Tress Stress--The Products I've Been Using to Save My Hair

Hello, lovely readers!

I hope those of you up north are staying warm. No matter where you are, you might appreciate this post if you're having hair troubles.

Painting by John William Waterhouse--One of my favorite artists!

 My hair has grown quite a bit lately. It's layered, but the longest point reaches the middle of my back. I want to grow out my layers, so I will be trimming it regularly until they all even out. I've found that layers in the back of the hair end up turning into a frizzy mess--at least for me. The lengths of my hair had gotten extremely dry, too. I don't know what happened. I could blame it all on stress and would probably be right on the money, but regardless of the cause, I had to do something about it.

I've collected quite a few hair oils and potions in attempt to rehydrate my ends without turning my oily roots into a bigger issue. For awhile, I was trying out Garnier's Pure Clean line--excellent for oily roots, but the rest of my hair (thick and slightly coarse) couldn't tolerate it. I've learned a lot about ingredients and how my body reacts to them in the many years I've been blogging and trying beauty products, so I know what to avoid.

My hair, much like my skin, hates silicone and all of its friends (like dimethicone).  Sulfates are no good for the hair either, so you might as well rule out any of those nasty chemicals if you want smooth tresses. After doing some research (I wanted drugstore haircare) I decided to give the Shea Moisture line of products a try.

I'm using: SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo & Conditioner; SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Extra Moisture Detangler

This trio is amazing. The entire SheaMoisture line is Silicone, Sulfate and Paraben free. It's "free" of a lot of things, actually--just check out the label! SheaMoisture uses natural and certified organic ingredients. I've used raw shea butter before and it has a distinct smell that is present in all of these products. Unless you're extremely sensitive or NEED your hair to smell floral (or however most shampoos smell nowadays) the scent shouldn't be a problem.

Despite being sulfate-free there is still a good amount of lather so you feel like you are cleaning your hair. The conditioner is thick but not greasy (it sinks right into my ends) and the detangler has a nice, thick texture (great for controlling my crazy hair) and it helps detangle like a dream.

Olivia Garden's 100% Boar Bristle brush is another great addition to my haircare arsenal. I use the DV-4 model, which is the one on the right. Much like the product promises, the handle's ergonomic design makes it a great fit in your hand and keeps you from putting too much pressure on the scalp. While boar bristle brushes (BBB) are often a cause for debate, after doing a bit of research at the Morocco Method website, I decided to give the BBB a try.

BBB's have always been recommended in beauty books. They're supposed to help distribute the natural oils from your scalp down through your ends. Your scalp's natural oils are the best moisturizer for your hair. If you have oily roots like me, experts have warned BBB's can actually exacerbate the problem. However, I've found that the BBB has kept too much oil from accumulating at the roots. I haven't even had to use dry shampoo as much as I had to in the past.

One more thing I wanted to mention: I also went back to using my wooden detangling comb from The Body Shop. This comb is great for wet OR dry hair and it does not snag or snap the hair. I use this before I do my BBB routine for excellent results.

And the BEST thing about these products? They are ALL under $25!

What are some of your favorite haircare products?

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