The power of healthy hair, and how to achieve it.

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Whether it’s your best asset, or your worst enemy, we all have the same problems when it comes to maintaining healthy locks. Our hair takes the fall when we are fighting the elements, using hot tools, or have a “lack of product knowledge”, and the end result? Unhealthy, unmanageable hair.

I love my hair. I also baby my hair. It’s because of  those two reasons, I have healthy hair! I have tried numerous shampoos, conditioners, masks, leave in treatments. Been there, done that. What do I use?? Well, I do alternate between my shampoos and conditioners. I use anything from Pureology color care, Paul Mitchell’s Awapuhi Ginger, and Carols daughter Monoi. The professional hair products are only guaranteed when purchased from a salon. Never buy from a drugstore. Are all of these pricey? Yes. But you really do get what you pay for.

First major rule to product, is that I strive for sulfate free. I am in the sun, wind, and ocean water far too often to mess with hair product that will dry my hair out! Speaking of dry hair, did you notice I did not post a leave in conditioner?  Well, my secret weapon, is Olive oil. Good old olive oil. I buy the all 100% organic extra olive oil. But, I have also used the non organic and didn’t notice a difference in the results! Anytime I feel slight dryness in my hair, especially after the beach, I do a simple treatment. All this requires is warming up 1/2 to 1  cup, depending on hair length and thickness, of olive oil in the microwave and saturating the ends of your hair, and working up to the mid shaft. Sometimes, I cover it with a towel or shower cap to hold the heat in, other times, I hop in the shower and let the hot steam do it for me! I never put the olive oil on my scalp. If the fine hairs by my face feel dry, I will apply it, but only enough to saturate, without saturating my head. I say 1 cup because if your hair is dry, than it’s porous and will absorb the olive oil. A little bit goes a long way. I have a lot of hair so I try and rinse out as much of the olive oil as I can during my shampoo. If I feel that my hair is still heavy after I rinse (weighed down from the oil) I will apply a clarifying shampoo or baking soda and water paste, and massage it until I rinse it all out. Next, comes the conditioner. Remember, you just poured an entire cup of olive oil on your hair, so go easy on the conditioner. I apply the conditioner, and once again, wash out any left over oil. The shampoo and conditioner are what is going to pull that oil from your hair.  After washing with both, water alone will not remove any excess oil.  You will need to make sure that you get it all within the first 2 washes. Once I get out of the shower, I do not put my hair in a towel. Your hair is at its weakest point when wet, so twisting and pulling it will only cause damage! I squeeze out in the shower, and then blot dry. I also, wait for it.. do not use a hairbrush. I use my fingers before the shower to detangle, because like I said, detangling your hair in the shower when its wet will cause damage. If you struggle from frizziness or need to put something in your hair, I would suggest to wait until the next wash. If I put anything in my hair it’s a dime size of coconut oil to tame frizz. I do not suggest doing that after an olive oil treatment. I also do not blow dry my hair or straighten it. Eliminating any hot tools that might also cause damage. Once a year I might put it in hot rolls, but that if I am attending a special occasion.

Due to the climate and activities I partake in, I do the olive oil 1-2 times bi-monthly. Depending on what I put my hair through, sun, salt water, etc. You don’t want to overdue it, because you can also dry your hair out. Especially, if you are using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner! I would also make sure that I am washing with a clarifying shampoo if you plan on doing this more often. Rule to live by, don’t fix something that’s not broken. Only do a treatment when you feel your hair is dry. Otherwise, leave it alone!

However, I am guilty of one thing, my hair is colored. That’s what stands between me and flawless hair. Occasionally, I get my hair colored. Luckily, I have that down pat, too! I avoid color with a high ammonia content. Anytime I have called to set up appointments, the first thing I ask is, “What line of color do you use.” My preference? Paul Mitchell, Redkin. Ask about the ammonia. There are also other numerous things I consider before giving a salon the “OK.”

