hair for days {my tried & true tips for long shiny locks}

My hair and the phrase “a blessing & a curse” go hand in hand for me.  Growing up, my hair was probably my greatest source of stress.  I can remember…way back in middle school…being mortified by the volume, the frizz…the realization that I had absolutely no idea how to tame my outrageous head of course, unruly hair.
Fast forward twenty five years…I finally like my hair.  An epic saga of trial and error has given way to a comprehensive understanding of how to handle this mane!  The innovative hair care industry, combined with the instantaneous sharing of knowledge via social media and the ease of obtaining any product my heart desires with just a few simple clicks has made my victory possible.

I’ve been thinking about sharing a hair care post for quite some time now…mostly because I’ve had several readers request it, but also because it is one of those things I really struggled with for many, many years. Classy Ever After is about honesty, real life and real personal style related journeys paved with both failure and success.
 
 I will try my best to make this info overload as simple as possible.  Here goes…

THE BASICS

1. Wash less frequently! This has improved the health of my hair tremendously. I wash my hair once a week (every seventh day).  I chose Thursday as my hair washing day because then it looks best for the weekend.  I never like my hair on the first day, and is it gets to the end (days 5 and 6) I usually want to wear it up in a casual style and use some dry shampoo only at the roots.  More details later in the post…

2.  Eat only clean healthy foods and take your vitamins

3.  Add high quality essential oils to your regular hair care regimen.  Jojoba oil is a fabulous carrier oil that mimicks the natural oil our body produces, and it does not leave a sticky or greasy residue.  Lavender oil enhances shine and growth.  Also, I absolutely love Kitoko oil by Affinage Salon Professional.  This can be applied to wet or dry hair and contains Karite Oil, Argan Oil, UV Filter & Vitamins A & E.

4. Protect your locks from the sun, chlorine, salt, etc. The summer can leave hair parched and broken, and this is especially tough on super long hair because you are not cutting off enough to start fresh.  If  I go into a pool or the ocean, my hair stays up in a top knot and way out of the water!  Always.  Also, I wear a hat whenever I’m in the sun for an extended period of time.  Otherwise it can take months and months to undo the damage of summer time adventures.  Like anything else worth achieving, there is some sacrifice involved, but there are ways to make it work and it is so worth it in the end.

5. Do not use heat tools every day.  Design your hair styling calendar to allow multiple no heat days.  For example, I wash my hair on Thursday when I’m home and not doing anything significant that afternoon or evening.  I allow it to air dry with the exception of the front framing layers.  I allow the front pieces to dry for an hour or so, then I blow dry (only the very front section) with a large round brush.  I follow this with my Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron 1.5 Inch (only the very front sections at this time).  Then I usually leave it alone to air dry over night.  Friday I section off my thick hair and go through it all with my flat iron @ 410 degrees.  After this, I will not use the iron again until the following Friday unless it is to touch up a significant kink from sleeping or working out.  Ironing the hair at this high temp. with a safe ionic flat iron actually changes the texture of the hair so that it doesn’t react much to moisture, humidity, etc.   
If I want to add wave to my hair at any time during the week (after it has been straightened), I use a 1.5 inch barrel hot tools curling iron to add a little bend to the ends.  I do this one of two ways.  Either wrap small sections of hair around the barrel without using the clip to achieve a look like the one pictured in this post with me in the striped turtleneck.  For a more traditional glam look, I use this same curling iron with the clip to curl the ends away from my face.  I don’t wear it wavy too often at all.  I prefer my hair straight and sleek, and I find it is much easier to get a full week between washes when I keep it straight.  This way I can brush it out to distribute natural oils through to the ends.

MY FAVORITE PRODUCTS {pictured below}

Kitoko oil  |  Rusk Calm  shampoo & conditioner  |  pure  essential lavender oil  |  pure essential Jojoba oil wooden paddle brush  | MegaFood vegan hair skin & nail vitamin  |  organic flax seed oil

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6.  Be sure to get regular trims. This is essential to maintaining healthy, shiny hair without split ends. I go every eight weeks.  Always

7. Identify a few go-to hair styles that work for you at different stages between washes. When I get to days 4 through 7, I usually use a bit of dry shampoo at the roots and pull my hair up in a top knot (as pictured below, or a lower messy  looped pony tail or a messy braid.  I also love hats! 

 This brings me to a couple of points about finding the best washing schedule for your hair type and lifestyle.  

 TRAINING YOUR HAIR TO GO LONGER BETWEEN WASHES

My hair is extremely thick, course, and naturally wavy so I am able to go the maximum time between washes.  Regardless of hair type, it takes time to train your hair to cooperate with less frequent washing.  I started several years back with every other day, then I went to every third day…then I gradually worked my way up to washing only once every seven days.  The more frequently we wash, the more our scalp produces oil so it ends up being an unhealthy cycle that strips our ends of the oil they require to stay healthy and shiny.

Dry shampoo {favorites here & here}, and go-to up dos are my saving grace when it comes to stretching out time between washes, and less frequent use of  heat tools.  Following all of these basic hair care rules has rendered my hair strong, shiny and easy to manage even though it is super long

I hope this post gives you some direction in tailoring these basics to your own needs.  If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask me in the comment section below or send me an email at classyeverafter@gmail.com

Finally, I will be taking next week off  from blogging.  My hubby is traveling for business and I think I’ll have my hands full with my six kids.  Two human, four furry!  Happy Friday, my friends.

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