Before I was high maintenance about my skin, I was high maintenance about my hair. It started in middle school when all the popular girls had that sleek, straight, shiny, “typical Asian” hair. My hair is on the coarser side and has loads and loads of volume – far from the “ideal” hair every Asian girl was going for and/or naturally had. But that didn’t stop me from trying! Tenacity is, after all, one of my strengths. I started using the same hair products as those girls, which is probably where I got the habit of asking girls what shampoo they use. I also started getting straight perms and I started collecting a variety of straighteners. Each one more expensive than the last.
But after my last straight perm (summer of 2007) I finally came to accept the fact that super straight hair was not a very flattering look for my heart-shaped face. Plus, whenever my straight-permed hair was wet, it would feel very stiff. It had a heaviness to it that made me feel like I wasn’t washing it thoroughly. And even though it softened up after it dried, it always looked stiff and unnatural like it had no body.
I finally gave up on the straight hair look and went the opposite direction. I started getting wave perms. My hair has always been wavy but the waves weren’t very defined. How my hair turned out the next day would depend on whether I slept with it wet, damp or dry and whether I tossed and turned a lot the night before. Perming my hair wavy was my way of reducing that unpredictability. As I mentioned before, Type A people like predictability. My first wave perm was summer of 2008. Since then, I’ve gotten my hair permed I think 3 times total. But out of the 3 times I’ve permed it, I’ve had to get it redone twice! The first and last time I had my hair permed, the curls fell out after a day. So I had to go back to the salon the following day to get it redone. This means my hair has really gone through 5 perms in 3 years (the last time I permed it was 2010). I loved the way it looked but my hair desperately needed a break.
Even though I’ve gotten many trims since my last perm, my hair still feels really dry and brittle. I also feel like I’ve had an increase in the amount of split ends and porous strands. So at the beginning of this week I started looking in depth into proper hair care, in particular shampoos.
I remember hearing about how we should use shampoos that are sulfate free. I started with this website and narrowed down my options by going for a brand I recognized and knew I could easily access. I settled with L’Oreals Everstrong Reconstructing Shampoo. I bought it on Monday night and so far its been okay. I don’t see a noticeable difference yet but I do feel better in knowing that I’m using a safer product on my hair & scalp.
I continued my research even after I bought my SLS-free shampoo and realized that there are so many things I need to change about my hair care regimen like:
1. I should invest in a better SLS free shampoo like Malibu Hair Care Un-Do-Goo;
2. I should not be conditioning my hair every day;
3. I need more protein in my diet to give my hair the proper vitamins;
4. I should do a deep overnight conditioning once a week;
5. I should brush my hair before I shower
to name a few.
Some of these things I can change right away like brushing my hair before I shower. Other things I’ll have to work my way up to like deep conditioning once a week. I’m not ready to spend one night a week sleeping with a towel and conditioner in my hair.
If YOU want to get serious about your hair care, here is a good place to start: