my mane squeeze.

Growing up, I never prided myself on having the best head of hair. My dad has sleek, nearly black, thick, Italian locks and my mom has thin, medium brown hair that’s not quite curly, not straight, but not really wavy either. That combination “blessed” me with mousey brown, straight-ish, thin (but a lot of it) hair that wouldn’t hold a curl to save my life, unless I used sponge-rollers (competition cheerleaders know exactly what I’m talking about). I despised it all through my early teen years and highlighted it the minute my mother allowed me to. After years of torturing it with bleach and dye (when I wanted my “natural color”), my hair hated me. Over-processed, under-loved, and oh so flat. Add on a few more years of styling and…yikes.

But over the years, I have learned a few tricks on how to fake a better head of hair than what was genetically cursed upon me. For starters, after years of searching, I have officially found the most amazing stylist in Atlanta. Scratch that, in Georgia. Actually, the world. You can ask any of my friends, since most of them have started to see her as well. Slone Griner Morrill of union 16 salon…you’re welcome. She tells me like it is and has completely transformed my hair from what it was to something that people actually envy. No lie. She introduced me to balyage, multi-dimensional color, how to fake ombre to make my highlights last longer, proper washing and styling techniques, and…wait for it….OLAPLEX. If your stylist doesn’t know what Olaplex is, find a new one immediately. One who does and, trust me, you won’t be sorry. I have learned how to make a hair wash last for days, without having to suffocate it with dry shampoo. Don’t get me wrong, I still think dry shampoo may be one of the best inventions since sliced bread, after gel nail polish and Olaplex (obvs). But, over time, I have trained my hair to need less and less. My Jedi hair master has taught me that the most important way to make your washes last are the products you use to tame your mane. And now, I’ll share my secrets with you.

First up, what to use in the shower. Recently I’ve started using the Nioxin hair treatment line to really boost growth and thickness. I love and highly recommend these products, especially if you want to see some quick growth to your locks. Previously, I worshipped the bumble and bumble product line. Depending on the texture of your hair and what you do to it, as far as styling/coloring, they have options for everyone. It may be a little pricey, but a little goes a long way with these products. I like to switch things up, depending on what my hair needs at the time, so eventually I’ll switch back. As for frequency, I try to limit my washings to two or three times a week. Some people may balk at this number but, trust me, it works. My hair has never been healthier.

Now, on to hair masks. Once a week, I use a hair mask/conditioning treatment to repair any damage the week has done. I rotate between two masks; the Olaplex home treatment and the Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask. The Olaplex home treatment is used in between salon treatments to prolong the effects. I have long been a fan of the Moroccanoil line (and the smell is heavenly) so I alternate between the two. I use both masks according to the directions and the results are amazing. I’ve tried many hair masks over the years and nothing has worked as well.

Post shower, I stick to the same line-up every time. First, detangle with a Wet Brush. These things are phenomenal and great for reducing hair breakage. Then, I use Moroccanoil Volumizing mousse at my roots for some lift and Sebastian Potion 9 as a leave-in treatment on my ends. After blow drying, I use Sebastian Shine Define before heat styling. And lastly, Sebastian Shaper Plus hairspray for hold. Not sticky but with some serious staying power, this hairspray can make my curling iron waves last for days. This routine has been perfected and has yet to fail me.

In between showers, I am a loyal fan of the Batiste line of dry products. I’ve tried every dry shampoo/prêt-à-powder under the sun and nothing beats Batiste. Not all heads of hair are alike so if one type doesn’t work for you, don’t give up! You’ll eventually find one that does and your world will be transformed. I try and wait until day 3 to use actual dry shampoo, but I do notice my roots can get slightly limp with oil on day 2, so I discovered Batiste XXL plumping powder and it is amazing! It’s a fine powder that goes directly on your roots and a little goes a veryyy long way, so use sparingly. Massage it in, brush it through, and BOOM! Hair is refreshed and ready for day 2!

As for styling tools, I am a firm believer in the beachy wave, so my go-to tool is a 1 ¼” barrel curling iron. Curl hair in sections, let cool and then tousle curls to loosen. Voila! All done. My routine may seem lengthy, but since it’s limited to only two (maybe three) days a week, it really is fairly simple. After years of experimenting, I’m just happy to say that I found something that actually works for me. Hope this helps! And, if you have any questions on products, please ask away! Like I said, I’ve tried it all so I can give you my honest opinion.

x, J


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