Favorites: Mane Ingredients

Dear Friends and Followers,

This post may be useless to some and very useful to others.  I get this question all the time… How do you do your hair?  Just recently at the Chocolate Show 6 people (men and women) asked me the same question. As you already know, I have a great team at Ion Studio but the rest is me, follicles and all.  I have struggled with my hair for so long… I was curly for most of my childhood and teenage until my hair finally gave up and started to cooperate.

I have some pretty strict rules when it comes to my routine but by the same token I am indeed a beauty products junkie. So I will give you the rules I swear by and the products I have had the best results with and you can cherry pick what you fancy the most.

RULE #1: Unless you have unbearably oily hair (or you are a man) wash your hair every other day with a mild shampoo AND only lather once.  Whoever said you need to lather twice had only one plan in mind… making you buy more shampoo! I lather once but I massage my scalp for a lot longer than average (3 min approx), just the time to sing Pet Show Boys’ “West End Girls”.  I rotate shampoos, because I am a firm believer that you need to attack the problem from different angles:

a)     Redken Extreme Shampoo (if you have damaged hair this is the equivalent of comfort food),

b)     Stephen Knoll Collection Deep Cleansing Shampoo (especially after using hairspray and dry shampoo, this is your best ally… and it smells amazing),

c)      Clairol Shimmer Lights Conditioning Shampoo (it smells bad but nothing takes brassiness away from your hair like this purple demon)

RULE #2: Use an insane amount of conditioner and switch to a mask once a week. I take my time and let it sit while I do something else (like clarisonic, scrub, washing my teeth, singing Pet Shop Boys’ “What Have I done to Deserve This”).  Combing through your hair is only the last part of the process because you really need the conditioner/mask to sink in first. These are the products I am using right now:

d)     Redken Extreme Conditioner (I use it together with the coordinated shampoo),

e)     Stephen Knoll Deep Moisturizing Conditioner (I use it to give my hair softness and moisture after the deep cleaning shampoo),

f)       Fredric Fekkai Salon Technician Color Care Moisture Mask (I am not sure whether it preserves color for real but it surely moisturizes a lot),

g)     Stephen Knoll NY Collection Deep Treatment Hair Mask (it is like putting a comfy blanket on your hair and it does not leave reside when you wash it off)

RULE #3: Reduce the amount of hair styling products (mousse, gels, hairspray, etc) and only use those aimed at protecting your hair instead of forcing them in some unhealthy shape.  Not everyone should look like a Japanese manga character and when you are petite like me that is an actual possibility.  I use products that protect my hair from the hair dryer because going out with wet hair is not an option when you catch colds as easily as I do.

h)    Kerastase Serum Oleo Relax (no it won’t make your hair oily, it will keep them smooth even if you are in India in the middle of a monsoon)

i)     Revlon Equave Hydro Nutritive Leave in Conditioner (call your friends in Europe and tell them that if they want to come visit in the US again they need to send you a case of this)

j)     Stephen Knoll NY Collection Hydro Repair Mist (if you don’t find the equave, this is your best bet. This leave in conditioner smells and feels great and reduces heat damage too!)

Rule #4: On the day you are not washing your hair use dry shampoo SPARINGLY!  I see so many people in the subway that have this with residue halo from excess dry shampoo… Let’s set the score straight, here: Dry shampoo is great but don’t exaggerate with the product or you will look like Cruella De Ville! The best way to apply dry shampoo is using a brush because the applicators that come with the product don’t let you control the amount you put on your head. I am not a fan of spray delivery as I think you have even less control over the amount of product you use…. Oh and don’t forget to brush your hair thoroughly with your Mason Pearson Brush.

k)     Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo (this is the gentlest I have found but I does leave a residue)

l)      Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo (I buy the travel size of this dry shampoo. It smells great but the application is fairly messy)

m)   Jonathan Product Green Rootine (this is a great idea: brown powder with a brush. The jury is still out whether it was well executed… so far so good)

Rule #5: Limit heat styling in the form of irons to once a week. As much as I love heat styling, these irons are really evil. Granted the hair shaft is already “dead” technically but why would you strip is of all its moisture repeatedly. Once a week is more than enough if you are vain like me, more and we will have to call it a violation of your hair’s human rights.  I personally hate that contraption called straightening iron. No one looks good with their hair pin straight, not even Morticia Addams (and in fact she has a lot of volume, remember).  Curling irons are definitely up my alley:

n)    Sultra the Bombshell is my favorite and it is also much less damaging than your average curling iron.

These are the (simple) rules I live by. Granted I have my fair share of bad hair day but they are not that horrible anymore.