Ever since becoming a somewhat of a hair care specialist in my day job (I work with A LOT of hair care brands on a daily basis), I have been perceiving hair care products completely differently. Back in the day when I started blogging, beauty products were pretty much just beautiful bottles to me (as you can see in this post about a gorgeous raspberry vinegar that makes your hair smell like sweets), I didn’t care about the ingredients very much. Testing on animals didn’t have any meaning to me. Parabens, sulphates and silicones were a complete Spanish village. And a shampoo that cost more than £1.50 seemed ludicrously expensive. Fast forward 7 years (and a slightly receding hair line), I have created a fairly strict hair care routine for myself that extends to all areas of my life including my lunch box and laundry detergent. Say what?!
It might sound excessive to you, but a proper hair care routine MAKES SENSE – it keeps your hair healthy (and that damn receding hair line at bay), it keeps your body and mind in check and it can also save a lot of money.
What are my top secrets for healthy hair?
You are what you eat
And that’s not just something people on the telly say to make you feel bad about eating that Big Mac. In fact there’s a fair bit of truth to it – a terrible diet can lead to dull hair, it breaks easily, gets tangled and knotted all the time, or you might even notice your hair falling out. Blame the Big Mac here, because eating a balanced diet with enough protein, biotin and the “good fats” (all fats are good, just some are slightly better than the good old lard) can not only bring back gloss and health to your hair, but it can also revert hair breakages and fall out. It’s like growing crops – you got to start with the soil, fertilise it, water it, give it all the good nutrients and a lot of beautiful sunshine for it to produce some top dollar harvest. Soil – crops. Body – hair. Same thing.
Hair care matters
Lately I’ve been reading more and more about the transformation of hair care in the name of zero waste, veganism and minimalism. I’m all for using less chemicals and am in fact trying to become as low impact as possible, however I’m trying to be sensible about it. I have tried SO MANY products – from hair essences to tonics and even special herbal concoctions to promote faster hair growth. I’ve tried truckloads of products with parabens and without parabens. I’ve tried solid shampoo bars made out of roots of holy Inca plants. I’ve tried that 50p Tesco’s own brand shampoo. And I’ve discovered Olaplex and a vegan hair care brand Maria Nila which I think is just about the best damn thing since sliced bread. All these products come in plastic bottles and I’m not loving them any less because of this. Simply because washing your hair with baking soda and vinegar isn’t the only “correct” way of living. Once you find hair care you truly love, why not stick to it?
Less is more
How often do you wash your hair though? I totally get that it’s annoying when everyone keeps saying that you should simply STOP washing your hair every day – BUT IT’S SO GREASY! Yet it’s one of the best steps in a hair care routine you can start practising. Your scalp produces sebum and oils that are very good for your hair. Their sole reason for existence is to look after your hair and scalp, to care for it. And by washing your head (you hair and also your scalp) every single day (or even every other day) you’re stripping away this natural hair care. My best recipe to break the habit of daily washes is to stop washing your hair for a week at the time. It’s going to be painful and oh soooo greasy and you will want to chop it all off and wash it with thick bleach but once you persevere your hair will be so grateful to you.
Know your hair
EVERY. SINGLE. HAIR.That way you’ll avoid unnecessary freaking out about a sudden receding hair line (in fact it wasn’t even all that sudden, it’s always been there – it’s not even a receding hair line really, it’s just the way my hair grows and it’s always been that bloody way), about greys that have started popping up all over your head (they are not greys, they are just bleached strands from the holiday sun), about dandruff (which is really just an overheated scalp after a half marathon you just ran with your hair in a tight bun). It’s vital to understand yourself and to be able to assess sensibly when to worry about hair loss (click here for more information by real experts), when to worry about dull hair (learn more in this article), when to worry about dehydrated hair (this post by Mimi Ikon is everything) and just when to worry about your hair at all, and when there’s just no need and you need to chill the duck out.
Not only when it comes to your hair care but also hair styling. It’s absolutely bloody brilliant if you’re happy with your natural hair and you’re flaunting that mane the way it is by nature. Yet there’s nothing wrong about wanting to add a bit of shape to it, a touch of extra shine or tame it with a hair bobble or two. One recommendation here is to pay attention even to the tiniest details such as hair pins and hair bobbles. I used to buy SO MANY hair bobbles from Primark and they would all just end up disappearing on me. To this day I cannot tell you where all those 50 bobbles from that one economy pack went, they were here one day and gone the next. Together with all the hair they ripped out of my head. Invisibobble hair bobbles definitely look a little funny but they are not a gimmick (and I was well sceptical at the beginning!), they are very well thought out and come in a number of different sizes and strengths. I absolutely adore their power bobbles which can hold even my thick coarse hair in place whilst on a run. Find hair accessories that work for you, there are so many options these days!