I’m convinced the world is made up of two types of women. Women who have their hair done at a salon, and women who maintain their own hair at home.
Up until my last two years of college, I would go to the hair salon every two weeks with no wiggle room. I was determined to always have my color and relaxer touched up as well as perfectly trimmed ends every six weeks. During my junior year of college I decided to grow out my relaxer and work with my natural hair free of chemical straighteners. Because of this, I didn’t see the need to go to the salon anymore and became my own stylist…. YouTube encouraged me as well!
It has now been 8 years since then and I have been styling my own hair since. Granted, I do wear extensions to protect my hair from the horrible humidity in my area, but when my natural hair is loose, I treat it well and usually wear it in a high bun to reduce heat damage. I use a lot of heat to straighten it as is!
So here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way…enjoy!:
1. Use your shower for steam treating: I once worked a summer job as a receptionist in a hair salon where the owner specialized in scalp health. He would often give his clients deep conditioning treatments using a hooded steamer. He said the steamer helped product penetrate the hair shaft and was 100% more effective then the average plastic cap method. At home, I shampoo my hair and pile on an enormous amount of conditioner before raking through it with a wide tooth comb. I then use duck bill clips to create 6 sections and then take a nice long hot shower. As hot as I can stand it. The steam from the shower gives me the ultimate steam treatment. Once I’m done, I rinse the conditioner with cold water.
2. Invest in quality styling tools: Although I do a decent job of styling my hair at home I have to keep in mind that I am not a professional stylist. I don’t always know how much heat my hair can take without being damaged and I don’t fully understand the science of hair. Because of this, I don’t want to use any heat styling tools that don’t put the health of my hair first. When purchasing a flat iron or blow dryer, consult with a professional about which are the best for your hair type whether it be ceramic or a blow dryer that doesn’t go above 100 degrees.
3. Experiment with products: If you have the luxury of trying different shampoos, conditioners and treatments..do so! At salons, you may find that your stylist is loyal particular brands and will not stray far from them. This means you could be missing out on other products that will work wonders for your hair! Last month I discovered the Kim Kimble Conditioning Masque at Target that changed my life forever. I’m sure I wouldn’t have found that in a salon!
4. Use scissors wisely: Now this is a subject that I am on the fence about. While I know some women that are able to cut their own hair flawlessly, I’m willing to bet they’re as rare as a blue diamond. If you are self trimming, slide your fingers down small sections of your hair until you spot the split ends and trim below your fingers, not above. This will prevent you from chopping off too much hair. Same goes for cutting bangs although I’ve botched my own bang job so many times, I wouldn’t dare try it again!
5. Maintain clean tools: If you’re at home you don’t run the risk of a health inspector popping in to grade you. This doesn’t mean you should skimp when it comes to maintaining clean tools. Clean all hair out of brushes and combs as soon as you’re done and wipe all hot tools once they’ve cooled to prevent product buildup. Dirty tools can put dandruff and dirt back into clean, styled hair..ew!