Does your hair need Hydrolyzed Protein…?

I’ve always struggled with hydrating my dry hair, because it always seems to be dry and stringy…and although it is long, it is often feeling weighed down by more than it’s own weight. I have always used my coconut oil hair salve daily and it has helped hydrate my hair to shine, de-tangling and smooth, but over use of a good thing can be bad too. Over moisturized hair from oils can leave hair feeling greasy, thin and rough. Hair color doesn’t shine as much, even if it is a fresh dye job when too much of an oil/silicone coating has taken over. But is there another way to add softness and hair vitality? I recently discovered that an ingredient called hydrolyzed protein (wheat, oat, silk, keratin) can do wonders for dull rough hair in ways that oil hydration alone can’t. Hydrolyzed protein fills in some of the gaps and roughness in your hair with an organic material that will feel kinda like new hair…when paired with a hydrating routine of conditioners/oils it’s a complete package of shine and softness.

Notice how stringy my ends are and how they seem to thin out near the bottom? They are moisturized, but not soft for some reason…it’s missing protein…
This is when I was lightening and coloring my hair a lot, and the chemical dyes saturated the shaft, but since it was missing protein, it’s not shiny, but rough in texture…

How did I find this out? While traveling during March Break and visiting Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canada, I stayed at a hotel there with spa quality toiletries. I tried their shampoo and instantly I felt a difference in my hair vitality; my hair was less wiry when damp, and the next day the strands felt plumper, reminding me of how it had been in my younger days. I knew it was not my conditioner that provoked the change since I had packed that from Toronto. It was the hotel’s shampoo. I then scoured the ingredient list on the hotel shampoo and found out the main ingredient that I didn’t have in my shampoo at home was hydrolyzed wheat protein. An ingredient that would prove to make the difference.

Havin’ a “good hair day” in this vacation photo from Halifax at the Nautical Museum. After using the hotel’s shampoo the night before, it felt softer, silkier than before. Can you see this in the photo?

Back in Toronto now and using a shampoo with a hydrolyzed wheat protein. And am really liking it. But I only have protein in my shampoo, since I hear that using too much protein can cause hair to be brittle! Everything in moderation it seems!  My main tip for true hair health though is to rely less on hair care products and just treat your hair well. Do you really need to have the unicorn hair color that requires bleaching it to white, or do you need your hair to be heat styled all the time? There is no ingredient, chemical or natural that can reverse hair damage. New fangled and expensive heal-all chemicals such as Olaplex have drawbacks too, as the beauty industry has discovered (although I won’t go into detail about it this time around). Bottom line: no product or oil can substitute minimizing hair damage in the first place, so treat your hair and body well.

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Make your own dry shampoo so you can sleep-in during mornings!

Lazy is good.  It’s great actually.  When it comes to shampooing hair, there is nothing more healthy for your scalp and hair than skipping as many days as you can between shampoos.  The reason is simple.  Shampoos are harsh.  They strip away natural oils, you use a lot of friction to make them lather, and your hair (unlike a pair of distressed jeans), do not look better when they are put through the washer and dryer.  On the other hand, oily strands of hair do not look polished or pretty either.  A solution?  Dry shampoo.  When I use dry shampoo, I can go a up to a week between washing with a regular shampoo.  This is great in two ways:  It is healthier for your hair, and also it saves you plenty of time in the morning because you don’t have to shampoo and condition in the shower, and you don’t have to restyle/shape your hair again. I dust dry shampoo in my hair roots, and it looks as if I had showered and re-curled my hair! A handy and healthy short cut to clean hair.

So this is my hair after a few days without washing.  Kinda gross and oily as you can see.
So this is my hair after a few days without washing. Kinda gross and oily as you can see.

The best part is it really isn’t cheating.  Your hair is actually getting cleaner with the use of a dry shampoo.  The reason is is that oily hair is a magnet for dust and dirt.  When your hair is oily, particles of dirt stick to it, making your hair more “dirty” as each day without a wash passes. Dry shampoo works by soaking up the oil, along with any unwanted dirt, then falling out of your hair.   So technically, a dry shampoo really does “shampoo” your hair and clean it.  It is not a cosmetic effect, it  cleans by absorbing grease and oil and it is not as “gross” as some people may think.

Doesn't my hair look a lot cleaner and better?  It took two minutes with a dusting of dry shampoo.
Doesn’t my hair look a lot cleaner and better? It took two minutes with a dusting of dry shampoo.

