…at least it is to me. I’m talking about hair. I’ve always had some hair trauma or another. That first boy-like hair cut that I had when I was young, the one that made everyone tell my mother what a cute son that she had. I cried the day they cut my hair like that. I even hid under the bed at my grandmother’s house. I was shorn at a salon in Ottawa and from that day on, my hair has always been a source of drama for me. The next trauma was the semi-mullet in grade 7 – you know the cut – business in the front and a party in the back. At least it was a one off cut – even at a young age I knew that it was wrong. My last huge mistake was the one and only perm that I got at 18. My hair has always taken well to anything – colour, texture, whatever you want to throw at it. Boy those curls never wanted to go away. Big hair – big mistake. After that, I got myself a proper hair dresser, found a couple of cuts that work for me, and have never looked back.
Hair is top of mind for me, not just because it’s a chapter in “You Being Beautiful”, but because I just got my hair cut and coloured (yes, like many women, I colour my hair – just keeping it real) yesterday. I love my hairdresser – not only is he one of the loveliest people that I know, but he’s always honest about what I need to do to keep my hair healthy, even when I don’t want to hear it. I’ve always had a thing about wanting long hair, and there have been times where he’s had to cut a lot off, and I’ve cried, oh how I’ve cried…but I knew he was right. He got me to use really good shampoos and conditioners – no more Revlon Outrageous for me – remember it? The Giorgio fragranced shampoo that made you want to “shake that body”? Now, it’s professional products all the way, and I’ve never looked back. He also made me take a break from blond for nine months to get my hair back to being healthy.
According to “You Being Beautiful” (and my trusty hair dresser), the bleach used in making my hair the beloved blond that it has been for more than 10 years, is very damaging to your hair. You end up losing the body of the hair faster than if you left it alone. My hair dresser told me last year that I needed to take a break, and I’ve listened. My current hair colour is the darkest that it has been in years. It’s also a little shorter than I’m used to (still past my shoulders), but I really want my hair to be healthy. If you have a good hair dresser, they will be honest and tell you what you need to do to maintain your mane. So, for nine months it’s dye, no highlights, and cutting off whatever length my hair grows. I’m also going to only highlight my hair spring/summer from now on – fall and winter, it’s back to dye to give it a break from bleach.
Now for a couple of tips from “You Being Beautiful” that I will incorporate into my hair care routine:
-Don’t pile your hair onto your head when shampooing – treat it like fine silk and let it hang down. I’m a piler, but will make an effort to stop this even though it takes the fun out of shampooing – no more shower mohawks
-I have combination hair – my scalp can be oily and the ends tend to be dry. I play with my hair a lot, and the book says that this can make your hair look oilier – point taken – hands off my head
-B vitamins are good for hair health so I bought a bottle of B Complex vitamins and will start taking them tomorrow
-Omega 3 fatty acids are also good for promoting shine – I guess I have to make time to grind my flax seeds
-Low iron levels can also impact your hair health. I have low iron and my doctor told me to take a supplement (only do take one if your doctor recommends it). I actually have noticed a difference in my hair since I’ve started taking it
Again, the best advice is listening to your hair dresser or even just asking what they think will make your hair look and feel better long term. They are professionals and know what can help. If you’ve been going to your hair dresser for a longer period of time, they will notice changes in your hair. Don’t be shy – ask away – and if you don’t like the answer, well, remember, they are the experts. I’ve learned the painful way that hair does grow back, and I’d like mine to grow back healthy.