Well well well, let’s just jump right in shall we?! If we re-wind back to December I decided on a whim to dye my hair. A bit of backstory here: when I was younger I had white blonde hair . . . guess what I HATED it at the time, funny I know. In the more recent years my hair has been getting progressively darker (maybe it’s stress : O). In any case I wanted to lighten it up and of course I came across the ‘silver blonde’ look and fell in love. I have always loved the silvery blonde color but I have never been able to take the plunge. Welp – in December I decided it was time. I marched into the first available appointment that I could get and told her I wanted to look like a nordic beauty!
She dove in, no questions asked, and by the end of my appointment I thought I was going to lose all of my hair 🙁 She had put harsh chemicals straight onto my scalp and left it for a long time, luckily I didn’t agree to go under the dryer. I left that appointment with hair that felt like puddy and three chemical burns on my scalp.
I needed to get my butt in gear and fast! The first time I washed my hair I was so afraid it would all fall out! I did quite a bit of research, got some great advice and started a hair-repair program. Here is what I did!
Got a better stylist
The one good thing about sharing my entire hair saga story with a bunch of people is that I got their tips, tricks and recommendations! I was meeting a someone for lunch and I was so lucky that she recommended her stylist to me! Guys – do not skimp out on a good stylist. Find someone you trust who can guide you through the rough patches, fix the terrible work that someone else did and make genuine suggestions that will work for you. It is tough to find a good one, but when you do, it makes all the difference! Now when I see my stylist I literally suggest a general direction of what I want and give him the reigns for the rest with complete trust. The best kickstart I had to healthy hair was a suggestion of my stylist . . .which brings me to my next point!
If you have dead hair this is a MUST!!! Olaplex is a relatively new technology that has been released and oh my goodness, you will become addicted! In a nutshell it repairs the hair from the inside out, not just a mask on the surface, so it actually improves the health of the hair and not just the ‘appearance of health’ if you know what I mean. You can have Olaplex done in a salon or you can actually get the formula for home use as well. For the treatment, it is as though you’re going in for a hair mask with a couple steps. The first time I went in to see my stylist I got an Olaplex treatment and I was overjoyed. I know you’re thinking whoopie you’re hair was improved. . . but seriously, my hair was like brittle straw when dry and stringy gummy texture when wet. After one Olaplex treatment it actually felt like real hair again. After my second treatment it felt like smooth hair again! I am a DEFINITE fan! I think if you use heat or color on your hair you should be having Olaplex treatments periodically, don’t wait until your hair was fried like mine.
Other than the Olaplex treatments there are some key products that you should be using to get your hair back into tip top shape!
This spray was a lifesaver especially in my first couple of months of dead hair. It acts as a leave in conditioner, detangler and heat protectant spray among many other things. It really helped to ease the brush through my weak locks. The reason it is called “its a 10” is because of the 10 benefits: 1. Repairs dry, damaged hair; 2. Adds shine; 3. Detangles; 4. Controls frizz; 5. Seals & protects hair color; 6. Prevents split ends; 7. Stops hair breakage; 8. Creates silkiness; 9. Enhances natural body; 10. Flat iron spray & thermal protection. PHEW
This is a nifty cream to use after you wash your hair. It states you can use it on damp or dry hair, but I’d definitely recommend the damp route. It is a cream that has mega protein to rebuild dead and damaged hair.
I have used a few different products from Viviscal; some for serious repair and some more on the preventative side of things. I started taking their daily tablets a couple months ago; these are essentially nutrient dense supplements with vitamins and minerals that promote hair growth. I love that I have seen growth in my hair as well as my eye lashes which is a nice added benefit because who doesn’t love long lashes 🙂 The next line up in their arsenal is the shampoo & conditioner set and the serum. The set uses biotin, keratin and zinc to nourish your locks. It does not have the extra growth properties that the supplements do however they’re a nice cleaning set for the appearance of thicker hair and are super gentle if you have a sensitive scalp. I also love the serum which is another boost of these nutrients and you can apply on dry hair 🙂
Adjust the routine
This isn’t a product but a change of pace. I use to use heat on my hair quite regularly. Like wash and then blow dry my hair ever other day, plus each time I did that I would end up using either a flat iron or a curling iron. This was the first big change. I went down to washing my hair only two times a week to balance out the natural oils in my hair to help it naturally improve. Now I bet some of you are thinking, oh man I wash my hair only once a week or so, and then the other group is thinking I am a crazy lady who must be getting dreadlocks! Well guess what, according to my stylist once a week should do it, so I am still not quite there. I can promise you though, dry shampoo will be your best friend!
Heat protectant spray is another HUGE thing for me. I never use to use one YIKES I know it’s terrible, but I would do all this heating with no spray! I don’t have a particular one to suggest but just GET ONE!
Another thing I had to change was something that I learned throughout this hair saga; DO NOT OVER PROTEIN YOUR HAIR! By this I mean all those wonderful deep cleansing, high impact protein conditioners – you’re only suppose to use those once to twice a month MAX! Your hair is made of protein so more protein does make it stronger . . . to a point. If you use it too much (which yes, UGH I have also made that mistake in the past) it actually weakens your hair and will cause breakage which is NOT what we are going for here. So make sure you do the high protein conditioners consistently but not frequently!
Cut the dead
Last but not least my friends, when you are on the path to hair repair there comes a point when you have to look at shape over length. You might recall last year I did a more extreme chop from long to medium hair. It was starting to gain some length when I dyed it. After that I had a “chemical cut”, which is when the harsh chemicals weaken your hair and cause so much breakage that it loses length. Normally though, its not very pretty. After my fiasco I practically had a mullet 😛 It was shorter in the front but I still had some length in the back. After my hair started to regain its health and my new, amazing stylist determined I had some length to work with I decided to sacrifice my length, it was the best decision! Yes, my hair is shorter, but so chic, trendy and HEALTHY, which is ultimately the bottom line in my books!
Takeaways from this?
- See a stylist that you trust to not get into a mess in the first place
- Use the right products in the right frequency
- Let your hair use its natural oils
- GET OLAPLEX
- GET VIVISCAL
I think that pretty much sums things up; what do you think? Have you tried any of these products before? Have you had a similar hair saga story to mine? I actually really hope you haven’t had to go through this, but if you need to vent about it let me know in the comments! Also, just so you all know, this isn’t a sponsored post, these are just the amazing things that got me through the tough ‘hair repair’ process.
Happy Hair Repair!
Images by Warren Cleland Photography unless otherwise stated
Hair and make up by Mina Majesty