1.) The color they use. When looking for color, you have three options, Permanent, Demi- permanent, or Semi- permanent.

-Permanent contains ammonia so the color molecules can penetrate the hair cuticle, giving you permanent color. This is especially used in people who want to color greys, or lighten natural hair. A plus to permanent is that if you plan on keeping the color, you’ll only have to do a root touch up when it grows out. That eliminates all over re-color.

-Demi- permanent contributes a color pigment without penetrating the cuticle. Due to its lack of ammonia, you cannot lighten your hair with this type of color, and it also does not change a permanent color. If you’re planning on dying your hair dark, this could be a good option! However, It is said to fade after 28 washes. So you’ll have to fix your roots by either re-dying your whole head, or getting a root touch up to match up to your current color. If you’re wanting to go from dark to light, you cannot use a demi, due to the lack of ammonia and only small amount of peroxide.

-Semi- permanent is for first timers, or someone looking to change the hair pigment for a little while, it contains no ammonia and no developer. It simply stains the hair and washes out between 6-12 washes.

I prefer Demi- permanent because I get a dark all over color to start with, and then let it fade as my hair grows. I am only able to do that because the sun fades my hair fast in Hawaii, and fortunately for me, close enough to my natural color that I don’t have to run to a salon when I notice regrowth! It is not as harsh against my roots, and I can hold off from the root touch up! I am also confident in the demi- permanent because sometimes we need that fresh all over color to give us that “new life” we have lost from the natural elements. I would rather have another all over demi- color than have another permanent hair color, when in the end, both start to lose their luster and shine.

2.) Who my Beautician is and if they are willing to give me what I want. It’s common to run in to a problem where you let the hairdresser give you something they wanted to, which ends up costing you more money in the end, to either touch up, or fix because it’s not what you asked for. If you’re not comfortable with what they suggest, just say no. It’s not their fault if you let them do it, knowing it’s not what you want. (Unless you Have Barb Clair from Tangles in Magnolia, Ohio. She never disappoints.)

3.) What type of brush they use. The most bizarre thing that has ever happened to me, was going to a nice salon, and having the beautician rip a PADDLE BRUSH through my hair, after she washed my color out. Do you know how fragile your hair is after you not only dye it, but it’s wet????? Yea, either did she. Let me take you back in time, here is a paddle brush. She used this on my WET and TANGLED hair. Needless to say, I never returned.

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Don’t get me wrong, I know some people that buy “special wet brushes and use them on their wet hair. These brushes are specifically designed to untangle while wet. They can range anywhere from 5-50+. You will not see me using one, ever. No matter what the comb is “promised” to do, if your trying to achieve healthy hair, it’s not the brush for you.  here is the type of comb I would suggest;

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This baby is amazing! My sister-in-law introduced this to me for my daughter’s curly hair. It is wide toothed, so it gently detangles with less friction. I use this comb between washes, when my hair is dry. I always  comb my hair gently, starting from the bottom. Also, if you prefer to use a comb as opposed to your fingers to detangle your hair before your shower, this would be the one!

4.) Over the phone consultations are not a real thing. It is impossible for a stylist to know what your hair type is, what color challenge she is facing, and what needs to be done in order to give you what you’re asking. Go in. Especially if you’re trying to get a price quote. Nothing is  worse than going into the salon and being given a new price on the day you were supposed to receive your service.

5.) Lastly, but most importantly. You get what you pay for. If you do not like what was done, at least you know that they will fix it, because you have paid a lot for the service! If you want someone to give you excellent quality, you’re going to have to pay for it. You may run in to a beautician who doesn’t give you the desired look, but someone there will fix it, and more than likely for no extra charge.  I’d rather pay a little extra for sharp scissors and a reputation, because in the end, it’s my hair that’s on the line!

I have had both good and bad experiences. In the end, I learn from the bad and spread the knowledge that I have gained from the good. I take pride in having healthy hair, and you should too!

Thanks for reading!

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