The Reluctant Stylista is a fashion and lifestyle blog written by Alex Lapa--the tomboy who suddenly discovered the joys and perks of dressing up. Original illustrations by Paolo Lazatin.
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A few months ago, when I was preparing for Ferretti’s lookbook photoshoot, I decided to cover up my roots and start afresh with highlights, going about in a Divine Lee sort-of-way. I thought I’d be saving myself the effort, too, of having to cover coloring regrowth by getting a head full of highlights instead.
So this is what I did in 3 consecutive days:
Day 1) My hair then was light brown, but fading. Had my roommate dye my hair black/dark brown in an attempt to get my original hair color back and to have an even base.
Day 2) Went to Great Cuts Salon in Hotel Intercon to have my highlights by Angelo Justin. Learned that I didn’t have to get a “base” color so my efforts the day before were useless.
Day 3) Product overload on my hair for the photoshoot.
MAJOR HAIR BREAKAGE. I’d have lots of fallen hair during shower time, which, in itself wasn’t too alarming. I’ve always shed a lot especially during stressful days, although this was almost double in amount. But what really bothered me was the fact that whenever I’d run my fingers through my hair, I could hear and feel my hair break, even when I wasn’t tugging hard. ALL the time. And that has never happened before. It was like I could give enough hair for five babies with the amount of my shedding in a day.
The weird thing was, my hair still seemed thick. I’d gauge it by wrapping a fist around my ponytail. But I didn’t want to wait ’til I could actually see bald patches or thinning areas on my scalp to do something about it. Though, since I wasn’t in that critical condition, I opted to research for home remedies first rather than see a doctor because I want to be smart about it. Also, I’m lazy. Anyway, when I tweeted about my hair fall problems, a couple of people replied that they could relate. So I figured I ought to share some of the hair fall solutions that seem easy or handy yet effective enough to work.
Watsons Pure Beauty Oil
Okay, to be honest, I haven’t tried this one yet. I was researching for some reviews (I know it’s my job to test it out and write the review, but since I wasn’t completely sure it would help my immediate problem, I’ll leave it out for later when my hair is back to normal strength), but they were all about hair conditioning, making it shiny and smooth. Sounds like a leave-on conditioner or hair lamination. Which is not exactly what I was looking for–I wanted something that would directly address the problem of breakage. Well, it could be, in a way, since moisturizing is one way of helping hair to recover from chemical abuse.
I started reading about Vitamin E as a solution to hair fall and breakage. Some even recommended squirting the 4-5 capsules into your usual shampoo, but after finding out how much this box costs, there’s no way I’m doing that. Thanks to Watson’s, though, I’ve found there is some truth to this claim. My hair fall was noticeably less after just 2 days of Vit E capsules, so I’m definitely continuing this. Doesn’t hurt that Vit E supposedly makes your skin glow (which is the primary reason why most women take it). It’s the most effective hair fall solution I’ve encountered so far.
Great Cuts Angelo Justin’s Milk Treatment
I started using this a little before starting with the Vitamin E. Like I mentioned above, hair breakage is considerably less, I don’t cringe anymore when I try to run my fingers through my hair. You’re supposed to shampoo, towel dry then apply this to hair by sections and leaving it for about 30-45 minutes before rinsing off. But since I’m more cautious around products now, I’ve reasonably lessened shampoo usage (unless it’s special shampoo) so I just apply this to my hair before I take a shower.
Olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil
You’re supposed to heat any of these oils just until they’re warm and rub them onto your scalp. I’ve often heard of coconut oil for the hair (this is also a common ingredient in many anti-breakage shampoos) and I know virgin coconut oil, to hear my dad sing its praises, is practically the cure for anything but cancer (and maybe even that, who knows, in the future). So that’s what I plan on buying. I expect my head to be smelling like buko pie, soon–I’ve used coconut oil before for dandruff treatment when I was a kid, so I know what it’s like.
As for that bottle of olive oil, I can’t use it because it’s actually my roommate’s and she needs it for cooking her South Beach diet stuff. I’ve heard a lot of benefits of using almond oil, but I think VCO is the most common here in the market (and probably the most inexpensive, too).
I get a lot of my roomie’s leftovers. This is one of them. She purchased almond milk for her diet but it didn’t sit well with her. I haven’t tasted it yet, but I did find out that almond milk, like almond oil (or heck, anything almond), contains loads of Vitamin E. Which is a tremendous help for falling hair problems. I figure I’ll just drink it, and if I don’t like how it tastes, I’ll apply it directly to my scalp.
Mayonnaise and eggs
These are the usual home remedies for damaged hair. Some advise against using them together as it can get to a really disgusting, greasy mess that’s hard to rinse off. You’re probably better off using them as a hair mask separately and leave it on for 15-20 minutes (most just use the egg whites, though I’ve heard of egg yolks mixed with olive oil as damaged hair treatment). Both of these ingredients are rich in protein and amino acids that help repair damaged hair.
Human Nature Strengthening Shampoo – Aloe Vera, Pearl and Peppermint
Aloe Vera has long been touted as one of the best promoters of hair growth. Well, I hope so, since I’m back to using this shampoo. I’ve never really noticed anything special about it back then when I used it regularly (apart from the fact that it serves as both body wash and shampoo, which saves space in my travel bag), so I switched. But this is organic, so I’ve switched back, since it’s a milder formulation than my previous shampoos and will hopefully help my hair to recover.
Update: I’ve stopped using this as shampoo after over a week’s use, because my hair fall started up again after recovering with the Vitamin E. It was the only change in my routine, so I assume this is the culprit. Fortunately, it can also stand for bodywash, so that’s how I’ll be finishing up this bottle. It basically failed the second chance I gave it.