My earliest trips to the salon consisted of getting highlights, then I added in the lowlights and then eventually began brightening from root to tip. By the end of my high school career, I’d probably undergone around 10-15 coloring processing treatments, not to mention the fact that I was a swimmer. (Uh, hello? Chlorine…)
In my second year of college, I gave extensions a go, just for fun and out of boredom. I lasted 7 months before I started to really miss the simplicity of my natural hair.
As women, we often experiment with different looks and treatments which cause tons of wear and tear to our hair. Needless to say, I've put my hair through a lot. After 4 years of dye jobs and 3 extension revamps, I have perfected a list of products that have undeniably made my hair feel thicker, healthier and longer after the fact. Yeah, that’s right! I just hit you with the trifecta… and that’s because this is NOT a drill.
Welcome to your processed/damaged/“wtf do I do now” Bible:
my little bag of tricks for summer hair recovery.
First things first: the list of tips n tricks. Turn these into habits!
1. Brushing your hair
Divide your hair into sections. This will vary depending on how much hair you have (I do 3 sections). With a Wet Brush, in the shower, conditioner still in, start at the ends and work your way up to the root.
Make sure to completely cover your hair with product. This is important because thin and damaged hair breaks very easily when it is dry, therefore, the combination of the water and product gives it an armor against the harshness of the brush's bristles. Be gentle. By starting at the ends, you’re also less likely to tear the hair where it is splitting. In other words, you’re working to reduce split ends.
2. Girl, you are fire! You don’t need more heat. Avoid using hair dryers, straighteners and curlers (basically any hair tool) and air dry whenever you can. If you must, always use a heat protectant. I highly recommend Dry Bar’s “Hot Toddy” Heat Protectant. I also recommend blow drying your hair on the cold setting.
3. Working Out: If you’re like me, you love to exercise. Before you go into your sweat sesh, put nourishing product in your hair.
Why: I think working out is the perfect time to do a hair mask. Not only because I’m going to shower afterwards, but because I can put a heavier oil in my hair that I wouldn’t want weighing it down when I’m carrying on with daily life. My heavy oil and my light oil can be found below.
4. Do not wash your hair every day. Let your natural oils and the oils listed below harmonize on your hair. It will speed up the healing process tremendously.
I read this article that helped me start identifying the right products for my hair needs. From this article, I discovered two products that I absolutely cannot live without, especially when I'm focusing on hair recovery.
1) Opalex No. 3
This product is the solution for dead ends. If there is one thing you need, it’s this. It has made the most notable difference on the structural aspects of my hair. It has helped reduce my split ends and made my hair softer. Put it in root-to-tip, but I would recommend concentrating on your split ends because it really helps. I apply this product as a hair mask before I wash it. The result, without fail, is shiny, healthier looking hair. If you don’t believe me, read all the raving reviews online!
2 ) Cake Oil Serum
This is my “heavy” oil. It’s still lighter than my old friend Moroccan Oil, which is way too thick for my fine hair. It’s the perfect texture to help add moisture to thin hair. I put this in with an Opalex treatment before I wash my hair and during my workouts. I also love that it is all natural blend of essential oils. It smells amazing, too!
My Shampoo and Conditioner
Game changers. These products together are great for adding body and volume. A little pea size amount goes a long way, so it’s definitely worth the price.
I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS OIL. It is super light on the hair but still adds so much shine. It would take a heap of this product to make fine hair look greasy or weigh it down. I put it in my hair when its dry to add shine!
I put this product in at my roots when I get out of the shower. It’s super natural and makes my scalp feel amazing. It's also a wonderful detangler, so this is also what I put in my hair if I go in the ocean to get rid of knots without ripping my hair out.
Aloe Vera is great for hair growth. It contains proteolytic enzymes, which help rebuild your hair’s proteins naturally so putting it at the root is key.
One more thing…
6) Keratin Supplements, Whole Foods, $35.99
You may have your favorite biotin already in your cabinet, but I have noticed my hair grows very quickly from taking these supplements. Seriously, my baby hairs are growing out the wazoo and I’m having so much fun watching my dark roots grow in!
Goodluck! Comment your hair journey below!