For as long as I remember, I’ve been a hair girl. Makeup, nails other beauty routines or items fell by the wayside, but when it came to hair- I was interested. I’m finding I’ve been getting lots of questions as late about my hair, such as if it’s real- how often do I cut it/ wash it etc. Well before all that- I guess we’ll do a little chronologic recap some of my misadventures with my hair obsession and what I’ve learned along the way.
Back in the day when in grade school, similar to now I had long unruly, wavy hair. Unequipped with the knowledge and styling products of today, I hated it. I wanted the teased hair sprayed layers of my classmates and it hurt like hell when my mom combed it out or braided it- Altogether I wanted it GONE.
And when she finally relented and let me cut it, I gradually started to go through long hair withdrawal and started what I like to call my seven year itch- you know, the one where I hack my hair then work on growing it to great lengths and somewhere along the lines decided to hack it again and start the whole vicious cycle again?
Well fast forward through high school to university into which I would call my “experimental” years. Don’t worry mom, we are talking about hair here. I went through- bleached, platinum stage which I don’t recommend as a student without the $$ for routine upkeep, I believe my dad was visiting and asked if I was going for the skunk look. Then there was the “Rod Stewart” where I proceed to hack all my distressed, fried hair and box dyed it a lovely shade of auburn. Oooh and how could I forget my afro perm- yep I wanted the tightest curls known to man for some reason and then I spent more money than I care to admit to get sewn in hair extensions that took about 5 hours to put in, and then approximately after a 30 minute car ride of tears another 2 hours for my mom to take it out… Point is, I’ve been really horrible to my hair in the past but finally through the years I’ve found what works for me.
And I guess I could see my hair as a reflection of identity. In the past I had cut my long hair to have comment that I now fit the corporate image of what my employer envisioned of “management” and that it should further help elevate my career to have a new sleek, refined look. I’m pretty sure they never commented to my peer when he came in with a new buzz cut though… although I went on to quit that management job and start my own company 8 months later.
Always being a bit rebellious to conventional thought, that comment instantly made me determined to deliver my abilities regardless of having a “mature”, refined look, because to be honest there are still ways to achieve this with long hair in the workplace. I think the key is to finding a look and style that makes you feel most beautiful and confident and that will shine through in other aspects and abilities of life.
But regardless, through my personal hair evolution I’ve found just changing up a few things in my routine has added in dividends to my hair health. So after a long winded dissertation of trials and tribulations, here are some of the questions I’ve been getting and wanted to answer for you:
Do you wear extensions? Nope, not anymore. I have experimented with various forms of extensions with shorter hair in the past, but now do not use even temporary pieces to fill things in.
How often to you get your hair done: I’m pretty lucky that I only have a few grey hairs but I usually touch up my colour every 6-8 weeks and instead of “trimming” my hair every time or avoiding trimming to achieve length, my hairdresser Natalie taught me about “dusting” my hair and it’s honestly made all the difference in my hair health. For those not sure of what dusting is, less than 1/4 inch is taken off at a time and it minimizes hair damage and maximizes growth. Not cutting your hair may result in more growth but it won’t help your hair reach it’s fullest, healthiest potential. So dust away I say!
How often do you wash/ Style it?: I used to wash my hair everyday. Sometimes twice if I went to the gym. But between the colour treatments, styling and washing my hair was a crunchy, dried out mess. So I learned that dry shampoo is my friend and I minimize washing to once every other or third day if say its the weekend! And if I do need to do more frequent washes, I stick to shampooing only around the crown of the head and deep condition at least once a week.
Do you take any vitamins?: I started taking marine collagen and hair and nail gummies from Costco that contain Biotin last year and swear by it. It also find it helps hydrate my skin in what can be some pretty dry conditions in Alberta in the wintertime. And I also found it helped my hair feel thicker or fuller, a few years ago I found my hair started to feel thinner and this combination seemed to help combat that.
Other things I try and do- let my hair air dry as much as possible before styling and after surgery I found I had become anemic, so taking a blood booster supplements has also provided a side benefits for my hair!