The broke girl's guide to salon-worthy hair
For those of us who can’t afford a daily blowout or monthly hair treatments, great hair may seem like a shiny unicorn that only exists if you have a pro preening your hair for you. How do you deal when you have a limited budget? It’s not about the expensive products or treatments. We’d like to believe that the road to great hair comes in three phases: The Cut, The Wash and Dry, and The (free) Products.
Finding the right hair stylist is crucial. He or she doesn’t have to come from an expensive designer salon. Truth be told, this writer gets her hair cut in a hair salon in Cavite for only P80. Honest to blog! What’s more important is that you build a relationship with your stylist. He or she has to know the shape of your head and what hairstyle suits not just your face shape but also your hair texture. Don’t be afraid to shop around within your acceptable budget. Hair grows anyway so you can try another salon if the last one didn't work out.
The Wash & Dry
The base of every good hair starts in the shower - from the way you wash your hair up to the way you let it dry. Firstly, if you’re letting your hair air dry then the right conditioner is key. Pantene 3-Minute Miracle Conditioner is HG-material for most of us in PV, or you can try reverse hair washing to set your hair for air drying.
After your shower, you will want to gently remove as much moisture as you can from your hair by blotting. The best way to do this is to squeeze your hair with a soft towel or a t-shirt (using the hair plopping technique, hair products optional) to absorb excess moisture. Rubbing your hair with a towel is a big no-no, as it can rough up the cuticle and make your hair look frizzy. Another no-no: wrapping your hair up in a towel.
Detangling is your next step to great hair. Use a wide-tooth comb to carefully and gently detangle your tips. Start from the ends then work your way up to the roots. Don't ever tug or pull at a knot, or this will cause your hair to break and tangle even more. Work in sections and untangle slowly if your hair is really unruly.
While your hair is still damp, set your part. This step is important because it can be difficult to change when your locks are dry. The way your hair air dries will also depend on how you part your hair, so make sure it’s where you want it.
Decide what look you want to achieve. If you’re after a smooth finish, follow up with a fine-tooth comb after detangling, then apply some serum to make your hair frizz-free and shiny. Try the Vitress Cuticle Coat to give your hair that extra gloss, or some of our picks for taming unmanageable hair.
If you want a more textured look, put up your damp hair in a hair clamp and go about your business as usual: commute/drive to the office (might work better if you’re in an air conditioned vehicle), have breakfast, catch up with the newest post on Project Vanity. After your hair has “set”, let your curls/waves loose and spritz on a hair lift spray to give your roots volume (try the Dove Oxygen Moisture Root Lift Spray, about P400 at the beauty section). Avoid products like gel or mousse that will make your textured hair look stiff.
If you’re really short on cash, you don’t really need to splurge on expensive hair products to achieve great hair. Just raid your backyard or your kitchen, we say! We've shared quite a few DIY beauty products, including a banana hair mask and a texturizing sea salt spray. Want more ideas? Try these:
Apple cider vinegar as volumizing shampoo. This ingredient has been growing popularity as a clarifying rinse because aside from preventing product build up, ACV can help get rid of an itchy scalp and balance the pH on your scalp while adding shine.
Aloe vera as leave-on conditioner. Did your grandmothers ever rub aloe vera on your scalp? Turns out they had it right because aside from providing light moisture, aloe vera also has anti-microbial properties.
Coconut oil to prevent split ends. It strengthens the hair cuticle, prevents split ends, and encourages curl formation. What more can you ask for? Oh, it’s also get for scalp massages!
Eggs as hair masks. It might smell weird but it helps prevent hair breakage and promotes thicker hair. You can use egg whites as an all-natural shampoo, too, with great clarifying properties.
Looking to try any of our broke girl tips? If you have any money-saving tips for great hair, do tell us in the comments section!