How to Get Healthier and Longer Hair

Hello, frenz and Happy Humpday!! These weeks have been soaring by for me lately but it's okay because it makes us that much closer to Halloween – the land of horror movies and costumes and fun wigs!

Speaking of wigs and hair, today I wanted to talk about some of the ways that I got my hair back to good health and grew it a little longer. I've noticed recently how long it has gotten, although it's still not as near as long as I want it. I've only been doing these methods for about five months, but they really seem to work — so I thought it would be fun to share some of the things I did to make my hair healthy and longer! Let's just jump right into this, shall we?!

First, let me give you a little background on my hair. I've been bleaching and using boxed dyes since I was a preteen (over 10 years). I've gone from platinum white, the whole way to black and every color in between. I've had periods of time where it would be incredibly long, and then times that I would cut it insanely short. Most of the time with my hair short was spent researching how to grow my hair back out. It's been a lifelong struggle but I think I finally found some secret weapons to healthy and longer hair!

WENT BACK TO NATURAL HAIR
Last winter, I dyed my hair from blonde to brown to red. I hated it after three weeks and desperately wanted my golden locks back. I went to my local Rite Aid and purchased the Color Oops Color Stripper // $9.99, extra strength, just in case. It was a miracle in a bottle as all of the yucky red and brown tones were removed from my hair in as little as an hour. The color left on my head was a yellow, orange blonde so I just threw a dark blonde box dye over it and called it a day.

CEASE HEAT/CHEMICAL USE
This is an absolute no brainer when wanting to grow your hair out. After using the bit of chemicals to get my hair close to my natural color, I put a halt to hair coloring and processing. Going back to your natural color relieves the pain of walking around with yucky colored hair and kind of gives you a fresh dew-over (pun intended!) My hair has decent texture and a bit of life to it, so I'm not too hesitant on leaving the heat tools in my drawer. There are a lot of different ways to style your hair without heat, if you feel the need to style it!

GET A SCALP MASSAGE
Why not give yourself a relaxing scalp massage at the end of the day? During my hair growing research, I stumbled upon the method of giving yourself a scalp massage to circulate the blood on your scalp and stimulate the hair follicles, thus causing your hair to grow. I give myself "scratchies" because I like my head being scratched and it works the same as a massage. Not only does this make your hair grow, but it's also soooo relaxing!

STOP WASHING SO FREQUENTLY
It sounds gross, but you'll be able to tell a difference in your hair in as little as a few weeks. Washing your hair every day strips the essential oils off of your scalp and out of your hair. Those essential oils are essential for a reason, as they leave your hair naturally moisturized. I wash once every four or five days, depending on the activities I've been doing. I'm able to do that because I don't build up a lot of oil in a short period of time, so if you're more oily, I suggest washing every other day or until your oil regulates and you can go longer.

SWITCH TO SULFATE-FREE SHAMPOO
Using a sulfate-free shampoo makes your hair healthier and smoother because it doesn't use harsh chemicals to cleanse the hair, leaving it noticeably healthier. I currently use the Suave Professionals Color Protectant Shampoo // $1.99 and Renpure Originals Coconut Cream Conditioner // $3.98 for the days that I wash my hair.When I bought the Suave shampoo, I was under the impression that it was sulfate-free (the internet lied to me). It turns out that it is NOT sulfate-free, but it does have less sulfate concentration. It still leaves your hair feeling silky and moisturized.

ONLY WASH THE SCALP
This is something that I believe has helped my hair immensely. By only washing your scalp, you're not stripping your ends of the oils that were combed through from your scalp. Instead, you're cleansing the scalp of excess oil and dirt while also letting the remaining shampoo gently cleanse the ends as you rinse.

FOCUS CONDITIONER ON ENDS
When applying your conditioner, focus the product more on the ends and work your way up. This gives your ends a little bit of extra nourishment. Also, if you work too much product too far up, it can weigh down your hair and leave your scalp oily.

RINSE HAIR IN COOL WATER
Hot water can pull the moisture out of your hair leaving it dry and lifeless. By rinsing with cool to lukewarm water, you're letting the moisture set into your hair rather than being stripped out. Try to refrain from over rinsing the conditioning product out of your hair.

USE A T-SHIRT TO DRY
I heard Nicole Guerriero mention this in one of her videos years ago and it's been something that has always stuck with me. Using a cotton t-shirt rather than a towel to dry your hair can be beneficial, in that a t-shirt isn't as dense or heavy as a towel. As you pull at and squeeze your hair, a towel has more density to tug and pull at split ends, causing your hair to break as you're drying it. A t-shirt is made of a softer material and will be more gentle on your hair!

LEAVE IN CONDITIONER & OIL
After every wash, I always make sure to add a leave-in conditioner and oil to the ends of my hair to give them some extra moisture. The ends of your hair can become dry and break off, not allowing your hair to grow. My leave-in conditioner of choice is Garnier Fructis Sleek-n-Shine // $3.37. I've used it for years and it leaves my hair soft, without the extra weight.I also currently use a tiny amount (a little goes a long way) of Louanna 100% Pure Coconut Oil // $3.68 on my ends.Don't overdo it with the coconut oil, or else you'll look like an oil spill happened on your head. It gives extra moisture to your ends while also protecting against split ends!

