My daily hair routine: Developing a manageable mane at home

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Nants ingonyama bagithi baba~!*

*Literally translated to "Here comes a lion, Father". 

The start to the Lion King song, Circle of Life, plays as I come into the room. I used to live a life which reminded people of my lioness hairdo. Yes, my mane.



Will be sharing 2 routines with you today: my morning and night routine. But before we begin, I wish to share a little of my hair story.

This post will take some time. If you don't want to know my hair story (so sad!) then please scroll to the bottom where I share my hair routines.

Frizzy's the word

I was born with frizzy hair, like, extremely frizzy. And also an oily scalp. In Singapore, where the weather is hot and humid, oily scalps can only lament their fate, where they sweat on a regular basis, mixed with dust and dirt, blocking hair pores from breathing properly. They successfully lead you to obtain a result that leads to 'obstruction of hair growth'.

Wild Search for my 'Perfect' Hair Salon

There is no perfect hair salon. I have spent many years, finding a right hair salon for my hair, thinking that regular hair treatments would do my hair some good. To-date, I've spent thousands of dollars just to get a good cut for my face shape and make-pretend hair lusciousness.

To be honest, most of the hair salons I've been to, had helped in one way or another. But the quality of my hair has been far too damaged: what with hair dyes, perms, rebonding and all. Their treatments work, for people with superior hair genes.

A hairstylist once told me, "If I could just put you in the field, your hair would catch fire because it's exactly like dried grass." I kid you not. 

I ended up sitting through a 3-hour long hair intensive treatment that reverted my tresses to how it was, 2 days later. It helped, for 2 days. Costed me some $300.

Photos taken before year 2014.
How much was my highest spend in a hair salon? 

It was memorable, because I spent some $700, sat there for 6 hours and everything reverted to how it was before, after a couple of days (again!). $700 bought me a couple days of hair-piness. (Read: happiness. I'm sorry, couldn't help it)

In my secondary school days (aged 13 - 14), I have been the butt of my classmates' jokes. Manely (sorry, had to do that again) for my frizzy hair and unmanageable fringe, which led to me being called a cockroach as my fringe would hang like a cockroach's feelers from both sides of my face when my hair is being tied up.

My Rebonding Frenzy
Biggest mistake of my hair's life, probably. I was so frustrated, that in the year which I turned 15 years old, I went for hair rebonding at Jean Yip Hair Salon, which was my first ever hair salon.

My hair did not stop from reverting to its frizzy state, so every couple of months I went back for some rebonding again (that time, rebonding was very popular). In a year, I rebonded my hair no less than 8 times (so damaged). That caused some irreparable damage to my hair till today. Rebonding is evil to the hair, y'all.

That was my hair story. I have tried so many hair products, even purchased entire lines of hair products, but to no avail. The holy grail of many hair types, Mucota? Sorry, too mild!

Now, after many years of not giving up, I finally found my own method and mix of hair products. I also found ways to upkeep my hairdo and tame it, at least till it looks manageable.

A recent Japan trip photo, still showing my dry hair, but compared to the past, much more manageable!

Now, on to my hair routine. Are you ready? Let's go!

Pre-Routine Hair Tips:

Tip #1: Wash your hair only once a day. 
Don't wash it twice, even if you think it's oily. Ironically, your scalp is oily because it feels dry. The body's natural way of hydrating is to secrete more oil. Washing your hair too many times will sap the hydration off your scalp and make it produce more oil. You see the theory? I usually just wash my hair at the end of the day. Unless I participate in any morning exercises, if not I don't wash it twice.

Tip #2: Always comb through your wet hair to let dry.
I don't use any other combs as my damaged hair tangles so easily. I use a detangler comb, which my lovely aunt bought for me as a present. She knew I needed one! lol. The detangler comb minimises hair fall, which is common with hair that tangles badly.

Tip #3: Always let your hair dry naturally
Already your hair is damaged, what are you doing with a hair dryer?! Put that down! Unless necessary, I suggest you don't use hair-dryers at all, as much as possible. Remember the theory about not sapping moisture from your hair! If you absolutely have to blow-dry your hair, just make sure that you alternate between hot and cold air. What I do is to first use hot air (not too hot) to dry my scalp and then change to cold air. This will help dry your hair faster.

Tip #4: Leave your scalp alone
Before I begin, it is important that you know that you should not let any hair products touch your scalp (other than your shampoo or specific scalp products), as it could end up clogging your hair pores. Try not to even scratch your scalp if possible, as the bacteria from your fingernails could end up on it, or you could even end up hurting the scalp.


My Daily Morning Hair Routine: 
1. Comb through hair with a detangler comb.
2. Apply a hair serum / hair oil. Allow the serum / oil to sit for a couple of minutes.
3. Apply a hair protector before using any heat products.
4. Curl my hair with a curler. If you usually rebond your hair, you can do so as well.
5. After all curling is done, use a light oil to coat the hair ends.
6. As and when I require throughout the day / outdoors, I will spritz my hair with a light and fragrance hair mist to moisturise the hair ends. Only if you feel that your hair ends are very dry!

Recommended products for morning routine:
1. Detangler Comb:
Tangle Teezer (I know they are also selling this in Sephora, so you can check it out!)

