Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Hair (Cleansing) Routine & Products

The Secret Cupboard
There is a cupboard in my bathroom full to the brim with hair products. Not styling products, but cleansing products. Shampoos, conditioners, masks and oils cohabitate joyfully side-by-side. Travel sized, full-sized, sample packets and more. Wondering why? Because I've come to realize that my hair acclimates to products in the same way that my skin does. And I'm on a mission to have the best, healthiest hair of my life.  And I think I'm just about there. So even though products in my routine are bound to change, I thought I'd take a few minutes and share with you some of the products I use regularily.

Keeping A Schedule
If you scroll down you'll see that I have quite a few different shampoos, conditioners and masks that I use. So how do I keep it all straight and know what to use during each shower? Let me start by saying that I only wash my hair every other day. Sometimes every third day if it's still really clean on day two.

Whenever I'm planning on washing my hair I go to my cupboard. I try to keep the products in groupings by brand. I've got an Organix group, a L'Oreal group, a Fekkai group (not listed below because I haven't used it yet) and a Pantene Pro-V group. By group I mean that I have a shampoo, conditioner and hair mask for the brand. Every hair-washing-shower I use a new group of products. But I try to keep one group of products per shower. So L'Oreal shampoo with a L'Oreal conditioner, etc. ad nauseum. I use a hair mask every other wash, with a regular conditioner in between. And no matter what family of products I'm on, I use my toning shampoo every other wash. It might sound complicated, and a calendar might come in handy for some folks, but really it's very simple. I keep them grouped in the cupboard and just pick the next group in the lineup and go from there.

Why Do It This Way?
Travel-sized shampoo's and conditioners are the BEST way to try out new products before purchasing. You can get them inexpensively at any store and the sizes are usually large enough for multiple uses so that you can get an accurate opinion of how they will work on your hair. Especially if you're doing what I do, and rotating products, a sample size will go further. And if you find something you truly love using (for me the L'Oreal Total Damage Repair Balm is the real deal) you can buy the full size. This way you have a chance to try the best brands on the market without spending a fortune. When you finally invest in products, you already know they're your holy grails. Also, it's a lot easier for me to toss a sample size of something I hated, than it is a full-sized bottle. That way, only the best products stay in my repetoire.

For more in-depth reviews into each of the following products please click on the "Product Review" link on the right hand side. I will post reviews for the products I use that really stand out and rise to the top there.

So, into the lineup....

Organix Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo, Conditioner, Renewing Treatment & Repairing Awapuhi Ginger Instant Recovery Mask

These products were recommended by Tati (#GlamLifeGuru) and Meghan Rosette (#MeghanRosette) on Youtube. I thought I'd give them a try. I love that the shampoo is sulfate free, especially because I color treat my hair. They all smell incredible. Fresh, clean and feminine. But I'm on the fence about the conditioner and the Awahupi Ginger mask. They don't have that instantly detangling feel, and I have to use more product on my hair to get it  to coat from root to tips. I'll report back one way or another when I've finally decided. The good news is that neither of these products mess up or do anything bad to my hair. But I don't want to waste my time on something that's not going to do spectacular things to my hair. What I do love about the masks in this line is that you don't have to get out of the shower for an hour while they work before rinsing. I put them in my hair and then take my time shaving and cleansing and washing my face. By the time that's all done, the masks are ready to be washed out. Perfect!

L'Oreal Paris Total Repair Restoring w/ Ceramide Shampoo, Conditioner & Damage Erasing Balm

I was so in love with the Damage-Erasing Balm (full review available) from this line that I had to try the shampoo and conditioner as well. And I wasn't let down. The shampoo is light enough it doesn't make my fine hair look greasy, and the conditioner is so good that it's instantly detangling, even in the shower, and makes my hair baby soft all day.

Miss Jessie's Creme de le Creme Conditioner
 Let me start by saying that this conditioner smells like something I'd find in my grandmother's bathroom. Like a cheap shampoo from the 80s. But ...I love what it does to my hair. Without feeling heavy or greasy, my hair is smooth, silky and stays looking beautiful all day. In addition to what it does for my hair, this conditioner leaves my scalp feeling hydrated and smooth.

Schwarzkopf Toning Shampoo
I've done a full review on this toning shampoo already, so I won't go too in-depth here. But I love this stuff. It works to keep the yellow and brass twinge off my hair. Like I said earlier, I use this on my hair every other wash.

Pantene Pro-V Classic (also love the Volumizing line)
I've been using Pantene Pro-V for 15 years, at least. I can remember when it first came on the market. God, that makes me feel old. ;) I've tried other shampoos and conditioners in the interim, but end up always coming back to these products. There's been nothing I have found that makes my hair quite so shiny or smooth. In my rotation, these are the products that I use in conjunction with things that don't have additional products in their line. Like my Miss Jessie's Creme de la Creme.

Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner

Once or twice a week I forgo any conditioner or hair mask and just use this light-weight leave-in conditioner after I've finished with my shower. It allows my hair the chance to go commando for a little while. And after I shampoo at my next wash, my hair is literally squeaky clean. A quick tip, use this particular leave-in conditioner sparingly. Too much and your hair will be crunchy. Just enough and it's smooth and happy-happy hair.

ICON India Oil
I think of my India Oil as my finishing oil. I put it at the ends of my damp hair after I shower, or on the ends of my dry hair in the mornings. It keeps my tips from breaking and protects my hair from the elements during the day. Not to mention it keeps the frizz at bay and this oil smells divine. My road to healthy hair began the day I found this oil.

Prenatal MultiVitamin
I'm not telling you what brand of prenatal multi-vitamin to take. But I am telling you that if you're a woman between the ages of 16 and 40, you should be taking a prenatal multivitamin every day. I put this in this particular post, because the folic acid in my prenatal vitamins is the reason my hair is as thick and growing as long is it is. My doctor told me one time that whether you're trying to get pregnant or not, any woman of child-bearing years should take a prenatal as their multivitamin. Our particular needs during this time of our lives is best addressed with a prenatal. In my own experience, I feel better and my body looks better when I'm taking a prenatal. When I forget to take it, or run out of vitamins, I start to look like a rose who's wilting around the edges. If I can see a difference, I'm sure it's making a difference. Talk to your own doctor, if you're concerned about a prenatal vitamin. But take some multi-vitamin at the very least.

That's it for me for now. I've got a few samples from Fekkai and Biolage I'm planning on rotating into my routine. I've heard amazing things about Reddken, as well. So from here on out it's all a process or trial and error. I'm finally seeing amazing results in my hair's health, strength and shine and thought I'd share how I did it with you. 

I'd love to hear how other people get their hair its healthiest. Please feel free to comment below and share what works for you.

Thank you for your time, and stay beYOUtiful friends! xoxox