I think I cut my hair maybe once.  I couldn't really afford to get my hair cut and I just wanted it to grow, so I didn't want to cut it!  Then a couple years ago, I decided that I really wanted to start dyeing my hair red.  Oh right... yeah, I'm actually not a redhead!

So many people in my life think I have naturally red hair... even family members have asked me where the red hair gene comes from?!?   So I'm glad it seems to suit me at least, because I love having it!   My grandma actually did have red hair, so maybe this is some deep down way I'm trying to connect with her or something, but whatever the reason, it's here to stay!

So I started dyeing my hair... at that point in my life my hair was starting to get past my shoulders, and man was it a mess!  It was so dry, tangled, split ends, etc.  So during one of the appointments I started asking about haircare products — it was getting so stressful brushing the tangles out of my hair everyday, and a lot of my hair was coming out onto my brush, I was skeptical as to how there was any left on my head!

Shampoo + Conditioner

My colorist recommended stocking up on some salon shampoos and conditioners, and through more research and use over the next year, I cannot express how much of a difference this makes.  Basically, any time I've ever mentioned having used drugstore shampoo/conditioners like Herbal Essences to anyone I've known in the cosmetology industry, I can see the visceral cringing in their eyes, even if they're trying to mask it.  And it is a pretty steep price difference when you're talking $4 for a bottle of Herbal Essences and hiking up to $11 for a salon brand.  But you're not just paying for a fancy brand here, you're paying for a product that is much healthier for your hair.    After having used the Mario shampoo and conditioners for the last ~3 years, I can tell you my hair is now MUCH easier to brush out and feels SO much healthier.  There were patches in there where I would run out and couldn't get out to the salon to pick up more and I would use drugstore brand for a few weeks, and it was very easy to tell (for me in brushing it out) that I had lapsed.   So this makes a huge difference.

Secondly, something that I didn't understand before was that you really shouldn't be shampooing your hair everyday, especially if you have color in your hair.  Back in college when I had the short hair, I bleached it with box dye, and then colored it bright coral... and I was shampooing every day.  Basically, my hair got so dry it started static-ing and just raising up in the air!  I literally had to use dryer sheets on my head to get it to go down — and that is when I learned that you're drying out your hair when you shampoo it daily.   That and I had bleached it with box dye, so I was basically torturing my hair follicles in every possible way!

My updated hair routine (especially helpful for those with colored hair) is shampooing it every third day, and using conditioner everyday.  From what I understand, when you shampoo it daily, it strips all of the good oils from your hair, and causes your scalp to go into overdrive, which is why on the second day your hair will feel overly oily.  But if you step back, your hair will start to fall into a more relaxed routine.   Using this washing pattern has left my hair feeling softer and less oily overall, as well as less brittle.

Cutting Your Hair

When I was growing out my hair from a pixie, I wanted length so badly, so I avoided getting it cut.  What I didn't understand is that getting it cut helps it grow — and part of the reason I ended up with such tangled brittle hair was that all my hair was just a big mess of split ends!  I really didn't break down and get my hair cut until last year really, because I felt like I had to finally get my hair cut for the wedding 😂!

After that I decided that I should probably start actually cutting and taking care of my ends, because they tend to get pretty bad!  Also, I really want to continue to grow my hair longer, and this is the best way to ensure it can continue being strong and growing longer!

Extra Tips and Caring for Colored and Bleached Hair

In addition to my shampoo + conditioner routine, I've also implemented a few other habits to keep my hair feeling healthy and strong.

  • I don't use heat on my hair often.  I actually don't even own a hair dryer currently, and typically let my hair air dry everyday.  I will occasionally use a curler when styling for shoots, though tbh I don't really know how to use it properly!  The only thing I do use heat for routinely is a flatiron to make my bangs lay even and curl in, but that's it!
  • Daily after a shower, I will spray a leave-in conditioner in my hair.  This helps keep the oils in my hair healthy and also makes it very easy to brush out.  I'm currently using 21 Benefits from Pureology, and it is simply amazing!
  • Also, because I have been getting my hair balayage-d at the salon, I've been using a hair mask weekly to keep my hair from getting too brittle.  Bleaching hair strips the hair follicles down, so adding a mask can help to keep it strong!  For this I've been using a Mario mask as well, and I'm looking into using one from Virtue also in the near future.  
  • Lastly, for those with colored locks, especially those that fade fast, like my redheads out there:  I typically try to go as long as possible right after it's dyed before washing it or even getting it wet so that it keeps the dye in for as long as possible and (hopefully?) roots itself in there more permanently.  I'm not sure if this is an officially suggested method or anything, but I try to do it because I want my color to last!  That and when you do finally start washing your freshly dyed hair, use COLD or LUKEWARM water.  I love a good scalding hot shower as much as the next girl, but your hair dye will not love it, and it will go racing down the drain! 
  • Lastly, I am still on the hunt for more products that could add volume to my hair, as I have very thin locks and would love a little more volume for styling!  I have tried to use some sprays I've seen on my favorite bloggers' Insta stories, but I fear I might also just not know how to use them!  So my homework will be trying to learn better hair styling techniques.  Hopefully one day I'll have more updates on some of those techniques later this year! 😊

Until Next Time,

— The Lovely Red Fox

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