Wow, what a week! An editor from the UK's Press Association discovered my blog and contacted me to ask for an interview. Within days people around the world were reading about my hair in online magazines and newspapers like the Daily Mail, Women's Health, Allure and Good Housekeeping, to name a few. How exciting to be able to share my hair story with so many new friends and readers.
The recurring theme in all the articles has been my #1 hair secret~ peanut butter! Some readers are confused at first, thinking that I rub peanut butter into my long hair. So I wanted to clarify my hair care routine and share some of my favorite products. If you have any questions, just pop them in a comment below and I will respond. Thank you, and have a beautiful day <3
Washing my hair:
Shampoo and Conditioner:
I wash my hair twice a week, and my fringe I wash each morning. I love to use Herbal Essences shampoo, especially Moroccan My Shine and Long Term Relationship.
I love the matching conditioners to my favorite Herbal Essences shampoos, and I also have an absolute favorite brand of conditioner called PURA D'OR that is made from all-natural organic ingredients. This conditioner makes my hair super soft and shiny, and so easy to comb out. The shampoo is great, but because it is all-natural it doesn't create the suds that I prefer. This hair product line is known to be anti-hairloss which is another plus.
Oils and Masks:
Before I wash my hair, I take it down from my hairstyle or braid and massage coconut oil into the length of my hair. I never put any oils on my scalp, only on the length of my hair. I concentrate mostly on the sides of my hair and the ends. I use organic, cold-pressed unrefined extra-virgin coconut oil, found in the grocery or food section.
Sometimes I switch it up and use monoi oil from Tahiti. I love the regular monoi oil, and also the monoi oil with ylang-ylang or vanilla. Monoi oil is basically coconut oil that is infused with Tahitian gardenia flowers. The scent and feel of it is amazing, my hair loves it and so do I.
I like to use hair masks on my hair that I can mix up myself using products in my kitchen. I generally use a hair mask once every few weeks. Here are two of my favorite hair masks:
Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, and Egg Hair Mask
For my ankle-length hair, I mix together 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and two large eggs. I whisk these ingredients together in a mixing bowl, then carefully apply the mixture to the length of my hair. I try not to apply the mask too thickly on the bottom of my hair, because the eggs have a tendency to make my ends dry. When I've finished applying the hair mask, I pile my hair up into a bun and cover my hair with a plastic grocery bag. I let this sit for about an hour, then I wash my hair, being careful to first rinse out my hair thoroughly in cool water.
Mayonnaise, Honey, and Milk Hair Mask
For my length, I mix together 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 1 1/2 tablespoons honey and 1 1/2 tablespoons milk. I stir the mixture together till it looks like a smooth salad dressing or conditioner. Then I apply this hair mask to my hair, concentrating mostly on the length but especially the sides and ends. I pile my hair into a bun, and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Then I wash my hair, being careful to thoroughly rinse my hair first in cool water, get get the mayo mixture completely out of my hair.
Now for my washing routine! I wash my hair twice a week, usually on Wednesday night and Saturday night. First I rinse out the oil or hair mask using cool water. Then I generously condition the length of my hair. I never put condition close to my roots or on my scalp, because this makes my hair fall out when I comb it. After I condition the length, I shampoo the top of my head. I never put shampoo on the length of my hair, because this dries it out. The conditioner helps protect the length of my hair while I shampoo the top.
After shampooing the top of my head, I rinse everything out in cool water. Then I condition the length of my hair a second time, and when I'm finished in the shower I rinse my hair once again in cool water. I always try to keep the water as close to cold as possible, because hot water damages my hair. I use a fistful of conditioner each time, and just a small amount of shampoo. With shampoo, a little goes a long way. With conditioner, a little extra never hurts :-)
Combing and drying my wet hair:
After I wash my hair I gently twist the length to wring most of the water out. Then I wrap my hair in a towel and leave it for 15 minutes or so. This lets any remaining conditioner soak in and makes my hair easier to comb out. I use a wide-tooth comb on my hair and start to comb from the ends of my hair and slowly work my way up to the top of my head. I never use a brush on my hair, but I do use a round brush on my bangs. I have a rat-tail comb that I use to make parts when I'm fixing my hair.
