Recently I asked my wonderful Facebook friends to list their top three hairstyling problems. The answers were all unique and personal to each respondent, but there were a couple common strands. (pun alert!!!)
Even in this modern age with all the many chemical services and products available, it seems that difficulties controlling the texture, moisture balance, and growth patterns of hair are still giving many people so much trouble. Some of these problems are solveable with the use of styling tools and cutting techniques, and others are fixable by using the many innovative salon services and by maintaining all those results with specially formulated products.
I think the hardest part is trying to decide which direction to go in dealing with these issues. There are just so many choices out there! In my Facebook response to my friends, I have tried to list the most cost effective solutions I know of- which often tend to have the shortest lasting results but least damage, with the longest lasting solutions- which tend to be the most expensive and potentially more damage. They all involve a commitment to both using certain daily care and styling methods, as well as to purchase the recommended concoctions that will maintain the look or service. We must also be aware of how a certain treatment can cause a counter imbalance. We can have too much of a good thing!
Those Darn Chemicals! Ugh!
The bottom line here is that if we hate our natural born hair and how it naturally behaves, we have to intervene in a definite and consistent way. Sometimes really stubborn hair will require dealing with it more than once a day. We have to be willing to spend some money if we want it to be really tamed or have long lasting results. Deep conditioning treatments are a necessity if there have been multiple chemical services. There isn't any salon service that will take care of itself from the appointment on. I don't personally have any resistance to blowing my hard earned cash on cosmetics, but there have been times in my life when I couldn't. So I had to have a low maintenance hairstyle.
Yes... the cost of beauty products is high at times!
But HEY! We are worth it!!!
Stay tuned! I will be posting the separate categories of hair problems along with my suggestions for each in upcoming posts. If you want to take a look at that post right away, it's right here.
Sincerely, Cynthia Naughton
A SPECIAL NOTE TO MY DEAR READERS:
When we talk about hair, the word permanent should never be totally relied upon in effect, but always in the resulting chemical change. Even if that super curly permanent wave completely goes flat after three months, we still have the internal change the chemicals caused.
(The causes for that wave pattern failure are varied and would require another post to discuss them.)
Another thing to consider is that few services or chemical treatments will last or work the same way in all consecutive applications, for the hair is always growing and changing. Product lines regularly reformulate. We can have totally different hair in a few months or years if we have changes in our household water supply, our diet, or our health. Some prescription drugs can cause a residue in the hair that can cause totally unpredictable results. For longer hair, every chemical change that has occurred does remain in the hair forever and is permanent, while the effects may relax or fade. This means even if you can't see that old color or perm any more, the chemical change that made it happen is always going to be there until it's cut off. This means that consecutive safe and relatively nondamaging services over time may have undesirable results.
Disclosure is key! The lack of disclosure has been responsible for many disasters. Always write down your medications, your daily use products, and all the DIY stuff you put on your hair. Keep the box if you use color or perms. Please don't sit in a stylist's chair and expect miracles if you haven't disclosed all your previous services. Saying "she ruined my hair" is unfair if you have not disclosed all the chemicals you have in your hair. If a stylist has been duly trained in a good cosmetology school, was a good student and remembers the chemistry side of cosmetology, he or she can often know precautions to take and might even refuse a service if it is not safe. If that happens, I caution you, don't just go find another stylist who will do the service without investigation or caution. This happens when money is more important than the health of your hair. You may not like the results! Some permanent straightening solutions will so totally clash with any number of other chemicals that the result will be smoking, melted hair. Even with compatible chemicals it can happen if there are heavy metals in the hair. You can get the exact same perm or color every time and it might have varying results. We just have to accept this possibility when it comes to changing our genetically predetermined hair.
Even if there are no adverse environmental hazards, or no mineral or chemical buildups present, hair is vulnerable to cumulative damage, for it is an organic composition that has no way to heal itself. It can only stand so many chemical disruptions before totally breaking down. Sometimes it reaches its end. It's important to know when you have to cut it off and start fresh!
I have cut off really long, old, damaged hair more than once and it was refreshing! Took a bit of getting used to, but it always grows right back.
With all the other factors and also the growing pollution in our water and environments, it's getting pretty tricky to predict results. I suggest that everyone start getting accustomed to having test strands done. There are so many new brands on the market with chemical compositions that are totally incompatible with others. If you have DIY'ed your hair and then go into a salon for something new, the previous service can totally clash with the new one. The stories of smoking foils and hydrolized hair that has turned to a gummy gel are real. I don't want to mess your hair up, so I will ask you for a test strand in certain situations so we can see what to expect overall.
THANK YOU for your cooperation and understanding!!