USE A DRY SHAMPOO
For the days in between washing, I'll usually use a dry shampoo. I've experimented with a few different brands and formulas, but have recently been in love with the Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Dry Shampoo // $4.84.It leaves your hair feeling like a fresh wash, gives it some beachy texture and it smells like a tropical vacation. It also doesn't leave any white residue, which is a huge bonus.

Well, there you have it — these are the methods that I've found to really help keep my hair healthy and make it grow. Let me know in the comments if you've tried any of these and if they work for you. What are some of your favorite methods to healthy hair? I'd love to hear them!

FIRST IMPRESSION FRIDAY: e.l.f. Duo Eyebrow Kit

Hello, frenz and happy FriYAY!!! If you read my last post, you would know that I am changing up my blog. What I've come to decide is that I like makeup and that's what I want to write about. I apologize for all the confusion that has come with the change up, but makeup is something I love and it's something I want to pursue. I hope you all stick around to read my new content! As you can tell by the title, today is First Impression Friday, so let's jump right into this, shall we?

Let's talk about brows. Brows shape your face and they can either make or break your look. I've been fussing with my brows for YEARS and have just recently learned what works well for me and what doesn't. Now for the record, I don't have one set brow product. I use Maybelline's Nude eye shadow palette for my brows. Go ahead and judge me. The only brow product I've found that I truly love is the Anasatasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, but I went through it super quick and I lack the bread to repurchase. So since then, I've been experimenting with different brow products, as well as shadows, to give me the perfect brow.

So today, I'm going to talk about a very popular brow product, E.LF.'s Duo Eyebrow Kit.image3
This product has been in my collection since about this time last year. I've wanted to try it forever, but could never find the blonde shade that I needed. I once tried the dark shades and I immediately regretted that decision and it turned me off to the product for some time. But alas, my local Wal-Mart had the blonde shade in stock and I purchased it for a measly $3…only to let it sit in my collection. Yesterday, I stumbled upon it and thought to give it a go.

This product is a duo, with a pigmented wax and a powder. The wax is a darker shade than the powder. It has more of a red undertone, whereas the powder is more ashy, with a cooler undertone. It comes in a tiny compact with a mirror attached to the inside top of the lid. Also included is a mini double-ended applicator; one side being an angled brush and the other being a small blending brush.image2
I chose not to use the applicator that came with it and, instead, reached for my E.L.F. angled brush, mainly because it has a longer handle and it's what I always use to fill in my brows.

By just looking at the pigmented wax, you wouldn't think it would be any different from their darker shades, but upon swatching, you can see that it is a much lighter brown, almost like a dirty natural blonde.image1 (2)

When applying the wax, it goes on very smooth and was more pigmented than I had anticipated. It worked well and filled in the part of my brows that were fuller, but the formula's consistency made it hard to fill in the sparse parts of my brows. It has a rather oily consistency and smudged easily. Wiping away the edges of my brow with my finger smudged the ends entirely. I couldn't really reach the product into the arch of my brow where I needed more coverage. I tried going in with the powder portion and it did a decent job at mattfying the wax, but was no good at giving my arch coverage.

Once I got the outer part of my brows filled in as much as I could, I started working on the inner part. My brows have been over-plucked for years (currently trying to grow them back), so I hardly have any hair on the inner brow, and the hair that I do have is a very light blonde. Again, the consistency gave me trouble on giving the illusion that I had full brows in the front. Even when applying the wax and blending it out, you could see the distinct space between where my eyebrow started and the "illusion" begins. It was nearly impossible to make hairlike strokes with the wax, leaving my brows blocky and thick. Again, going in with the powder only helped to mattify the wax, but didn't give me the coverage and illusion I desired. I ended up just coating my brows in the wax the best that I could, and then put the powder over it to try to make them appear less oily.

I wore this product for a good eight to ten hours before taking it off. It did a fairly good job at keeping my brows in place where I had hair, but as the day went on, you could see the sparseness of product in the inner part of my brow. It seemed like the mattifying effect that the powder gave completely wore off as the day went on and as my skin became more oily. If you would've seen me, you wouldn't have thought that I was a beauty blogger or that I had any clue what I was doing with a brow product. Looking in the mirror at the end of the day, my brows looked sparse, discolored and oily.

I really wanted this product to work out. E.L.F. is one of my favorite drugstore lines. They're inexpensive, cruelty-free and most of their products work fantastically for me. This duo eyebrow kit, however, was a complete bust…but I'm not giving up hope.

I want to try it again with the powder I currently use to fill in my brows and see if that makes much of a difference. I really want to like this product and find a way to make it work. Perhaps if you have fuller brows, this would work better for you. Like I said previously, the consistency didn't allow me to create the illusion of thick and full brows where my hair was more sparse. I wanted to take pictures of the inconsistency in color, but unfortunately, it wasn't showing up on camera…but it was a disaster in person.

Let me know in the comments if this product works for you and if you have any recommendations of how to make it work — I would LOVE to hear them. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!rl