When I was in middle school, Alicia Silverstone and the movie Clueless were the biggest things to hit pop culture since sliced bread. At least, for a pre-teen girl they were. One of the things that stick out in my mind is reading an article about Silverstone, probably in YM or one of those teen magazines, and a quote that I have never forgotten – I’m pretty sure this isn’t verbatim, but it went something like, “There’s one thing she’s never been clueless about, and that’s her hair.” I’m not sure why this stuck with me for so many years, but I have always prided myself on not being clueless about my hair. I try to take care of it, and I am always trying new styles and hair care products.
Something else about me – I love to change my hair up. I’ve had it long, short, mid-length, bobbed, everything. I’ve also changed the color up quite often. It started out with a deep red color (an ode to my obsession with Nancy Drew since I couldn’t pull of strawberry blonde), then I went to caramel, blonde, super blonde, then dark brown, then nearly black, then back to red. Last year I decided that I wanted fun colors in my hair. I did purple, and I did a peachy pink. Sometime in June I decided to keep an ombre look, and Eddie loves it so much that he keeps asking me not to change it to anything else, so I’m keeping it around at least a while longer. BUT keeping the ombre fresh and not looking ragged requires bleaching every couple months, and that can cause some damage to my hair.
I still want to not be clueless about my hair, though, so I’m pretty good about taking care of it. So what’s my secret? There is no secret except for good care! First of all, find a hairstylist who you love and who knows your hair. Someone who you can ask for advice and who won’t just do something because you asked for it, but who will advise you on the best way to go about it. [True story: I went in to see my current stylist for the first time asking her to make my hair silver. She flat out refused and told me it would kill my hair and that it would definitely be a multi-step process over the course of a few months to get there. I still haven’t taken that plunge, but maybe one day!] That’s the kind of stylist you want working on your hair – someone who is looking out for you and for your mane.
Second, get regular cuts! I trim my hair at least every three months. There is no use in having super long hair if it’s shapeless or full of split ends.
Third – give it breaks! Don’t blow dry it every time you wash it. Don’t iron it all the time, either. I used to iron my hair every time I blow-dried it, and it was killing my hair! And guess what? I didn’t need it (this was back when super-duper straight hair was the rage). I blow dry my hair and it’s pin-straight. I was causing undue damage to my hair. So I relaxed on the heat styling, and whoa! What a difference. And if I am going to heat style, I try to use just one tool (blow dryer or iron), not both.
I have also found a hair care routine that works for me and helps keep my color looking good and my tresses feeling soft. I shampoo almost daily, which I know is horrible, but if my hair feels greasy then I just don’t feel clean. I aim for every other day, though. I use ItsA10 Silk Express Miracle Silk Shampoo. It’s sulfate-free and leaves my hair feeling clean but not stripped. Every other wash I use Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo to make sure that the blonde in my hair stays more ash-based and less brassy. I use a purple conditioner for the blonde as well. Once or twice a week, I do a deep conditioning treatment – lately, I’ve been using this one from Schwarzkopf. The days I don’t do a deep conditioning treatment, I use a leave-in for blonde hair. When it’s not looking too shiny, I use a pinch of Farouk Pearl Complex on my ends.