Hair raising pursuits: A Malaysian Alien Column #6

I’m a bit nervous about this one as it’s not the usual storytelling narrative that I’ve been trying to cultivate recently. This is, I guess, a beauty blog post.

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing one of these for a while and was in two minds. The no camp was because there are loads of amazing beauty bloggers already out there in the world – fulfilling every beauty blogging need you may want. (Not to mention that I am also nervous about coming across as superficial and vacuous – but this is a judgement free zone – so let’s disregard this one for now).

The yes camp had these points to make: it could help my readership and it could tap into the beauty blog audience. And of course, I am really fond of trying new products and reading beauty blogs, so why not give it a go.

This one is ten tips for long hair that I’ve gathered over the years of tending to this big mane of mine:

1) I only wash my hair once a week.
If you’d advised me to do this two years ago I would’ve looked at you as if you were peddling snake oil. Who on earth would want to go about with lank and greasy hair, smelling like a street crusty, and looking like the littlest hobo? However, trust me (this is if you have long and big hair) put the effort in and grin and bear the couple of weeks looking like you’ve never seen the inside of a shower room, because your hair will normalize. There are a few tricks though ….

2) Invest in a good dry shampoo
Batiste is a good option. I’ve tried the Aussie miracle one but I think it runs out far too quickly. And there is a new Pantene one that I am quite keen to check out. These dry shampoos are great to get you through from Weds to Friday of the week. Or for the mornings after you’ve been to the gym when your hair will need a freshen up.

3) Root powder
In a related point to the above – a good root powder always helps give you volume after the 4th day of not washing your hair – which you will need you filthy animal you …
I like the Charles Worthington one, and it comes in a dinky bottle that you can easily stash away in your travel bag.

4) Hair oils
If you’ve got long, thick, unruly natural hair like mine (read: bleached to a nanometer of its sparse cuticled life), you’ll need to nurture your hair and give it a big part of your daily routine. Hair oils are a daily morning ritual for me. I put a really generous amount on the ends of my hair and it always gets absorbed right into the parched and dehydrated split ends – sucked up like vampires after a marathon on a desert. The best by far for me is Salon Professionals Luxe oil. I’ve tried some high street options like Loreal’s Extraordinary Oil, but they don’t absorb as well, moisturizer as well, a lot of them have alcohol in them and they don’t nearly come close to the delicious smell of the SP one. So even though it’s a little more expensive it’s well worth it.

5) Leave in conditioner
After my once a week wash, I slather on a sh*t tonne of leave in conditioner. I used to swear by the Pantene deep moisture soufflé, which is really good. But I’ve recently discovered the It’s a 10 spray in conditioner that has appeared quite a lot in the beauty blogosphere and after a couple weeks of using it, I am also a convert. I had to buy this over Amazon as it’s not available in stores in the UK (as far as I can tell).

6) Hair Mask

I usually try to make it to the gym once on the weekends, and this usually becomes my hair washing day. So I combine my post workout sauna with a hair mask session. So that my hair is deeply conditioned once a week, and the heat of the sauna will help the mask penetrate. I haven’t based that fact on any research or science but I think it’s something my mum once told me – mum’s always right. Anyway I like the Pantene keratin deep moisture / color care mask. Or anything by kerastase / salon professionals would be great. I’m currently using the Elvive Fibrology volume plump hair mask which is a bit cheap and cheerful but I don’t think is as deeply moisturizing as the ones I mentioned earlier.

7) Stay a way from the heat
I almost never use a hair dryer. It just kills my hair and because I bleach it so much I have to careful not to damage it in other ways. I usually have it in a towel for half an hour then air dry it for a while.

8) Heatless style
To get my hair to behave without styling it I usually sleep with my hair in a high bun. This pulls my roots up over night and makes sure that my hair stays quite bouncy and wavy the next day. Vivian Vo Farmer has some lovely tips on YouTube to get heatless waves and curls. You should have a look …

9) The Hairbrush
I am a child of the 80s so I’ve always sworn by Denman brushes but there are loads of nice brushes out there. My main tip is to brush your hair at night and after you wash it. Never before your going to wear it out because for me it really takes the natural style out of your hair and for me just makes me look like an 80s power suited business woman.

10) Supplements
Eats loads of avocado, fish and nuts, and use coconut oil in your cooking. This is not just for your hair – this will make you feel great on the inside and take care of your organs, your skin and your nails. But I also take an oily multivitamin (ie one with vitamins, minerals as well as some type of omega oil). I’m currently using boots own multivitamin for women and it’s great – I’ve never tried Perfectil but I’ve heard good things about it too.

Thats it – hope you found these helpful.IMG_3728.JPG

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