Mane Maintenance

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I have a total love/hate relationship with my hair. Love in that — because of the texture — it can hold any style imaginable. Hate, in that — because of the texture — it always has to be styled if it’s going to look presentable. Air drying is definitely not an option when you have hair like mine: thick, lots of it, wavy, tons of texture. So in my hair universe? Presentable=styling=time. Lots of time. Time that I typically do not have.

There have been many, many periods in my life where I did not want to devote the 60-90 minutes required to style my hair, so I would often rock an air dried ponytail or high bun or low braid. However, I prefer wearing my hair down whenever I can, simply because I think it looks better, and I tend to already skimp on accessories as it is, so it’s always a bonus if my hair can count as one! There are so many tutorials online that tell you how to straighten, curl, or style your hair, but I always find these seem to be more applicable to ladies with hair that’s thinner, and naturally straight. So today, I thought I’d share my latest hair routine. It’s not so different than Grace’s (see the comments!), and actually inspired me to write this post! 

IN THE SHOWER…

Like Grace, it takes a long time for my hair to get greasy. I regularly go without washing my hair for 3 days — and that’s without using dry shampoo (I’ve never found one I truly love). If your hair is thick and tends to be a bit drier, my approach will probably work for you! I use mostly natural shampoos and conditioners; right now I switch between Kiss My Face’s Whenever Shampoo, Acure Organics Argan Oil Shampoo, and Avalon Organics Tea Tree Shampoo if my scalp feels like it needs to be extra clean (though the smell of the last one is not my fave). For conditioner, I switch between Kiss My Face’s Whenever Conditioner, Acure Organics Argan Oil Conditioner, and Avalon Organics Lavender Conditioner. With conditioners, I normally use some combo of the three, and let it sit on my hair for a few minutes in the shower.

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THE SECRET INGREDIENT…

But really? If your hair texture is like mine, the secret to having silky, smooth hair is oil. I use a bunch of different types of oil treatments, at all different stages in the styling process, and the result is the same — soft, moisturized hair, that doesn’t get as easily tangled and stays nice looking for several days. For the spa treatment approach, I’ll use Ojon’s Restorative Hair Treatment, comb it through my dry hair from root to tip, and then also comb through a teaspoon or two of jojoba oil, or Dr. Alkaitis’ oil (fave for skin and hair!). I’ll put my hair up in a bun, then I’ll take a bath, do stuff around the house, whatever. Half an hour later, I shower, then blow my hair out and straighten it.

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If I don’t feel like doing the hair treatment, I’ll mix a teaspoon or so of jojoba oil into my conditioner in the shower, and condition as normal. Just be sure to rinse out your hair really well, and also not use TOO much oil — otherwise, when you blow it out, it could clump together! The last way I use oil is by taking one or two drops, rubbing my hands together, then gently combing them through damp hair before I blow dry. Each of these methods works, though I think I’ve ended up writing about them in order from most effective to least (makes sense that a longer ‘spa treatment’ kind of approach would be most effective!).

Once my hair is blown out — say on a Monday — I honestly won’t need to wash it again until Thursday. I sleep with it down, then just brush it out in the morning. The photos in this post were taken two and a half days after my hair was washed and styled — and yes, it still has that much body and volume. I can probably get another day or two out of this hair!

Do you have ‘difficult’ or love/hate hair? What’s your tried and true regimen?

IN THIS POST:

Sweater Cardigan: Asos | Blush: Jane Iredale | Lipcolor: mix of Clinique’s Glow Bronze and Tarte’s Cheek Stain in Natural Beauty

 

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30 Comments

  1. 1.29.13

    My hair has always been very low maintenance but I’m not sure if I ever totally understood it. But the way you described your hair definitely kind of makes sense for mine too. I’m going to try the oil thing out. Thanks for the great tips.

    Also, you beautiful girl!

  2. 1.29.13
    Kaitlin said:

    Victoria your hair is gorgeous! I would kill to not have to wash mine everyday!

  3. 1.29.13
    Rachel said:

    My hair is similar- it can easily be straightened or curled with heat, but I have very long hair and lots of it! Blow-drying takes forever (and it doesn’t ever blow dry 100% straight, of course) and it takes like 4 hours to dry! I shower at night, sleep with it in a bun and then have my loose, natural waves. For work, I don’t care what my hair looks like (laid back environment=awesome), but for nights out I spend a little more time. Thanks for the product recommendations!

