I didn’t realize how many girls struggle with dry, damaged hair until I had a really bad dye job. Like really bad. I walked out of the salon last February with blue hair. I have no idea what the girl did to my hair but I know I should have walked out of that salon before I even sat in the chair. I literally wore my hair in a bun for 2 weeks afterward. I was so embarrassed. That’s when I realized how important hair is, at least to me.
Ever since that horrific experience, I’ve been working with Andrea at Doves Salon to repair my hair. It’s slightly more difficult since I now live in Chicago but if you’re in LA, you need to see her! Last time I went in she even commented on how much better my hair was feeling. I know it’s going to be a long time before it’s back to normal (unfortunately hair doesn’t grow 2 feet overnight) but progress makes me feel better.
If you’ve ever had a bad dye job or have had a colorist go too blonde on you, these are the products you need in your life! I use all of these regularly and have noticed such a difference after really making time for hair care. I took my long healthy locks for granted before this experience. Lesson learned.
1. Keratin Complex Repair Therapy. If I had to pick one product that has made the most difference, it would be this one. I swear by it. It made an immediate difference in how my hair feels. As everyone knows, keratin helps strengthen your hair. Too much keratin can make it break off. It’s a fine balance. I used this once a week after washing my hair but have now cut it back to once every 2 weeks.
After towel drying your hair, pump this product into your palms and work the product through your hair. I use it very liberally! I focus on the parts of my hair which I know are breaking (around the face, on top, and underneath). Your hair will soak up what it needs. Comb the product through and blow dry. For the most part, I have sworn off hot tools. That’s why you’ve seen me rocking a lot of braids lately. However, heat seals this product into the hair so it’s a must in this case!
2. Leave In Conditioner. This product was recommended to me by another hair stylist actually but I really like the smell. Right after the bad dye job, my hair got so incredible tangled. I really liked how this product was a detangler as well as a leave in conditioner. A year later, I don’t have nearly as much trouble running a comb through wet locks but I still like to use it after every wash. I’m definitely not as loyal to this product as the Keratin Complex Repair Therapy because I do tend to try new leave in conditioners a lot. I’ve heard lots of good things about this one by It’s a 10 and it’s on my list of products to try next.
3. Hair Masks. My initial reaction to doing a hair mask is “ugh”. Waiting for something isn’t my forte. I never made time for these until I realized just what a difference they make in how my hair feels. I mean, when am I going to find 10-15 minutes to sit with damp hair? My schedule is so tightly packed it seemed impossible. Since I work out in the morning (and therefore shower in the morning), I’ve started to do these masks right after my workouts. I leave them on while I’m packing lunch, tidying up the house, or whatever. After 10 minutes, I’ll take a shower and start my routine!
I’m also not very loyal to hair masks because I’ve been enjoying trying a bunch of them. I typically look for natural products based around oils. If you’ve read my skincare routine, face oil did wonders for my face so I’m hoping it does the same for my hair! I recommend this one as a really budget friendly moisturizer and this one because it doesn’t weigh down your hair to the point where it’s tough to style. Trust me when I say, make time for hair masks.
4. Hair Oil. I think someone sent me this product but I love the way it smells! This product has no parabens or phthalates – yay! It also helps eliminate frizz and helps moisturize hair after the washing/drying process. I don’t wash my hair every day so I like to put this on when I’m rocking 2 day old or 3 day old hair. I try to coat my ends and the middle of each strand with this. Again, I use this very liberally! Especially when I’m wearing my hair in a bun – who cares if it looks a little oily?
5. Heat Protectant Spray. I feel like this one isn’t news. Everyone knows to protect your hair before styling it by now, right? Yes. I bought this spray because it’s infused with vitamins to help my hair out a little. As I mentioned, I try to limit the number of time I apply heat tools to my hair in a week. Right now, I haven’t used anything for 2 weeks and am loving it! I know that isn’t possible for everyone but find a hairstyle that works for your hair. My hair dries stick straight so it’s pretty easy to avoid a blow dryer during the work week. On the weekend, I’ve been playing around with braids and buns to mix it up a little and give my locks a break!
I have noticed that as my hair starts to get healthier, it holds curl less. That’s a consequence I’m willing to accept at this point! One last product that I swear by are these hair clips. Regular hair ties were breaking off the outer layer of my hair when it was in a ponytail. Even the fancy Sephora ones did that! I don’t know if I just like my pony tails tight or what. So, I made the switch to clips and can say my broken layers are finally growing out (although you can still see them in the photo above). I have found that they hold during a really bouncy workout too. I like to put a high bun on the top of my head and hold up any loose ends with bobby pins. I’ve never had any issues with something falling out mid-step!
I’ve also made taking a Biotin vitamin part of my daily routine! I got mine from CVS because I found a vegan one. Most Biotin vitamins aren’t vegan so when I find one, I buy it immediately. I’ve been doubling up lately and have noticed a huge difference in my nails. Hopefully that means my hair is also seeing some benefits.
Hope those tips help! The most important thing is don’t get discouraged if you’re in the same spot. It’s a long process but I promise it gets better!
Did you have a bad salon experience? Or do you have any favorite products?