While I'm combing out my wet hair, if the ends feel at all dry or stiff I rub in a little rose oil or jojoba-argan oil. During the week if my hair feels a bit dry, I rub some rose oil or jojoba-argan oil into the ends and comb it through the rest of my hair.
I like to wash my hair in the evening so it can air-dry all night long. I drape it across the pillow and over the side of the bed so the air can reach it as I sleep. Usually by morning, my hair is dry. If I ever wash my hair in the morning, it will still be a bit damp when I put it up in a bun or braid, and usually it never dries completely no matter how many days pass.
Heat, and curling my wet hair:
I use a hair-blow dryer on my bangs each morning. I have a flat-iron hair straightener that I use to straighten my length before length pictures, but I only use it a couple of times a year. If my length pictures feature braid waves, I don't use it at all. (On a side note, I have never dyed my hair. My strawberry-blonde hair color is completely natural. I also don't use highlights, even natural ones. I notice if I'm out in the sun a lot, that my hair does turn a bit more blonde especially around my face. My eyebrows and eyelashes are naturally blonde.)
Generally I don't usually have a problem with tangles. But if I ever do have a tangle that I am having trouble combing out, I have a bottle of Johnson's No More Tears Detangling Spray that I use. It works great and does the job properly.
To curl my hair, I wash it in the afternoon then roll it up in socks while it is still wet, like I explain in this post. By the next morning, my curls are dry and ready to show the world. In the island humidity my curls don't last long, but they are beautiful and fun and I love them.
Trimming my hair:
I think that long hair looks longer, thicker, and healthier when the ends are even. Fairy-tale ends can be gorgeous, but personally I prefer long hair to have an even, straight hemline. I trim my bangs when they begin to hide my eyebrows, about every 3 or 4 weeks. My length gets trimmed when it starts to wrap around the comb as I'm combing it out, which means I've hit floor-length. Or I get it trimmed if the ends begin to look uneven or a bit scraggly. My mom is my trusted designated hair-trimmer. I stand in a kitchen chair, and she gently and evenly trims the bottom to make my ends even once again. The most I've ever had taken off at one time was about 4 or 5 inches. I was a teenager at the time and had been over-parting my hair which made my hair develop a "V" shape in the middle. My mom cut off the ends of the "V" to make my ends even, which is why she had to take off a few inches. Normally she takes off anywhere from 1/4 inch to 1 inch or hair at a time.
My hair reached knee-length when I was a teenager, and later in my early twenties it began to reach ankle-length. I prefer ankle-length, and keep my hair trimmed here. My goal is to have hair that is thick and even all the way to the ends, with very little taper. Regular trims and coconut oil work wonders on keeping my hair thick and healthy all the way to the ends.
Fixing my hair:
Most of my blog is dedicated to the many ways that I fix my hair, but I will just add that I do use hairspray on my bangs and on my finished braids and hairstyles. I use a little bit of hair gel on my signature side bang.
When I style my hair, I prefer to use a variety of small clips rather than lots of bobby pins or a single large clip, as I feel the small clips hold my hair in place better and carry the weight evenly without tugging and giving me a headache. I try to avoid tight ponytails, and love to use the large soft hair ties that I got from Claire's in Japan to make loose low ponytails that I can easily turn into a bun.
My #1 hair care secret: Peanut Butter!
As you probably already know, my favorite secret to healthy long hair that grows fast is...peanut butter! I eat a spoonful or two of peanut butter every day, usually mixed into my Slim-Fast milkshake that I have for breakfast and again in a second Slim-Fast shake at nighttime. The chocolate shake combined with a spoonful of peanut butter is a delicious combination, like a Reese's Pieces peanut butter cup but in a glass. The protein in the peanut butter helps my hair stay healthy from the inside out, and also helps my hair grow faster and thicker.
Thank you for reading about my hair care routine and favorite products! I'm so excited to share hair tips and pictures with my friends around the world.