Hair can be a very personal matter to us humans. As a major part of our image and how we wish to portray ourselves to others, it’s a part of our body that often tends to receive a great deal of attention. Colouring, styling and accessorising are all ways we attempt to zhush up the hair on our head, which seemingly comes easier to some than others. I know quite a few people who can literally roll out of bed in the morning, hair still in its ‘bedtime bun’ from the night before and are ready to tackle the day without adjusting a single strand. (I think this has happened to me once, most likely on a day off when I didn’t have valid reasons to leave the house and show off this rare phenomenon!).
Like many, I too colour my hair. Not because I’m yet needing to cover up greys, but just because it’s my way of expressing myself. Trying to feel like at least one part of my appearance is somewhat trendy. More of a self-esteem thing I suppose. Up until about two years ago my hair was of a darker tone, mostly browns and occasionally subtle reds. But after having my son I found that darker colours just didn’t seem to stick to my hair as well anymore. I’m guessing this was due to some sort of pregnancy hormone change, and frankly I was getting pissed off with colouring my hair with permanent dyes then finding that within two or three weeks the depth and vibrancy had pretty much vanished. So I decided to take a leap and that blonde was the way forward! I’d always been blonde in my younger years up until about 15, and was looking forward to almost returning to my former identity (deep I know).
Now many of you may know that the process of transforming hair from darker shades to light is quite a tricky one. In order to avoid looking like Kermit The Frog’s green haired love child it involves patience, and being prepared for all kinds of damage that may occur, especially when using bleach based products. Keeping this in mind I sought the skills of a professional to see me through the process, especially after having seen far too many horror stories and pictures on news feeds of hair colouring disasters! After a good few sets of highlights and bottles of purple shampoo we finally got there, and it was definitely a decision I am happy with to this day. There have been times when my hair’s been drier than the Sahara, but I’ve found some great products that really do keep it looking and feeling healthy. These range from conditioning treatments to the tools I use. For those who are interested, here are a couple…
Dove Nourishing Oil Care Treatment Mask – Dove’s website claims that this mask will ‘Smooth up to 100% of roughness with this dry hair treatment that leaves hair feeling supremely smooth and soft’ – and it really does. If my hair has been freshly coloured or is feeling icky from overuse of styling products or heat, this is my go to. I tend to get in the shower and shampoo my hair before I do anything else, rinse it out then apply the treatment mask straight away. I leave it on whilst I wash my body/face/shave etc. trying to give it a good ten minutes to get to work. If I’m really feeling it and have time to shower twice, I’ll apply it generously from root to ends and wrap my hair with cling film, letting it sit for about an hour and work with the natural heat from my head. Once it’s been washed out I’m left with silky, smooth, manageable hair. The oils in this mask really do perform as intended, without leaving any horrible residue. A 200ml pot costs around £4.00 – £5.00, which I think is amazing value for such an effective product.
Number 4 Fluoro 5 Elixir Restore & Repair Oil – This has been an absolute life saver. I use this each and every time after I wash my hair, and have done since receiving it in a Birch Box a few months back. Now that in itself will tell you that the product size I have is only a small sample, and amazingly I’m still using it to this day. I find only the tiniest amount of oil is needed as I apply it only to the ends. It even manages to smooth out a weird frizzy (potentially over-straightened) section of hair just above my neck. Again, no nasty residues or greasiness. Designed to be applied to damp hair before styling, but can be used on dry hair for finishing. Going from the Glossy Box website, a 60ml bottle costs £18.39. Quite a random price in my eyes but I’m guessing that’s something to do with the USD exchange rate, as the Number 4 site itself is in USD. Could be wrong but that’s my take on it. I highly recommend this and will definitely be buying more if and when my sample bottle ever runs out!
The Tangle Teezer – Well if there ever was such a thing as a customisable hair brush, this is it! There’s the Original (which I have ) the Compact (which I also have!), the Thick & Curly, Salon Elite, Aqua Splash, Flower Pot & Men’s Groomer, and that’s without the Blow-drying and Styling ones they offer. You can put your face on them, pictures of your pet or even favourite memory, possibilities are endless! I actually think these make a nice gift idea too. But onto the actual product itself… designed with two tiers of flexible bristles this brush is designed to glide through wet or dry hair with minimum fuss, breakage or damage… according to their website. I do honestly think my hair has been in the best condition it’s been since going blonde, and it’s majorly down to this little tool. Having fine hair and lots of it means it taffles up very easily and brushing often causes a lot of breakage. The Tangle Teezer definitely seems to help with hair growth for me, mainly because it’s not snapping off the hairs at every knot it meets. For the purpose of this post we’ll ignore the fact that I just had all my hair cut off yesterday! The TT… can you see I’m getting lazy now… is great to use in the shower to brush conditioner through, and just as good once out of the shower. It’s no crazy innovative invention, but it works, and doesn’t cost the earth (however I’m not sure about the personalised and special edition ones).
On top of these, I also try to avoid styling with heat – easier said than done I know. Before recently having a lot of the length on my hair chopped off, I used to chuck it up in a pony tail or bun, so didn’t have to use straighteners to styles, and have always been in the habit of letting my hair air dry after washing. Maybe won’t be so easy now and I’m sporting a blunt bob which needs straightening at the very least. Now’s probably a good time to invest in a good heat protection spray. Please let me know if you have any suggestions!
I will say that the above products work well for me and my natural hair type hair, which is thin, fine and relatively normal. I appreciate that what works for me may not work for many. However if you do suffer from dryness and damage from bleach based treatments in particular, then I’d definitely recommend looking these up. Maybe see if you can get your hands on some samples if they’re available and give them a go! And be sure to let me know if you have any holy grails products that you cannot live without.
Louise – Pretty Polly Beauty x