Tuesday, 19 February 2013

A matter of hair.

As I have fleetingly mentioned in past posts, I am no beauty blogger. That said, I am a girlie girl, and I do enjoy playing with make up and treating myself to indulgent, fragrant products at bath time, but I don't pay too much attention to new releases and I'm not the most creative with my purchases. I've happily used the same foundation, powder and blusher since I started wearing a full face of make up.

However, at the start of 2013 I swore to turn over a new leaf when it came to one element of my beauty regime - haircare. I'd reached a point where I realised I needed to start taking proper care of my hair, or I was going to be forced to cut it all off. If I wanted to be able to carry on dying it and using my favourite heated stylers, it was time to take drastic action.

My first decision was to go cold turkey on heat styling until my hair had a chance to recuperate. It's been tricky, and there have been mornings when I've been so very tempted to reach for the hair dryer or my beloved BaByliss Big Hair, but I push through and move on. It's forced me to be more creative with my styling; I've been wearing it in a topknot far more often than I used to, and I've even been brave enough to wear it out in loose braids a couple of times - a style usually reserved for bedtime - but even so, I miss the quick lift I used to get from a blast of the hair dryer.

I've also changed my hair dye habits. I used to dye my hair religiously every month with permanent bottle dye, and I'd just use whatever brand happened to be on offer at the time. Now I'm only using bottle dye every ten weeks, and since November I've been using Garnier Olia in Intense Red, which is packed with oils and is a little more friendly than standard bottle dye. I used to use two boxes at a time to cover my whole head, but I now I just use the one box on my roots, and refresh my lengths with Live Colour Ultra Brights semi-permanent dye in Pillar Box Red. The semi-permanent is so much kinder to the delicate ends of my hair, and to make it more nourishing I mix it up with generous dollops of my favourite hair masques.

My washing habits have also taken a hit. I used to wash my hair every day without even considering that I could be doing it any damage. The other women in my family had always washed their hair daily, and I suppose I just saw it as part of general hygiene. However, a couple of months ago I had a bit of a wake up call. I asked around and discovered that most people were - at most - washing their hair every other day. I bit the bullet and limited myself to a maximum of three washes a week. It took a little while for my hair to adjust, however within weeks I was feeling a change. My hair felt far less dry and strung out, and I was realised that it really didn't need to be washed so often. I also started making the effort to towel dry my lengths before applying my conditioner so that the product was less diluted.

Washing my hair less often means that I now feel less guilty about investing in 'nice' hair products, since I'm not burning my way through bottles of conditioner like I used to. My go-to shampoo is now Lush Rehab, which I used to use every now and again to refresh my hair, but I now use devotedly. It's crammed with seaweed and other wonder ingredients that slowly give damaged hair a bit more life. I follow it up with Lush American Cream, an amazingly thick, moisturising conditioner that doesn't weigh hair down. Once a week I treat it to Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Treatment for coloured hair, my absolute favourite hair masque, and after every wash I use Tresemme' Split Mend Sealing Serum, which is simply a really lovely, lightweight product. The final product in my arsenal is Lush H'Suan Wen Hua hair treatment, which is nothing short of a miracle. It's full of yummy ingredients and leaves my hair feeling stonger, healthier and glossier.

I know that reviving damaged hair is no small feat, and that some believe there is truly no other option but to cut it all away, however nearly two months into my new regime and my hair honestly feels far healthier than it did before Christmas. These changes are here for the long run (with the exception of heat styling - eventually I'd like to be able to start using heat on my hair again from time to time), and in conjunction with regular trims, I'm hoping that my hair will have new life by the end of summer - and more importantly, in time for our wedding!

Do you have any bad hair habits, or have you also resolved to take better care of you hair in the new year?



  1. I recently chopped all my hair off to let it recooperate, from below boob length to above, but your hair is incredible!

  2. Your post makes me feel guilty about not looking after my hair properly. Going to start now! :)

  3. I'm awful with my hair, two summers ago it got so bad I had to chop it all, from below chest to a bob. Growing it all back has been a nightmare but my hair definitely appreciated it in the long run. Good idea on the gradual recovery! Hopefully this will inspire me to take better care. :)

    Charlotte xx

  4. I just use chagrin valley natural shampoo bars! Cheapest and best thing i've ever done. No poo shampoo is the way forward!

  5. I'm currently in the market for some new conditioner and I'm dying to try American Cream! My wallet is fighting me on that dream, though...

    ~Lauren at inbetweenidols.blogspot.com

  6. I too have long hair and after years of it drying naturally and not even touching heat, I bought a Remington Pearl Wand an d have been going curling crazy with it! I've noticed a huge change in my hair and have realised that if I don't resist the luscious curls I'll have to sacrifice some serious inches.
    The woes we go through!


  7. The best thing that happened to my hair was 7 weeks in a Motorhome with no heated styling tools at all. It grew like mad and has been so much healthier since. Also my hair got a natural wave which I'd didn't have before so I can leave it and not use any heat on occasion which I could never do before. So glad I had those weeks off x

  8. I adore Lush products but have never tried any of their hair stuff, although I keep meaning to. Gonna make a note to have a look in there next time I'm out shopping, their products look awesome!

    Katie x
    And Katie • Lifestyle Blog

  9. I have had some bad hair experiences in the past. At one point it got such bad quality that I had to cut it all off and try and regrow it while simultaneously trying to treat what was left of my hair. It was awful but I basically did what you're doing, use treatments, avoid heat etc.

    Now it's four years on and my hair's long again, and in almost perfect condition! I've definitely learned to take care of my hair. I also don't even feel the need to use heat styling anymore, I've grown to like my poker straight hair and to just live with it!

    Hopfully your hair repairing scheme goes as well as mine did!

  10. I've never tried Lush shampoo, but I think al give this one a go! good post:) xx

    Shabby Chic and Tea♥

  11. I really like the look of Lush Rehab, may have to give it a go come payday!


  12. I love American Cream it smells amazing!!! :) Lovely post!! Xxx


  13. i used to dye my hair like crazy until i had to cut it from long mermaid waves to a bob because it was soooo demaged. since then i'm so careful with my hair. i ombréd it but the hairdresser did it for me because they know whats good. i use silicon free and organic shampoo, conditioner and hair masks only the only thing that i need to stop is washing my hair daily...
    lush prouducts seem to work good. i have to check them out since they are organic.

  14. I did a similar post about two months ago featuring some of the same products! Lush rehab literally does wonders and I love Aussie's 3 minute miracle. Also,lush's split end treatment is pretty fabulous (and it smells delicious) (I also use the same hair dye in their auburn-like color whose name is escaping me)

  15. I'm just growing my hair and so far I've been really lucky because I have very strong and healthy hair. I only have to trim it every 3-5months. After going from a bright red (like you're wearing it) to a lighter and more natural tone, I've decided to change to a semi-permanent hair dye. I also avoid the blow dryer as far as possible and I treat my hair with pure olive oil at least once a week. It works wonders and makes your hair so wonderfully soft!

  16. Wow, your poor hair must have taken such a battering with heat, dye and too frequent hair washing! You definitely don't need to wash it everyday, 3 times a week is fine. If your hair is dry, try some coconut oil or some olive oil as a conditioner. Nourished hair is a great way to start the year :D


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  18. I love my Babyliss Big Hair too! It's so amazing :) I have heard Lush American Cream is meant to be good so I may have to give that a go soon :) It's great it doesn't weigh hair down :) It was lovely meeting you today! xx Beauty Becky

  19. I've been trying to cut back on the heat too, thank god for top knots, your hair will definitely thank you for it though. All the products you've been using sound great xx

    Lucy Loves To Blog