Happy late St. Patrick's Day and almost weekend everyone! The weather here has been so unbelievably gorgeous and it means that spring has finally arrived!! Although the weather might not be this beautiful everyday, I think we can take it as a sign to go ahead and start that spring cleaning...and I don't just mean your dorm rooms!
Based on the seasons, my beauty products/interests tend to change. In the fall I try to transition from my gold and copper summer tones to the more cranberry tones of autumn and winter. In the winter I'm preoccupied with remedies for dry skin and how to keep my makeup and beauty regime fun and festive, but come spring we have a fresh start! I think that spring is an excellent time to clean out your old makeup, revamp your hair products, and start getting ready for summer!
For my next few posts I'm going to do a "Spring Cleaning" series for your beauty products, and start talking about all the things you can start to do to complement your spring (and even summer!) wardrobes and looks.
One of the most refreshing ways to start spring is to get out of that "winter mentality". It's always about this time of year when I decide to change up my hairstyle and over spring break, I was lucky enough to do exactly that. Changing your hair color via highlights, lowlights, or complete color is a great way to add a little spice to your look! As you know, there are numerous ways to do this, either through products you can use at home, or professional spas and salons.
**A few money saving tips! If you want to have a professional do your hair, do a little bit of research about salons that offer same day discounts or cheaper prices during the weekday. Also, many salons around college campuses will offer student discounts or specials which can be very helpful! Don't be shy to ask or do a little digging. A few minutes on the phone or on a website can save you some money!! Also, if you are willing to let a student do your hair, you can often get your hair done for free or really low prices if you go to some kind of a beauty or cosmetology school. The teachers will be there to assist the students but for something as simple as an all over color, they get the practice and you get the deal!
Getting your hair cut is also a great way to add a spring in your step. Look through magazines and websites to find hair styles that you like. Don't be shy to bring in a picture of someone who has a cut that you would want. One of the most frustrating things for a hair stylist is a client who is not specific or does not give them any feedback. At the end, when your stylist asks you how you like it, if they can do anything else, let them know! They'd rather have you tell them what they can fix instead of calling and being upset later on. The more specific you are and the more communication you have with the stylist, the better off you are going to be!
When I was getting my hair cut and colored last week, the stylist used some Argan Oil before blow drying my hair. I was very interested because I had seen the product at the front of the salon, but had never really heard of it. I was shocked at how soft this product made my hair and so I had to do some research on it.
Argan Oil comes from the kernels of the Argan tree, which is native to Morocco. It is a lightweight oil that has numerous benefits for skin and hair!! A few of these benefits include helping with split ends, promoting hair growth, adds shine and softness (obviously any oil is going to moisturize your hair), reduces scars and wrinkles, and helps protect skin from environmental damage and pollutants. One interesting fact about the sourcing of Argan oil is that it is done primarily by women, and thus acts as a source of income and economic stimulation for women in Morocco.
The product can be used before shampooing as a hair treatment, or before styling, to help keep moisture in and add shine and softness to your luscious locks. Had the oil not been so expensive ($35 for a few ounces), I would have pounced on it, but there are several retailers that can be found online who sell Argan Oil at varying prices and quantities. I know this is an oil I'm going to try and get, so when I find a good one, I'll be sure to post about it!
(picture from the Sephora website where you can find Argan Oil products)
After being more than satisfied with my new do, I decided it was time to switch up my shampoo and conditioner routine. I usually change my shampoo and conditioner after I finish a bottle, because I am never extremely satisfied with any product. That might have just changed. This last round, I was using Organix's Coconut Milk shampoo and conditioner, which smells heavenly but was not moisturizing my hair enough and was also leaving my scalp quite dry. Yesterday afternoon I went on a hunt to find a good drug store shampoo that would also be good quality and hopefully on the natural side. I always have trouble finding cheaper shampoos because I rarely feel comfortable purchasing a product from a company who I know tests on animals (so no Aussie brand, Pantene, Garnier Fructis, etc). I also didn't really want to spend $20 on shampoo this time, but I found this small little drink looking bottle that had the word "pumpkin" written on it. I looked a little closer and found it is a product by Sexy Hair that is a Pumpkin Detoxifying Shampoo. This little baby smells like a pumpkin pie and for around $8, I had to get it. I couldn't however find a good conditioner, so I headed over to the Vitamin Shoppe to look for some Luna bars and found they actually had quite a variety of natural and organic body care products. I happened to find a conditioner by the Shikai brand, which uses natural ingredients and doesn't test on animals. I know people who have used this brand before and really loved it, and for $7.50 I couldn't pass it up.
I was so excited to use these new products and I was in shower heaven last night! The pumpkin shampoo created a really rich lather from minimal product. Many hair stylists will recommend using a detox shampoo once or twice a week to stimulate the scalp and remove buildup, which can happen if you never change your shampoo. While the whole shower was an aromatherapy experience after using this shampoo, and my hair was fairly soft, I feel the only downside to this product is that it is not stimulating enough for my scalp. I could remedy this by adding a few drops of an essential oil, such as the tangerine oil pictured on the blog last month. Overall, it is not a bad buy for a delicious smelling hair treat!
Next up was the Shikai Conditioner. From the moment I put this on my hair, my hair felt silky smooth and soft and I knew I had found a winner. I usually leave my conditioner in for about 5 minutes or more and when I rinsed it out, my hair was the softest it has been in months (minus the Argan oil experience). For the price and quantity of this product, and the fact that I couldn't stop touching my hair, I may have just found a conditioner that is here to stay.
I love how it made my hair easier to style and straighten (a necessity with my very curly hair) and it really moisturized my hair more than any other conditioner I have tried within the last year. This is probably due to the shea butter and glycerine found in the product, and the sunflower oil that helps to extend the life of color treatments makes this product worth every penny! I've seen this conditioner online, in Whole Foods, and in the Vitamin Shoppe. Pretty much any place that sells natural/organic body products would carry it, but I would especially recommend this for anyone with dry, coarse, and/or color treated locks!
I hope you all have a great evening! Good luck with your studies!