My Hair Journey
Updated: Sep 29
How I went from being bullied for having "bad hair" to being constantly asked for hair advice.
*Disclaimer: Purchases made through the links provided on thefinerefine.com may result in a commission to us at no additional cost to you. For more information please read our full disclaimer.
I believed I had "bad hair" for my entire childhood. I have very thick, very dry, coarse hair and LOTS of it, something I love today but hated my entire life. For the majority of my childhood I wore my hair up in a ponytail or a tight bun. I was constantly labeled by hairstylists, friends and family as having "bad hair" so I thought there wasn't much I could do about it. Boy were they wrong.
I spent my teenage years like every teenager doing dumb things to my hair. I dyed it, fried it, chopped it and damaged my hair so bad it became the center of my universe. My whole life revolved around my hair, for instance, if I had just gotten a blowout I wouldn't dare do anything that would involve breaking a sweat much less go out on a humid day.
Due to my rather unhealthy hair care mistakes, my hair would never grow past my shoulders no matter how long I went between cuts.
I was never truly happy with my hair and I never felt confident about it until I finally had enough!!!! I made a PLAN. I scoured the internet, I had dermatology consults, I read up on ingredients and studied my own hair. I put more effort into finding my hair remedy than I did into completing my doctorate degree.
And I finally, through trial and error (mostly error) discovered the formula to achieve the best hair of my life.
Now if you are a thin-haired, texture free, not much hair-issues person, then my saving grace hair routine may not be for you. But if you have dry, frizzy, unruly, dull, damaged hair then you're welcome.
The first and most important piece of advice: TIME is your hair's best friend. Nothing will magically erase all of the damage done to your hair in one sitting, you have to give this process TIME.
Here are the changes I made to achieve the hair of my dreams.
01. I stopped washing my hair every day
Dry, textured, frizzy, thick hair cannot be washed every day, your scalp produces oils that your hair needs and because of your waves or curls it takes longer for these oils to travel down your hair shaft than it does for our straighter-haired friends.
***This is why people with straighter hair tend to have oilier hair as well.
I started my journey by washing my hair every 4 days and *wow* with time I started to see a difference.
Today I can go up to a week during the colder months without a wash.
02. I completely changed up the way I wash my hair
I call it a Reverse Wash *
If you suffer from dry, frizzy, damaged hair you know that your hair needs every bit of moisture and stripping it of what little moisture it has with your shampoo is counterproductive. But how do you rid your scalp of excessive oil, product and dead skin without stripping your dry ends?
Well you reverse-wash.
I start by conditioning my midlength to ends BEFORE I apply shampoo or scalp treatment to my scalp and crown, and then rinse it all out. The shampoo and scalp treatment (which can be very drying) never touch my midlength to ends. After I rinse everything out, I apply a super hydrating hair mask throughout.
Here's my full reverse-wash routine
In the shower I apply conditioner to my wet ends.
While my ends are being conditioned I apply a scalp specific cleansing product directly to my scalp and leave that in. ***I choose the product depending on my scalps condition sometimes it needs a stronger wash sometimes I need a dandruff wash.
While that is on my scalp I apply a cleansing conditioner to the hair of my crown. This is the part of the hair that is oiliest but less damaged. (#2 and #3 are interchangeable depending on which products I'm using)
I let those 3 sit for a couple minutes and then rinse them out.
Now we mask to deep condition. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.
Detangle your hair while the conditioner is still on with a tangle teezer. (This will make your hair easier to detangle)
Rinse your hair and dry with a microfiber towel.
While your hair is still damp, apply leave in conditioner and scalp treatment.
Air-dry hair (I like to air dry my hair in 2 braids or 2 buns, both give me heatless curls.)
Heat style (If you need it, I try to only heat style my roots to keep em tamed for everyday)
**Doing this once a week has SAVED my hair, but remember your hair j
Some of my Holy Grail Products
Every time an innovative product comes on the market I have to put it to the test and in recent years nothing has made me happier than k18's leave in mask... It's great for *once again* dry, damaged hair.
***If this isn't your hair type please do your research before trying these products****
03. I switched out my hair ties
I started to notice that a lot of the breakage in my hair was at the level where my ponytail or buns sit. So I stopped using traditional hair ties and switched to silk hair ties and scrunchies. The fabric won't snag on the hair causing breakage.
04. I switched out my pillowcase
Silk pillowcases are so soft and slippery that they will allow your hair to just glide over the pillow. This prevents static frizz and reduces tangles so you can wake up to less frizzy, easy to manage hair.
The hardest thing about switching to a silk pillowcase is the shine clashes with my bedroom aesthetic. So I just bought a silk bonnet (time will tell if this is an adequate substitute or not).
05. I switched from regular heat styling to the Dyson Air Wrap and Flat Iron for my hair styling
I had to save for a while for this. This is not a cheap hairstyler by any means, but it is so worth it for the features. I always let my hair air dry, but then I use the flat iron on my roots and the Airwrap midlength to ends. This really limits the amount of heat I use on my hair helping keep it shiny and healthy.
06. I make sure I get my Biotin in
Healthier hair starts from within. If you're looking to grow your hair look no further than this little supplement with the added bonus that its great for your nails too !
07. I do my own Keratin treatments **only on my roots**
Tedious yes... but keratin treatments are amazing at keeping frizz at bay. I set aside a few hours every 4 months to touch up my roots (that way I don't have to do my whole head).
*I can't say enough good things about this kit I get on Amazon. I've purchased this 3 times now and each kit allows for about 3 applications on my roots every 4 months.
Applying it on my roots lets the rest of my hair retain some volume.
08. I get a haircut once a year (...and I do it myself)
Every time I go to the hair salon and I ask for a cut I get too much taken off. So I went to one of my favorite hair & beauty gurus @Carlibybels youtube channel and learned how to cut it myself. Albeit her methods are not hairdresser approved but with time and practice I've learned what works best for me.
In my case, longer hair with longer layers works great for me, my hair is very voluminous so the weight helps keep it in place.
09. I switched hair dyes for hair glosses
After I was well into my hair care journey and seeing results I dyed my hair a lighter brown and there went all my progress. My hair once again became porous and dull. So I said goodbye to dyes once and for all. (*wishing some day someone invents a non damaging dye)
Now I go with hair glosses, these will elevate your hair color without the damage of traditional hair dyes. It's also way cheaper and time-saving than having to keep up with colorist appointments because you can do some of these at home.
My favorite in-salon gloss is still: Redken Shades EQ
My favorite at-home gloss and *Allure best in beauty 2022 winner* is L'Oreal Le Color Gloss
Have you tried a dye, product or tool that you swear by? I love to try all recommendations from fellow dry haired people.
Comment, email or DM me !
*Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more info