I care about my hair and its health #longhairDOcare and I’ve worked hard over the years to keep my hair healthy. Read on for my entire routine, best recipes and general hair care tips.
By the way, I have an entire livestream video about this subject, that you can watch, here.
This routine didn’t come about overnight; it took a lot of trial and error. When developing your own routine leave room for changes and unsuccessful systems (for me that was the whole No Poo movement, which I tried, but just didn’t work for me – same goes for the New Wash movement, sadly). While everyone’s hair is different and I know my routine won’t work for everyone, I wanted to share it for all of you who have asked me about it!
The Shampoo Routine
I wash my hair about two times per week, or once every three to four days. I try to limit the number of washes because a) styling my hair takes 45 minutes (ugh) and b) washing less is better for your hair, as washing strips your hair of natural oils.
When I wash, I shampoo and condition in sections. The two shampoo/contidioner combos I have been using lately are Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal and Mill Creek Botanicals Biotine H-24 product line. The latter is a great product for thickening up your hair. What I do is shampoo and condition in sections. This helps me target the areas that need cleaning to reduce oils, and those that need more moisturizing. When shampooing I separate my hair into two sections – top and bottom, so I can get into all of my roots, and I don’t shampoo hair that goes past ear-lenght. I want to avoid drying out the end of my hair as much as possible. Then I rinse everything and repeat. Yes, I’m one of those two-shampoos-people!
Next I add conditioner, though only once. While the conditioner is in I clip hair on top of my head and handle the rest of the shower business. That helps the conditioner really moisturize and enrich my hair. I rinse out just before I step out of the shower and the wash is complete! 🚿 💦
The Styling Routine
If I can avoid heat, I will. On weekends after a wash I’ll just let my hair air-dry. However, when I film I want my hair to look as polished as possible and that requires heat. I always use heat protectant spray, currently Tre Semme, it’s the least you can do for your hair. I blow-dry with a Conair blow-dryer then straighten with a Croc Infrared Flat Iron at 390. I have been too lazy to use a round brush when blow drying lately, though I love the look of a polished blow out. Instead I find myself using a paddle brush for most of the routine. That brings me to…
My favorite hair tools right now include:
- Mixed Paddle Brush – Boar bristles and regular bristles really distribute the oil in your hair well.
- Wet Brush – Prevents frizz when brushing wet, perfect for detangling after a shower
- Rat Tail Comb – Great for sectioning and teasing.
- Alligator Clips – Life-saver for clipping sections and holding in place overnight! Strong hold that won’t fall out.
- Round Brush – It helps you get that perfect blow out.
Overnight and in the Morning
Did you notice I mentioned my hair routine takes 45 minutes? That is why preserving a good hair day overnight can be so helpful. If my hair is looking good I’ll clip it up overnight in a way that keeps it perfect for the morning. I have a video outlining that whole process that you can see here!
In the morning if my hair has become greasy, I’ll freshen it up with a little dry shampoo (want to make your own? Check out my recipe)dry shampoo (want to make your own? Check out my recipe). It absorbs grease and gives hair a pep. Honestly, I try to avoid washing even after the gym if I can. I’ll shower with my hair in a cap and then just use dry shampoo to freshen it up. While dry shampoo is helpful, I won’t use it for more than two days. For me that buildup becomes irritating for my scalp so I’d rather bite the bullet and shower.
Trims, Color and all things Treatment
I know that I trim my hair far less than I should (the hairdresser practically yells at me when I go). I get a trim when I notice that my ends are frayed and my hair needs a lift. Typically you should go every 8 weeks. While I can’t pretend to practice what I preach, I have read countless times that more frequent cuts promote healthy hair growth, because as the split ends split further and further up the hair, you’ll have to cut more off than you would have before the fraying became out of hand.
As for color, no I don’t dye my hair. I tried balyage in April 2016 (which I still have in, albeit it’s grown out quite a bit), but I’ve found that my hair texture changes after a color. I think some people look amazing with dyed hair and it improves their entire look! I’m lucky that I like my natural color and can avoid the hassle and whole root touch up situation.
It’s no secret that I love hair treatments and rinses – both DIY and store bought. Treating my hair on occasion keeps it looking healthy and clean. I lightly oil my ends with coconut oil or sweet almond oil once a week, to add shine. I will oil my entire scalp and hair with warm coconut oil a few times a year. It is a very oily job and I need to shampoo very well to get it all out, but my hair does feel so soft and healthy afterward.
To deal with buildup I will do an apple cider vinegar rinse a couple of times per month. Mix one-cup ACV, one-cup water, 10 drops rosemary essential oil, and just pour it over hair after conditioning.
How can you apply these thoughts to developing a hair routine of your own? Well you may notice that every aspect of my routine is centred on dealing with specific hair issues. My hair is oily, so I double shampoo. You might find you have dry hair and need to double condition! It comes down to identifying your hair type and balancing it out.
Is your hair:
Where is it on the texture spectrum?
And finally, hair strength:
When you know what combination your hair is, such as “thick and curly” or “dry and straight” you can look for specific products that tackle those issues. I’d even recommend going to a hairdresser or stylist that knows your specific hair type well (bonus points if it’s their hair type, too) and ask for advice. Of course, the internet will be your best resource for finding washes and treatments for your hair type. Before you go searching too far, here are a few tips.
Tips for Dry and Oily Hair Types
For dry hair you’re going to be looking for ways to revitalize your hair and increase it’s shine. A common method is through hair oils like argan oil or coconut oil. But a super fun tip is to try a beer wash. Yes, BEER! The malt and hops in the beer contain specific proteins that are good for your hair! It will help repair damage and make your hair more luscious.
It’s also super easy, and as cheap as whatever beer you like to drink. First de-carbonate the beer. Pour one beer (hoppier the better) into a mug or jug and let it sit for an hour or so. In the shower shampoo as normal, then pour the beer over your hair. Massage it into your scalp. Rinse thoroughly. Then condition as usual. The conditioner should block out any beer smell. Your hair isn’t going to be sticky or anything, just shiny and healthy. This isn’t in my regular routine but it’s a great shine boost if you have been spending a lot of time in the sun or using a lot of heat and your hair is dried out.
For Oily Hair think about the fact that the oil is coming from a) product build up or b) the fact that your pores are producing too much oil.
Product build up
There are a few easy ways to deal with product build up. I’ve mentioned the apple cider vinegar rinse. However, you can try another favourite of mine, which is adding a tablespoon of baking soda to your shampoo and massaging in as usual. Your scalp is clarified and OMG it is a fantastic feeling afterward. You shouldn’t do this if you have lightened your hair.
Dealing with the oily source
There are a couple reasons you might be too oily, including that you might actually be over-washing (washing once a day or more is typically too much, especially if you are combining it with water activities or workouts). Washing strips your hair of oil, and stripping your hair of oil can cause your pores to compensate with even more oil production. So try and reduce your washes. Heat has a similar affect on your pores, because it causes them to sweat! To avoid excess heat on your hair try showering with colder water, and try blow-drying with cold air.
And when all else fails – dry shampoo can really help. 😘
Thanks for reading, I hope this can help you, and let me know your routine and tips in the comments!
PS. Most of the product links in this post are Amazon affiliate links meaning I can receive a small commission if a product is purchased. Clicking them is a great way to support the blog and keep these tips coming and I really appreciate it! If not, feel free to Google the product :). This was not a sponsored post, just the products I really use.