So even though this is my author blog where I guess I am supposed to blog about all things writing, I have to take a moment out and share something that’s been plaguing me. Winter. In all it’s snowy glory, it also happens to be super harsh on our skin and hair, so please allow me to share some tips with you.
I have very curly hair. See image to right. And curly hair tends to get very dry (not too mention is quite fragile). The dryness is attributed by the lack of cuticles around the hair shaft and not getting toooooo scientific, it just means us curly haired girls have to use a lot more products to keep frizz away. Frizz=Dry hair. I recently had to cut all my hair because I did something very stupid….bleach my hair several times in less than a year. I went from Brown to Red to Blonde to Orange and now I have Purple hair in my underlayer and on the top (black in the middle). I wanted to bleach it turquoise but alas it is no longer in my future, or at least for a year. Here are some of the products I use (did I mention my hair is super thick?) that may or may not work for you.
Coconut Oil-smooths cuticles, penetrates hair shaft.
Jamaican Black Castor Oil- seals in the moisture of any product because it’s very heavy.
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Leave In- pretty good for moisture. I like to wet my hair before putting it on.
Organix Moroccan Oil- Another great one. Smells good and great for shine, softness.
WEN Fig Cleansing Conditioner- Very moisturizing and shampoo free (making it very gentle on fragile hair). Variety of “flavors”, Fig is best for thick hair. They also have a deep conditioner that goes with, I recommend that and their refresh (is that what it’s called?) spray/spritz. Tis amazing!
Chaacoca Mask- I only bought it one time, online, and it was pretty good from what I remember. Great for strengthening hair, so too much can dry your hair!
TIGI Bed Head Urban Antidotes 3 Conditioner- First, it smells freaking delicious! And is great for nurturing color damaged hair. I bought it at drugstore.com but in America you can find it at the salon and ULTA (i think). Here in Germany, it’s at any hair store.
TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde- Used when I first bleached my hair blonde. Smells absofreakin`lutely delicious. Like pineapples but soooo much better. Great for softness.
Joico K-Pak- I don’t use it often as too much can dry your hair. It is meant for strengthening so it has loads of protein. IF your hair is damaged give it a go, but with winter and dryness, I’d be cautious.
Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose/GBP Conditioner- Both great for softness and moisture.
Tsubaki by Shiseido- Specifically I use Damage Care and Head Spa which are sooo great! You can buy them online at ebay and stuff but I would advise against it as they are insanely overpriced!! I buy it in Japan and it’s just 398 yen (no more than $5).
Do I use all of these products in one sitting? Nooo. But they do get used often. So how do I use them? Well my regiment is a bit involved so bare with me.
I may or may not do a hot oil treatment (depends on if I’m going to use regular shampoo that dries my hair out as it cleans). I then shampoo, lately I have been using Organix shampoo and then rinse in coldish/lukewarm water. Oh, I divide my hair into four parts for this. Then I will take a detangling product and go through my hair with a wide comb. If my hair is need of some TLC (especially after coloring) I will use my Joico K-Pak and leave in 5 mins. Next, put a conditioner (Herbal Essence Hello Hydration or Long Term Relationship is good and cheap…otherwise I use one from the list above), go through my curls for anymore tangles with the comb again. Sometimes I think, “my hair could use a little bit more moisture” then I grab my deep conditioner and dump it on my head, throw my shower cap on to generate heat which helps the conditioner penetrate the hair shaft and finish my shower. Rinse with COLD water. I believe cold water seals your hair cuticles while other’s say it doesn’t… You can decide. I then put coconut oil or really any oil (I have alot of oil that I purchase from ebay), then the neutrogena or you could skip if it’s beginning to be too heavy for your hair. A little Moroccan Oil (argan oil) and Yossha!! Soft curls!! Mind you, I never blow dry my hair but on the very rare occasion that I do, the blow dryer that I own is Sedu 4000i. I also own a flat iron: Babyliss
Things to remember when it comes to winter styling:
- Lay off the heat– The dryness of the air is already sucking out a ton of moisture do you really want your styling products to take anymore??
- Lay off the cotton– Cotton sucks moisture from hair as well. That amazing 800 thread egyptian cotton pillowcase you’ve got is still cotton at it’s core and is robbing your hair of it’s moisture, so grab a silk pillowcase or scarf!
- Wait till spring to bleach– We all know bleaching is super harsh and so is winter air. Sooooo, point made.
- Boar bristle– Use a boar bristle to smooth out curls. They are a bit expensive but totally worth it.
- Oil is great for thick hair but thin hair will be overwhelmed. Adjust accordingly.
Whew!! That was long….but wait there’s MORE!! (echo) More more more more….
A few months ago, I bought some things from Sephora, one being my handy dandy Clairosonic Mia 2!! It is so awesome. When I look back on my old methods of washing my face they just seem so LO-TECH. So I ordered my Mia 2 and got with it dr. brandt pores no more, murad skin perfecting lotion and some facial cleanser that I can’t remember but have been impressed with. I love the pores no more but I could’ve done without the skin perfecting lotion, it seems to burn my skin everytime I use it. Fortunately for me, that same day I placed an order for the Mia 2 I went to beauty.com and bought Origins A Perfect World which is capital A-mazing for winter. It is not recommended for oily skin (which I do have, well, combo-oily) but winter makes it necessary and the fact that hormones tear my face apart is all the more reason this moisturizer is so good for me.
I placed another order at Sephora because at the ripe old age of 7000, I seem to be noticing dark circles under my eyes T__T so I bought Shiseido White Lucent Anti-dark circles to help combat them. I bought it because I use Shiseido White Lucent Concentrated Brightening Serum which is great for when I get blemishes. It’s a slow process and haven’t seen too much to say that it was a good purchase but I’ll continue to hold out until I finish the bottle. When I made that purchase I got a Beauty Insider package which came with a sample of Murad clarifying face wash (I approve), perfekt skin perfecting gel and l’occitane divine cream (haven’t tried yet).
I think my facial routine is simpler than my hair. I wash my face with whatever facial gel I have on hand (some I’ve used are Purity by Philosophy, Murad, Boscia, DHC, Skinfood) then I apply toner (always Thayers Alcohol Free Witch hazel) and then brightening serum (as I said currently Shiseido, may try Clinique but I’m already satisfied with Shiseido.), next is moisturizer (currently Origins A Perfect World, previously Hope in a Jar, before that Burt’s Bees). I also like to do facial massages to improve flow~ it’s good for a youthful look! A few times a week I will put on a facial mask, mainly My Beauty Diary (from Taiwan), they have so many different ones that do different things I couldn’t possibly talk about all of them now. Maybe in another post I will do a review of skincare products (both American and Japanese).
Things to remember:
- Wash your face morning and night– don’t be lazy!
- Here’s a really good one for acne: Salicylic Acid is good, you’ve probably heard that but if you want to speed up the process of getting rid of acne dab a little bit of Tea tree oil on it! It can also be used on your scalp
- Change your pillowcase often! Do you know what lives in your sheets??? Skin flakes that you not only inhale but OMG, the oil and junk just rubs back on your face.
- Switch your moisturizer for the season.
- Oily skin– use toner.
- Don’t be afraid to try out facial masks– there are so many options and they are quite fun to use.
- SUNSCREEN. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS. And especially when you are brightening your skin.
Now, I will go back to writing. And still to come, Twilight 2.0– Why your vampire book (and every vampire book you’ll read from now until infinity) is Twilight in disguise.