The number one thing I seem to keep asking my hairstylist is the age-old question of “why won’t my hair grow?” There could be a number of explanations including I color it, blow dry and straight iron it, curl it with a curling iron, wear it up a ponytail for work every day, and tease it just to name a few. I will be the first to admit that I was NOT blessed with beautiful locks, but instead fight with it every day to be curly, straight, or somewhere in-between. Since this isn’t ever going to change I have decided to accept the fact that I will have to work with it (i.e. damage it) whenever I want to wear it down.
To make up for the damage I’m putting into it I decided to finally take my hairdresser’s advice:
Luckily, during the revelation I had about finally taking care of my locks, it happened to be during my professional dancing career where I received hair service & product discount. Can you tell we were sponsored by REDKEN?!
At first, I was a little reluctant to completely switch over to the brand because previous to Redken I swore by Matrix-Biolage products. The smell of Biolage is unlike any other shampoo or conditioner I’ve tried (amazing) and I would buy the S&C as well as hairspray, mouse, and who knows what else in industrial sizes. I still sneak a few Biolage products in here and there, but the majority of my bathroom cabinets are filled with Redken, Redken and more REDKEN.
To make this cluster of products pictured above make sense, I’m going to breakdown my exact everyday hair care & product routine. *Majority of the products I list in this post you can find at your local hair salon, Ulta, Target, Wal-Mart, drugstores like CVS or Walgreens, or online at the REDKEN website.
1. Before Washing Your Hair
The first step to a healthy hair care routine is to find a shampoo & conditioner set that works best for your hair and it’s needs. For me, moisturizing is my biggest need in order to strengthen and thicken it to grow. Also, I need a line that will work with styling products later on, so the set that makes the most sense for my personal needs is the Real Control line:
When I first started with Redken I had a dark red hair color and was more worried about it fading out. To keep my red hue going strong I started on the Color Extend Line.
If you have no idea which way you need to go, ask your hairstylist what type of line would work best for you. You can also check what end result you’re looking for in the left sidebar on their website here: Haircare Questions & Solutions. Base the majority of your product selections off of your line, but know it’s okay to mix and match lines to make your ideal product line at home.
2. Wash & Treat Your Hair
Once you find your ideal shampoo & conditioner, pair it with conditioning treatments. I veer off from my Real Control line and rely on the Extreme line to deep condition and treat my hair. Extreme Cat is an easy way to deep condition your hair and is very easy to use.
After shampooing, saturate your entire head with the Cat spray, leave on for 3-5 minutes, rinse and follow with your regular conditioner. Besides Cat, I change up my deep conditioning treatments with Extreme Deep Fuel. It comes in a box with 5 tubes, with each tube supplying enough treatment for at least 2 uses. Just like Cat, after shampooing saturate your entire head with the conditioning cream. Let this one sit at least 5 minutes, rinse and follow with your regular conditioner. Unfortunately, Deep Fuel has been discontinued on the Redken website, but you might still be able to find it at salons. If not, google it and I’m sure it will pop up somewhere. (That’s what I’ll be doing when I run out!)
*TIP: When you go in for your next hair appointment, ask your stylist about doing a deep conditioning treatment at the salon. They use similar products to the ones pictured above, but usually they are a little more intense. Also, it will extend your hair color’s shelf life by conditioning right after processing.
*DOUBLE TIP: Try not to wash your hair EVERY day, seriously. If you can help it, wash it every other day to avoid stripping it of it’s natural oils and prevent drying it out.
3. Protect Your Hair With Leave-In Products
You can continue your conditioning treatments with leave-in products, and protect your hair from the damage you’re about to do to it with styling. I certainly mix and match with this collection, and it’s a compilation of trying different products out and sticking with the ones that work.
After towel drying your hair, use a protectant like Color Extend Total Recharge to protect your color, strengthen and condition your hair. *You can also use this product as a treatment (like Cat) in the shower. Next, apply protein to your hair with a product like Extreme Iron Repair. Again, this product has been discontinued on the Redken website, but a similar product I’ve tried and love is Extreme Anti-Snap.
Planning on straightening your hair with a blow dryer and/or straightener? Sheer Straight 06 is a straightening serum I swear by. This particular product has a lot of different uses including adding protein to damaged hair, protecting your hair from the heat it will soon endure and reducing frizz. Finally, the last thing I do before I blow dry is protect against more frizz with Smooth Down Heat Glide. Apply 1-2 drops evenly, or less just on problem areas. I have extremely frizzy hair when I blow dry, which is why I use an excessive amount of anti-frizz product. This will probably not be the case for most of you, so focus on the Sheer Straight or Anti-Snap, if you’re not wanting to have a product store under your sink like I do.
4. Protect Your Hair After Blow-drying
Obviously, heat is not good for your hair’s overall health, so it’s important to continue using product the whole way through styling. If you plan on using a straightening or curling iron, stock up on protectant products to coat your strands while you’re heating them.
All three of the products pictured do about the same thing. The main point of these heat styling sprays are to protect your strands while straightening, as well as fighting against frizz. I interchange all three of these, *Pictured Left: Redken Spray Starch 15, Middle: Redken Iron Silk 07, Right: CHI 44 Iron Guard. Spray Starch 15 is a little more intense than the other two and works best if you’re curling your hair with a curling iron. You can use these products before blow-drying, but I have found maximum results when using them by spraying section by section while straightening or curling.
*NOTE: When it comes to straightening tools, CHI is by far the best brand I’ve owned and trusted to work on any type of hair. I am planning to dedicate a post just to my CHI products soon, but for now we’ll stick to the styling products.
5. Keep Your Hair How You Styled It!
Would you want to style your hair, walk outside and have it fall back to the way it was before you even blew it dry? Living in Florida, this has happened to me quite a bit from high humidity levels, but here are some products I turn to to fight humidity as much as I can:
I love Redken Hairsprays. I own 3 different strengths, Workforce 09 (flexible hold), Quick Dry 18 – pictured (firm hold) and Forceful 23 (super hold) and choose my hairspray according to my hairstyle and how active I plan on being. In my dancing days, I stuck with the 23 for maximum hold to my curls. If you’re looking to smooth down your frizz or tame your whispies, I turn to Redken Outshine 01. Use a very small amount and apply a little at a time. Outshine is a little thick, so if you’re looking for something a little smoother, you can turn back to your Heat Glide (pictured earlier), or invest in one of my favorite frizz-tamers EVER – Biosilk. Again, use a very small amount and apply a little at a time.
Not a fan of straight hair? Get to your curliest potential with my favorite curling product, Redken Ringlet 07.
Super easy curls in 1 or 2 steps. Apply to towel-dried hair, scrunch and let air dry or defuse for maximum curl and style.
*TIP: Even if you’re on vacation you can still take care of your hair. Invest in a travel line and most importantly, stay on your regular shampoo & conditioner. Stick to the basics if you don’t have a lot of packing space. I put my travel products on top of our vanity box (AKA wedding ring holder)…lol to show how small you can find these products to take with you!
Seem like a LOT of products? I know…it does, but I do some serious damage to my hair and I’m guessing a lot of you who are reading this are just as guilty as I am. I have been through all different shades of hues from platinum blonde to dark red and the key to keeping my hair healthy & on my head is HAIR CARE, TREATMENTS & QUALITY PRODUCTS! I can’t preach enough how important those 3 things are to anyone who colors, blow drys, straightens, curls or even teases their hair.
What are some of your favorite Hair Care, Treatment or Styling products?