Exactly a year ago, I was having a personal problem. Not quite as bad as Al Roker crapping his pants in the White House…but close.

My hair had turned to shit (no pun intended).

Don’t get me wrong; I never had ridiculously lovely lady locks like Connie Britton or Beyonce’s weave, but it was good hair. It was thick enough, healthy, shiny, and soft; and when I got a blowout, it was fab status.

Until it wasn’t.

Somewhere along the lines in 2012, my mane majorly lost its luster and I was desperate to get it back. Now, I’ve written about my hairapy sessions before and discussed blowdryers and products, but I learned a few new tricks (one game changer in particular) and I’m dying to share. Every since the transformation, I’ve been getting compliments on my hair (people have even asked me if I just got a blowout!) and I couldn’t be happier with it. I literally stare at my hair in the mirror for eight hours a day.

Just kidding. Like two hours max.

Ok, like 5 minutes. Give or take.

Behold, the before and after:
hairapy 1Look at that stringy situation on the left. Gross. And what is that shirt? Express 1998?

Anyway, here are my six tricks for lovelier locks:

6. Get a better blow. Cheap blowdryers cause breakage. Period. If your hair is thin and broken (hints: flyaways, frizzies, fuller at the crown) and you’re using a $27 Conair from CVS, toss that trash and invest in a serious blow job (what?). More on that (including my dryer of choice) here.

5. Pop pills. Some people swear by Biotin and some don’t think it works at all. My mantra: It doesn’t hurt, right? I’ve had a hair transformation and I did start taking Biotin at its onset, so it may have played a part or it could have just been all the other external factors. Either way, why not pick some up and give it a whirl? Recommendations: You gotta’ go big with the 5000 mcg (I use this one I got at Whole Paycheck Whole Foods) and take it at a separate time than your multi vitamin—something about the nutrient consumption (whatever, I’m not a doctor). I take my multi in the morning and Biotin in the evening.

4. Don’t be cheap. Newsflash: Pantene shampoo (and the like) is made of mostly wax. EW! Typically with hair products, you get what you pay for (read: $3.99 for a gallon = garbage and cheap fragrance). I personally use Renee Furterer products (the volumizing line is incredible) and also love Prive (bang for your buck) and **Recitals (duh). I’m picky about my shampoo, but I’ll succumb to a cheaper conditioner because I only use it on my ends so my roots don’t get greasy and I can go five days without washing my hair. What? I also swear by the Recitals Maestro Mud Masque weekly (it’s seriously magical) and the Ovation Volumizing Oil for styling and softness (talk about a game changer).

3. Clarify weekly. Use a clarifying shampoo to rid your hair of all that junk and buildup once a week and I promise you’ll see a difference in shine and bounceability (not a word). Neutrogena’s Anti-Residue Shampoo is the BOSS (and the exception to the aforementioned “cheap shit is cheap shit” argument because it’s like, $6).

2. Battle bad water. I moved into my dream apartment in October and quickly found out something was not so dreamy: The fucking water (GO FIGURE). One shampoo and I felt like I’d rubbed Vaseline on my scalp or had been swimming in a pool for days. I had the H2O tested and it wasn’t necessarily super hard water, but it had chlorine and funky chemicals I had never experienced before. Here’s the thing: If you live somewhere without stellar/soft water, it’s not doing your hair any favors. If it doesn’t bother you and you don’t get Vaseline/pool head (ew), that’s awesome; but if you are experiencing a detrimental issue, the best and most affordable filter is the Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower Water Filter. I installed it and it has made a world of difference.

But I still swear by the NUMBER ONE GREAT HAIR TRICK…

You ready?

1. The filtered water rinse. That’s right, friends. I fill a pitcher with cold, filtered water from my fridge and dump it on my head right before I get out of the shower (CALL ME HIGH MAINTENANCE, I DON’T CARE). I read about this trick in an XOJane article and now that I’ve started doing it, I’ll never stop. It rinses all the residue and sediment your shitty water leaves behind, and a cold rinse has long been known for giving major shine. If you don’t have a water filter at your house, you can pick up a gallon from the grocery store for like, 89 cents, and that should last you at least 3-4 rinses. Also, you don’t need to fill a whole pitcher. When I was home for the holidays, I filled a Big Gulp cup from my parent’s filter and that was plenty. Don’t ask why my parents have Big Gulp cups laying around. And yes, it’s cold, but I appreciate the jolt (especially on hungover sleepy mornings,) and I know five seconds of a chilly head is worth days of lovely locks.

Here’s another before and after, a year apart. And I totally planned it with the vest (kidding, I just wear that vest all the damn time).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to wash my hair (and get a margarita).


**Recitals may be experiencing web issues. You can always call Salon Encore at 678-341-9412 to place an order.

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