For most of my life, I’ve had a wash-and-go hair care routine. I’d shampoo and condition my hair every day, and let it air-dry into its natural waves. When I used products or heat, I ended up with a limp, heavy mop on my head. Honestly, it wasn’t that I was awful at styling. On three separate occasions, professional stylists couldn’t get my hair to stay up in an updo or hold a curl. One of them even said in a huff, “I can’t work with this hair. It’s too healthy!”
After doing a little research and learning a lot from my current stylist, I’ve found a new routine that makes my hair a little more cooperative, but still keeps it healthy! Here’s how I changed my hair care routine, and what you can try too…
Skip The Daily Wash
Daily washing can strip away your natural oils so much that your scalp starts producing even more oil to compensate. If you are shampooing your hair daily, try every other day for a few weeks, then every third day. Eventually, your scalp will adjust and produce less oil. Don’t use a shampoo with sulfates which can dry your hair and scalp.
My tory about Ths stylist introduced me to Kevin Murphy, an Australian brand that creates sulfate, paraben, and cruelty-free products. Since using their shampoo and rinse, I’ve only needed to wash my hair every three days or so. If your salon doesn’t carry Kevin Murphy, try out a few different brands and see what works for you. I always look out for samples and travel-sized products when I want to try a new brand.
Use Dry Shampoo Between Washes
My hair is usually fine for the first two days after washing. By the third day though, it starts to feel greasy, so I use a dry shampoo to freshen it up. The dry shampoo also gives my hair the grit, volume, and texture that it needs for styles like a messy bun or high ponytail. Remember those formal-hair-failures I mentioned my introduction? They didn’t work because I had squeaky clean, slippery, soft hair.
If you have dark hair like mine, you can now find dry shampoos that won’t leave your hair looking ashy!
I use Mineral Fusion’s Dry Shampoo For Medium To Dark Hair which contains no sulfates or parabens.
Add A Leave-In Conditioner
If you have dry hair, a leave-in conditioner or finishing oil can help keep your hair soft. I also put coconut oil in my hair for a few hours before washing. (Note that coconut oil can leave an oily stain on your clothes so wear an old t-shirt.)
I use Kevin Murphy’s Shimmer.Shine Finishing Mist which is lightweight enough for my fine hair. I spray just a little on my hands and rub it through my hair.
Find The Right Colorist
For a few years, I debated going gray. Usually, I like a minimal approach to beauty, but there were a few reasons why I started coloring my hair. First, I have scattered gray hair with a slightly coarse texture, which left untreated likes to spring up around my head. Color tames them! Second, I realized that I had many years ahead of me for gray hair, so, for now, I’m keeping them under wraps, or rather, dyes.
Most, if not all permanent hair color dries out your hair. I also like to wait as long as possible between visits (8 weeks) using a touch-up spray between appointments. My stylist uses Goldwell permanent hair color for my roots, and every second or third visit she uses a toner (semi-permanent color) on the ends. If you look closely, you can see that my grays aren’t completely colored, but I prefer imperfection over dryness.
Update Your Hair Styling Tools
One of the reasons I didn’t like to style my hair was that I was afraid it would become damaged from the heat. But styling tools have come a long way, and there are several that minimize damage.
If you can afford the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, it dries quickly without extreme heat.
My straightener is the Chi Ceramic Hairstyling Iron with tourmaline (which helps to seal in moisture) and ceramic (which heats up quickly and evenly.)
Knowing that my hair is still fairly fine and prone to feel weighed down with product, I use a lightweight hairspray to hold the curls, add volume, and tame flyaways.
My Hair Care Routine
- Day 1: Shampoo, Conditioner, and air-dry or blow-dry with a finishing mist or leave-in conditioner.
- Day 2: Straighten or style with clips.
- Day 3: Dry Shampoo and style into a messy bun or ponytail.
- Day 4: Repeat Day 1 or style with scarves or hairbands.
Have Your Found Your Ideal Haircare Routine?
What does your hair care routine look like? Do you have a stylist that you love? Which products work for your hair? Leave me a comment below to let me know!
This post is a part of a Linkup Party, hosted by Julie of This Main Line Life.