You know how Samantha on Sex & The City said, when she was losing her hair to chemo, "My hair's my thing!"? That's the way I've felt about my hair. Not because of chemo, thank goodness, just about the hair. Sometimes it looks like shit, sometimes it's a huge 1984 mane, but, still, it's my thing. It's been permed, colored, short, long, multi-processed, ombre, blond, magenta, black, red, kind of pink, highlighted, wavy, straight, frizzed - always thick and fat, though. Naturally brown.
I've noticed over the past year, my hair getting frizzier and frizzier, and more hair falling out or breaking. Frizz-Ease wasn't helping, extra conditioning at home wasn't helping, oil on the ends wasn't helping. My hair had become really dry. I only wash it a couple of times a week, and I don't really straighten or curl it often, so I couldn't figure out why. I thought maybe it was just the dreaded aging process.
One day, I was mindlessly watching TV and flipped it to QVC where Chaz Dean (see, look at Chaz, how handsome...) was pushing Wen. I watched the whole program of him demonstrating the conditioning creme that can be used as a shampoo replacement as well as extra conditioner. It came in many flavors. It cost $36. I loved how the models' hair was so silky and bouncy after just being dried with a round brush. I could do that. I want my hair like that. I ordered the Bamboo Green Tea.
I was really excited about the Wen, totally suckered in. I followed all the directions: bought a new round brush without any metal or heating elements, dried my hair with a t-shirt instead of a towel. Wen did nothing good. My hair was the same as with drugstore shampoo and conditioner. Total straw at this point. Sticking up everywhere like a Roseanne Roseanna-dana wig.
It was that time that I looked at the side effects sheet again for the Lithium I take. Lithium is a salt, and one of its side effects is dry skin and hair. Like, really dry hair. I've been on the drug for a while but some of the side effects come creeping up on you over time, I guess. I've noticed my skin drying out and just kept adding serum and moisturizer.
Relieved that there was a cause, I went to my hair stylist, crying. "I hate my hair! Help me! It's from medication!" My hair's my thing. She said, "OMG, it's SO dry. Like, everywhere, not just the ends. Cutting the ends will do nothing." Good, because if this hair gets shorter the frizz is going to make me look like a Q-tip. She proceeded to gloss it and deep condition it and dry it in the way only salon professionals can. It looked great. No frizz. For the first time in a while I felt attractive.
This is what has been recommended to me, advice from the stylist and others:
- Coconut oil in the hair overnight, wash it out the next morning.
- Condition with something like Aussie 3-minute Miracle
- Spray on leave-in conditioner and/or pre-drying heat protect spray, I've recently used L'Oreal
- Dry hair with a round brush, no metal or ceramic around the barrel
- Use a finishing cream (I have a few of these in my bathroom, I never finished the containers. Even silicone-Frizz-Ease didn't help much. Meh.)
- If you use an oil product, do not use a flat iron or curling iron or you'll fry the hair.
- Do not use hair spray as it contains alcohol that dries. This is a hard habit to break (1984, remember?)
Today, before showering, I lubed up my hair with several tablespoons of Moroccan oil, which I don't really like, but I'm using up the bottle. Then I Wen'ed.
Today I test drove this Neutrogena product, Triple Repair cream, after towel drying.(I have no patience for using that t-shirt.)
Then, after drying my hair, I liberally applied this Garnier Fructis Marvelous oil, which I really like. It's not super-heavy. I'm also carrying it in my purse to reapply throughout the day because the hair gets really dry by noon.
Aaaaaaaaand today is the first time, other than a salon visit, that my hair is not a complete disaster. I know it's just hair and anything could be worse, but when you feel really unpretty it just makes your self-esteem so much lower. I've seriously been embarrassed to go to meetings and tried to hide all the straw in a stick-like ponytail.
Now I just hope that my hair doesn't become an oily mess. It's feeling pretty heavy now.
Next I will do the coconut oil thing, and if that doesn't work, as a last resort, get a weekly deep conditioning and blow-out at the salon. My stylist has also recommended mini-keratin treatments. Of course I don't want to spend extra money on salon treatments. But, it's hair. I'll give up something else.