Thursday, October 20, 2016

My Cosmetic Side: Hair

Clean, neat hair and hairstyle can make the look. And the opposite. Greasy and untidy hair spoils it totally - unwashed and neglected hair says more than any fancy attire. At least, I think so.

My hair has always been straight and rather fine - it has never been thick at all. When I was in my teens, it also was more on the greasy side. Therefore, in my senior year, I had it permed (slightly) by my mom. My permed hair looked thicker and fluffier. The perm made it drier too so I was not bothered with the 'greasy again' problem.

When I got older, at some point, I started coloring my hair and I always did it at home. At first, I used some shades by L'Oreal only. Later I switched to Wella and Londa, which became my favorite brands as well.

When I moved to Texas, I was trying to find a similar hair dye shade which I used in Poland.
Unfortunately, neither Wella nor Londa coloring products are available in the local stores. For that reason, it took me almost two years to discover which brand and color would be the best for me and my hair. During that time, I experimented a lot - trying to get what I needed, I was buying a different hair dye every month. At the beginning, most of the time, the results were poor. Firstly, it was a grayish shade on my head - despite dying the hair with a blond, not gray hair color. The gray hair made me look older and feel bad/frustrated.

To make matters worse, after a few months, the hair endings felt as if they had been made of rubber. Of course, I knew it was bad, so I tried to treat my hair with some conditioners to improve its appearance and shape. From time to time, I also had my hair shortened and then, the bad endings were gone. Till the next hair coloring time, more or less.

I used two hair color brands once only and I knew I would never put those products on my hair  again. They either stung and burned my scalp horribly or caused my hair much thinner. I am not going to give the name of those items/brands here because I am aware, they may work perfectly well for somebody else.

Anyway, one day, about a week after using a certain hair dye, I needed to call a plumber to have the bathtub drained. When he came to fix the problem, it appeared the pipe had been blocked with bunches of my hair. Needless to say, I also noticed a dramatic change in the thickness of my hair. Disaster! I got scared but it also reminded me the time in my life, when due to totally different reasons, I lost a lot of hair as well. To stop the hair loss, many years ago, I used to make a mixture of raw egg yolk, grated onion, and castor oil. I cannot recall what the proportions of those ingredients were, but I do remember I put the mixture on my scalp, then I covered it with a piece of foil, and fixed a towel on my head/over it all. I did that twice a week for a few months. Every time, I kept the 'conditioner' on my head for about 15 to 20 minutes, then I shampooed the hair twice. It was a necessity because the onion smell was quite strong + the castor oil made the hair extra greasy as well. It was all a kind of nasty, but it did warm up my scalp and, somehow it worked. My hair grew back. It was nice to feel the new growing hairs, which were so soft and seemed like fluff when I brushed my hair with my fingers. I continued the treatment and my hair regular thickness got back. There was no more bold spaces/clearance on my scalp. Not to mention I was much happier too.

Nevertheless, that was why I thought about castor oil again. I looked for it in local stores but I was unsuccessful - no pure castor oil was available. Luckily, I found conditioners which had castor oil as one of their components. And I did apply such a  product on my hair two or three times a week, before hair washing time. Besides that, to strengthen my hair, I was also taking a vitamin supplement once a day.

My scalp saver :-)

I think I should have used the conditioner longer but, inconveniently, castor oil causes slight hair discoloration (it was eating my hair color), so I stopped that part of the treatment.

Well, in the meantime, I finally came across the right hair color taht makes my hair look and feel good. It is the L'Oreal Excellence series which I am content with. What I like about it is that, besides the coloring kit and regular conditioner, every LE box also contains hair endings protector, and it is to be applied 5 minutes before the hair dying itself.

All in all, my hair is in a much a better shape now. More over, despite using a hair color from time to time, the rubber-like endings have not come back.

Regular hair care & styling

1. Shampoos and conditioners
The ones which are best for my strands are meant for fine and colored hair or very gentle ones - for babies. I have been told by a dermatologist that it is not good to use the same kind of hair care products for a long time (it can be compared to a monotonous or one-sided diet), that is why I change them now and then.

2. The hair dryer with a diffuser which helps to dry the hair faster and, at the same time, protects it from overheating. After washing my hair and drying it gently with a towel, I use the hair dryer for a few minutes only. I stop when the hair is slightly damp.

3. The hot air brush is great for styling shorter and medium length hair. The styling works better if the hair is not totally dry. In the case of the long hair, the hot air brush is good only to style the hair endings - it can get stuck in the strands when you try to use it similarly to a curling iron.

Having been advised by a hairstylist, I also used a hair volumizing product while doing it. However, I noticed that it made the strands of my heavier which resulted in an increase of hair loss, comparing to the time when I did not use that volumizer. So I quit applying it. Moreover, to let my scalp 'breath', I stopped treating it with hair spray as well. Without it all, my hair is soft and seems so light and it does feel really good. And it looks natural too - no 'crash helmet' effect anymore!

Take good care of your scalp and hair, and do not make the mistakes I did. :-)

L'Oreal Excellence is for (originally) dark hair.


  1. I'll have to check into your suggestions for fine hair since it sounds like our hair is just a like (also dyed!)

    1. Our hair deserves good care. :-) What hair color do you use Kathryn?