I Put My Hair Through Hell—My (On-Sale) Secrets That Keep It Long and Healthy

Do you know what gives me profound joy? When nearly every single hair product sitting in my shower and bathroom goes on sale. And, no, this isn't a tease! In honor of National Hair Day on October 1, Dermstore is paying it forward by giving its customers up to 30% off (or triple points for Dermstore dollars—um, yes, please!) across its beloved haircare brands. The deal is short but sweet—spanning through Monday, October 3, and all you have to do is shop and use the code HAIR at checkout. 



As I've discussed, I like to do my hair dirty by bleaching the heck out of it every couple of months or so. In fact, I've been doing that for years, and somehow, very miraculously, my hair is healthier than ever. (Even celebrity hairstylists are shocked when they realize I don't have extensions!) According to experts, my hair has no right being as healthy as it is. But I have some tricks up my sleeves.

Not only do I have an amazing colorist, Cassondra Kaeding, who prioritizes my hair's integrity above all else, but I also stay on top of my diet and supplements, and I also try to keep heat styling, sun exposure, and other strand stressors to a minimum. (Air-drying is where it's at!) Last but not least, I have a pretty epic rotation of products—I don't know if a pickier haircare consumer exists—that I steadfastly rely on to prevent and repair any inevitable damage as best as possible. And, very excitingly, so many of the brands and products in question are a part of Dermstore's sale.

Curious to see which brands and products I personally vouch for that are temporarily on sale? Keep scrolling! 

Oribe—15% Off

I've tried practically every shampoo and conditioner under the sun, and Oribe's iconic Gold Lust collection is still the dynamic duo I can't shut up about. From a special Bio-Restorative Complex that contains ingredients like biotin and plant-based collagen to Mediterranean cypress extract for next-level moisture, it just can't be beaten. There are three shampoo-and-conditioner sets that are always, always in my shower (you'll meet the other two later), and this is one of them.

I have only met two—yes, two—leave-in detangling formulas that truly detangle and condition my damaged hair so well that I quite literally only lose a few strands during my comb-through. And this stellar formula is one of them! I'm hooked for life, and I recommend it to anyone and everyone who is sick of subpar leave-in conditioners and detangling cocktails.

When my lightened strands start to look and feel like straw, I immediately turn to this lightweight moisturizing cream to imbue some much-needed silky-softness and shine. The brand also makes a version for thicker hair types, but this one is geared toward fine-to-medium and extra-long hair—aka mine. 

Unite Hair—25% Off

People are always surprised when I tell them my day-to-day haircare routine typically only consists of three to five staples outside of shampoo and conditioner. For me, a leave-in conditioner is a must, and this magical hair elixir takes care of all of my ills in one fell swoop, and it smells as if it were alchemized by angels. I've gotten everyone I know (regardless of their hair type or texture) hooked on it. Try it. I know you'll love it.

Augustinus Bader—3x Points

Despite all of the havoc I wreak on my hair in terms of bleaching, my scalp somehow manages to stay pretty balanced, healthy, and flake-free (probably due to my shampooing cadence and how minimally I use styling products that can cause buildup). That said, I've been having a moment with this scalp tonic from Augustinus Bader. It's formulated with tons of great ingredients like oat kernel oil, watercress, Indian cress, maca root extracts, and vitamin B5, and it noticeably helps reduce shedding and general hair loss while simultaneously supporting faster, healthier natural hair growth. 

For years, hair oils have been an integral part of my haircare routine, and it's a nonnegotiable step the second I get out of the shower with freshly cleansed strands. I use a tiny bit of Augustinus Bader's hair oil (which has the same famed TCF8 technology as the brand's iconic face creams) on damp strands. Just be sure to use sparingly, as a little bit goes a long way, and too much can make your hair a little greasy if it's fine/thin. 

Hum Nutrition—25% Off

People are always stunned as to how much hair I have considering what I put it through, not to mention how fast it grows. I've tried quite a few hair supplements at this point, and these tasty, berry-flavored gummies from Hum are the ones I recommend most often. I swear their power lies in the addition of zinc—just make sure you take it with food since the mineral is known to cause nausea if taken on an empty stomach.

T3—3x Points

I'm not going to pretend like I style my hair every day. In fact, my lack of heat styling is a huge reason my bleached hair is as long and healthy as it is. That said, T3 is one of my favorite brands for heat and styling tools, and this flat iron is honestly amazing and as "safe" as it gets in the damage-prevention department. You can customize the settings to suit your hair type (texture, length, and color), and then it monitors and maintains the heat of the irons to keep your strands intact and happy.

There are a lot of expensive and inexpensive hair dryers on the market, but I've been using this model from T3 ever since it came out. It has a custom-engineered fan that propels 128% wider airflow to reduce drying time (love that), and it also helps your hair maintain 60% more of its natural moisture, smooths out frizz, and reduces strand damage. 

Investing in this showerhead from T3 is one of the best things I've ever done for my hair. Not only does it look great, but it's the easiest way to keep unwanted chemicals and minerals from damaging and discoloring my hair. 

Viviscal—25% Off

I don't take Viviscal anymore, but in addition to Hum's gummies, it's probably my top supplement recommendation for anyone looking for longer, stronger, and naturally thicker hair. I've taken this supplement in the past (when I quite literally had nearly half of my hair bleached off my head in college) with fantastic results. It boasts an A+ blend of strand- and scalp-enhancing ingredients like biotin, horsetail extract, iron, vitamin C, and the brand's signature marine complex.

Olaplex—3x Points

If I could only use one other hair product in addition to shampoo and conditioner, this is the one I'd pick. I've gone on and on about this OG product from Olaplex for years, but truly, I can't imagine life—or my hair—without it. I apply it to wet strands once a week, and I try to let it marinate for at least an hour, but a whole day if possible. Because of said ritual, I only lose a couple of strands of hair post-wash as I comb out and detangle, which is a truly satisfying feeling that never gets old. I'll put it like so: If you're not using this, your hair is mad at you.

