I’ve had several hair styles over the years, some I have loved and some I have loathed. When you get a ‘bad cut’ all you want is for your hair to grow… quickly. When you have a great hairstyle, all you want is to keep it just as it is for as long as possible.
When I was at school I never visited the hairdressers. I let my hair grow long and I have to admit it was the healthiest then than it has ever been. When I left school and got a job, I suddenly discovered straighteners which ultimately destroyed my lovely long locks. I ended up with shoulder length hair after years of waist length curls and dry ends which shed with every brush. I started visiting a good hairdresser, investing some money into my hair and after several years of good cuts, using the right products and avoiding heat, I finally have a routine that favours both my hair and my time spent caring for it.
Here are my reviews of my favourite products.
OGX Moroccan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner
I have tried many shampoos and conditioners that all claim to do something. Whether it’s smoothing, straightening, detangling, none of them ever seem to live up to expectation. I do have thick hair that is dry on the ends and can get greasy at the roots quickly, so I need a balance of moisture and cleansing.
I have seen OGX products in a number of shops and because of the simple packaging, use of pure products and affordability, I decided to give it a go. I chose the Moroccan Oil shampoo and conditioner combination. It claims to add softness and shine to your hair while also reviving your hair with essential oils to protect it against UV and other damaging factors.
My hair really does love this product. Not only does it keep my ends in check but it doesn’t weigh down my roots, meaning I can go two days without washing my hair. It smells fresh and although the consistency of the shampoo is a little thick it lathers up nicely. I leave the conditioner on for about 3 minutes and then wash it out and with the right products out of the shower my hair stays long and healthy.
Both the shampoo and conditioner are available for £6.99, I regularly see offers on at Boots where you can get 2 for £10. There are also a lot of other options in the OGX range, all of which offer different results for your hair and some fabulous smells. I’ve tried a few other brands between OGX but always find I come back to the Moroccan Oil collection as it just works with my hair. I would recommend the Coconut milk range if you have really dry hair which is in need of a little TLC, I use the conditioner in this range on my ends when I’m in need of a trim as it keeps them hydrated and stops fly aways.
L’Oreal Mythic Oil
I discovered L’Oreal Mythic Oil at my local salon as my hairdresser swears by it. The first time she used it on my hair, I knew I had to own a bottle of this stuff, it smells gorgeous and feels so lightweight yet does so much for your hair. You only need about two pumps of this oil on towel dried hair for it to work its magic. I then leave my hair to air dry or give it a quick blow dry if it’s colder in the winter. Don’t apply this near your roots, only on the lengths of you hair as it will weigh them down and make them appear greasy.
Since using this nourishing oil, my hair is far less frizzier than it used to be. It’s also a lot easier to style and feels softer and healthier. I’ve tried various hair oils, but this one is my go to. I also find it ideal for styling. Use a pump of oil on the ends of your hair (either damp or dry) and style as necessary, it keeps my hair shiny and smooth all day but also keeps it hydrated and prevents heat damage from styling tools.
It is a little pricer than other high street alternatives at around £13, but it does last a long time considering how little you have to use. It also comes in a really nice glass bottle and is easy to dispense with the pump top. I’m not sure how this would work with thinner hair so I would recommend using a little less to prevent it weighing the hair down but for thick hair, 2 pumps is plenty. Try it and you’ll love it!
Feel Unique –
Look Fantastic –
You can also find this in selected hairdressers.
OGX Moroccan Argan Oil – Penetrating Oil
By far, the Mythic Oil is my favourite hair product, but another oil I use is the OGX Moroccan Argan Penetrating Oil. I always used to use this product when using heated rollers as my curls ended up lasting days, were soft, shiny and healthy, but then I discovered Mythic Oil and I stopped using this one as much. That doesn’t mean it’s no longer one of my favourites. I have found another use for this product that works wonders on my hair – as a pre wash hydration mask. When my hair is ready for a wash I cover the ends in the penetrating oil and leave it in a bun for a couple of hours. I then wash the oil out with the shampoo and it helps tame my locks when it’s air drying. It’s really hydrating, helps stop damage to long hair and smells lovely too, but it does have a thicker texture than the Mythic Oil so you don’t need to use much at all. It’s ideal for styling both dry and damp hair and as a hair treatment like I use it. I know if my hair needs a little extra love that the Penetrating Oil will be my saviour and recovers my hair when i’ve been styling it frequently.
It’s a great addition to the other OGX products in the Moroccan Oil range and for only £7.35 it’s good value for money. Use sparingly and you won’t need to buy a new one for a couple of months. With the thicker consistency, i’m not sure how well this product would work on thinner hair, but if you have naturally curly, thick or wavy hair it’s a perfect product to invest in that is tried and tested.
