27 February 2014

Healthy Hair

If the polar vortex has been good for anything, it's that my hair stays pretty much exactly how I want it to. 

That's one of the best parts of winter, in my opinion. Pretty hair! Okay so there's more to the season than pretty hair, and honestly all the heat I use on it is so damaging! It's either got to blow dried or curled every other day, and between that I use hairspray and volumizer to keep it pretty. But, my hair still seems to lack split ends and continues to look good months after I get it professionally done (I go about once every 3-4 months). 

This is no easy.. or low maintenance... task. Now, I'm no professional when it comes to hair. I just continue to do what works for the most part. That doesn't mean I don't get asked how I keep my hair so "perfect", and so here are a few things I do to keep my hair looking strong and healthy even in the bitter winter months. 

#1. My most important tip is: do not wash your hair every day!!! Okay this doesn't mean to not shower every day... because that's gross. But your hair has it's own natural oils and blah blah all that you've heard over and over again. Seriously, though. I am the queen of second and third day hair; I flaunt my skills! I can go to the gym every day and still only use dry shampoo to freshen up. This is 100% what I credit the majority of my healthy hair to. If it's not getting stripped down and then blow dried/ curled every day, you're doing double to good. And it allows for a natural looking shine- just make sure that shine doesn't quite hit that "grease" point.
for days when I'm starting to hit that point, I toss on a ball cap and all is hidden :)

#2. Let hair air dry as much as possible. And, while it's still wet, be sure to put in some kind of leave-in conditioner or strengthening serum to soak in. I use Aveda Dry Remedy oil on the ends of my hair and Aveda Volumizing Tonic on the roots. Now, please please remember that your hair is at its most vulnerable while it's wet. Be extra careful, and use a wide tooth comb to get any tangles out, set your part, etc. And always comb from the tips to the roots. This is not backcombing, but it just means to get the tangles out at the ends before you go to your crown and roots. 

If you plan to blow dry...
use the high heat setting as little as possible. I blow out most of my hair in the "warm" setting. When it's mostly dry, I use Aveda Phomollient Styling Foam on the crown and middle of my hair, which just helps my hair to get some body and volume through the middle. I typically use a ceramic round brush to make sure the ends aren't "straggly" and to get volume all over.

Once it's all dried, I go back over with the blow drier on the "cool" setting, while also holding down the cold blast. Pointing the nozzle down my hair, this seals the hair follicles to lock in shine. I finish up with the tiniest dollop of DryBar the Chaser Shine Cream on the ends and around any flyaways. Some backcombing and hairspray, and wah-lah! Shiny, straight hair that won't frizz up because there isn't any humidity.

Because I haven't gotten my hair cut since December, the ends are starting to thin out and my layers are more of a hassle than they need to be. The face-framing pieces just end up tucked behind my ears more often than not and it almost always goes into a pony tail when I get back to my dorm. But, I have provided you with a picture of my blow-dried straight hair.

Or if you're looking to curl...
I have a very weird way of getting my curls. I typically do them the night before and this is usually because I've showered that afternoon and I can't sleep on straight hair without it looking a mess when I wake up... but somehow my pre-curled locks look even better when I wake up! I use the DryBar 3-Day Bender and am so in love. I can section off and curl my hair in 20 minutes, hop in bed, and wake up with nice relaxed curls. But, if you can't pull off the overnight curls, just curl it in the morning. 

For everyday wear, relaxed, natural curls is best. You don't want to look too done up and if the curls aren't perfect in the morning it won't matter that they might fall throughout the day! Whatever curling iron you use, start from up at the crown and roll down. Never curl from bottom to top. The curls will be weighed down, rather than looking weightless. Continue to section off and curl, always away from your face! 

Once all the hair is curled, let it cool and spray a little bit of hair spray. Then, and trust me on this, brush it out. Yes, take a brush to your perfect curls, and brush them out!! Not so that they're gone, but just that they curl together. Flip your head upside-down, shake it out, and then use your fingers to pull pieces together. I don't put any product or anything in it at this point; it's just au naturale. 

So, run down: shower every other day, use as little heat, use hydrating products. You know this stuff, I know it's been said before. It will be said again. At some point we should all probably listen.