"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Natural Hair Secrets

I have what I would call pretty standard, ordinary hair. I'm Asian, so I have very black, moderately thick straight hair, and I'm so lazy that if I can't find my hair brush (or if it's soaking in baking soda, but that's another story) I won't even brush it.

I do, however, have a few tips for really glossy, shiny hair. And because so many people ask me if I straighten my hair and there are so many people with hair in need of love, I'm going to post some very weird tips.

I've become a very crunchy person lately - and my hair care has become very natural and frugal. I swear by these four things: bicarb soda, witch hazel, vinegar and argan oil.

I don't use conventional styling products on a regular basis anymore, and I'm on the lookout for a more organic shampoo that actually works (I haven't had much luck with that, so at the moment I use Schwartzkopft and Dove). Don't believe the hype - once you get split ends, they're done for, and the only thing to do is to hack it off. Products claiming to 'heal' split ends only weigh your hair down with chemicals.

I never straighten or blow dry my hair - and I only curl my hair on special occasions. In the weeks before ball I was curling my hair every weekend and man, it got soooo fried. 

You can add bicarb soda for anything used for cleaning - body wash, shampoo, toothpaste - I use it in my shampoo to strip away hairspray (such as after the ball) and oil without drying out my hair. I have very greasy hair and I normally have to wash my hair every day, but if I add bicarb to my shampoo I can normally stretch to every other day washing. I also use bicarb soda as dry shampoo - on the days that I don't wash my hair, I rub a little bit into the roots (it's a bit too drying for the ends) before I go to bed. It is white, and I do have black hair, but you don't end up with the granny look you get if you use baby powder.

Vinegar is a detangler and also helps to strip your hair of products and oil. After shampooing spray vinegar liberally into wet hair (if your hair is very dry, dilute with water) and leave for a few minutes, then rinse out and condition as normal. 

I use witch hazel as a toner, aftershave and to freshen up, but it also works really well for oily scalps and/or dandruff. Massage a little into the roots of damp hair. Keep away from lengths and ends as it is too drying.

One thing you can put into the lengths and ends of hair is argan oil, which as been used by Moroccan women for face, nails and hair for centuries. I run two drops into my hair when it's damp, and a drop or two in the morning if my hair's gotten a bit frizzy.

I have only dyed my hair once in my life - in year eight, I put red highlights in on a whim. And I loved it. But now, I want to experiment with a more natural alternative to conventional hair dye - henna rouge, which is a conditioning treatment that glazes hair with a red tint that catches the sunlight. I'll post a review of sorts once I've done that.

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