Monday, March 24, 2014

Hair care routine part I: What I use

A while ago, sometime before I went to the hairdresser, some of you asked me to post about my hair care routine - I actually wrote this post back then but then forgot to put it online, haha :'D So here it is, finally! I actually wrote about this topic a few times before on my blog, and I was a bit surprised to see that apparently, I've been keeping almost the same hair care routine since 2011 by now.

This is really more a description of the products I use to treat my hair. As far as I know these specific products are only available locally in Austria, Germany and I think Switzerland, but the general type of product (shampoo, conditioner etc) is what matters most for this explanation.

So the products are still mostly the same since 2011, because ever since I use these products my hair is in the best possible state - smooth and silky (if it's not too moist weather) and generally healthy. I really see no reason to change as of now, and I am super happy that I found this routine that has been working really well for a few years now!

The washing routine

As a rule of thumb I don't wash my hair more often than once a week. If I do a lot of sports or maybe sweat or go swimming in summer, I might wash them earlier, but most often it just does not feel necessary. I first wash it with a deep cleansing shampoo, only near the scalp. During the first shampooing I don't get a lot of foam, and my hair also doesn't seem to "take" neither water nor shampoo very well. After the first shampooing though, when I rinse it I usually get it completely wet. I use a second, more mild shampoo for dry hair next, that I apply also to the lengths, and sometimes to the scalp, depending on the "feeling" of cleanness I have at that point.

Then I have two types of conditioner. I chose depending on how much time I want to spend and what state my hair currently is in. If it's rather dry and in need of some nutrition, I take a deep conditioner and let it stay on my towel dry hair as long as possible. Usually that means I spend an hour or more at the computer or something, until I wash it out once again. If I don't want to spend so much time I usa a rinse ("Spülung" in German), which is less "rich" but gives the hair a nice and smooth feeling after the shampooing from before.

In winter I usually blow dry my hair. It is just too bothersome to go to bed with wet hair, wake up and find it wet still, and then have to go outside into the cold with wet hair. I do not feel like the blow drying does too much damage, but I also use a medium temperature setting, and not the hottest one. It takes longer, but the hair doesn't feel so "fried" afterwards. Right after blow drying, my hair feels super smooth but it looks really dry. Single ends are sticking out everywhere, and if that annoys me too much I use hair butter or hair oil on the tips to "glue" them together a bit.

Ironically, my hair usually looks more and more nice the longer I do not wash it. The lengths get really smooth, but at a certain point it just starts to feel rather uncomfortable, and also it gets "heavier" and pulls on the roots, reducing the volume near the scalp and making it look more "flat" around the head.
This is one of the reasons why I am in a constant struggle to chose the right time to wash my hair. But I feel like washing it less often helps to keep it healthy. If my hair was not only dry but really broken, I wouldn't have been able to stay away from the hairdresser for 18 months.

The products

As I mentioned before on my blog, Ionly use products that do not contain "silicones". Alverde is a brand for natural cosmetics, they use ingredients of organic (oh how I hate the use of that word to refer to agriculture) origin wherever they can and have a large variety of hair care products. There are different series, and I use the one for dry hair. There are others that might fit my hair as well but I like this series especially because of the Hibiscus smell!

So I have shampoo, deep conditioner and rinse from this brand. My deep cleaning shampoo is from Balea (another DM only brand...) and I bought it upon recommendation from someone on the internet. In my subjective experience it cleans really, really well. I see it especially when I use it to wash out excess hair dye after dying my hair - my scalp is usually left without any color. It also leaves behind a very fresh and clean sensation on the scalp. To give a somewhat exaggerated but really fitting comparison, washing your hair with this shampoo feels a bit like taking off a hat that you've worn for a few hours that day.

The hair butter is a product with two types of usage. Previously I've only used it on "frizzed" strands of hair after blow drying it, but you can also use it on dry hair before washing for rich and deep care. I did that several times before I went to the hairdresser because I wanted to give it as much care as possible - the ends were very dry and thin, and I wanted to convince the hair dresser to cut as little as possible. I think the effect of the butter is pretty good. Where I previously had problems that my hair would tangle easily, after using the butter several times it got better. Of course cutting the ends of my hair was the best solution, but if like me you don't want or can't go to the hairdresser that often, but find your ends to look a bit shabby or tangle easily, hair butter to the rescue!

Not depicted on the photo above: hair oil, which  sometimes use on the tips of my hair if they look too "fluffy" after blow drying. The picture above shows my hair the day after I washed it, and I used oil to make the tips smoother. It can be kinda tough to find the right dosage, and I would only recommend it for dry hair and really only for the tips. To get some shape or structure into my bangs I rather use the hair butter.

As for dyeing, I use Schwarzkopf Poly Brilliance hair dye - I feel like out of all drug store hair dyes in black it has the most beautiful "blueish" shimmer.

