When it comes to my hair, I’m not very adventurous. I can be terribly picky regarding shampoos, conditioners, leave-in treatments, and other haircare products. Either the product has too strong of a scent, it leaves a filmy residue on my hair, or it feels too heavy. As for styling, my long locks are either twisted up into a top-knot or naturally draped down. Like I said, I’m not very adventurous. I stick with what I know–my go-to’s–without much wiggle room.
My hair is long, fine, and has a slight natural body wave to it. I take a 5,000 mcg Biotin supplement daily, which is said to promote greater hair, skin, and nail health. I have seen improvement in all of those areas–especially in my the growth and thickness of my hair–since I started taking the supplement about a year ago. As for my wash routine, I typically shampoo every other day; sometimes every two days, depending on the products I’ve used in my hair the previous day (hairspray, leave-in conditioners, and hair masks), and how the natural oils on my hair have settled. Given that my hair is rather fine, I opt for natural haircare products that don’t contain harsh chemicals, color-draining sulfates, or strong fragrances. I’ve had my fair share of trial-and-error with haircare products, but that only made finding the perfect shampoo and conditioner duo even more worth it!
There’s a discount liquidator near where I live that sells various items at very reasonable prices, including haircare products. Each time I visit this particular liquidator, it’s truly a hit-or-miss experience: Sometimes there are rows and rows of good-quality, top-brand haircare products; other times, the shelves are barren, scattered with random, off-brand bottles and creams. Luck was on my side on my most recent shopping trip there, where I found two different shampoo and conditioner brands to try: Shea Moisture and Hask.
Having already been familiar with Shea Moisture’s skin care line, I was excited to discover their haircare line. This particular line features a 10-in-1 Renewal System, which is advertised as being “age defying, color protecting, hydrating, strengthening, nourishing, and anti-stress.” There are no parabens, harsh alcohols, phthalates, or sulfates found in either product. A bonus is that Shea Moisture is promoted as a cruelty-free line, which means zero animal testing. Both the shampoo and conditioner contain marula oil and biotin, which are said to promote and maintain overall hair health and hair vitality. The fact that I found both the shampoo and the conditioner for less than $3.50 per bottle left me squealing with joy as I tossed them into my shopping basket. I had high expectations for these products, and the dynamic duo didn’t let me down. The shampoo has a light aroma likened to that of a mix of various sweet, ripe melon varieties. It’s lightweight yet still creates a rich, luscious lather–a quality that I’ve noticed some natural, limited-ingredient shampoos lack. The conditioner has a slightly different aroma, which was less sweet-smelling and instead more tart. It softens my hair without leaving it feeling heavy or with a filmy residue, which are major checkmarks in my beauty book. My hair looks more vibrant, fuller, and softer since switching to this haircare line. Overall, I’m very pleased with this Shea Moisture line (and so are my long locks!).
In addition to the Shea Moisture products I found, I also discovered a haircare line that was completely new to me, Hask. Similar to Shea Moisture, Hask’s Kalahari Melon Oil shampoo and conditioner are both sulfate-free, phthalate-free, paraben-free, dye-free, and contain no harsh, drying alcohols. This particular line promotes Hask’s Color-Shield Complex, which utilizes an ultra-violet absorber to prevent colored-treated hair from prolonged damage and fading, making this duo ideal for those with color-treated hair. I found each bottle for less than $3.50–another incredibly great deal.
After just one use of Hask’s products, I noticed my hair appeared shinier and softer. The scent of both the shampoo and conditioner is reminiscent of that of fresh honeydew melon–sweet, crisp, and light. The shampoo creates a nice lather and rinses well. The conditioner is very lightweight and leaves my hair feeling softer, with no residue. I also noticed that when I use these two products together, I can usually go two days without washing my hair and without it looking oily. Another great haircare find for this girl! I highly recommend this brand, especially if you have color-treated hair.
Now that I’ve described in detail the two shampoo brands I’m currently using, I can get into my daily haircare routine. As I mentioned in the beginning of this blog post, I don’t wash my hair every day. The oils that our hair follicles produce are vital to the overall health of our hair shaft. Stripping our hair of those oils by over-washing can actually do more harm than good. With that being said, I will share my haircare routine for wash days and for no-wash days.
On wash days, I use one of the two shampoo and conditioner duos that I discussed above. I wash once, working up a rich lather for about three to five minutes. After I thoroughly rinse my hair, I apply a quarter-sized amount of conditioner, running my fingers gently through my hair. I let the conditioner soak into my hair until I finish the rest of my shower routine, which lasts about five minutes, give or take. After my second rinse, my hair is ready to be toweled dry. I typically don’t blow dry my hair unless I’m in a rush and need to have my hair dried quickly. While it’s not the most convenient practice, I’ve noticed that allowing my hair to air-dry has helped with repairing areas of damage near the crown of my head. The same goes for flat-ironing my hair: I will only do it on special occasions. With limited exposure to excessive heat, my hair appears less damaged, and instead more hydrated and vibrant.
While my hair is still damp, I generously spritz my strands with Renpure’s coconut water leave-in conditioning mist (pictured left). I found this particular product as I strolled through the haircare aisles of Target, deciding on a whim to experiment with it. It’s sulfate-free, phthalate-free, paraben-free, and has limited ingredients. I’m so glad I gave this product a chance because I absolutely love this leave-in conditioner: It carries a very light, mildly sweet aroma of coconut, it’s lightweight, and it doesn’t make my hair appear overly shiny or heavily product-laden, which past leave-in treatments typically have done. Post-spritz, I gently comb my hair with a paddle brush, which has distinct raised bristles that are said to be more gentle on wet/damp hair strands than regular hairbrushes. Once my hair is dry, I’m ready to move onto my daily makeup routine, and then take on the day ahead!
On no-wash days, my routine feels so much easier and less involved (probably because it is!). I simply grab my trusty aerosol can of Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo (pictured right), separate my top part, and begin the spraying process. I lift my hairline in about four different segments, spraying each individual part, including behind my ears, around my crown, and my hairline. Then, I flip head down and spray the underside of my hair. Once I flip my head back up, I spray my hands with a small amount of dry shampoo and run my fingers gingerly through my hair. Fully doused in the glory that is dry shampoo, I take my paddle brush to my hair and viola–my hair is considered taken care of for the day. Easy peasy, right?
Well, there you have it–my daily haircare routines! When it comes to my hair, I like to make matters as low-maintenance as possible, which comes in handy on busy, rushed mornings (especially once college starts back up in the fall). I try to adhere to practices that will help in my effort to maintain healthy hair, and I really do see the benefit in making the switch to natural, limited-ingredient products. Given my hair’s current overall health, I would say that my hair is thankful for the extra care!