Easy Tease Hairbrush
Another styling essential is a good hairbrush. I’ve gone through many brushes over the years and have actually found a favourite. A lot of people can get quite confused when buying a new brush as there are so many on the market but I’ve found the Easy Tease hairbrush to be perfect for my hair. It’s similar to the classic Tangle Teaser, but I got given this one as a gift and am quite happy with the alternative.
The Easy Tease has smaller bristles than a standard hair brush and is easier to hold with it’s flat, curved shape. The bristles are quite soft so they don’t scratch your scalp as you brush, this also makes it ideal for combing through your hair when dry or damp as it’s so gentle to use. It is really effective at removing knots and tangles too, which with long hair is always a struggle. I also find I don’t have to brush my hair as often when using this particular product as my hair is in better condition and doesn’t get as knotted as easily.
I’ve found the same brush I own for £7.50 online. I think it’s good value for money and works well even on thick hair like mine. I no longer use a standard bristle brush anymore as this one is so much better at removing tangles. I’ve also found the amount of fall out from brushing is a lot less than before as i’m not raking through my hair as harshly as I did with my other hair brush.
Tips & Tricks
If you have short hair and are looking to grow it out, or if you already have long hair and are wanting to keep it in tip top condition, here are a few of my tips and tricks for keeping your locks in shape.
1. Try and avoid washing your hair everyday – your hair naturally conditions itself with oils which are removed too regularly when washed everyday. I was trapped in the ‘once a day’ wash cycle for about 3 years and my hair was in the worst condition it had ever been. Your hair needs these oils to keep the scalp and hair shaft healthy, but removing them too often can have a damaging and drying effect. Try washing you hair every other day to help add moisture back to your locks. Within a couple of weeks your hair will adjust to this new routine and will not get greasy as quickly, so have patience.
2. Only apply products to the ends of your hair, not your roots – especially with conditioners and oils. Applying thick products directly to your roots can make you hair greasier quicker. Only apply the products from midway to the ends of your hair. This is the oldest part of your hair that needs the most care and attention. Try a few new products to see which works best for your hair type and apply moderately. Apply any oils to damp hair and leave your hair to air dry, this gives the oils a chance to work their magic and is also less effort than styling.
3. Avoid heat styling as much as possible – It’s a harsh reality, but heat styling damages your hair more than anything else, especially if done daily. While growing your hair, ban any use of styling tools and you’ll notice a significant improvement in your hair’s condition. If you’re just starting to grow your hair, team this with a good trim at the hairdressers and visit them regularly to keep the ends of your hair healthy. It may seem odd to cut your hair when you’re wanting it to grow, but any dead ends will snap off when brushing or styling, stopping your hair from growing in length. Once your hair is at a good length and in good condition you can use the heat styling tools again, but only occasionally and with the correct heat defence treatments. If you’re worried you hair will look odd left to its own devices, try some different hair styles like braids. Within a couple of months my hair started to relax and I found it looked better if I did nothing with it at all, you just have to get through the tough stage first.
4. Avoid harsh colourants – I dyed sections of my hair blonde when I was at school and it was by far the worst thing I have ever done to my hair. Bleach removes all the natural oils in your hair along with the colour and will make your hair feel and look straw like. I would never recommend it unless you really have to as this stuff ruined my locks when I was younger. If you really want to colour your hair, try natural products without harsh chemicals like bleach. Also invest in some good shampoo and conditioners and avoid washing excessively to keep your colour fresher for longer. My hairdresser has always said that I should try and avoid colouring my hair until I really need to, she is definitely right.
5. Keep it natural – Natural is your new friend. If you have natural curls or waves, embrace them. We always want to look a certain way but for healthy hair, sometimes you have to work with what you’ve got. If you also do as little as you possibly can with your hair, its condition will improve drastically. I have naturally wavy hair, so found tying it in a bun or a braid was the best way to style my hair without heat. I always wash my hair before bed, let it air dry a bit before I go to sleep and then tie it in a loose bun. I get some nice natural waves when I do this and it’s minimal effort to. Avoid over brushing your hair too as this can cause your hair to snap. Start at the bottom so you remove any harsh knots and then slowly work your way up towards your scalp. Brushing your hair this way stops you tugging on the lengths of your hair which causes excessive fall out.
6. Eat healthily & Exercise – A varied diet and plenty of water doesn’t just do wonders for your body, it also works wonders for your hair too. I found the more active I was and the healthier I ate, the better my hair was. Your hair needs protein to keep it healthy and soft, so eat plenty of foods like eggs, chicken and yoghurt to keep your tresses happy. Crash dieting and cutting out food groups can have a serious effect, not only on your health but on your hair too. Make sure you eat your veggies, cut back on fast food and get walking. This helped me massively when I was growing my hair.
Photos taken and owned by Amy.