2. Hair Serum / Hair Oil:
Mise En Scene Perfect Serum Original
Etude House's Silk Scarf Hologram Essence

3. Hair protector:
Etude House's Hot Style Heating Protector - I'm currently using this, so I'm just going to recommend it.

4. Your own curler / rebonding machine.

5. Light oil for finish:
Mise En Scene's Perfect Light Serum (this is their new formula, lighter and more fragrant than the original)
Moroccan Oil Treatment Light (this is extremely lightweight and moisturising, bought mine from Lacoco Hair Salon at Vivocity)
Marula's Light Hair Treatment & Styling Oil (can be purchased from Sephora stores)

6. Hair Mist:
Etude House's Silk Scarf Moist Hair Mist (this is not only fragrant but very light as well, on your hair and in your purse.)



My Daily Night Hair Routine: 
1. Shampoo hair with a good shampoo. Recently I try not to use anything with sulfates in it. 
2. Condition hair with hair rinse / conditioner, leave on for about 3 minutes and wash off.
3. Use a hair mask (yes, I use hair masks daily). Coat only the ends of your hair with the hair mask, use only the size of a 20-cent coin for all your ends. Usually, the hair mask requires that you wash it off. I don't. I leave it on, that's why I don't put so much. 
4. Dry your hair with a towel, but no rubbing! Just squeeze it dry lightly to ensure you don't 'bruise' your hair.
5. (Optional) Use a cleansing scalp serum to cleanse your scalp. This will help control oil secretion.
6. Comb through your hair and make sure there are no tangles. 
7. If you skip point #3, at this stage, you should put on a hair serum on the ends of your hair.

Recommended products for night routine:
1. Shampoo:
Loreal Sulfate Free Evercurl Hydracharge Shampoo (loved this shampoo, there are also others in the series which I will try soon. This contains a light coconut oil fragrance. Available for purchase in major supermarkets, Watsons and Guardian)
HASK Bamboo Oil / Charcoal Oil Shampoo (Sulfate free, so far had not disappointed. Conditioners are not strong enough though. Can be purchased from Guardian or Beautiful.Me. I got mine from Beautiful.Me)

2. Hair Rinse / conditioner: 
Kerasys Damage Clinic Rinse
Ferveor Multi-Plant Hair Solution Damage Clinic Care Rinse (I got these 2 items from British Essential)

3. Hair mask: 
Kerasys Nutritive Ampoule Treatment (you can use their conditioner, mask and ampoule for this, this is really good for an extremely affordable price) - (I also got this from British Essential)

5. Cleansing Scalp Product: 
PHS Hairscience ADV Purifying Tonic (I'm currently using the one called Oily Scalp Tonic, but this one looks exactly the same, except for the slight name difference. I got mine from their salon directly.)

6. Detangler comb: 
Tangle Teezer (I know they are also selling this in Sephora, so you can check it out!)

7. Hair serum: 
Mise En Scene Perfect Serum Original (this is the thicker, original formula. You can buy this online easily, I bought mine from Korea)
Rich Pure Luxury Rejuvenating Argan Oil Elixir
Kerastase Elixir Ultime (and finally, if you're feeling a little more expensive)

Of course, the list will always evolve, and I will not stop trying new products. I will update you again if I do. Anyhoo, this is my current hair care routine, which I think it's really better than going to the hair salon every week to have hair intensive treatments that only last a while.

That said, it's still important to visit your hair stylist every 2-3 months (at least) to trim your hair. If your hair ends are damaged, no matter how much you do the above steps, will not help that much as your hair is unable to absorb. With the routine above, I greatly improved the outlook of my tresses and thus am confident to share this with all of you.

One of my recent photos for an upcoming review. My black hair rocks. Haha.
For regular tresses: 
If your hair belongs to the more manageable type, you can also consider trying this method, which my best friend (who has awesome locks, btw) has shared with me.
1. After washing your hair, apply a mask of olive oil on your hair. Not too much, please. Just enough to coat your hair (from mid-point downwards). Still, no touching of scalp, too.
2. When you sleep, put a towel over your pillow and just rest through the night with the olive oil still working its efficacy on your hair.
3. Wash your hair as usual and dry it as you would.
4. Do this only 2 - 3 times each week. Not daily!

Olive oil: I got mine from Watsons. In fact, it's their own house brand's. This is specific for hair use. My friend got hers from Watsons as well, but she says hers cost only $2, because it's for general use (apply on body also can). *Jaw dropped* But you can go there and ask the staff where they keep their $2 olive oils. Lol.
One of the many better hair days experienced after I started this routine. Never-ending journey!
You don't need to spend so much just to take care of your hair, albeit still needing to make some effort on your part. That's the end of this post! 

My tresses are unfortunately still not perfect, however, my routine has greatly helped me in managing my hair / making it look more manageable than my frizzy hairdo!

This post has been one of my longest posts ever, but I do hope it has helped you in one way or another, or at least inspired you to take care of your hair better. :) 

My Hair Goals: 
- I would love to sport some ash blue hair colour some day. 
- Cut a nice bob!

Good luck and drop me a note to let me know how you're managing your own mane or what your own hair goals are!