If you’ve read any of my skincare posts, you’ll note that I am a *wash, go, glow* kinda gal. I don’t like to spend a ton of time with LED gadgets and sheet masks. I’ll pay the ADHD tax: if it works and saves me time, I’ll use it ’til it doesn’t. My haircare routine needs to be simple and straightforward. This year, my haircare routine has been from the inside out.
Until October of 2019, my main mane had really never given me any attitude. I would have been pleased if it grew a little faster, but ultimately it was pretty resilient given that I had been nearly every colour under the sun (click here for my pumpkin head and the creamsicle fix). I had been platinum blonde for about 3 years. The upkeep was insanely time consuming, it was (of course!) drastically damaging, and I was starting to feel really feel inauthentic.
How anyone thought I was anything but a bottle blonde was beyond me, and in October of 2019 I not only returned to my roots (well, not the gray ones), but I chopped a good chunk right off. This is when my stress really started to catch up with me. For the next year or so, my Leo locks were limp and listless. Not quite the kind of wild and untamed I aimed to be.
Like everyone else in Toronto, 2020 was a year with few haircuts. I dyed my hair at home every 3 months or so; whenever the gray started to be more prominent than I could bear. If you click the image above, you can see on the left that my hair was falling out in chunks and I was clinging to the notion that it looked layered rather than entirely unhealthy.
In August I had wanted to get a trim to rid myself of split ends, but ultimately had to take the length to about my chin. My hair was falling out in clumps in the shower and I was getting scared.
Biotin (vitamin B7) is one of several vitamins that play a role in the growth of thick and healthy hair. Studies have shown that use of biotin produces a significant increase in hair growth in people with a deficiency. Biotin stimulates keratin production in hair and can increase the rate of follicle growth. Bonus: My nails have finally gotten to a length where I can get cute nail art!
While biotin is an important ingredient in most effective hair growth vitamins, it is not the only one. In the summer of 2019 I was introduced to Viviscal. I heard many stories about women who were working with entirely new bodies after pregnancy – including their hair. I didn’t think my life had really changed all that much, I mean – I hadn’t birthed life or anything.
Stress can manifest in some pretty intense ways, and I guess this was how my body was handling what my heart and mind refused to let in. I had a couple of packages of the supplements kicking around, and thought I should give it a go.
“Viviscal Extra Strength dietary supplements contain the exclusive marine complex Amino Mar C™ as well as Iron, Niacin, Biotin, Zinc, Vitamin C and Horsetail Extract to nourish hair from within. Viviscal Extra Strength has been scientifically proven to nourish thinning hair and promote existing hair growth.”
Truth be told, I’m very sensitive to scent, so the topical products aren’t 100% for me. I take 2 tabs of Viviscal (of the recommended 4) and supplement with additional biotin every day. I’m not a doctor and this is not medical advice. I’ve noticed a big, bold change in the way my hair has responded.
My bathroom looks like a small-town drugstore. I have a shelving unit packed to the brim with skincare and hair products, and you would think that I had 5 roommates if you looked in my shower. I get a sent a plethora of products to review, and they’re not always great. Biolage was a pleasant change. I use the products to follow every time I wash and style my hair.
All-In-One Coconut Infusion Multi-Benefit Treatment Spray
This product is for all hair textures and types. It can be used on wet or dry hair, but I spray my brush with as a leave-in conditioner to detangle my hair before blow-drying, but you could rinse it after a minute or two. It helps to enhance shine, fight frizz, detangle, protect from heat, prevent split ends. The scent is very mild and features notes of mandarin, rose and sandalwood.
Ultra HydraSource Shampoo and Conditioner for Very Dry Hair
I get my Argan Oil at Sally Beauty Supply where I also pick up my Wella hair dye. I think my stylist might kill me if I used box dye, but it’s a Global Panna Cotta and at-home styling is the only option. Agran Oil is high in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E. It helps to hydrate and soften hair.
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John Frieda Weightless Wonder Smoothing Crème
This aloe water-infused formula is designed for fine frizzy hair, but it tames my thick tresses well. If I’m not looking for the ultra-shine from argan oil, I’ll use this product to smooth and hydrate my hair without weighing it down. While it can be used on wet hair, I actually prefer to use a tiny bit for problem areas once my hair is dry and has been styled.
I drink about 4 litres of water at my desk throughout the course of the day. Since I upped my water intake, my hair and skin have really responded. Think about it – we’re made up of 70% water. We’re really just houseplants with complicated emotions.
A year ago I would have been nervous to put my hair in a ponytail for fear of the elastic ripping it out. Now I practically live with a top knot. Hair loss is a strange and foreign thing. Until I experienced it myself, it just wasn’t on my radar.
What are your holy grail hair products? Let me know in the comments below!