I'm telling you now that you absolutely positively need to add this bonding serum from Olaplex to your cart. I love anything and everything Olaplex makes (clearly), but dare I say this is my favorite formula yet? I'm a minimalist when it comes to hair products, but this lightweight serum has officially edged itself into the deepest valves of my heart. I apply a nickel-size amount to my damp hair pre-oil and any other styling products, and once my hair dries, it's impeccably soft, smooth, shiny, and healthy feeling. If you like instant and long-term gratification when it comes to the look and feel of your strands, you'll flip for this.

As you can see, it's really hard to choose a favorite Olaplex product, but I find the brand's No.6 Bond Smoother to be the easiest formula to incorporate into my daily routine so I can benefit from all of its blessed perks 24/7. It acts like a leave-in styling cream that helps hydrate, de-frizz, and protect hair from inevitable wear and tear simultaneously. Unlike so many hair products that only give you results for a few hours max, it can be used daily on wet or dry hair, and the effects will last up to 72 hours. In other words, you don't need to keep reapplying. It also happens to smell glorious, so there's that. 

I mentioned earlier that there are three sets of shampoo and conditioner in my shower at all times. Olaplex's is the one I reach for most often for ultimate protection against hair shedding and snappage. I legit panic when I realize I'm nearing empty. 

Harry Josh Pro Tools—3x Points

This three-in-one curling iron is the only one I use to create my signature curls. It's brilliant because you can get the professional-level results of a marcel clamp or a spring clamp with the easy, breezy flexibility of a wand, or you can remove the detachable marcel or spring clamps (what I do) to use the ceramic wand alone. One would think all curling wands are the same, but they're definitely not, and this is my all-time favorite. I don't know if I've ever had such voluminous, crimp-free, and long-lasting results as this one effortlessly delivers.

Alterna—25% Off

After a recent bleach-and-tone session, my scalp threw a little bit of a tantrum. (Translation: I've never seen so many flakes and scales on my head before.) So, hoping for a miracle, I tried this scrub-to-foam scalp renewing formula from Alterna, which you use in lieu of shampoo and before you condition, and it took care of every last flake in just ONE treatment. It knocked my socks off and is an essential for anyone who struggles with scalp issues or wants better, healthier hair, point blank. 

Living Proof—20% Off

Okay, so I haven't tried this brand-new bond-repairing launch from Living Proof yet, but I absolutely can't wait to do so because everyone is telling me it will be a complete game changer for my bleached, damage-prone strands. Apply it post-shower as a leave-in treatment, comb through, wait 10 minutes, and then blow-dry. Used weekly, the brand says it's clinically proven to rebuild the structure of your hair via a patent-pending technology that staves off breakage, erases split ends, and even delivers crucial heat protection up to 450°F/232°C.

So many dry shampoos are ultimately disappointing, and out of the hundreds (thousands?) that are on the market these days, I can name five that actually make your hair look, smell, and feel amazingly clean and fresh. This one from Living Proof is number one.

Color Wow—20% Off

One of the worst things about summer is the number of unsavory things that accumulate in our hair: minerals, salt, and plenty of other hair nasties. This ingenious product from Color Wow uses molecular and polymeric chelating agents to absorb and remove said nasties from strands pre-shampoo so you're left with pristine color and texture and pristine color and texture only. If you have light hair like me, it's a nonnegotiable. 

Virtue—20% Off

The internet has been blowing up over this new frizz-blocking smoothing spray from Virtue. Even though there are quite literally hundreds of other products with similar claims out there, this one is special (and crazy-effective) due to its impenetrable humidity-blocking, frizz-stopping, moisture-locking mist that works its magic for a full 72 hours. Created with humid climates, in particular, in mind, this alcohol-free, heat-activated spray is the only thing that can really stop frizz in its tracks. 

Leonor Greyl—20% Off

I've loved this mask for quite some time, and out of all of the hair masks I own (at least 20 lol, beauty-editor problems!), it's probably my most-used due to how luxurious and effective it is. It smells like a bouquet of flowers and transforms even my crankiest hair day—i.e., when it feels like straw. I like to let it sit in my hair all day post-shampoo, and then I'll wash it out after I work out and before I do my evening skincare. It's turned into such a lovely ritual, but you if you're in a rush, you definitely don't have to let it sit on your strands as long as I do—20 minutes will suffice!

R+Co—25% Off

I want my shampoo and conditioner to help me tick every box in the hair department: shine, bounce, body, and softness. Many fail, but this pair from R+Co's sustainable range, Bleu, is one of the rare few that succeeds. Fortified with everything my thirsty hair craves like coconut, babassu, and sea buckthorn oils, saffron crocus extract, red marine algae, cucumber water, and caffeine extract, the duo is an investment-worthy miracle I'm so glad I discovered. 

As a rule, or at least, historically, I hate wave sprays. Usually, because they contain sea salt, which immediately turns my platinum strands into a crispy, sticky disaster that repulses me. (I hate feeling styling products in my hair, nothing is worse IMO.) So you can imagine how surprised I was when I fell head over heels in love with R+Co's beautiful rose-infused formula. You're left with soft, hydrated, touchable, and shiny texture thanks to a lush mix of ingredients like rose flower water, calendula flower water, sea buckthorn seed oil, quinoa, and panthenol, which is rich in vitamin B5. 

Retro packaging aside (I'm a sucker for anything that drips vintage inspiration), this is my absolute favorite hair oil when I want to add shine and softness to my style after the fact. It's lightweight—never greasy—and it makes your hair shimmer with shine. I can't get enough of it.