Not to brag, but I have absolutely gorgeous hair. I love my hair. It’s soft, smooth, and full… okay, I’m bragging a little bit. But mostly because my hair wasn’t always like this – it’s taken a lot of trial and error over about a decade to discover what works with my hair – and what hair products I just can’t live without. Okay, so that’s an exaggeration. I can live without them, I just don’t want to. Oh, and for reference, my hair is naturally thin, fine, and straight, but gets weird frizzy when it’s humid.

I tried to get a GIF of me swooshing my hair because it’s SO MUCH FUN and showed just how shiny my hair actually is, but the quality went waaay down. So you’re stuck with my bathroom cellphone pics, sorry 🙂

Oils

One of my first hair product investments was OGX Argan Oil. Because I have fine hair, I usually only put it on the ends of my hair, where there’s the most damage. Sometimes, I use it to smooth frizz (because yes, even with straight hair, I get major frizz). I’ve been using this stuff for years because of the dramatic difference I noticed the first time I used it. That said, I don’t entirely trust OGX products; the name is very misleading and several of their products have ingredients that are things to avoid (sulfates, parabens, and the like).

I also love love love overnight coconut oil masks. They’re cheap and extremely effective. I know, you’re thinking “ugh, another coconut oil weirdo.” But hear me out – there’s scientific evidence that coconut oil is magical, even when it comes to hair. For the mask, all you do is apply the oil evenly to your hair (but focus on the ends), make sure your bedclothes don’t get damaged (I use a shower cap), and shampoo it out in the morning. I do this roughly every other week, but if you shampoo daily, you might want to do it more often. Oh, and if you hate the smell of coconut, try Spectrum or 365 (Whole Foods brand) – I’ve found them to not be stinky.

Paul Mitchell Extra Body Thicken Up

This is my “splurge” product. I have naturally thin hair, and that comes with some major volume issues. A hairstylist used this product (and another one from the purple line, but I don’t know what it was) and my hair had never felt thicker, but maintained it’s softness and flexibility. It was amazing. I didn’t buy it right away, and regretted that instantly. But note- the first time, I bought it off of Amazon, but I swear it was grey goods. I only buy it from hairstylists now (don’t worry, they even have it at the Wal-mart Salons), but it’s worth the money. Oh, and use sparingly and evenly- it’s like a gel, so it can weigh down hair and look greasy if you use too much.

Quality Shampoo and Conditioner

This was a slow transition – probably the slowest of all. Mostly because I have long hair, so I use A LOT of shampoo and conditioner. My transition went from the cheapest, to slightly less cheap, to Pantene with the occasional fancy conditioner, to an attempt to eliminate harmful ingredients. I’m currently using Maui Moisture shampoos and conditioners. I absolutely love their shampoos – the conditioners are just okay. I don’t think the conditioners are quite thick enough to really make an impact, but it works.

Shampoos and conditioners are one of those product that you really have to play around with to figure out what works best for your hair. I’ve tried some very expensive products that weren’t great, and some really cheap ones that worked well. So if you don’t care about things like sulfates, parabens, and whatever else is lurking in your products, just whether it works, play around.

L’Oreal Quick-Dry Primer Spray

Game changer. This stuff cuts my blow drying time in half. I even use it when I air dry my hair and it makes a noticeable difference. It’s cheap and effective – there’s not too much more to ask for (except, again, safe ingredients). Don’t spray too close; this is another product where a little goes a long way. Also, aim away from mirrors and shiny things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to wash my glasses because I accidentally got this on it!

Dry Shampoo

I don’t wash my hair every single day, which I think takes part of the credit for it’s incredible health. Once you stop shampooing daily for a while, you’ll notice that your hair doesn’t get greasy immediately anymore. Until then (and if you go an extra day every now and then or can’t stop playing with your hair, like me), you need dry shampoo. It takes some time to figure out how much to use and how to get it even, but play with it and you’ll figure it out. My go-to for years was Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak, which I completely recommend, but I’ve recently started trying new brands. I’ll update if I find something else I really like.

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