How I use my own homemade dry shampoo is simple. On day 3 or 4 I dust in a thin amount of dry powder into the roots to mid shafts of my hair all over.  I actually use a blush brush and dip it into the bowl of dry shampoo and then brush it all over.  I like using a blush brush because there is more control, but you can also use a shaker type container to shake it in.  Then once applied shake and massage your head and hair so it can do it’s magic.   Then simply comb gently.  Thou’st ready to go out now!

Simple recipe for home made dry shampoo:

1 part cornstarch (absorbs oil like crazy)

1 part arrowroot flour (absorbs oil, but is softer in the hair)

1/3 part cocoa powder ( this ingredient is optional for those with darker hair)

Mix and blend all three powders until consistency is smooth and uniform.  I like to add jasmine and rose oil drops to make the shampoo smell amazing!

I keep my dry shampoo in a tin and dust it into my hair with a blush brush.  So easy, and fast too!
I keep my dry shampoo in a tin and dust it into my hair with a blush brush. So easy, and fast too!

Reasons to not have a hair stylist…

I was reading an article online recently about 14 reasons to splurge on a fancy salon, and well, here is my counter-argument to that piece…reasons not to go to a salon.  Most hair stylists would probably hate me if they knew me. I haven’t been to a salon in over a year and I don’t plan on going anytime soon.  I don’t depend on them to keep me with the trends, I do all my own hair styling, even cutting.  I stopped going when I noticed quality chemical treatment and colour products are available to the average person, and dared to ask to question if I could do without the salon industry. I started colouring myself with those home dye kits at the pharmacy and then eventually graduated to professional colours/rinses from the barber supply.  I took a bit of a risk to learn the ins and outs of basic haircare and chemical processing, and once I learned them, the risk element diminished, leaving even less reason to go to a pricey salon. I’ve heard people insist about how “magical” professional hands are to hair and how they are just a must.  Not true.  Sure, if you can afford $150 for a colour job then go for it…it is easier to sit in a chair and let someone else do it.  But for around $10 worth of professional products you can do the legwork yourself and save a whole lot of money.  Then use that for new clothes, stuff for your kids, and good food. Sorry hair stylists, but I’ve put a target on your business  in this entry.

looks like it cost something to breath the air in here!
looks like it costs something to breath the air in here!

A lot of people argue that stylists are needed, because and average person is inexperienced and can mistakes.  That is totally true.  I mean, I won’t lie and say I’ve never messed up my hair.  But the difference is that I can own up to it, and hair will grow back and I learn from it.  Hairdresser have made mistakes with my hair before, and I still had to smile and tip politely at the end.  Not fun. Depending solely on hairdressers for hair functioning is also problematic, because in my experience, they often do not understand or listen to the customer, and they don’t seem to really care about how you turn out.  Nobody can care more about how you turn out than yourself. There are the pricey hairdressers that might listen, but a lot of women can’t justify spending this much on just hair, especially in this time and age where money is so hard to come by.  And I don’t want to go to a hairdresser’s college just to get a decent affordable cut from a student stylist.  You’re giving your hair to someone who is going to learn from cutting it…and your own payback is a slight discount.  Not good enough.  We deserve more than that…

My last dependency on hairdressers ended when I started watching how-to videos online with simple instructions on hair cutting and layering.  I learned these and performed them on myself, made evaluations…all in all, it was something at I could do reasonable well.  Also, my hair is long, so long cuts are easier to maintain in my opinion, they are free flowing in general, so fancy cuts are not needed.  So…now I realize that my need for hairdressers is pretty much obsolete.  And it’s nice to be free.  I don’t have to save up my piggy bank to get something so essential as a proper ‘do.

Rapunzel did her own hair.  That turned out well, didn't it?
Rapunzel did her own hair. That turned out well, didn’t it?

Nobody talks about avoiding hair salons, because I think there’s a lot of business at stake, and there is so much riding on keeping women hooked.  My current hair-do is something I created to maintain myself, and I’ve gotten many compliments on it.  It’s a medium long hair length with wispy layers, and a straight cut medium length bang, coloured with a punchy pinkish red colour rinse put in after pre-lighting by toning with 40 volume peroxide, no bleach.  And I do it on my own, after a few trials and errors, but the end result is what I wanted.  And that was worth the work.

Maybe when/if I become a bride, on my wedding day, I’ll treat myself to a pampering blowout from a good hairdresser, because I admit that they do do beautiful blow outs and shaping after a shampooing.  They obviously know how to make an updo.  But until then, they are a luxury that even if I could afford, I have decided is not worth it.