For months prior to my wedding in October, I hemmed and hawed over getting my hair cut. My fear was that it would not grow back fast enough for my wedding hairstyle, and, even more so due to the fact that my Pappy had gotten attached to my hair. He always called me "Pretty" and he loved to touch my hair with his weathered, wise hands...
[taken by my Uncle JM]
The wedding hairstylist eventually told me it was 'too late' to cut my hair due to the fact that it would not hold as well (elaborate updo and baby fine hair) if I cut it. She actually said my split ends are why my hair was so fantastic on the wedding day. Yay, I guess? So when she told me this news, I decided to hold out. I finally cut my hair between the honeymoon and Thanksgiving (and Pappy was so bummed, which was really conflicting for me!!).
Post-cut (with some short-lived styling):
One of the rules I made for myself after this major cut (15" and donated to a charitable cause) was that I was going to "redo" my hair. Fix the years of mis-use and poor treatment as I honestly was clueless for ages. I just knew I loved my natural color, and its softness. The texture, ends, and scalp/root healthiness were always the last thing on my mind, unfortunately. So, I went to Sephora, The Vitamin Shoppe, and Amazon and did some stocking up.
First: I have been taking fish oil for years - I am sure it contributes somewhat to the natural shine in my hair, but I decided to add Biotin to the mix. I will say that not all Vitamin brands are "legit." I will not name the brands that are rubbish but due to the openness of the vitamin market, just be buyer beware. Many brands will actually only carry trace amounts of the vitamin you are taking. Here is the Biotin brand I take every night (I take all of my vitamins at night, 1 per day):
I decided I needed to work on everything - styling products as well as cleansing of the hair and hair shaft. I have always always air-dryed my hair. I rarely use a hairdryer. When I do I am normally using it, I use it on the cool setting and only get the wet out, leaving it damp to air dry.
Depending on the weather here, I use one of two shampoos. Both have a nice clean scent and really work with my hair. I think you could call my hair one of many things: limp, fine, baby fine, sensitive, etc. It doesn't hold a curl unless I sleep with it pinned or twisted. Likewise with waves, only if I have a bun or a braid in. I'll call my hair "annoying" and call it a day. Anyway, these two shampoos really, truly seem to work with the chemistry of my hair:
Yes to Carrots scalp relief - a whopping $8 on Amazon.
Alterna Bamboo Abundant Volume, Item no. 1333665 on Sephora for $20.
My conditioner is one item. I really love it as it does not seem to grease up my hair. I used to have to shower at least once a day. If I didn't - even if I only applied generic conditioner on the ends of my hair, it still was gross enough that I would look like crud on day 2. Now I can easily go 2 days without a shampoo and it still look good. Clearly my head is healthier and happier.
Phytokératine Conditioning Treatment, which I buy at Sephora. Item no. 1364154, $32.
Treatments... sometimes I need a treatment. Depends, again, on the weather. Maybe hormones. I never thought about looking at a calendar until I started typing this post. Anyway, I use this mask on occasion. And the scrub is wonderful when you lose power for four days and cannot leave your house (ew) OR when you spend the week at the beach and you hair knee-jerked itself into being less than perfect. So, I love both for two very different purposes.
MoroccanOil Weightless Hydrating Mask, sold for $22 on Amazon.
Ouidad Mediterranean Bay Leaf Exfoliating Hair & Scalp Treatment, Item no. 1459387. $36 at Sephora.
These two products I use sparingly - for example, if I am styling for an event or party I might use them. I do not use them both everyday. It just depends on if my hair is down or up, etc. etc. I had never even seen these in the store before, even though I know the brands. I guess I just put blinders on for years when it came to buying products? Who knows.
I reach for this product more frequently:
Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Nutrient Spray, a mere $6 on Amazon.
This one helps if I am styling my hair (esp. with heat):
Pureology Pure Volume Thickening Spray, $15 on Amazon.
Lastly, I love to spritz something in my hair, just enough that if I am dancing or resting my head on my husband's shoulder he can smell "me." So, that is where the finishing product comes in:
Marchesa Parfum D'Extase Hair Mist, Item no. 1499417, sold exclusively at Sephora for $38.
While I cannot state on an individual basis what of these items has improved my hair, overall, my hair is dramatically healthier. It still has its shine and natural highlights, but the roots are much stronger and thicker. My hair is not falling out as often as it used to, but it may also be growing a little bit faster. The tips are without ugly ends unlike before. My hair stays in a loose ponytail longer, which does mean it is a bit thicker (I use the same hair ties as before).
It is interesting, I never thought I would care about things like my hair, but now that I do I feel really good about it. I know that a lot of you have incredible hair you can do fun things to - but I would love to hear do any of you ever use these products (PIPMegan uses Biotin, for example)?