Beauty and Fashion, OYou BootCamp 2011

Finally Some Relief for Stressed Out Hair

Each day seems to start with a sigh as I try to magically repair my hair with a countertop filled with products. I know I need to take the time to give it a little love, but it has always been on the bottom of my lengthy to-do list. This time…I am going to give it the pampering it needs!

Luckily O Magazine’s Val Monroe has a TON of tips for people with unruly hair like mine. If there was doctor for hair, I’d be a mess. Split ends, dry, serious breakage and incredible neglect…not exactly the hair that inspires a great day. To top it off I am a bit obsessed with washing it. I can’t get in bed with dirty hair…the thought of rolling around in all the allergens and dust from my day is gross and a rinse can’t get all that off. THEN, after sleeping all night I love starting my day with a shower and shampoo. If I don’t, the roots start getting a bit oily. I have been told that I have jacked my hair up because it is desperately trying to produce oil that I consistently wash out. Plus I swim several days a week and just know that I am killing my hair. So yeah…serious long hair issues.

I am going back to the basics and hoping to get a better handle on the mess. The good news is that Val has a lot of good advice and tips for people just like me. Here is some of it.

How to brush your hair– If your parents told you to brush it 100 times, stop! Be a minimalist. Only brush as much as you need to keep it untangled. As for brushes, avoid boar bristles which cause friction and opt for a plastic one with ball tips. She suggested one like Goody’s Ouchless Cushion Brush which runs around $8.

Dry hair – Apparently we aren’t supposed to wash our hair every day, but that would KILL me. I can’t imagine that I am the only one out there that has dry hair because it is washed too often. A couple of good tips for my fellow hair germaphobs:

  • Try to use a shampoo that says gentle, lightweight or daily. Only use a size of about a nickel. Another blow to my OCD! I have never been able to only use a tiny amount of shampoo, but I will try to change. At this time I use about 4 times as much. Baby steps!
  • Use a little moisturizing conditioner before you shampoo. Add a little to your wet hair and work it from the middle to the ends. Then when you start shampooing from the roots down, the conditioner will help your hair to not dry out as much. I love this tip!

Split ends and breakage – A common problem for so many of us. I feel great after a new haircut…all the dead is cut away and my hair feels young again. In no time at all, I am back treating it horribly. Blow dryers, curling irons, chemicals…all too much. My hair doesn’t have a chance. Val shares that “unless you’re a haircare zealot—by which I mean you see your stylist without fail every six weeks for a trim, you never over shampoo or over style with heated tools, and you wouldn’t go near a chemical treatment—some breakage and split ends are inevitable.” Knowing this doesn’t help when you are starring at your hair and hating it. However there are a few things we can do:

  • Start by using a moisturizing shampoo and a rinse-out conditioner.
  • At the end of your shower, rinse your hair with cool water. It will help to seal the outer layers of your hair giving it a little extra protection.
  • Be sure to blow dry your hair all the way, because it looks even frizzier if you don’t.
  • If you are looking to cover up the craziness, try using a light heat protectant, like Redken Spray Starch 15 which is a versatile ironing spray that costs around $13 and should last you a while. When your hair is dry, spray a little on the ends and use a ceramic or Teflon flatiron to straighten out the bottom.

I know I need to make a change and I am really going to try to soak in all this advice. I purposefully selected these tips because I think they are totally doable. With so many great tips from Val, this may at least hold me over until my next fantastic haircut!

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