Apparently, my hair is my life. Believe me, I am as surprised by this fact of vanity as anyone. Had you checked with me about my philosophy of life a mere ten days prior, I can assure you that my hair would not have made the cut for my Top Ten Important Things.
Sure, I’ve had the typical number of issues with my hair over the years, but since I’ve always had plenty of it, I had options. That is until that day when I got a very bad haircut.
I could go into long and agonizing detail, but suffice it to say I went in with a full head of hair and came out five pounds lighter. Let’s just say that Mr. Salon Owner (not exactly your Edward Scissorhands) thinned me out—a technique only fitness trainers should attempt.
To say I was beside myself is to make a gross understatement. I cried. No, I wailed. I shampooed, conditioned, blow-dried, and styled. But to no avail. What hair remained was thin and stringy—a situation without possibility of repair.
I didn’t need extensions, I needed a miracle. Only time could heal my broken heart. Not even my husband’s choice words of compassion (“It doesn’t look any different to me …”) could console me.
A year. That’s how long it would take for all the short layers to grow out to a respectable length. In fact, I told my dearest friends to mark the date on their calendars. I would not be fully happy again until a year from that Friday.
Over the following few days, something remarkable took place. Being jerked from my haircare rut forced me to learn some new techniques. I tried a new hair product (can you say “volumizing?”), I perfected a new styling technique. I chose to see this situation through new eyes. I got a new attitude. I decided I could choose to be miserable, or I could grow up. Believe me, the words shallow and self-absorbed crossed my mind and not in a welcoming way.
Everything is going to be okay, became my new mantra. In fact, ten days does make quite a difference not only in hair but in all kinds of life surprises. Time does heal, and attitude changes can make all the difference.
What I was sure would take a year to placate required less than a month. Perhaps even a couple of weeks. I have to admit that the new feeling of “lightness” was not all bad. I didn’t have a single headache for days on end; my hair dried in half the time and I saved a fortune in shampoo.
I’m determined to not forget the lesson of my bad haircut. Any initial jolt in life whether financial, physical, relational or spiritual—can hit us in such a way as to completely skew our vision. It’s difficult to see the big picture because we are too close to the event. But choosing to step back to see the situation in a better light and from a different perspective can do wonders. What appears to be hopeless one day, isn’t quite so bad the next and can even help us to grow and be better after a little time has passed.
Of course a great can of hairspray can’t hurt.
Currently, I’m using Suave Professionals Shine Shampoo Moroccan Infusion. Loving it a lot. It is suitable for all hair types whether colored or not. The second ingredient is Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), which if you’re following along you know is mild, which makes this shampoo a great choice.
This particular Suave shampoo contains Argon oil, which is not a bad thing! This shampoo is most affordable when it’s on sale for $1.25 (my local supermarket, and you can be sure I grabbed a few).
I have adopted Nexxus Conditioner into my routine, as recommended by my hairdresser. My hair is dry, I live in a dry climate, my hair is (surprise!) color-treated and this product is very gentle. This conditioner comes in a huge size and since I get at least 4 days out of a hairstyle, they last a very long time.
Just a tiny amount of Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment that I work well into my wet hair softens my hair and creates shine without weighing it down. This really makes blowing dry so much easier, too. I’m convinced this helps my hairdo to be revivable for 4 days (seriously, I don’t shampoo daily) without losing its shape and manageability. Love this stuff.
Next, I squirt just a small amount of Got2b Volumaniac Bodifying Hair Mousse (about the size of a ping-pong ball—not too much, go easy) into my hands and distribute this through my hair at the roots using my fingers—but only at the crown, back and sides; not the bang area because I don’t want large volume ‘80s bangs. Creates fabulous volume without adding weight or making my hair feel greasy.
It took a while, but with considerable research and many trials (and errors), I replaced each of my M.A.C. items with a drugstore product. My criterion was that the replacement had to be cheaper but of an equal or better quality.
Once my hair is dry and it’s the way I want it, I grab a dab of Living Proof Amp2 Instant Texture Volumizer. Using my fingers, I work this stuff all through my dry and styled hair. It sets the style and makes it so easy to do the final styling, which I do with my fingers. What I love is that it stays touchable (never crunchy or stiff) and lets me give it that “piece-y” look. It really does create visual texture and that’s what I’m going for.
In my lifetime I’m sure I have tried out every kind of hairspray known to womankind. I even hold the distinction of having the hair and makeup woman on the Leeza Gibbons Show tell me I had bullet-proof hair—that’s how stiff it was when I sat down in her chair. She came this close to needing a jackhammer to get me ready for showtime.
She, mercifully, introduced me to Sebastian Professional Shaper Hairspray, (not Shaper Plus, which I find too heavy and stiff) which I have used for years, and still do. I get it at my supermarket, King Soopers. But also available online.
It’s not the cheapest (I’ve blown through so many cheap hairdryers in my life), but the T3i Featherweight Professional is right up there at the top for ease-of-use, functionality, and results.
This is a high-end, salon-quality dryer. T3i produces the two things I need most in a dryer: high heat and high power. It dries my hair fast without drying it out. It really is the perfect blend of beauty and function for so many reasons you can read about.
There they are, the 7 hair products I use, love, and depend on to keep bad hair days at bay!
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