As soon as my formerly blond hair starting turning less-than-blond in the 5th grade, so began my lifelong affair with hair lightening. First it was Sun In (that early-90’s peroxide spray that gave us all beachy sun-streaked hair), then at-home highlights done by my mom, and then later all those professional highlights done 2-3 times a year for the last 20 years. Needless to say, my hair has been through a lot. I’ve spent years searching for the perfect remedy for damaged hair that will save my fried locks. And clearly I refuse to let my hair go natural — oh the non-blond horror!!
Over the years, I’ve developed a routine for healing thirsty, damaged hair — it’s not perfect (there’s no way to completely mitigate the damage from color-treating, especially bleaching, and especially for already dry hair types like mine), but it does turn dry, frizzy locks into more luscious, hydrated hair!
5 Step Remedy for Thirsty, Damaged Hair
1. Use botanical hair dye. Though all hair color is damaging, botanical hair dyes are typically free of damaging ingredients like alcohol, nitro dyes, and other drying chemicals. Plus, many more natural dyes are infused with conditioning botanicals and oils.
2. Use sulfate-free shampoo. Sodium lauryl sulfate, which is found in many shampoos, is very drying to hair. I’ve found that switching to natural, sulfate-free shampoo helps to keep hair hydrated and healthy. Regardless of your shampoo, try not to wash hair more than twice a week. I find that a good dry shampoo keeps my hair fresh for those longer stretches in between washing.
3. Use a deep conditioning treatment weekly. Deep conditioning treatments penetrate hair deeper with hydration than lighter conditioners that are designed for daily use.
4. Minimize heat styling. When I stopped blowdrying and straightening my hair all the time, I noticed it got much healthier. Most days after showering, I partially air dry my hair, and then leave it in braids for a few hours as it dries. I get beachy waves, and minimize damage.
5. Use an organic hair oil treatment. Of all my techniques, this one (along with minimizing heat styling) has given me the most bang for my buck. Organic oils help to rebalance and nourish hair so much better than any conditioner or chemical treatment. Hair is technically dead once it leaves the follicle, and natural oils are the only treatment that can actually nourish and heal hair.
I’m obsessed with Nordic Bliss Hair Oil, which is a combination of 6 potent oils which work to deeply hydrate, nourish, and protect hair.
I’ve tried a million different oils over the last several years, in my quest to heal my damaged locks: coconut oil for pre-shower deep conditioning; argan oil for leave-in, post-shower conditioning; jojoba oil for flyaways. It’s hard to pick just one oil to address all the aspects of damaged hair.
So I love that Nordic Bliss combines my three standby oils with avocado, almond, and essential orange oils, which work together to balance and heal all types of hair. With different types of application, you can use the hair oil with different application methods to suit the needs of your specific hair.
I like to use it as a leave-in conditioning treatment on my wet hair after showering, and like that my hair looks and feels more hydrated and healthy throughout the day. I apply the oil, air dry my hair for a bit, and then put it into braids until it dries. My hair comes out smooth, silky, and lovely. On non-shower days, I use it to keep flyaways and frizz at bay, and to rehydrate my dry ends. Generally, I avoid using it near the scalp, as the scalp’s natural oils tend to take care of it — too much oil near the scalp leads to greasy hair.
On the rare occasion that I need to heat style my hair, I apply some of the oil on the lengths of my hair as a heat protectant as well.
I’ve also used it as a pre-shower deep conditioning treatment, which is great. I’ll use slightly more oil, and apply it a little closer to the scalp. I tie my hair up and leave the oil in for an hour or so before washing my hair. You can also wrap up your hair and leave it on overnight (just make sure all your hair is covered so you don’t ruin your sheets!).
For finer, thinner hair, just a touch is enough to have a great effect on the hair, lending luster and hydration to stressed out locks. But for dry, damaged, or thicker hair, you can use a bigger squirt to get some serious results. Again, just be sure to avoid application near the scalp, unless you’re doing a pre-shower treatment.
Nordic Bliss was founded by a Swedish husband and wife committed to harnessing the power of nature for beauty, and to help reconnect us to all the amazingness that natural ingredients have to offer.
The best part is, Nordic Bliss Organic Hair Oil Treatment is super affordable. You can get it on Amazon for just $17.95, which is a fraction of how much I’ve paid for other, less natural (and less effective!) treatments.
Try it out for yourself! Use the discount code: Nordic15 to get 15% off!