Taking care of my hair has been a huge priority of mine in the last few years. Good hair can totally make or break your entire look. I have put a lot of work into finding amazing products that keep my hair looking and feeling great. As promised I will tell you guys everything I get done at the salon with my blonde guru, all the products I use at home and the horrific story that goes behind my new desire to keep my locks long and healthy. If you are just here for what I use now, simply scroll past these next few paragraphs!!!
I have had curly and thick hair my entire life. I literally looked like a blonde Annie as a child with my little curly afro. Especially in high school I hated the fact that my hair just could not be tamed. Even though it had not worked in the past, I decided that my hair was so dead that getting it permanently straightened might spare my hair the everyday damage of my cheap flat iron. And by my hair was “so dead” I mean literally I had this Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo that caused a large chunk of my hair to fall off in the shower. I am not being dramatic by any standards my hair was quite lop sided in the back.
Anyway as if my hair wasn’t a disaster already, I really wanted to get highlights before graduation. At the beginning of the year I got a partial foil and I swear the girl put 5 foils in, definitely not the blonde look I wanted. I tried a random salon (mistake) a week before high school graduation (mistake number 2). I told my hair dresser that I had recently got my hair permantely straightened and it was feeling kind of fragile, to this she responded “oh that doesn’t matter.” Then she foiled me up and stuck my under the heater for probably 50 minuets while she did my friends hair. My scalp felt like it was on fire. I kept telling her I think I am done when am I getting rinsed. By the time she rinsed me out my hair was literally falling out in the sink and I ended up with hair near my shoulders just days before graduation.
While my hair looks okay health wise in these photos it definitely wasn’t. A lot can be done to smooth your hair into looking healthy with creams, oils and a good flat iron. But not much can be done for your hair without these labor intensive and potentially more damaging steps. My hair felt like a brillo pad my entire freshman year of college, thankfully this is the same year I met my hair guru, Cat, and she’s been my hairs savior ever since.
What I get done at the salon
My hair dresser and I have that special bond where I tell her something like, “I want to be so blonde, like so blond, but not too blonde where it can’t grow out nicely!” and this somehow turns into her exactly knowing what to do. So that being said I usually don’t know how she is doing it but this time I asked her for everything she used and her methods:
Products she uses to bleach: Redkins shades EQ, half 9b half 9p and BlondMe Schwarzkopf, OLAPLEX No1 gets mixed in as well.
Method: Both highlights and babylights. Heavy thick foil with a babylight in between each highlight. I get a full foil done which is almost all my hair, a partial foil is normally only the top half.
After she uses a toner on my hair she uses OLAPLEX No2. After shampooing and conditioning, she styled my hair by first blow drying it out and then she used a flat iron to straighten my curly roots while twisting the iron down the rest of the way creating beautiful loose curls.
Cat is the only hair dresser I trust with my hair. She has clients from all over traveling to her who are just as obsessed as I am, including about 40 clients from Boston. She works at the RedHead Studio in Portsmouth NH, which is the most beautiful little coastal town. I drive an hour to get my hair done and I live in NH so don’t count it out if you’re from Boston it’s actually the same distance! They give new clients 20% off services, tell Cat I sent you!
250 State St, Portsmouth NH 03801
My favorite products I use at home
Good purple shampoo – Purple shampoo is vital to keep your blonde hair looking great in between appointments. No one wants brassy hair! I currently use Matrix Total Results So Silver, but in my opinion the salon purple shampoos are all pretty comparable until my hair dresser says you get up to the very high end. I have not had the guts to splurge like this on a shampoo but I’ll let you know if the rumors are true the second I do.
Conditioner – Any conditioner that says it is for thick or coarse hair is a win for me. I have been using Aquage SeaExtend Silkening Conditioner, I am on my second tub of it and still in love. I focus my conditioner on my ends and underneath of my hair and then i put a little on the top to condition my side bangs.
Leave in conditioner – I use Its a 10 for Blondes. I never use a lot and I concentrate it on the same areas I do normal conditioner. I only wash my hair when I’m straightening it twice a week so I don’t want to put anything on my roots or use oil which potentially could make it look dirty.
OLAPLEX No3 – This is the third step in the line of OLAPLEX products my hair dresser uses at the salon. I would love to use it once weekly but I have been a little too busy to keep up with it. To use dampen your hair, apply all over and wait 10+ minutes then shampoo and condition as normal. This stuff is AMAZING! It repairs your damaged hair and makes it feel so silky smooth and manageable.
Heat protectant – I use Matrix Mega Sleek. The brand in my opinion doesn’t matter, just make sure it says it protects up to 450 degrees. If it doesn’t protect that high but thats the setting you use on your styling tools its pointless.
Styling tools – My hair straightener is actually one of the things that helped save me hair. I had been using super cheap ones in the past and then splurged on this beauty, Sedu Revolution, Nano Tourmaline Ionic Styling Iron. It straightens my hair so much faster and using ion technology creates almost no damage. I didn’t believe this claim until I saw how much healthier my hair was getting despite still straightening it so often.
Hair spray – I use this AG Dry Wax spray to keep my little fly aways controlled after straightening. It is the only product I have found that has enough hold without looking stiff or greasy.
Dry shampoo – I use IGK First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo Deep Cleanse Level. It makes my hair look amazing, Day 4 on rotation still looking fresh and clean kind of amazing. This stuff is seriously heavy duty like it says. The down side of that is my hair kind of gets stuck together, can’t run my fingers through the top, not that I ever do anyway, but still. It is also harder to wash out in the shower so I recommend using a clarifying shampoo. All of these products I personally use all the time and they have made such a difference in my hair! I hope none of you find yourself in a hair emergency, but if you do, don’t worry everything can eventually be fixed (I know first hand). Wishing you babes all the good hair vibes!!