Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hair So Silky, It Shines

Photo: Elle
I spend less on hair care than on skin care. That's because hair cells are dead cells, and I don't want to go broke on hair care products.

Nonetheless, if my hair doesn't look good ... I am upset. I bet every woman has cried at least once over a bad hair cut. And, I would guess some men have too! So it all begins with a flawless, percision cut. That's why I will follow Penny, who cuts my hair, wherever she goes.

Since you need to fiddle with your hair every single day of your life, it's only common sense to:

(1) Find inexpensive hair products that really work.

(2) Love the hair you were born with, be it straight or curly. If you make changing your natural texture a daily chore, the hours and money you spend on your hair really add up. Embrace what you have to keep your hair routine simple.

(3) Focus on keeping your hair healthy, clean and neat, and you will always look fabulous!
Photo: thebeautydepartment.com

I have straight hair ... that actually has some wave or body to it, if it is left to air dry. Here's how I style my straight hair to make it shine:

1) Wash it with a nickel-size amount of shampoo. I like TRESemme, a drugstore brand. Using less shampoo cleans hair without removing all the natural oil from your scalp, making hair look its very best.

2) Some sources tell us to wash with lukewarm water, then switch to cold water for a final rinse. I don't think it matters. Lukewarm water feels better than hot or cold. What is important is to rinse your hair and scalp squeaky clean of shampoo.

3) Follow with a rich conditioner suitable for your hair type. My favorite is Pantene Pro-V Beautiful Length's Strengthening Conditioner, another drugstore buy. Use a quarter-size amount, applying most of the conditioner to the ends, working your way up to the roots of the hair (but stop short about an inch, your roots don't need conditioning). Most of us use too much product, which doesn't make hair look any better. It just gets washed down the drain.

4) Towel dry hair removing as much moisture as possible. This shortens your drying time.

5) I spray my damp hair lightly with TRESemme Thermal Creations, a heat protector. If you let your hair dry naturally, you don't need it. I blast my hair with a blow dryer every day.

6) Next, a blow dry: For straight hair use a blow dryer with a comb attachment. To give hair volume and shine, start with a cool setting until nearly dry, then switch to hot to style it. 

The drill: I begin blow drying my hair (on the cool setting) by tilting my head forward and flipping my hair over my head. That way, I dry the under layers first and against gravity. I use the blow dyer with its comb attachment on one side of my hair and a paddle brush to free the hair of tangles on the opposite side. When my hair is nearly dry, I pause ... part it ... switch to hot, then continue styling.

Remember that the cool setting at the beginning adds fullness, and the hot setting near the end produces shine. Drying my hair takes 5 - 7 minutes. 

Most days, this is all I do. Done!

But on days when I notice some hair static, I will either smooth the flyaways with the heat of a (1" plate) flat iron ... or with a tiny bit of body lotion. I think body lotion works as well as a fancy hair smoothing cream. The results are exactly the same, and the fewer hair products you use the better (less build-up). Your hair will look silky clean. Basically, what you're doing by rubbing a tiny bit of body lotion with your fingers on the flayaways is neutralizing the charge (electrons) in your hair. Rub some on the ends too, especially in winter.

Furthermore in my experience, there is no real need to buy expensive blow dryers or flat irons. High-priced brands do not dry your hair faster, style your hair smoother, nor last longer. All blow dryers and flat irons damage your hair if misused, as well as, burn out with frequent use. It hurts less to replace a $22 Conair 1875 Styler than a $125 Cricket Centrix Q Zone dryer.

Likewise, your hair looks the same whether you use a $20 Revlon Cermanic Straightener, or a $100 Farouk CHI flat iron. Usually a well known beauty company will make a good, inexpensive blow dryer or flat iron that gets the job done.

Since I can't give tips on caring for curly hair, I am turning to YouTube. Here's an information-packed clip where four different women tell you how they care for their curls. (The video has a cornball introduction, but stick with it.)

Now go out and have a gooood hair day!

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