  4. 1.29.13
    Phoebe said:

    Ugh, Victoria I’d totally trade hair with you. My hair is probably a similar texture to yours, but I don’t have a lot of it. Consequently, I also have to style my hair for it to look good. If I air dry it, it looks extremely flat. I’d totally love to have thicker hair! The only plus side is my hair dries naturally in about 30 minutes. With a blow dryer, maybe 5 or less.

  5. 1.29.13
    Liz said:

    You may not think so, but you are lucky you can go so long in between styling. I have thick, fine hair that used to fall so flat/get stringy after a day. I realized I was washing too much. After a greasy transition period, I only wash about 1 or 2 times a week which has made a huge difference!

  6. 1.29.13

    Your hair looks gorgeous! I tend to run out the door with either a low bun or ponytail. Maybe if I didnt have to wake up at 5am I would take the time. Thanks for these tips lady!

  7. 1.29.13

    Finally! A post for girls with hair like mine (and yours): Thick, wavy/curly, doesn’t look great when unstyled. This is fantastic, i’m going to go try out the products you recommended. I did a post kind of like this but more focused on styling products: http://bit.ly/W6ZQBW. But I love that you focused on in-the shower products.

    P.S. everyone talks about mixing shampoo’s and conditioner’s in the shower. I have to try this!

  8. 1.29.13
    elle said:

    It sounds like our hair is really similar (and it looks like it too!) so I loved reading this. Over the years I’ve tried wayy too many expensive shampoos/conditioners in search of something that would magically give me shiny and smooth wash-and-go hair without having to take an hour to style it… but I think I’ve finally accepted that’s never going to happen! I usually use argan oil or ojon after my shower but will have to try jojoba mixed with conditioner – great tip!

    • 1.29.13
      vmacandcheese said:

      Argan oil can work in the shower too!

  9. 1.29.13
    Chelsea said:

    Oh, our hair is so much alike! I have uber thick hair that must be styled if it stands a chance in this world. My hair routine is constantly evolving, but since I process my hair, I have to use some different options. I go at least 3 days between washing as well, but use the Pureology products, as well as Jose Maran’s Argan Oil to manage the texture/smoothness factor. I also use a root volumizer before I blow it out to give it some lift at the roots. I am definitely going to have to check out your recommendations – always looking for a better way to manage this mane!

  10. 1.29.13
    Meghan said:

    love the hair post… your hair looks amazing !

    http://meghansilva.blogspot.com

  11. 1.29.13
    Emily said:

    I commiserate completely – thick/unruly hair is a blessing and a curse. I definitely go as long as I can without washing and if I’m trying to push that envelope even farther, use dry shampoo. I’ve found the Moroccan Oil hair line to be the best so far – it’s super moisturizing without feeling heavy. x

    http://www.glittersgold.com

  12. 1.29.13
    Alyssa said:

    I absolutely adore hearing about how people do their hair. Like you, I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. It’s easy to style and holds anything (unless it’s super humid in the summer, of course) but the actual process of styling it takes for-ev-er. Seriously, it’s painful. But as the years have gone on, I’m getting it down to a science slowly but surely. Thanks for the product recs–I’m going to have to try a few out!

  13. 1.29.13
    Emily said:

    Thanks for the tips! I have incredibly thick and curly hair, and I tend to throw my hair up in a top know every day. I’ve always envied those girls who have beautiful silky hair. Hopefully with these tips, I’ll get one step closer!
    xxEmily

  14. 1.29.13

    Victoria you have beautiful hair! I have the opposite problem thinner hair that doesn’t really hold a style for more then a day. Not complaining I’m grateful and learning what are the best ways to style my hair.

  15. 1.29.13

    AHHH!!! So excited to have a hair twin in the bloggie world!! People are always grossed out when I say I wash my hair 1-2 times per week (max), but with my thick, curly mess, it’s just how it goes!

