Monday, July 10, 2017

My Haircare Routine, Products, and Tools

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Oh man, here we go - hair care.  Lots and lots of hair care.  Took me longer to link everything here than anything else, but what can I say?  I have a lot of products!  That's kind of the point.  In case you missed this post last week, hair care is something I splurge on.  My system isn't minimal at all, nor is it frugal.  For all the places I save money, this just isn't one of them.

First, let me tell you a little about my hair and why I use the products I do.  I love having long hair, cutting it is never an option.  It's always been thick and relatively straight, but it holds shape easily.  If I blow dry it straight, it stays.  If I twist it into a braid while it's drying, it stays wavy.  I'd say it's natural texture is oh so slightly wavy.  There's also a lot of it, except for the times when it's shedding heavily against my will (in those times, I use the Rogaine foam, talked about that already, and work on getting my vitamin levels up.  Also, Viviscal.)  I do get it highlighted, probably 3 times a year.  I'm supposed to go more often but it's a 2+ hour time suck so, pass.  Color treating is drying and damaging to hair, as is heat styling, so I use very gentle products that add moisture back into my hair.  I only use cruelty free products, and I try to pick things as natural as possible according to the Think Dirty App and EWG website.  I do have favorites though that aren't totally clean.  I might one day try to go more clean and organic with my products, but for now, here's my lineup:

Shampoo.  I have a lot of shampoo and conditioner products that I love, so I'm going to share a couple.  For drugstore prices, my favorite is Alba Botanica Plumeria, like I mentioned in the Three on Thursday post.  For high end, my favorite is Evolvh, which is exactly what it claims - luxury organic hair care.  I adore the UltraShine Moisture line and my hair feels and looks so healthy when I use it, it's honestly the best, but it's $28 for an 8.5 ounce bottle.  A liter each of the shampoo and conditioner?  $133.  I just cannot.  Occasional splurge item only, and even then, only little bottles.  In the slider graphic below, I linked to a few others to give you some ideas of the brands I usually go for.
Conditioner.  I tend to just get the conditioner that matches the shampoo.  One stand out product though is the Juice Organics Color Protect conditioner, it's $10 at Target and awesome, my hair loves it.
Hair Mask / Deep Conditioner.  I have a lot of favorites here too.  Normally, masks are supposed to be a once a week product, but since I have such thick hair, I'm able to use it every time I wash my hair (every 3rd day - wash Monday night, wear Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, wash Thursday night, and so on.)  My favorite here is the It's A 10 5 Minute Hair Repair for Blondes, and the Shea Moisture ones are an awesome drugstore option as far as bang for your buck.  I linked some other loves below as well.

Detangler.  A must for my hair.  I hate brushing it without some sort of detangler.  Right now, I use the Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri Wheat Leave In Conditioner and I really like it.  It detangles, but I also see other benefits, like shiny hair and less split ends.  I get it at Target but if you can't find it, honestly any detangler made for kids is what I go for!  I've also used the Drybar Prep Rally with good results.
Heat Protectant.  Before using a blow dryer (and again before using a curling iron or straightener), a heat protectant is another must have.  I pretty interchangeably use the Kenra Blow Dry Spray and the Drybar Hot Toddy Heat Cream.
Leave In Cream.  I used to use It's A 10, which was a whole bunch of products in one (heat protectant and detangler included) and I liked it a lot, but I just prefer timing my products differently so I didn't want them all to be the same anymore.  If you're looking to streamline though, I highly recommend it.  For now, I'm instead using the Drybar Chaser cream, which helps against frizz.
Oil.  I like using a couple drops of an oil once I finish blow drying my hair.  It leaves it shiny and helps provide moisture to the ends.  It's pretty easy to use any kind of oil for this that you may have on hand, like argan oil, and they now have little tubes at Target of the Hask oils for $2 (bigger bottle only $6.)  I like the coconut for the scent.  The Body Shop has a version as well that will last forever.  I rub a few drops between my hands and spread it through my hair, concentrating on the ends.
Volumizing Mousse.  I rarely use this since I have a lot of hair as it is, but occasionally it needs lift at the roots if I plan on curling it.  Drybar Southern Belle mousse is my go to for this.
Frizz/Shine Spray.  Lately I find that the oils help enough with frizz and shine, but I do still love a good spray on the days I curl my hair.  I love the Drybar Sparkling Soda Shine Mist.  Basically, go check Drybar for all your hair care needs, that's my recommendation.  (They are not sponsoring this, they have no idea who I am, for the record.  But if you're out there, Drybar reps, I'll happily take free stuff!)