The daily routine

There is not much to say about my daily efforts at hair care. I do not straighten, style or treat my hair on a daily basis in any way. Generally I try to stay away from styling products as much as possible. Since I don't want to wash my hair so often, I don't use hair spray or such, except for rare special occasions. In some cases, you really need hair spray to make your hair style stay where it belongs, and in such cases I try to plan it in a way that my hair has not been washed for a few days before I need to style it. In general, it also helps to style it if it's not fresh and fluffy like directly after washing.

The only thing I do daily is brushing it, and I use a brush with boar bristles. The big advantage of those is that they distribute the oil from your scalp along the hair towards the ends. I feel like using this type of brush helps to avoid greasy hair near the roots, and also gives a little extra care for longer hair. As a brush with such bristles only would never be able to get through my hair, mine has some regular, long plastic bristles too to de-tangle the hair. I've had several of those over the course of the last years (at some point they start to lose bristles) and I've only once had a bad experience with one brush that would smell really repulsive upon contact with water, which kinda sucks when you want to clean it properly. So be prepared that this might happen if you try one of those. Just don't use it on wet hair and try to clean it "dry" with a comb or a special "hook" for such purposes.

From left to right: a comb I use for my wigs, a boar + plastic bristle brush I use daily, and a metal brush and fine comb I use to distribute the dye when I dye my hair.

For a long time, I used to sleep with my hair tied to a loose bun. I read somewhere that this is recommended for long hair because when you roll over it and lie on it in your sleep it's bad for the hair. But as my hair grew longer and longer, my hairbun grew bigger and heavier. In the end it just felt uncomfortable to sleep with a loose hairbun, as the bun was always some single strand here or there etc. Also, no matter how straight and nice my hair was in the evening, when I woke up I'd always have waves where the hair band had been, no matter how soft the band and how loose the hair bun. At some point I just gave up. Now I sleep with my hair distributed on the pillow above my head and it works out rather well. Sometimes I braid it over night, but when I wake up in the morning I have "Rhapsody-style" hair then and that's not always what I want, but it's still a good method to get your hair out of the way when it's hot, for example.

Side note: I never, ever, ever brush my hair while it's wet. It's painful and in my opinion rather pointless. After a few minutes of blow drying it's kind of semi-dry and brushing it is a million times easier. 

Alright, I guess that's it! Next post will be about silicones and my personal choice to avoid them in hair care... I know it's a highly debated topic so I can only say what my personal opinion on the matter is, and why I don't like them so much.
Until then... thanks for reading and see you next time!
If I forgot to mention something you're interested in or have some other question, just leave a comment ♥


  1. ich weiss mittlerweile auch nicht mehr, was ich mit meinen haare machen soll beim schlafen.-. ich find sie offen sooo nervig, weil ich mich ständig drauf leg x.x zusammenbinden möcht ich sie nur ungern, weil, wie du gesagt hast, immer ein abdruck bleibt bzw hab ich auch mal gehört, dass es nicht gut für die haare is, wenn man so oft haargummis benutzt, weil sie dann leichter abbrechen oder so. und flechten is auch iwie doof. ich hab von natur aus glatte haare und mag keine wellen drinnen habn xDD

    du kannst echt froh sein, dass deine haare so wenig nachfetten. je seltener man sie wäscht, desto besser denke ich. ich hab sie früher jeden tag gewaschen, weils nicht mehr anders ging. habs mir dann langsam "abgewöhnt". aber ich muss trotzdem 2-3 mal pro woche waschen.-.

    eins noch: deine haare sind vll lang geworden! hab mir deinen alten eintrag angesehn XD hast echt voll schöne dicke haare.:3

  2. ich bin sooo sooo neidisch auf dich mit deinen tollen Haaren T_T Ich kann maximal alle 2 Tage waschen, ich pflege mit allem möglichen Kram, aber trocken sind sie immer :/
    aber deine sind soo schön und lang *-*

  3. Da ist unsere Routine ja sehr ähnlich^^ Ich wasche meine Haare auch nur 1 x pro Woche, nutze nur Produkte ohne Silikone, allerdings komme ich mit den Alverde udn Balea Produkten irgendwie überhaupt nicht klar weil sie für meine Haare einfach nicht pflegend genug waren (meine Haare sind aber nicht nur gefärbt, sondern auch blondiert, vielleicht liegt es daran). Ich nutze im Moment Volumenprodukte von Lush, den BIG Conditioner und Roots Haarmaske, damit bin ich richtig gut zufrieden. Zum Entwirren nutze ich eine Paddle Brush mit Holzborsten, ich habe dann eine extra mit WIldschweinborsten die ich benutze wenn alles schon entwirrt ist.


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