I did a post on my skin care routine back in May, and Maggie asked if I could write about my hair care routine as well—so here we are!
Let’s start with what I’m working with. My hair is long, thick, and straight. If you’re into “hair-typing” I’m probably a 1b, but maybe a 1a. It’s generally quite well behaved, and I don’t have any major hair frustrations. I’m also very determined to have low maintenance hair, which is likely a self-fulfilling prophecy. I don’t have my hair cut often, but when I do it’s generally long layers with a touch of shaping around the face.
I wash my hair with whatever all-in-one bar I have in my shower at the time (I just polished off a bar of my Mojito Soap). I don’t distinguish between shampoo and soap bars in my house. I generally wash my hair every 3–4 days, though it’ll vary depending on the season and how much exercise I’m getting. In the past I’ve been pretty dedicated to stretching out my hair washes, but I’ve found frequent heavy cardio and 7 day wash cycle don’t really mesh for me. I figure it’s better to get more exercise than to wash my hair less, so meh. I’m not hugely fussed. As long as I’m not washing my hair any more often than every other day I’m happy.
My washes are followed up with an acidic rinse, which is 100% necessary. Homemade soaps/shampoos are basic (because they’re made with highly basic lye), which raises the scales of keratin that make up hair. An acidic rinse smooths them down again. If I don’t smooth everything back down again I’m left with coarse, tangly hair. Ugh. I love this rinse at home, and this when I’m traveling.
For detangling I’m all about wooden combs. I have this one from The Body Shop, and it’s still going strong after three years (I broke one from Goody in half after a couple months of use). Wooden combs don’t breed static like plastic ones can, and they have no seams from the mould to catch on hair. I like the wider set teeth for gentler detangling, and as an added bonus, wood is rather pretty.
When I’m feeling particularly affectionate towards my hair/have some free time, I love to brush it with a boar bristle brush. I’ve got one from Goody that’s been going strong for at least 7 years by now, as well as two beautiful antique silver ones. The antique ones rattle a bit when I use them, so I tend to stick to the newer one out of fear of breaking them, but there is something wonderfully old-world lovely about using the old ones.
For styling, braids are my go-to. I’ve learned some great things from Annie this year, though I have way more hair than she does, so I often have to improvise the end of the styles. I’m a big fan of French braids and Dutch braids, especially when I’m exercising. Otherwise ponytails are delightfully easy, as is piling my hair on the top of my head and securing it with a big spring-loaded clip. If I’m feeling a bit fancy, I usually turn towards an Edwardian-style up-do.
To get a bit of texture the damp + overnight methods are my favourite. Pin curls or sleeping with my hair in braids are the two main ones, but I find the texture rarely makes it to lunch, so I generally can’t be bothered.
To tame static or flyaways, I love my hair mist. If my hair’s quite dry I’ll usually turn to my hair balm or serum (I have found that a need for these usually means I need a trim, though). I’ll also use dry shampoo when I need it, though that’s not as frequent now that I’m not super militant about stretching out my washes.
So, that’s what I do. Here’s what I don’t do, or rarely do:
- Bleach my hair. Never have, and I have no intentions of doing so.
- Perm it. I’ve thought about it, but it’s just so harsh it’s never gone further than a wee mental flirtation.
- Use anything with “cones” in it (dimethicone, etc.). After they finally peeled out of my hair after ~6 months without them I don’t want them back!
- When I go to the hairdresser I don’t let them use any products (I do go with clean hair to be nice, haha).
- I never use anything to wash my hair other than my soaps/shampoos
- I rarely heat treat my hair (blow dry or straighten/curl it). Maybe 10 times a year? Most of those are blow drying for those times I failed to think ahead/am surprised by an event where I need both clean and dry hair in a very short period of time.
- I’ll occasionally dye my hair with Manic Panic. Their dyes score a 4/10 on Skin Deep, which isn’t amazing, but also isn’t horrible. It washes out over the course of a month or two and is a nice bit of fun for the summer.
Ok! That’s my hair care style. What’s yours?