Wet Brush Detangling Comb For tools, I start with the detangling comb in the shower.  I brush my hair before I get it wet, but I also use the comb to work the mask/deep conditioner through my hair.
Wet Brush Pro.  I get out of the shower, spray my hair with detangler, and start to brush it with the Wet Brush Pro, which is gentle on hair and meant to be used on wet hair.  (Regular brushes are not, they'll break the hair.)
Turbie Twist.  After that, I put it up for awhile in the Turbie Twist, which dries your hair way faster and stays attached to your head way better than a regular towel.  I try to leave my hair in the twist as long as possible to get it as dry as possible.  When it's time to dry, I finish brushing out any tangles with the Wet Brush.
Croc Clips.  When I blow dry, curl, and straighten my hair, I need to clip up the top sections as I work my way up.  These hold my thick hair and don't move, plus they're way more gentle than a claw clip because they don't snag any hairs or get tangled.
Ghd Paddle Brush.  This is the one I have, though I don't think it matters, I've had others that work just as well.  You're not supposed to use heat with the Wet Brush, so once I get the blow dryer out, I switch to this.
Rusk Speed Freak Hair Dryer A gift from my mother, and I love this thing.  The only downside is the weight, but it doesn't bother me a lot because it really does dry my hair much faster than anything else, even when it's not on the 'hot' setting.  Which is good, because it means less heat styling for my hair. 
T3 Twirl 1.25" Curling Iron.  This is an interchangeable iron, so it has more than one type of attachment available.  I only have and use the 1.25" barrel because it's what works best on my hair - I don't like wands and anything smaller leaves too tight curls.  But if you like different curl looks, it's smart to get the set, you save money that way and can get tons of different options.  I don't curl my hair every day, I don't think I even do it every week.  Maybe twice a month.  Now, I know that this iron is expensive, and I definitely know that cheap ones work just as well, but the reason this one is worth the splurge is because of the gentleness of the barrel - my hair slips right off, doesn't get stuck in the clamp, and products don't stick to the barrel.  It stays white and slippery all the time, no gunk to clean off.  Worth it.
T3 Straightener I almost never straighten my hair.  I can do a good blowout and get it mostly straight as it is, so I hardly ever use this.  It's there though, in the collection.  For the same reasons as it's matching partner, the curler.
Drybar Shower Cap On the days I don't wash my hair, I use this Drybar shower cap, because it's lined with terrycloth on the inside.  'A $16 shower cap, Stephanie? You realize you can get these at the dollar store.'  Yes, I do, but terrycloth lined.  I SWEAR it makes a difference in keeping my hair totally dry, especially around my forehead, thus preserving my blowout.  And it's lasted a super long time, so money well spent.

Invisibobble Hair Ties I mentioned these last week in my Three on Thursday post.  Love them, they're the only think I'll use.
Lace Headbands Mostly I use the ones from Charming Charlie because they're cheap and gentle on my hair.  Satin ones also work.
Anthropologie Hair Clips.  For clipping my hair up on the sides or for half back styles, I like the Anthro hair clips that open on one side and you slide in.  They stay put in my hair, but they also don't get caught or break the strands, and they're easy to remove.
Supplements.  I always take some sort of hair supplement.  Sometimes it's just biotin from the drugstore, sometimes I get the fancier ones from Ouai or Hum that are linked below.  I absolutely think they work.
Silke Hair Wrap.  I made my friend Courtney pick this up for me when she was in London, but they do ship free worldwide.  It's expensive.  I love it.  It's exactly what it looks like - a satin cap to sleep in.  But it works!  Protects my hair from damage and leaves it soft, shiny, frizz free, and untangled in the morning.

And that's where we are with hair care right now!  At least, I think that's everything... noticeably missing are dry shampoo and hairspray.  I'm of the opinion, after trials and testings, that both things damage my hair and scalp, and they aren't necessary for my hair type.  Ridiculous and extensive list still though, right?  Definitely not minimal, and not frugal (though the big ticket items like the curling iron are one and done, not repeat purchases!)

P.S.  The little slider things are new, the tiny commissions work the same as I explained in this post, it's just a different style because I think it looks nice, more streamlined than trying to make a collage of all the pictures of the items together.  Love it or hate it, let me know in the comments so I can adjust accordingly for future posts.  Thanks!

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