For years I’ve strived to have long, frizz-free blonde hair. As you can guess, it hasn’t always been that easy to achieve. In elementary school I had a wave to my hair, but then in middle school I stepped out of the shower one day and it was if my hair texture had transformed overnight. I suddenly had curls like never before. I had no clue what to do! I tried my best to tame my frizzy curls or find styles to pull my hair back into (butterfly clips helped a lot – remember those?). For special events I can remember sitting on the toilet seat for an hour while my mom tried desperately to give me a good at-home blowout.
I started high school in a new city and one of the cute boys on my bus said because of my hair he was going to start calling me “Frizzie, like Lizzie McGuire.” It might sound crazy but I was kind of flattered. He was paying attention to me, who cared why, and named me after one of my favorite TV shows! Luckily that’s the way I took it, instead of being humiliated. Still, I didn’t want frizzy hair forever. It was fate that the following summer a friend introduced me to a tool that I didn’t know was available: a straightener. My mom immediately got me my own and my days of styling my hair 2-3 times a week began. It even earned me the senior superlative of “Best Hair” in high school.
I’m sharing all of this because my hair’s health and style has obviously long been something I’ve cared about. Over the years I feel like I’ve tried all the hair care tips (at-home blowouts, changing shower products, multiple hairdressers), but somehow this year I feel like it’s all come together. My hair has never felt healthier and I have a great stylist I wanted to share with my Chicago peeps. Keep reading to learn more about my upkeep, favorite products and styling technique to turn this at-time wild rats nest into a sleek ‘do.
You might not know it from this blog – where you typically see my hair straightened – but my hair is natural curly, course and thick. I leave its natural texture as-is during the summer or when I’m running short on time. (Long & thick curly hair is not something that can be styled quickly!) I personally like my hair straight the best, which is why I do spend time every few days washing, air drying, blow drying and straightening my hair. I know it’d be even tougher to do if I didn’t follow the hair care structure I layout below.
I’m a big believer in getting my hair trimmed every six weeks, but I still get super anxious each cut. It seems like every time my hair gets to a length I love it’s time to cut it! Luckily, I found Sara C. at Bristle & Grace and completely trust her with scissors aimed at my hair. She always helps me get the cut I want. The Hair Loft is a second option I use if for some reason Sara is booked.
As for my hair color, I’ve gone through a lot of variations over the years. There was even a time when a former stylist was using three colors – highlight, lowlight and a red-tinted lowlight! That was pretty, but not for me long-term. Sara’s helped me get it down to just using partial highlighting with foils, and occasionally adding in balayage on my bottom layers for a full highlight. I’m a little more less stringent with my highlight appointment schedule, and basically just call up the salon to schedule an appointment whenever my roots are getting bad. That’s typically 6-8 weeks since my last appointment.
It wasn’t until last year that I started to see a big change in my hair growth and strength. I was pleased to hear comments from friends and strangers about how long and healthy-looking my hair was! Despite trying to grow out my hair my whole life, I think switching up products is what really helped achieve that.
I was introduced to a new shampoo and conditioner that I now swear by through Goldplaited’s Unlimited service. After that, I started to incorporate other heat treatment and shine products I liked from salon blowouts. Check them out:
I can’t talk hair products without talking about what comes next, the styling. I saw another big difference in my hair’s health when I received a new blow-dryer for Christmas last year. Suddenly my hair was shinier and dried quicker. But that doesn’t mean it dries quick. After I wash my hair and towel dry my hair, I add some styling product, comb through it and then wait a few hours, overnight or even a day for my hair to dry the majority of the way. I finish it off with a rough dry (meaning I don’t style it yet). I straighten my hair or curl it with a straightener in a small inch sections. If I want more curl, I finish select pieces with a curling iron.
Here are my favorite styling tools:
So while my high school friend may still affectionately call me “Frizzle,” thankfully my doesn’t (always) live up to the name. I hope you could relate to some of what I shared (even if it’s a cringe-worthy as butterfly clips), and that I maybe even provided some new hair care tips and products for you to try. Let me know if you have any questions!