Ya’ll, confession.  I have serious, serious hair problems.  Like, my hair is pretty much the bane of my existence, and all my life it has been.  I kind of remember what it used to look like, probably the last time it was natural (brown, kind of wavy – I think!) was in 9th grade.  I was in high school in the early 90s so I started out with a perm.  Yup!  I never did the big bangs thing, I was listening to The Cure and Depeche Mode when most kids were into Bon Jovi and Guns and Roses, so fortunately I escaped the whole acid-washed jeans and big, crunchy hair thing, but I did do perms (yikes!).  Then, in college and my twenties, I went in search of the perfect blonde (like the rest of the world).  I went through a platinum phase, which looked cool but it was literally painful to do and the upkeep was too much for my first real job budget.  Then I went through a series of foils and highlights, which has pretty much spanned the last 20 years of my life.

So, it’s really my own fault I have bad hair.  First of all it occurred to me (and it also took me like 20 years to realize this):  good hair is genetic.  I have lots of great genes I am grateful for:  my whole family is thin and never had to struggle with weight (also very good for long-term health) and people pretty much die in my family of plain ol’ old age which is super lucky and quite frankly I would be willing to go bald if I could pass this along to all those who battle cancer and other chronic illnesses.  So let’s get this straight, I know this is a vanity problem.  But I always say, all problems are relative, and hair is mine!  But it hit me one day out of the blue that my hair was never going to look like a shampoo commercial.  Like, it just wasn’t.  And no amount of expensive shampoo, haircuts (yes I’ve had a $350 haircut) or product is going to fix that.  So, as the mature, rational adult I have finally (sort of) become, I decided to make the best of what I have.

daily hair routine

To boot, I also have streamlined my whole beauty routine.  I know as you get older you’re supposed to add more stuff, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten much busier as my business has grown, I easily work 9 to 10 hour days, and ain’t nobody got time for all that!  Also I am more careful with my money as I save for retirement.  Plus I realized that I don’t need every little hair thing I read about (if I had a buck for every new product I’ve bought after reading about it in a magazine I’d be retired today).  So, I wanted to share my inexpensive and streamlined daily hair routine just in case you too are suffering from dry, cracked-out tresses (not to mention a dry bank account!).

My hair type is mid-length, and it’s foiled with bleach every 3 to 4 months (yes bleach I know but with anything else I get a gross yellow tint).  So this is what I do on the daily to keep it looking (at least halfway) decent:

  1.  Coconut oil:  I put up a photo of Dr. Bronner’s but I’ll be honest, I use Lou Ann Coconut Oil that I buy at Winn-Dixie (you can take the girl out the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl!).  I mean, it’s 100% coconut oil, and I know this is going to kill all you trendy instagrammers but I really don’t mind not using organic {smile}.  Coconut oil is a solid (who knew?!) so scoop out a lump, and warm it in your hands to liquify it.  Then, I slater it through my dry hair at night.  Like, slather.  My hair is so dry that it absorbs right in, and I put my hair in the bun (with a hair tie, not an elastic) and by the time I get in bed, there’s no oil or residue on my pillowcase.  I’m a runner, and my workout routine is to run in the morning, so when I get up, I add a headband and do my exercise thang.  The heat helps it to soak in even more.
  2. Pantene Age Defy shampoo and conditioner:  Ya’ll, I swear by this.  I know, I know, putting Pantene in your hair is like sealing it with floor wax, that’s what everyone says, but honestly, I need floor wax on my head!  Trust me on this, I have used every slick, expensive shampoo, including a looong time with Kerastase, and I’ll be honest, this stuff works better than any of those, for my hair type.  Which is very, very, very dry.  And like my Lou Ann coconut oil, it honestly can be bought at Winn-Dixie for like $5.  Yup.
  3. Moroccan Oil:  This is another swear-by, and it’s on my desert island list, along with lipstick.  I would not trade Moroccan Oil for anything, once again, after Kerastase, Living Proof, Philip B., etc. etc. this is the best thing I have found for keeping my hair moisturized but not oily.  I use the Light version because I’m a light blonde and the heavier one yellows my hair, but I work 3 or 4 pumps of this into my damp hair.

These are my 3 big products, in fact my 3 only products.  Did I say I like to keep it simple?  I’m over having to haul around a million bottles while I travel or having stuff junk up my bathroom.  This is it.

Now, a few more tips.  Because I have the luxury of working from home (this is a biggie), what I do is let my hair air dry most of the way after I wash it and put the Moroccan Oil in.  So if I’m working on a project for you and we’re emailing around 10 or 11 a.m., you can safely assume that my hair looks like crap!  But I try to blow dry it as little as possible, so if you can let your hair air dry for awhile after washing, trust me it makes a big difference in health and frizz.  Then when I do blow dry it (I do it in 2 sections, bottom first), I use my other handy dandy secret weapon, the Babyliss Travel Dryer.  Ya’ll this thing is the best.  I love it because it is tiny.  So it hugely cuts down on frizz because it targets only one section of hair at a time, so you don’t get all the other pieces blowing around and puffing up.  It’s also super duper powerful.  It takes me 5 minutes to blow my hair.  I use a regular brush to detangle my wet hair (the key is to brush it out super gently, you don’t need a detangling hairbrush, any one will do, just use it gently and start at ends).  One more key to streamlining.  Then I use a round brush to blow it out in sections.   The Babyliss dryer is also great for international travel because it’s compatible with European plugs, woo hoo!

And that’s really it.  In the past year I’ve added hot rollers, way easier than a curling iron and better for your hair.  I let it cool a bit after drying and then just quickly roll it up.  I leave in 15 minutes or so, and take them out and then let the curls cool.  Sometimes I put it in a loose bun after curling and when I take it down, it’s frizz-free.  Also, ya’ll I cut my own hair.  I know I’m not capable of coloring it myself and I leave that to the pros, but after watching people cut my hair for the past 30 years, I feel like I know what to do.  And since I have long sweeping bangs, no way am I going to go every 3 weeks for a bang trim.  So if you feel comfortable with this, get yourself a decent pair of haircutting scissors, like at Ulta or somewhere, and find a Youtube video (that’s what I did).  And I honestly get compliments all the time on the cut, which is really no cut at all, just some long bangs and a few random layer-y things, but once again, the DIY saves me time and money.

So I know I basically just wrote a book on an inexpensive and easy hair routine, but I’m just a big believer in downsizing, trust me, the less clutter and routine you can eliminate from your life, the better off you are!  So enjoy, and I would seriously love to hear any comments below about your own haircare routines!