The Saga of Damaged Hair
Chasing after that perfect shiny hair
Arf! Or is it Ruff? Either way, I have always admired the coat of an Afghan Hound. Long, silky, glossy….that’s the way human hair should look. Like those shampoo commercials.
Ooh! To have body this voluptuous with a magnificent sheen!
My hair, I am afraid, did not look that satiny and healthy, like those bowzers’, for years. When I was a child (back in the early 90s), my mother allowed my hair to be permed. Yikes! I’ll admit, it was en vogue at the time and I begged for curly hair (I was 8 or 9), not realizing the damage it would inevitably do. Long story short, my hair went from fine – straight wavy shiny to fine – frizzy damage. My hair was permed once again (I remember being unhappy about it the second time around) a year later. My poor hair. It started curling on its own over the years, especially on humid days.
By the time I was a teenager, I started dying my hair. Also not good for my hair. I dyed it for years – highlighting it lighter shades of blonde from my natural dirty blonde hair. By the time I was in college, I dyed it totally blonde….really not good for my hair. When would I ever learn?! To make matters worse, my goal was to grow my hair all the way to my mid-back. *Laughing yet? Anyway, I dyed my hair so much, my poor fine strands suffered from dryness, frizz, and split ends. I continued dying my hair while, at the same time, staying perplexed at finding a solution for growing long, healthy hair. Silly stubborn me. I sort of knew a way to make my (what the French call the soft thing that resides on your head) cheveux a little glossier with Kiehl’s Silk Groom (I paid the Pope $30 ) but it was too heavy for my fine locks. I used it for years and still have half a bottle. Did I mention I blow dried for years? Yeah, that also damaged my hair along with going through a phase of using a straightening iron every day after said blow dryings…. “Make it stop,” cried my hair!
I gradually quit dying my hair when I lived in France. I wasn’t used to the lighter shade of brown. My then boyfriend, now husband, liked the natural color. When I returned to the United States, I began to put two and two together: permed hair + dying hair = lifeless unhealthy hair! Yuck! Hey, Sarah’s getting it!!!
I quit blow drying my hair. This one culminated from a series of unfortunate events but not so morbid like Lemony Snicket. When I moved to France, I didn’t bring a blow dryer, thus I needed one. I bought a cheap one at Loisirs U (across from the Marché U) and thought I was set. Not even four months in, my dearly departed French blow dryer had met its untimely maker. I sucked in my grief, getting used to letting my fine hair dry sans hair dryer. For the rest of the year, I got used to softer healthier locks. No blow dryer, check!
I quit dying my hair by first making a color transition. I dyed my hair a medium to dark shade of brown. I let my hair do its natural magic. I haven’t touched dye for four years! Four years hair dye sober and proud of it! My hair now is dirty blonde, with natural balayage/ombre highlights courtesy of the sun. Hairdressers and people on the street always ask me who did my hair and give me incredulous stares when I answer them: “The sun.” Happy true story! Who knew my natural hair could be so cool?!
My hair was getting healthier but the frizz and split ends were still a problem.
Monthly trims. It is true, at least for me and maybe other people with fine hair, to trim your locks regularly. My hair is at the top of my back now (when it’s straightened on a quick low heat, ceramic straightener). I think that helps a lot! I quit going to the stylist because every time they take off 1 inch or more when I ask only for half an inch. My man now trims my hair and does a fabulous job (he does what I ask).
Biotin: The Miracle Hair Pill. No, really! I did reliable research. My hair was healthier but it remained crazy frizzy and did not grow fast enough for me….in fact, it stayed the same length. Since I was a teenager, I took Vitamin E and was told by everyone from an old hair stylist to friends how great this little pill was for hair. I quit taking it last summer when I ran out. I switched to Biotin after doing much internet research. I think that has helped contribute to better hair, for sure! Since I have been taking Biotin in conjunction with my monthly trims, my hair has grown at a faster rate. I may start taking Vitamin E along with Biotin…it couldn’t hurt but I do feel Biotin contributes to better hair growth, sans blague (no joke)! You can get 120 5000mcg for $6 at Walmart of all places….can’t beat that!
Miracle maker; this one I discovered while at the salon. Hairdressers often squawk at their customers, “Buy this product, buy that, yadda, yadda, yadda.” Normally, I ignore them because when I gave up the hairdryer, I gave up all styling products, convinced that they were bad for my hair, weighing it down and damaging it. A nice hairstylist spritzed “It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product” on my hair. I used that for a year, then I switched to It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product Plus Keratin. This made my hair grow longer and made it shinier but the bummer – it tangled my hair. I had too much Keratin in my fine hair. Solution, next trip to the hair stylist, she spritzed my locks with It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product Lite! Finally…something catered to fine hair.
I love this product. It’s low-maintenance, easy to use, gets out the frizz, is healthy for my hair, and contributes to the shine! Yay! Afghan hair, almost there!
it’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Lite = amazingness
This one has finally gotten me the results of glossy, silky Afghan Hound. What is it?! *Drumroll! Moroccan Argan Oil in the form of a shampoo. I was at the grocery store, ready to replace an old bottle of a major brand of watered-down shampoo. Serendipitously, I stumbled on Organix shampoos – buy 1 get 1 free! Whooopeee! I bought Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy (before I discovered I was getting too much keratin). I alternated, using the Moroccan Argan Oil the most often and the keratin shampoo (love the coconut scent) once a week. The texture of my hair changed immediately. Soft and shiny with little frizz, it did wonders to my hair those major shampoo brands only dream of doing. I was speechless. The Moroccan Argan oil really makes my hair that shiny and the keratin shampoo makes it shiny and straight. What’s not to love?!
Cold rinses. When you do wash your hair, take the silly tip from your hairdresser by rinsing out the shampoo with cold water. It’s good for fine hair and locks in the strands’ cuticles. It really works for my hair. I always noticed my strands were softer after a cooler shower and that’s why!
For that final result, I learned a tip after I bought my shampoos: my fine hair likes to be dirty. One to two days without washing it, especially in the dry winter, exposed to the harsh elements of being outdoors from chopping wood to walking the dog, I needed to not wash it everyday. Why had I not realized that before? I’m big into cleanliness but I learned my hair needs a break from everyday washes. My hair thrives on its natural oils. Duh! Well, I’m proud to report, my hair texture resembles an Afghan Hound! A whoooooooooo! Woof!
Healthy Afghan Hound-like Hair with natural balayage/ombre highlights
The saga of growing my hair is not over yet….I will triumph and my hair really is growing. It may take years but at the wise age of 30, I think I have cracked the elusive secrets of my finicky fine hair. I accepted the day my blow dryer died that my hair is naturally wavy/curly. Maybe that was a harbinger? I still use a straightener but on low heat and short contact with the strands. If my hair gets to the length I desire, I will keep you posted! Winter is coming to a close but I’ll be ready for what the humidity brings in the spring and summer (and fall….it’s the south, after all!) I’m staying positive! I’m finally on my way!