In the spring of 2012, my hair started falling out. I had very long, thick hair, so I was used to some shedding, but something about this was different. I was constantly pulling hundreds of strands from my hairbrush, my shower drain, vacuuming them up from my bedroom floor. My hair began to look noticeably thinner, and I, in turn, started to freak out.
I spoke to doctors and I was told to take iron, silica, vitamin B, and omega fish oils. Nothing really seemed to be helping. A pharmacist noticed that I still had baby hairs sprouting from my hairline and I mentioned that, yeah, my hair was still growing at a pretty steady rate. There just wasn't ... as much of it.
Eventually I came to realize that, like Alle, my hair-loss culprit was stress. I was in college, I was mentally unhealthy, I was eating terribly, sleeping terribly. I was living with a roommate from hell. I was crying constantly, which is super-weird for me. The worse I felt, the worse my hair looked.
In December of last year, I finally moved out. I got an apartment with my sister--my DREAM apartment--and started eating actual food. No more 2 a.m. pizza! I was cooking and drinking water constantly, while still taking the same vitamins.
By springtime, I noticed my hair wasn't falling out as much, but I still had these miserable, dead locks hanging around my face, so I chopped off a good chunk of it and was now the proud wearer of a "lob," remember?
And ever since then, my hair has been on the up and up. Yes, the lifestyle and health changes were a major factor, but I was experimenting with products the whole time, too, and taking note of how they made my hair look and feel.
The following is my current routine and the one that has been getting me compliments. People have been remarking that my hair looks shiny, thick, and healthy and dude it totally does.
So let's get to the good stuff because I shouldn't be the only one with good hair, OK?
First up, I've gotta give credit to my shampoo. I don't use conditioner (more on that later) so my shampoo has to get my hair clean and healthy without stripping it and leaving it feeling dry and dull. Enter Arbonne's FC5 Nourishing Daily Shampoo, which is jampacked with healthy ingredients. It's super-creamy and provides a nice lather that I know is getting my hair clean but it still leaves the strands feeling smooth rather than squeaky. I used it on a lark back in September but was so pleased with how shiny and healthy my hair looked afterwards (washing with FC5 and letting it airdry) that it became my new goto.
Once I get out of the shower, I towel-dry before spritzing my scalp with Aveda Invati Scalp Revitalizer, which I've written about before. The spray is infused with turmeric, which is known to improve scalp and skin health and I can instantly see the difference in my hair's volume after massaging it in. I truly believe it's made my strands stronger.
Usually, I shower at night, so my hair is left to air-dry. In the morning when I style, which is usually flat-ironing it into a super-sleek look or adding curls with heat tools, my hair tends to look a little unruly. I still constantly have baby hairs sprouting from my scalp, and while I know that's a good, healthy sign, they're a little annoying sticking up and out of my head.
This is where I take a tiny dimesized amount of AG Hair Cosmetics Fast Food Leave-On Condition. I rub it between my palms and then smooth it over my hair when I finish styling to ensure every hair is in place and everything is healthy and smooth.
Now, you may have seen me mention up top that I don't use conditioner. I don't like it for a lot of reasons, one being that I hate standing in the shower, water running or not, waiting for it to sink in, and another being that no matter how long I stand there rinsing, there is always some greasy residue left in my hair afterwards. This is why I like smoothing products like the Fast Food, or a deep conditioner used once a week.
For the deep conditioner I'll soak my hair with warm water before wringing it out and then apply Neutrogena's Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask, a favourite of Annie's, all over. I clip my hair up and pop on a shower cap and then busy myself with other things, like TV and a face mask. After about 20 minutes I'm ready to get in the shower.
I rinse out the mask and then add a tiny bit of shampoo to make sure my hair gets clean and no residue is left behind. My hair ends up being silky soft and clean and it's so much easier to do this once a week then to apply and rinse out conditioner every single time I shower, because uggghhhh!
And that's basically it, guys. I also use hairspray sometimes (Elnett, what up), but that's all. Keep it simple, y'know? And if your hair is falling out, I'd highly recommend you check with your doctor first. Sometimes it can be a sign of a thyroid disorder that requires medication.
But if you're just a giant ball of stress and poor eating like me, I wish you luck and some serious relaxation time.