Growing up, I was a typical teenager who liked to change their hair colour every few months, switching from blonde to brown frequently. But when my hair was already not in the best condition, I bleached it several times in my bathroom at home to achieve a super white blonde look. My hair looked fine for the first couple of months and there was no dramatic change to its length or texture, however after a while it started to turn into straw and gradually snapped off every time I showered. I ended up having very bad roots and dry, crispy hair. After years of straightening my hair daily, bleaching, highlighting, and semi-permanent dyes, my hair had experienced years of damage and neglect. To rectify the solution my hairdresser did everything he could – he applied semi-permanent dyes and olaplex, cut the broken bits off and recommended every conditioning treatment under the sun, but my hair was still very weak and I knew it was going to take several years to get my naturally dark, thick hair back.
Since then, I’ve tried hundreds of products, treatments, hair extensions and even gone as far as taking ‘hair pills’ to make my hair grow quicker – so I definitely know what I’m talking about when I give out hair advice! Now, I am very happy with my long, dark, Kardashian-inspired hair, that I will never take for granted again!
Here are the products I use to keep my hair strong and healthy:
I use this semi-permanent dye by L’Oreal, either in the black or darkest brown shade. A hairdresser once told me that you should go for semi-permanent dye over permanent until you go grey, because it has more shine and is better for your natural hair’s health. If you’ve got super long hair, I’d advise you to get two boxes to cover your whole head!
Shampoo / Conditioner:
Probably the biggest change that helped my hair grow back healthy and less damaged was reducing the amount of times I wash my hair. At the moment I wash my hair just once or twice a week.
Only you will be able to tell how often your hair needs washing, but if you have dry hair you don’t need to wash your hair every day and although it takes some training so your hair doesn’t just look greasy, it really helps your hair keep its natural oils that make it shine! I like to use the TIGI Bed Head Colour Goddess Oil Infused Shampoo and Conditioner (which you can buy cheaply at B&M), or if I’m on more of a budget I use the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Colour Protect Shampoo and Conditioner. The product my hairdresser uses and recommends (although slightly expensive if on a student budget) is the milk_shake Colour Maintainer Shampoo and Conditioner.
As I only wash my hair a maximum of twice per week, I like to use a deep conditioning treatment each time. I use the milk_shake Argan Deep Treatment or the Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food Banana 3-in-1 Dry Hair Mask Treatment. In winter months I also find my scalp and hair can be quite dry, so I use a mask specifically to nourish my scalp which is the L’Oréal Paris Botanicals Lavender Fine Hair Mask. These masks are great because you don’t need to keep them on for that long before washing them off and they all smell amazing too!
After straightening or styling your hair, it’s always nice to add a few drops of oil to give it some additional moisture and shine. I also like to apply oil to my hair while it’s still damp before I blowdry it. Both milk_shake Glistening Argan Oil and MOROCCANOIL smell absolutely divine and don’t make your hair look or feel greasy!
If you’re low on money but want to give your hair some nourishment – raw coconut oil also works really well! It’s a lot thicker and greasier than hair oils, however if you put it all over your hair for a few hours before washing it, it gives your hair a really soft and shiny feel after you’ve washed it off. It’s also a really good moisturiser for a dry/sensitive scalp.
If you straighten your hair a lot, then you’ll be used to getting lots of split ends! A hairdresser a few years ago told me about split-end miracle products and I was very sceptical about if they’d work at first, but it’s true – they really do! These products are quite pricey for the size, but you only need a very small amount for it to work wonders on broken and damaged ends. I recommend these Redken and Olaplex treatments.
Heat protection spray is an absolute must! It works by protecting your hair’s natural moisture by acting as a barrier between your hair and the heat you’re applying. I also like to spray my hair with heat protection spray on holiday when I know my hair will be in the sun a lot. This VO5 Heat Protect Spray is a cheap but excellent product, and I also love the Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer by Bumble and bumble which, although it’s more expensive, lasts absolutely ages as you only need to apply a small amount of it on your hair each time.
We always want what we naturally don’t have… and I have naturally wavy and thick hair, so of course I want it super straight all the time! I would highly recommend a set of GHD straighteners if you’re a straight-hair lover like me. And if you’re one of the hair elite, then you can also use them to curl your hair – however it’s not as easy as people make it look!
GHD’s are more expensive than other straighteners on the market, but I genuinely can’t fault them. I’ve only ever owned 2 sets of straighteners in my life – both GHDs. I got my first set when I was 11 years old, and used the same ones every day until I was 20! The only reason I got a new set (after 9 years of daily use!) was because they started getting a bit too hot and I was worried about my already damaged hair burning. My current straighteners are the ghd platinum+ hair straightener and I cannot fault them!
The GHD Final Shine Spray and Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Dry Oil Mist aren’t heat protectors or oils, but they work wonders when your hair just looks a bit dull or lifeless. After styling or straightening your hair, a few sprays of this will make your hair feel extra smooth and shiny. It’s also handy to keep a miniature version of a shine spray in your handbag for when you’re out and about and your hair needs a refresh. I find these sprays are a must when I go out for the day in a big city like London or Manchester!