As women, our hair is the most abundantly noticeable expression of who we are. When we meet someone, the first thing they often notice is our hair. Because of this, we tend to feel a lot of pressure to have healthy, voluminous, richly colored locks.
As a hair stylist, the question my clients most often ask me is, “How can I get healthier, shinier hair?” The question I follow up with is, “What kind of shampoo and hair products are you using?” Most often I am not surprised to find that they are using a $2.00 shampoo from a drugstore and not following up with any product to protect their hair from heat. In addition, they are usually using an inexpensive flat iron and blow dryer, purchased at a drugstore. While there is nothing wrong with products from drugstores (I make my trip there once every other week); there are certain products that are worth spending a bit more money on. I completely understand that most people can’t spend hundreds of dollars on hair products. I know I can’t spend a fortune on hair products, although I wish I could. There are certain hair products that cost more upfront, but last longer and decrease the amount of time spent styling your hair; leaving you with healthy, shiny, voluminous hair in a fraction of the time. So, what can you do to make your hair more healthy, shiny, voluminous, and moisturized?
Secret #1- Good Shampoo and Conditioner is KEY
Using a good shampoo and conditioner is key in having healthy hair.
Drug Store Shampoo/Conditioner: Most shampoos and conditioners sold in drug stores have a high amount of water and harsh chemicals, stripping your hair of natural oils. This leaves the hair dry, brittle, and often causes breakage. Many of these companies claim to have high-grade ingredients found in professional shampoos, which they often do contain these ingredients but in small amounts.
Professional Salon Shampoo/Conditioner: Professional salon shampoos and conditioners are often more concentrated with high quality ingredients, this is why they tend to cost more. Since these products are more concentrated, they tend to last longer if used correctly. Considering the amount of shampoos you can get using a salon-grade shampoo/conditioner, it doesn’t cost much more to use good shampoo and conditioner.
My Favorite Professional Salon Shampoos
Pureology Hydrate Shampoo/Conditioner ($35.25)
Matrix Biolage Hydra-Source Shampoo/Conditioner ($31.95)
Great websites with more information on drugstore vs. professional hair products:
Architeqt Salon & Gallery
The Every Girl
Confessions of a Cosmetologist
Secret #2- Use a Professional Blow Dryer
This is a secret that has been a recent find. I used to educate my clients on the harmful effects of cheap shampoo and conditioner as well as the damage done on your hair by using a cheap flat iron. What I didn’t understand was how much harm is done by using an inexpensive blow dryer. Often times inexpensive blow dryers come with high heat and little power, causing you to dry your hair for a longer amount of time. This exposes your hair to unneeded heat, causing it to dry out. Also, some professional blow dryers contain conditioning nano beads which seal your hair’s cuticle while drying. This helps the hair to look and feel soft and shiny.
My Favorite Inexpensive Professional Blow Dryers:
Babyliss Pro has great blow dryers that are very affordable, these are my favorite:
Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium ($79.99)
Babyliss Pro Ceramic Xtreme ($59.99)
Secret #3- Use a Professional Flat Iron
It is SO important to use a professional flat iron on your hair for a number of reasons. First, cheaply made flat irons are usually made out of glass or metal. These products do not heat well and will not distribute the heat evenly through your hair as your are styling. This will damage your hair and won’t hold the styling all day, causing you to repeat the process again later in the day, exposing your hair to more heat than needed. Also, because of these not holding heat properly, to get the hair to straighten you usually have to turn the heat up higher than necessary. Second, cheaply made flat irons have either a single floating plate or fixed plates. These plates will not completely touch while straightening your hair, which will not flatten each piece of hair. This requires repeat straightening over a strand numerous times, exposing it to more unneeded heat and requiring a LOT of flat ironing time. Lastly, professional flat irons last a lot longer that cheaply made flat irons. I have had each of my professional flat irons for over 5 years, well worth the $200 initial investment.
My Favorite Professional Flat Irons
ghd Classic Styler 1″ Flat Iron ($136.86)
Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium 1″ Flat Iron ($129.95)
Secret #4- Use Leave-In Treatment
I prefer to use a leave-in conditioner and oil. This helps to hydrate and moisturize the hair while adding the shine that I love.
My Favorite Leave-In Conditioners:
It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin ($30.50)
Pureology Colour Fanatic Hair Treatment Spray with 21 Benefits ($19.40)
My Favorite Oils:
Moroccan Oil Hair Treatment ($50.00)
This lasts forever!! If you have finer hair I would recommend getting the light version.
Marrakesh kaHm Smoothing Treatment ($16.50)
This also help to straighten and smooth out the hair as you are blow drying.
Secret #5- NEVER USE A BOX COLOR
As a hair stylist, if I could recommend you do ONE thing for your hair, it would be to avoid using box color. The chemicals they use in cheap color are extremely harsh on your hair causing breakage, stripping of natural oils, and there is no guarantee on what color you could end up with (I know from experience). If you can’t afford to get your hair colored in a salon, I would avoid coloring your hair altogether. There are also options for coloring portions of your hair that may be a better option if you are looking to save money. For example: some salons offer strip weaves (weaving along your part), this adds color to the top of your hair and is usually cheaper than a partial or full weave. Also, if you are coloring your hair to cover grey, ask your stylist if you could color just your roots every other time to help save money. Some stylists are okay doing this, others may not feel like this would be the best option for you.
My Favorite Professional Hair Color:
Redken is the color line I use most often. It covers grey well, has fantastic red shades, and the color holds fantastic! They have a semi-permanent, permanent cream color, and permanent get color line. I love each line and have been using Redken color for 10 years with great results!
I hope this helps you start your journey to having healthier, shinier hair. Please comment below with any questions!
The Polished Pearls Sister- Whitney