So I couldn't help being a little surprised when I tried a new hairdresser's about a month ago and the stylist told me a few home truths about my hair. I told her I'd been growing it for about two years but that it rarely got beyond a certain length. She told me that the years of daily straightening and bleaching had really damaged my hair and showed me some rather concerning and quite serious split ends that were the root cause (geddit?) of the lack of hair growth. After chopping the split ends and using a Moroccan Oil treatment she gave me a serious talking to about my haircare in future, prescribing regular haircuts, regular conditioning treatments and hugely minimising how much I straighten and blow-dry my hair. Despite feeling a little shell-shocked at being told quite how badly damaged my hair was, I was really appreciative of her honesty and vowed to take better care of my hair so that I can grow it in time for the wedding and try and reverse some of the damage that's already been done.
After doing extensive blog reading, chatting on Twitter and reading reviews, I decided to buy a few products to help in my pursuit of healthier hair. I wanted to get some good quality shampoo and conditioner, pick up the MoroccanOil treatment she recommended, get some heat-protecting products and some bits that would mean I could style it on a day to day basis without the aid of heat. This was my little haul, mostly from Look Fantastic (I can't resist a website with free delivery), bought after Christmas with some Christmas money.
I've been using all of these products in various routines over the last few weeks and I can definitely notice a difference in the length and quality of my hair. I've been washing my hair about once a week (it doesn't seem to do anything when I leave it longer between washes) and then blow-drying it and lightly straightening the ends just to tidy them up a bit. After that I won't straighten my hair again until the next wash. I'm trying to embrace the fact that my hair is naturally a bit wavy and use dry shampoo and hair oil to add a bit of volume and style in between washes.
I've also been reading blog posts on no-heat hairstyles and other tools you can use to style your hair with minimal damage. Instead of blow-drying and then straightening the ends every week I also want to try curling my hair and seeing how long that lasts so I've been looking at styling tools that both dry and curl your hair at the same time, or the hair curlers from Herseshons. I'd quite like to get a pair of curling tongs or a waving wand to vary my hairstyle and accentuate the waves - again, just once a week after washing (I don't want to swap one form of heat for another, I just want a bit of variety).
Overall I'm really hoping that the minimal heat and the new kinder hair products will really make a difference to my hair. It feels weird not to spend ten minutes in the morning straightening my hair and I do worry that it looks more messy and unkempt but if I want to have long, flowing mermaid hair it's something I'm just going to embrace!
... Oh, and I did have a little chuckle at my photography supervisor this morning! Bodhi loves to be involved in whatever I'm doing!