28 March 2012

HOW TO // The 6 Week Hair Challenge

6 weeks ago I decided enough was enough with being blonde. Through silly amounts of hair dye and peroxide my hair was in terrible condition, falling out and snapping so I decided to set myself a little challenge to try and repair my hair as much as I could. I expect most of you have heard the advice that you should trim your hair every 6 weeks to strengthen your hair, well, I've never been one to stick to that but I decided it would be a good place to start. Begrudgingly, I cut a fair few inches off my hair to a length a bit longer than a 'bob'. I wasn't overly impressed by this but my hair was so damaged I needed to do it.As my hair was blonde, I then had to put a semi permanent brown dye on it to tone down the bleach/platinum colour as it would look even more obvious that I was growing out my hair. Not a great look. I was now ready to say goodbye to my straighteners for 6 weeks...

The "6 week challenge" is mainly about avoiding using heat (hair dryers, straighteners, heated curlers, curling irons) for a few weeks to give your hair a break but there are other things you can do to help the repairing process. 

You don't have to cut your hair, but it would be better as it helps to strengthen your hair. You only need a small trim, I cut mine myself.

The main part of this challenge is to cut back on using heat. If you have hair like me that is frizzy and unmanageable you might need to use heat at some point if you feel you need to. Try not to use heat but if you need to use the low setting on all appliances. You can also check YouTube for no heat hair styles, I've noticed they have become more popular lately. 

Heat Protection
If you use heat to style your hair you should be using a heat protector anyway, heated appliances can leave hair dry and frazzled. As Summer is just around the corner we normally focus on protecting our skin, but neglect our hair. A heat protection spray that protects from UV is worth the purchase to protect your hair and scalp from the sun. It doesn't have to be expensive, some reasonable drugstores/chemists (Bodycare/Savers) sell sprays for as little as £1 or you could opt for Boots own brand products. Just check the label to see if it protects from UV.

Hair washing and Dry Shampoo
When I was a teenager I knew nothing about hair care. I used to be obsessive about washing my hair everyday, sometimes twice and that was as far as my hair care routine went. I'm no expert but I know washing your hair everyday isn't great. Try to wash your hair every other day if you're like me and suffer with oily hair. If you can get away with washing your hair only a few times a week, you're very lucky haha! If you hate the feeling of hair that isn't freshly washed, try a dry shampoo. You only have to spray it in, rub and brush through and it leaves your hair freshened.

Hair Masks and Deep Conditioning
This point doesn't really need a lot of explaining. After shampooing and conditioning using a hair mask or a deep conditioner can really add a lot of moisture in your hair and they only take about 5 mins normally. This isn't so time consuming when you're not washing your hair everyday.

Leave In Conditioner and Hair Oils
Writing all this down it sounds like you're going to need to wash your hair again after putting so many products in haha. Adding in a leave in conditioner is just adding a bit more moisture to your hair and a little more protection. I used to be a big fan of leave in conditioners but they ran out too fast and don't have the same effect on my hair as an oil does. I never apply any products to the roots of my hair as it makes it greasy, just the ends. I use Lee Stafford Argan Oil and Moroccan Oil at the moment.

I've just come to the end of this challenge and I've noticed a big difference in my hair. In the next few days I'm going to have trim number two and smugly brush my hair without having lots of it snapping. I'm not a hairdresser nor am I training to be, this is just something I have done personally to try and repair my hair and can only give advice on my own experiences.