Hating My Hair Less

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A few weeks ago I talked about my hair crisis. Read the post, but if you are short on time, here’s a recap. A total stranger told me I had bad hair at a beauty convention of all places. I felt bad about myself. But then I realized I wasn’t trying hard enough to have good hair, so I’m going balls to the wall to do it now.

So, I know what you are thinking…really how hard is it to just use some extra conditioner? Girl, this is way more than just some extra conditioner. I surpassed needing extra conditioner around the time I exited my mother’s womb. Getting good hair is practically a lifestyle choice at this point. I’m putting in effort much in the same way someone studies for the Bar Exam or opens up an Etsy Shop. That being said, if you make clip in or halo extensions and want to collab, please get in touch (AmandaLauren212@gmail.com). I think a temporary fix might just be in order for my next post.

So, the whole “lifestyle change” about this involves hours of my life I’ll never get back and days of leaving in two different kinds of hair oil. This is a big commitment. If I didn’t work at home, I would have been fired from my job already because sometimes it looks like I haven’t washed my hair for a year. If it weren’t for topknots being trendy, I’d be screwed.

I’ve been using Black Castor Oil several days a week on my scalp and roots as well as my brows and lashes because why not. Before I started this hair journey (ugh), I learned castor oil is a natural fix to grow your hair because it balances out your scalp’s pH and is an antifungal as well as an antimicrobial. I don't think I have fungus or microbe issues with my scalp, but I'm attacking this from all angles. Castor oil also moisturizes your hair like crazy, sealing in the cuticle. I’ve heard of people who have hair growth of anywhere from ½ an inch to three inches in a month. While I haven’t taken a ruler to my roots just yet, my fingers are very much crossed. These things take time and patience, but let’s be honest here, for the most part, I have neither. 

I’ve also been using Kiehl’s Magic Elixir on my roots and ends. It’s a blend of rosemary leaf and avocado oils. The texture of this product is much thinner than castor oil, so I can leave the house without looking like a giant grease ball. My hair feels as if it is getting a little thicker, so I’m hoping this product lives up to its name. Also, I will probably buy anything that is called magic.

Because my hair is super oily several days a week, I’ve had to be very particular about shampoo. I’ve needed something that washes the oil out, but is still gentle, which is why I’m all about Alterna Caviar Repair Instant Recovery Shampoo. Doesn't the name really say it all? This product is also sulfate and paraben free, so it doesn’t fade my color, but it still lathers as if it is entirely filled with chemicals even though it’s not. 

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I’ve also been going conditioner crazy, alternating between three different ones, which are Alterna Caviar Repair Instant Recovery Conditioner, Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Mask, and L’Ange Silk Venom Keratin Treatment Mask (use coupon code AMANDA for 30% off). Three different conditioners sounds excessive, but it's not because my hair always looks better when I switch things up. These also have different purposes. The L’Ange mask builds keratin, so you can’t use it more than twice a week. I use the Alterna Mask to restore moisture, which it does in spades and the Alterna Conditioner is great for when I’m too busy to commit to a mask or when I am air drying my hair.

Speaking of air drying, I’m trying to do that more often because more heat = more damage. There are three great products I’ve found for airdrying. The first is Alterna Bamboo Beach Breeze Dry Balm. I have naturally wavy hair and love a good beach wave look.  This balm is also a great multitasker because it protects your hair against UV rays, salt water, and chlorine. I know it’s fall, but I live in California and it was 96 degrees yesterday, so clearly, the whole seasons thing isn’t a part of my pumpkin spiced life.

Once my hair dries, I refresh my waves with Alterna Bamboo Beach Ocean Waves Tousled Texture Spray. This product does all the same things as a sea salt spray, sans the damaging effects of salt. I also use it post curling wand to define my beach waves instead of hairspray.

If I’m letting my hair air dry, but plan to flatiron before the next wash, I use Garnier Fructis Smooth Air Dry Sleek Anti-Frizz Cream . It’s scented like fruity heaven.

In addition to using lots of new products and changing up my hair routine, I’ve literally been eating vitamins like candy. I’m hoping chowing down Alive Prenatal Gummies and Nature Made Hair/Skin/Nails Adult Gummies will do the trick. While I’m not pregnant, taking prenatals is rumored, but not scientifically proven to stimulate hair growth. But I don’t care. At this point, I’ll try anything. 

How To Be A Blonde Bombshell & Fight Brass With Sass

Photo by Hayley Fisk. Makeup by  Kinx Active .

Photo by Hayley Fisk. Makeup by Kinx Active.

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When I was a little girl, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would have probably said blonde. Luckily, I was able to achieve that goal by high school with a whole lot of bleach on my naturally blah brown hair. I haven’t really gone back since. (Okay, three times, but I think I’m blonde for life now.) 

But, being blonde is a commitment. It’s time consuming and expensive. In addition to not being naturally blonde, I have another huge hair problem. Left to its own devices, my hair is dry AF. It also doesn’t grow as long and gorgeous like it appears to for every other woman I know. So, my life, at least in terms of what I focus on from a vanity standpoint, has been a constant battle to achieve a presentable looking head of hair. Yes, it’s annoying, but for the first time in a long time, I think I’m having more good hair days than bad ones.

In my quest for blonde, I’ve tried EVERYTHING. If your hair is blonde, dry and annoying, you don’t have to suffer through what I did. Here are the essentials to being the best blonde you can be.

A Product Squad To Combat Brass

In college, I thought it would be fun to go strawberry blonde. It was cute, but it ruined my hair forever. Ever since, my hair wants to be red and brassy all of the time. It’s a constant battle for a brass-free head.

