If you read my Hair Care Haul post, you already know that last year I began an overhaul on my scalp and hair care routine. My routine prior to that was standard – scalp serum, shampoo, conditioner, hair serum, air dry most times, only blow dry when necessary. I found it all very tedious because I have a lot of hair and long hair, I just wanted it to be over with as soon as possible. I was definitely never as attentive to my hair back then as I am now. My scalp and hair were barely problematic for most of my life; It wasn’t until I started working in aviation and bleached my hair multiple times that I started developing problems. I would spend most of my money on scalp serums that definitely helped, but didn’t really pay attention to the other products as much – as long as my hair felt smooth and didn’t irritate my scalp, it was okay in my books.
I’m sure many of you have seen Holistic Habits and Organically Anna, the ladies with long, healthy, gorgeous hair. They pretty much inspired me to pay attention to my scalp and hair more. Also just me getting older and realizing I banked on my hair just being dead straight and with Asian genes equating to unproblematic. Oh how that is not the case!
Using the recommended products and applying their tips and tricks, I have been doing the following routine for about a year since purchasing the recommended products to achieve and maintain healthy hair.
ABOUT MY SCALP & HAIR
Used to be super inflamed when I bleached for years, to the point where I developed a disgusting amount of dandruff. Now it is fairly balanced – no dandruff, but scalp gets itchy by the 2nd day after washing. Scalp can get quite oily. I tried “adjusting” to wash my hair only 1-2x a week for a year and it never adjusted (yes, even without using heat, using SLS and silicone-free shampoo / conditioners, dry shampoo).
Long (just above waist). Dark brown that gets natural highlights in the summer, tips are dyed because I’ve been growing out my natural hair – haven’t dyed my hair since December 2017. Pretty much straight 24/7 – although when I get a haircut there is a slight wave. Would say mostly my hair is 1A. Low porosity. Not thick like typical Asian hair but still considered thick (if that makes sense). It didn’t look unhealthy, but I personally felt like my hair was lifeless and becoming dull.
MY SCALP AND HAIR ROUTINE
1x Week/Every Other Week:
Scalp Treatment: On a wash day, I massage the Innate Life Scalp Treatment all over my scalp by sectioning off my hair and rubbing the treatment on my hair line. Once I have covered my entire scalp, I massage it for 3-5 minutes, then let the treatment sit for 2 hours before shampooing with a clarifying shampoo twice (Aveeno Scalp Soothing Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo) and a Calia Natural Shampoo. I have to shampoo my hair 3 times to get the treatment out, so that’s why I like following up with Calia Natural.
Conditioning Treatment: I have tried Calia Natural’s Intensive Conditioner, Briogeo’s Don’t Despair Repair, Innate Life’s Herbal Hair Mask… None satisfy me! I stopped using a conditioning treatment for a bit and just leave plain conditioner in my hair for longer. Currently I am trying to start to use Coconut Oil on my ends more consistently; It is able to penetrate the hair shafts, create a water-blocking layer, and prevent protein loss. I have a lot of hair, so it’s definitely the more affordable option!
Every Other Day:
Shampoo & Condition: After much trial and error, 1-2x a week hair washing is not for me. The buildup of oils is too much that no dry shampoo can help, also my scalp becomes irritated. It’s felt a lot better since giving up that endeavour and just washing it when I need to. I alternate my Calia Natural shampoos and conditioners depending on my mood. I’ve been loving this brand because it doesn’t irritate my scalp at all, and the shampoos and conditioners are actually pH balanced to match the pH of your scalp and hair shaft! I make sure to massage the shampoo on my scalp for a few minutes, and leave conditioner on the mid-shaft to my ends for a few minutes as well. I recently started using a clarifying shampoo on days where I feel like my hair looks weighed down. The Calia Shampoos barely lather and I don’t see any cleansing agent in the ingredient list, but my hair always feels clean after using them and never oily. Sometimes my hair starts to look a little weighed down if I use them too much, so I use my clarifying shampoo (Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo) to help add back volume.
Drying: I like to use a microfibre towel (Kitsch Microfibre Towel) to absorb as much water out of my hair as possible and I find it helps minimize hair breakage(you can also use an old T-shirt). I usually have it on for 30 minutes to an hour depending how chill I am lol. I find doing this helps lessen the amount of time I apply heat on my hair. When I am ready to dry my hair, I apply a leave-in conditioner all over, with a focus on my ends (I have been rotating between Briogeo Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioning Spray and Beach Cosmetics Mellow Out Leave-in Conditioning Detangler). I keep the dryer a fair distance away from my scalp and hair, and I switch to the cool setting once I feel that my hair has dried enough. I have tried air drying my hair for years and frankly I haven’t noticed much of a difference for what it does to my hair other than it being annoying and causing more frizz to my seemingly straight hair.
Apply Hair Serum to Ends: The Innate Life Rose Hair Elixir is the first oil-based hair serum that I actually really like. It moisturizes my ends really well, has a faint rose scent, and I only need a few drops! Occasionally I use the Hask Monoi Nourishing Shine Oil; While I like that it smells nice and softens my hair, I find it’s not as long-lasting. Silicone-based products tend to build up in your hair, this one just disappears lol. Usually my hair likes silicone-based hair serums, I guess this one just can’t compete with the bleach! On occasion, I also like to spray my hair again with leave-in conditioner to make my hair feel softer (and smell good).
Brush hair 2-3x a day: I have been using the TEK Oval Brush religiously for over a year to brush my hair. Wooden brushes are recommended to help with scalp massage, distribute your natural oils through your hair strands, and prevent excessive breakage. I personally haven’t noticed a difference with hair oil distribution, but I love it for scalp massages and it has been one of the gentler brushes I have used on my hair. It’s tips are rounded and I had a hard time trying to dupe it. I like that I can put some pressure on my scalp and get a nice, comfortable massage going without it getting tender up there.
And that is is for my current scalp and hair routine! I honestly never thought I’d be the type of person to put this much effort into my hair, but I’ve really been noticing the benefits from all this TLC and the difference when I get lazy. I have also received compliments from friends and family that my hair looks shinier and thicker, and feels softer! I actually find my haircare more relaxing and contributes to my #SelfCare more than skincare lately!
I’m almost finished all my Calia Natural Shampoos and Conditioners and have actually purchased the Innate Life Herbal Shampoo and Conditioner to try out. I also purchased their new Neroli Hair Primer and Leave-In Conditioner! I actually wanted to repurchase the Beach Cosmetics Mellow Out Leave-in Conditioning Detangler, but it looks like they’re not operating anymore :'(
Overall I find this routine has been working really well for me, but my curiosity has peaked with the Capillary Schedule (Cronograma Capilar) and I may be trying that soon! Have you tried it before? Let me know in the comments, I’m super intrigued by it.
As always, I hope you found this helpful and informative! I had fun talking about something other than skincare, so I may be doing some more scalp and hair related content in the future.
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Aveeno Scalp Soothing Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo
Briogeo Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioner
TEK Oval Brush
Kitsch Microfiber Hair Towel
Hask Monoi Coconut Oil Nourishing Shine Oil