I’d like to preface this story by informing anyone reading that I’m no beauty editor. In fact, I’m possibly the furthest thing from it. As someone who has had a deep love affair with fashion my entire life, I never really had the time to devote as much attention to makeup, skincare, or anything else that falls under the general umbrella of beauty. If I did, I’d never get off the internet or out of the house in the morning! I do, however, I do have a few things going for me when it comes to the category:
1. I’m lazy, which means I often seek out easy-yet-effective products and practices.
2. I’ve worked alongside beauty editors for the last five years, leading me to pick up my fair share of tricks here and there. AKA I hounded them with questions.
3. I’m Persian, which makes me, by default, an expert in hair—as I’ve had to maintain my own mane for as long as I could hold a brush. Thank you, mom.
Given all the above, I’ve managed to get by and actually receive a handful of compliments and questions about my various routines when I post my favorite fashion finds on @trustmebuythis. Most often, as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, these questions relate to hair. So today is the day I’m finally sharing what I do know, as well as a little bit about what I don’t—but first, a few last notes...
I get asked a lot about how I keep my hair healthy. I honestly think a lot of it has to do with genetics, but one thing I avoid is using a flat iron (especially on the ends) because of the damage and dryness they can cause. I have naturally curly hair and style it at least twice a week, but only with a blow dryer and curling wands—never an iron. If I’m getting a blowout, which I also do regularly, I request they do the same and only use an iron if they really can't get a section of the roots straight (usually the baby hairs).
You’ll also notice there’s nothing about shampoo or conditioner in this article. That’s because I’m pretty low-maintenance about them and don’t stick to one specific brand or product. It’s kind of a revolving door of samples and drugstore finds, so no use in taking my advice there. Now that we’ve got that covered, scroll through for the tools and products I do highly recommend!
I’ve decided to spare you a photo of my hair-covered brushes in favor of the above. The first thing I use when I’m preparing to wash and style my hair is a Conair paddle brush just before I get in the shower (when my hair is still dry). I find it’s easier to detangle that way and makes the need to brush after the shower much more minimal. Later, while blow-drying, I only use a round brush, as I’ve been told you can damage your hair otherwise. It’s also essential to achieving volume and shine, if you ask me.
Onto my blow dryer—yes, it’s pink, but the color is optional. Since I have thicker hair that’s also naturally curly, I need a strong blow dryer to help make the process of doing it myself easier. I’ve been using this one by T3 for several months now after retiring my (very) old one, and it has been serving me quite well. I blow-dry my hair section by section from bottom to top until it’s all smooth.
Up next: wands. I have two different curling wands that I use to wave my hair. Why wands, and why two? I’ll explain… Firstly, I use wands rather than traditional curling irons because they’re easier to use and they don’t clamp onto your hair the way a curler does. The one on the left is GHD, and it gets very hot, so it creates a really tight, long-lasting curl. I use it after blow-drying to get tight curls which I brush out with my fingers. Because my hair is thick and long, I have to start with tight curls if I want it to last a few days. The second wand (from Bed Head) has a larger barrel and is ceramic. It creates equally beautiful waves but is not as strong, so I use it if I need to touch up a portion or want my hair to settle into a softer look. If you have thinner or lighter hair, you’ll probably be able to achieve a tighter curl with the Bed Head.
I don’t typically use a holding spray in my hair unless it’s very humid or I’m traveling. That said, I’ve found that in either situation, these are the best two. On the left is a traditional hair spray—but much lighter-feeling. It does the job without giving you crunchy hair. The other is an anti-humidity spray that keeps my hair from curling up or frizzing when summer hits in NYC or I take a tropical vacation. It also leaves almost no feeling or texture on your hair after it’s applied.
Every once in a while—usually in winter—my scalp gets a little dry, and this treatment saves me. At first, I was afraid to use it because you apply it to clean hair and then style as normal (rather than washing it out), but it leaves no residue and doesn’t make your hair feel oily or greasy. Just using it once or twice always yields immediate results.
I've been told countless times by both beauty editors and stylists that it's important to use some sort of heat protector on your ends before blow drying your hair in order to prevent damage. I eventually got around to listening and it definitely makes a difference—especially for someone like myself who does so so often. I love this one from Oribe because it's very lightweight.
Lastly, these are my two dry shampoos. I love the Living Proof for when my hair needs a cleaner look but also more volume—it does wonders for that. The Oscar Blandi (which now comes in spray form) is a little lighter. It works great as just regular dry shampoo when you don’t need a volume boost.