Beating the brass starts with purple shampoo. But be forewarned, purple shampoo is kind of a lifestyle choice. It’s powerful stuff. My shower sometimes looks like I murdered Barney the Dinosaur.  But if you’re blonde, it’s a necessity.

As you can imagine, I’ve tried ALL THE PURPLE SHAMPOOS. My personal favorite is Kevin Murphy Blonde Angel Wash. It’s doesn’t dry my hair out and the packaging prevents bathtub staining, which is a huge issue with most purple shampoos. If you need an extra purple boost, add the Blonde Angel Conditioner to your routine once a week or more.

Another option is using a toner like Dessange CC Cream. This treatment cuts brass so well, I wouldn’t trust it around a trumpet. Pro tip: actually read the directions before you use this product.

A Conditioner That Works Like A Therapist For Your Hair’s Dryness Issue

Going blonde will make anyone’s hair prone to dryness. I really like Terax Original Crema. It was all the rage in middle school, went away for a few and was recently(ish) re-launched in 2016. Crema is creamy, but doesn’t weigh my hair down. I like to leave it in for a few hours once a week for an extra moisture boost instead of using a mask.

A Special Hair Towel

Although I love my Ralph Lauren towels to dry off my body, regular towels split your ends like a bad divorce. That’s why I use the Laguna Blue towel on my hair. Made of microfiber, it’s anti-bacterial (great if you wash your hair at the gym), eco-friendly, and most importantly (let’s be honest here) it absorbs water twice as fast as a regular towel. Seriously, it’s like the diamond lane for your hair.

Oil For Your Ends At Night

I love Kopari Coconut Sheer Oil. It’s a great multitasker you can use you on your hair, body, face, etc (just don’t eat it). I put a few drops on my palms at night and apply it to my ends before I go to bed. No need to wash off.

Sun Protection

We all use sun protection for our skin (hopefully), but we rarely think of using it for our hair. Despite what you remember from using Sun-In when you were 12, sun is actually the enemy of blonde hair. It will brass it up like a bad jazz band. But you can’t just use your face sunscreen on your hair. (If you were wondering, I tried and it didn’t end well). There are two products I really like for this purpose. One is Fekkai Pre-Soleil Hair Mist. It’s very hydrating and has a UV filter.  It also smells like heaven. If my hair is extra dry or I’m planning on getting it wet, I use Nios Shield SPF 15 Leave-In Conditioner. It’s super creamy and a little work to apply, but it will immediately take away your fear of the ocean or pool destroying your locks.

A Hat (This Is Not A Fashion Tip)

Even with product, I still think the best way to protect your hair is with a hat. I like a straw fedora because they look cute with most swimwear and clothing. These hats from Forever21 and Kate Spade are all you need.

Say "Oui" To Dessange Paris & A Bonus Giveaway

Some people are blessed with naturally beautiful hair that looks like a shampoo commercial straight out of the shower. I am not one of those people. A bottle blonde with high maintenance hair, I am what Dessange Paris kindly calls a “California Blonde.”

Dessange Paris is the namesake line of legendary French hairstylist, Jacques Dessange. Monsieur Dessange is known for working with Brigitte Bardot and pioneering the balayage technique that so many us blondes rely on for subtle but striking highlights. Luckily, you don’t need to fly Air France (Première Classe, s'il vous plaît ) to get your hands on his luxurious products, you just have to visit your local Target (say it like the French, Tar-jay). Très accessible! 

How To Be A California Girl In France

There are four products in the California Blonde line including Shampoo, Conditioner, Illuminating Elixir and CC Cream. Using all of them in conjunction with each other will lead to shiny, natural looking blonde hair. You will also have the envy of everyone around you whether you are at brunch in Beverly Hills or toasting in St. Tropez. 

CC Cream

The CC Cream is a bright purple toner that tells brassiness to take a hike off your tresses. The angled tip of the tube makes it easy to get the product in your hair and not all over your bathroom. 

I’ve tried many purple treatments because my hair has a tendency to get really brassy in the California sun. Seriously, I haven’t found another product that works quite as well as Dessange does, especially for the price. I even saved money when I had my hair colored because my stylist didn’t have to use toner on me. That says a lot about the quality of the product. It is truly the hero of the California Blonde line. 

Illuminating Elixir

Illuminating Elixir makes my blonde pop, but doesn’t feel heavy, or make my hair greasy. I use it before blow-drying to prevent damage and fading. My hair ends up baby soft. A great multi-tasker, it also helps to de-frizz and style the next day. 

Shampoo & Conditioner

One of the first things I noticed about the shampoo and conditioner was their fragrance. If you could bottle sophisticated sunshine and add a touch of luxury, it would smell like Dessange. The scent is very subtle, essentially the opposite of most typical American hair products.

In addition to smelling good, the shampoo and conditioner truly exceeded my expectations. To be honest, the first time I tried them was just after I went swimming in the pool. Chlorine usually leaves my hair with a green tint that takes a few washes to get rid of. The Shampoo made my hair squeaky clean without drying it out and the conditioner left my hair super silky. It was like having an express ticket to Buttery Blondeville. 

Are You Ready to Say Oui To Dessange Paris?

Even if you aren’t blonde, Dessange has several lines to meet your hair care needs including Oleo (dry/damged), Color Restore (dyed), Solar Blonde (naturally blonde), and Purifying Clay (balancing). There are shampoos, conditioners and some very innovative products including Purifying Clay Pre-Shampoo Mask, Lightening Treatment and Sun Spray.            

Are you excited about Dessange Paris? Enter the giveaway below to get your hands on the entire line. Yes, that is every single product pictured here!