    One of my tricks for super soft hair is to shower at night, comb in my oil (I’ve been using Moroccan), and sleep on a clean towel with my hair loosely pulled back in a scrunchie. When I wake up, my hair is still damp, and the oil has had time to settle and do it’s moisturizing magic. Blow dries in the AM have been much easier since I started this routine!

    Thanks for letting us big-haired people know that we’re not alone :)

    xoxo

  16. 1.29.13

    I’m glad I’m not the only one. Our hair def has its perks, but is a pain. I’ve gotten into a nice little routine where I go to Dry Bar on Monday mornings and can typically make it last til Friday… even through the weekend if I want. You look gorgeous in these photos!

  17. 1.29.13

    JEALOUS OF THAT GORGEOUS HAIR. next skype chat, we need to talk oils, yo.

  18. 1.29.13

    Your hair is gorgeous! I have a similar texture towards the bottom, but at the roots mine is fine and gets oily easily. Needs to be washed daily. Lucky me! I’m stalking the comments to see if someone recommends a good product for combination hair.

  19. 1.29.13

    Oh, I’m so jealous. My hair gets greasy literally the day after I wash it. Like wet greasy. If I don’t want to shower, I have to put up in a bun or something. Luckily, I can air dry my hair or usually style it in 30 min or less on a regular day, but my time goes into washing it all the time. It drives me nuts. And I haven’t found a dry shampoo I love either. And Lord knows I need one!

  20. 1.29.13

    My hair sounds a lot like yours! (except mine’s really curly and styling doesnt happen quite so much….). I am definitely going to look into some of these oils :)

    xo,
    Shay

  21. 1.29.13
    Maddy said:

    Victoria, your hair is gorgeous and though it may take a lot of time to do it, once it is done, you are good to go for a few days. pretty lucky. i just posted about how french women do their hair here: http://frommpdaily.blogspot.com/2013/01/french-hair.html

  22. 1.29.13
    Elisabeth said:

    Goodness Victoria (although in my head I totally call you Vmac), you have gorgeous hair! That’s awesome that you can take the time to do it once and not worry about it for a few days. I’ve just gotten to the point where I can not wash my hair for two days and its functional – generally its air dried and down day1 (in utah it dries so straight) and day 2 is curled…and if day 3 is needed then its in a bun.

    but still – can’t get over how gorgeous your hair is 2.5 days later!
    love it!
    love,
    elisabeth

  23. 1.29.13

    I don’t have any fascinating hair tips, but I just wanted to say that your hair is gorgeous! Lovely photos!

  24. 1.29.13
    Hsini said:

    My hair is total opposite and I need to wash them every day as they get super greasy however I have super dry tips! Because of its greasiness, I don’t use conditioners but I should because my tips need it. So now, I just use Josie Maran’s argan oil on the tip of my hair after I blow dry them and it seems to help! It looks like we have the same type of hair texture…thick and straight , now i wish I don’t need to wash them daily :)

  25. 1.30.13
    Shy Smith said:

    Do you use any product ( ie hairspray) on your hair after styling? I do but it then requires more frequent washing.
    My hair is similar (though not maybe nit as thick, but I have a lot if it.) Love thus post. Found your blog through Marian.
    Shy

    • 1.30.13
      vmacandcheese said:

      Nope, no product after!

  26. 1.30.13
    Ana said:

    I have the same texture as you. And it takes hours to get it straightened. I’m to lazy to use oil, but oil really makes wonders on thick, dry hair. I take your post as motivation. :)

  27. 1.31.13
    Jen said:

    It’s so great to hear I’m not the only one with this texture! Thanks for the tips!

  28. 5.7.13

    Hi Victoria!

    I just came across this post and wanted to let you know how refreshing it is to see a blogger with a thick mane like mine! Everything you’ve described is my hair exactly…so I’m thinking hair twins :) My friends and family always complain about the amount of time it takes me to do my hair in the morning (not understanding that thick wavy hair doesn’t look good right out of the shower) and I love your suggestions! I am always looking for new ways to make my hair look it’s best and still keep it healthy with all the heat I put to it! Organic Argon Oil has been my godsend in that department and I’m definitely going to try your suggestions!

    Thanks for the post!
    Lauren from The Vibrant Life (thevibrantlifediaries.blogspot.com)

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