I have always had “high-maintenance” hair. Never having been able to just ‘wash and go’ like some of my friends, I thought I needed an entourage of expensive products to keep my coif in order. I didn’t realize how much damage certain products could do – especially decades ago, before I was aware of common toxins included in lifestyle and beauty products. It started back in seventh grade when I discovered “Sun-In” (a drugstore-purchased ‘hair lightener’) that completely damaged my hair, not to mention turned it a lovely brassy orange-y color. I believe I thought it was also a good idea to get a perm that year (I had no idea that my hair was actually naturally wavy!) Not surprisingly, my damaged hair didn’t take the perm properly, so it was a hideous combination of tight curls at the roots and stringy, limp strands at the ends.
Needless to say, I learned my lesson: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Thankfully, my mom took me to the salon the next time I wanted highlights. Since this traumatic hair incident, I’ve been very conscious of what I put in and on my hair through the years. From shampoos and conditioners to styling products and hair spray, I have tried a TON – and found some that I love and that work for my hair type.
I have naturally wavy hair that is ‘normal’ but leaning more to the dry side – and I have found the ACURE line of hair products to be perfect for daily use. ACURE is performance driven hair care free from parabens, sulfates, and animal testing. My favorite is the Simply Smoothing pair – the shampoo cleans without over-stripping my hair’s natural oils, and the conditioner provides the perfect level of moisturizing. Available at acure.com, as well as Amazon.com (selection may vary).
Sometimes my hair and scalp need a little extra TLC – especially in cold, dry months. I got this Briogeo duo as a birthday gift from Sephora, and I was sold! Briogeo product line includes clean, high-performance ingredients personalized for your hair type. I massaged the Scalp Revival shampoo into my scalp, and used my ACURE shampoo for the rest of my hair. The charcoal and coconut oil instantly felt cooling and soothing on my dry scalp. Followed by the intensely moisturizing but not too heavy Don’t Despair, Repair! mask, my hair definitely felt like I got the royal treatment.
When it comes to styling products, I’ve greatly streamlined my routine. I use a simple styling cream after towel-drying my hair. I was delighted to find a clean option a few years ago – Desert Essence Coconut Soft Curls Hair Cream. Desert Essence is committed to harvesting nature’s best ingredients and ensuring that their ingredients are responsibly and sustainably sourced. The magic in this product is that despite the name, it works beautifully to smooth my hair – I don’t even need my flatiron to finish it after blowdrying. I can also use it with my diffuser for soft waves, and it even works to tame frizzy dry hair.
Last but not least, I can’t live without my hair spray. Growing up in the 80’s, I can’t seem to give up that last finishing touch to my hair. Luckily, hair spray has come along way since my trusty metallic tube of AquaNet! Josh Rosebrook is a friend of mine from L.A., and started his career as a hair stylist. His passion for natural ingredients drove him to start developing products. He’s made quite a name for himself in the skin and haircare world, creating clean products that promise results. This hair spray is small but mighty – a little goes a long way, and the size is convenient for throwing in my handbag.
There are endless products in market these days, which is inspiring to see. If you know what to look for on the labels, you can find the perfect products to fit your hair, price point, and styling preferences. Good luck on your own hair journey!!