Happy Saturday, Sweet Peas!
If you’ve been a Sweet Pea for a while you may know about the transformation journey my hair went through a few summers ago. For those of you who don’t know, after a bad last-minute decision, I dyed my hair black. I spent the summer attempting to remove the dye from my already majorly damaged hair. Long story short, we managed it with as little damage as possible. You can read the full story here.
A year later I was still living with damaged hair and it was only getting worse with my student lifestyle (it was more often than not just shoved into a top knot on the top of my head). Even having the majority of my long hair cut did nothing to repair the damage. I couldn’t use heat to style my hair without looking like a mad scientist and straightening my hair made it look dry as straw.
What wasn’t helping were outside factors as well as my bad habits. I lived in a city which had extremely hard water, which had previously turned my blonde hair green when I first moved there. After removing the dye from my hair, this was no longer an issue but the water was still drying my hair out, making it brittle and unmanageable. The other issue was my PCOS, my hair was in such bad condition it was falling out at an alarming rate, to the point I had a sparse spot along my hairline that created a widow’s peak which was becoming harder to cover up. (And the clumps of my hair were driving my housemate insane).
My journey to restore my hair began after I moved back to the south of England, to the water I had grown up with which my hair was used too. (Not that my hair is high maintenance of anything). With the water no longer an issue, it was time to actually start repairing my hair.
While I was studying I neither had the funds nor the energy to go and get my hair trimmed regularly. But since I’ve graduated and become employed I found myself a hairdresser whom I like going too (her name’s Ang and she makes me laugh with her stories). I started off having an appointment every six weeks, while I was trying to trim away all the dead hair. Once the healthy hair was long enough I moved my appointment to every nine weeks to allow my hair time to grow out again.
Tip 1: Get your hair trimmed regularly to avoid split ends splitting all the way up to the root!
Because I’ve been dying my hair since my early teens, I have been using the same colour protecting shampoo for years as well. This shampoo just so happened to contain sulphate. Whilst researching possible causes for my dry, brittle hair I read that washing your hair with a sulphate shampoo can strip the hair of its natural oils making it dry out. Figuring I had nothing to lose I swapped out my old shampoo for a sulphate free one and it has made a difference! My hair is a lot less frizzy, especially when I go on to use heat.
Tip 2: If your hair feels dry try swapping to a sulphate free shampoo.
During my years studying, I lived with someone who showered probably an unhealthy amount. As much as I didn’t have as many trips to the shower as she did, I did find myself showering a lot more often than I usually would. (I’m more of a showering at night person but I became a morning and night person). And because of this, I started washing my hair a lot more; every other day, if not every day. This was really drying it out, stripping it of any natural oil it was creating.
These days I wash my hair once, maybe twice a week. (I still shower everyday FYI). Which sounds a little gross, but it has done my hair the world of good. The natural oils have managed to re-balance and my hair and my hair is much more hydrated.
Tip 3: Try not to wash your hair too often. Instead, invest in a decent dry shampoo.
Lather, Rinse, Don’t Repeat!
As the subtitle suggests, when washing your hair, lather up and rinse to remove the dirt, but do not repeat. Washing the second time is when your hair is stripped. This is what dries your hair out. After shampooing be sure to use a liberal amount of conditioner.
After washing my hair I always spritz on a leave-in conditioner, my dry ends drink up all the moisture they can get. At the moment I am using John Freda’s Frizz Ease Daily Miracle. It’s really helping to keep the frizz of my thick hair under control and it makes my hair smell good. Bonus!
Once a week I like to apply a hair mask and leave it in for at least half an hour. Since I started doing this my hair seems to not only be growing healthier, but it is also starting to grow back around my hairline! I’ve recently been using Garnier Ultimate Blends in Avocado Oil and Shea Butter.
As my hair became healthier, I began using heat on it a lot more. But unlike when I was younger, I invested in products to protect my hair from the high temperatures.
Before blowdrying I apply L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil, which protects the hair to up to 230 C. I will then blow dry my hair on the coolest setting. Before curling or straightening my hair I will apply another protector. At the moment I am using VO5 Heat Protect Serum.
Tip 4: I’ve taken to straightening my hair rather than curling it as it is easier to dry shampoo and restyle than curls, meaning you can go longer between washes.
Other useful products
One last thing I want to mention that I think has really made a difference. These funny looking bands have saved my hair. As I mentioned, when I was studying I used to tie my hair up a lot. Well, since my hair has been long enough I’ve gone back to my hair scraping ways. But I’ve been using these funny hair ties rather than the usual elastic hair bands. These bands sink into the hair, which avoids hair breakage and future split ends. Plus they last a lot longer than usual hair ties, which is great to hear if like me you have thick hair.
So these are some of the things I have been doing to make my hair healthy again!
How do you keep your hair healthy? Let me know in the comments or on social media, click the links below!
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