Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Hair Care & Routine ...& Some Tips on Growing Long Hair

Many of you asked if I could do a post on my hair care and routine. Apologies that it has taken me so long to post on it. I have to admit that my hair really is not in its most healthy state right now. As I mentioned before, I experienced post postpartum hair loss with both of my little ones. My hair is not nearly as thick now, but it's growing back in pretty quickly now.

My Hair


I decided to break this down into areas. If there is a certain step that you are more interested in, hopefully this will make it easier to skim through. A video might have been the better way to go for this! Sorry! Next time ;)

In any case, I do not do nearly all the things I know, I should be doing for my hair. There was a time I did care for my hair much better, like drinking biotin regularly, washing with horse shampoo, sleeping on a silk pillow case, hot oils, masks and deep conditioning weekly....the works. Actually, I should really go back to doing that lol. I do have slightly different routines depending on season and where I am {if I am in Florida with the humidity, I do things slightly differently, or in Europe with my different hair dryer, flat iron, products ect.} But, in the here and now, this is what I typically do...


On My Hair Type

I have a lot of hair. It's naturally curly, a bit on the dry side and has a mind of its own, with some curls being far tighter, and others more loose and wavy. I have been blowing it out since I was about 15. All the blow outs have frizzed my natural curl, a lot. I would advise anyway who does blow their hair out, as I do, to not over do it... as I have. Curls have a 'natural family' that they coil with. After many years of consistent blow outs, without enough breaks in between, curls lose their 'family'. Although, reversible with time, its best to avoid it, if you do like to wear your hair naturally at times. I very rarely leave my hair curly, so I am not completely bothered that my curls are no longer as well defined. When I do leave it natural, it gets complimented quite a bit. But, true to so many other things, we always want the opposite of what we have.


Washing

I wash my hair at most three times a week, typically only twice. I dispense the shampoo into the palm of my hair and from there massage it onto my scalp. I find that it spreads out more evenly then directly pouring it from the bottle on my hair. I rarely shampoo my ends. Rather, I let the suds distribute on their own as the water runs through it. That is more then enough to clean my hair. This avoids additional drying to my ends.

Once about every 6 weeks I use a clarifying shampoo to remove any product build up that with time can really weigh hair down, dulling it and making it more difficult to style.


Conditioning

Opposite from shampooing, I do not condition my roots very much. I condition my hair from a few inches past my roots to the ends a lot, and leave the product in about 5 minutes before rinsing.

Once a month I will try and condition my hair for about 30 minutes, but as any mama, finding the time to shower is hard enough. Spending 30 minutes just on deep conditioning is near impossible.

However, I do completely recommend to deep condition at least twice a month, use a hair mask, or hot oil. I think this is really important, especially if you are trying to grow your hair, or add life back into over processed/styled hair.


From Wet to Set

When I was younger, I loved wrapping my hair in a towel. Back then my hair was stronger, never blow dried or flat ironed, nor colored {other then Sun-In at times} and I could get away with it.

Now, I just squeeze the excess water with my hands and blot a little with a towel. I run my fingers through it, to detangle, or use a super wide comb and then flip my hair a few times {love doing that lol}.

I just try to always be super gentle with my hair when it's wet. That's when it is at its most delicate, stretches and vulnerable to breaking and damage.


Blow Outs

I am very particular with how I like to blow out my hair. To avoid having to over dry and flat iron, for my hair type, it's best to start working on it as soon as I get out of the shower. Before, it begins drying on its own.

I always, always start with the ends first. They dry the fastest and it helps to seal them right away. Once my ends are dry, I section from the middle of my hair up, into a loose twist and secure with a clip. With the loose portion below, I separate into two sections and start to work on my blow out. I always keep the nozzle about 4 inches away from my hair, working from the roots to the ends. For a sleek blow out, it's key to always direct the nozzle in the same direction from the top to the bottom.

I also find that working with thicker sections of hair prevents frizz as well. I repeat sectioning my hair about 6 times before I am done {for average hair thickness, four sections are only needed}. At the end of each section, I blast it with cold air for a few seconds to add shine, as well as quickly stop the heat from continuing.

If I am drying my hair before leaving the house, I will try to get it about 90% dry. It is good to leave hair a bit wet to maintain some natural moister. If I have more time, I leave it more damp and pull into a loose bun. After about an hour in the bun, it creates a nice bouncy wave, "beachy hair".

Long Blonde Hair



Styling

On the first day when I wash my hair I almost always wear it down. On the second day I might pull it back in a ponytail, half-up half-down, bun or messy updo. I rarely use curling irons or hot rollers, but on the occasion that I do, it's always on the 2nd or 3rd day. My hair {and I think as a general rule} always styles better when its a bit dirtier- it holds the style better.

Products

Since this post is already so long, I will post product names and tools in a separate post. But, when it comes to products, I never use the same one more than 3-4 times in a row {especially the ones I really like}. I do this for skin care as well. Hair and skin can get used to products with overuse. With time, your favorite product seems to no long be as effective, but if you give it a break and go back to it, it will work its magic again :) Therefore, I like to keep a steady rotation on my hair and skin products.

Some Of My Tips On Growing Long Hair

  • Eat a well balanced, high protein diet and incorporate biotin, B-6, folic acid, and beta carotene supplements {remember your hair is protein}.
  • Remove split ends as soon as possible, trimming often.
  • Avoid vigorously rubbing your hair while washing or drying it.
  • Try not to over wash, if your hair is very oily use a gentle, mild shampoo on rotation with your regular shampoo.
  • I recommend using at little heat as possibly necessary {I use it though too, so obviously I know for some hair types that can be difficult}.
  • Use products for your hair type and invest in a good conditioner, a little goes a long way.
Happy Thursday!