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I have been a licensed cosmetologist for going on 20 years (GASP, when did I get this old???) and worked in the salon that entire time. I have had short hair, long hair, pink hair, blue hair … you get the idea. When I was working in a corporate salon I got a LOT of products for free, or won things in contests, and my bathroom cabinets resembled a retail store.
I have been self-employed for over 2 years now, which means I don’t get all the freebies any more, and I am also not getting my hair cut and colored for free any more and have to actually make time to go somewhere to get it done. This change of pace has dramatically changed my hair routine and I have become downright minimal with it!
Simplicity is something that I value, but its not always reflected in areas of my life like beauty products or planner supplies. I am slowly learning to let go of the excuse that I NEED all these things, and to embrace less in every area of my life. I can tell you that my hair is the healthiest it has ever been, and its just not a big focus in my life any more. Minimizing your beauty routine doesn’t mean that you have to give up quality, or looking nice. To me its more about taking the stress out of my routine.
The base of any minimalist hair care routine – or even a non-minimal one – is shampoo. I try to keep the ingredients in my products to a minimum, and avoid toxic chemicals where I can. You may have heard the buzz about sulfate free and paraben free shampoos, but let me break it down for you a little further. Sulfates are a detergent, and in shampoos this is the ingredient that creates the lather and gives you that squeaky clean feeling. But the thing is, these are the same detergents used in engine degreaser, and when your hair is squeaky clean, it means all the beneficial, natural oils has been stripped. This leads to a viscous cycle of dry ends and oily scalps and lots more products to try to fix the issue. Some shampoos use sulfate-free detergents, which can be gentler. I have found a new product that is not only completely detergent free, it eliminates the need for conditioner or masks as well.
New Wash is a completely detergent-free product that cleans the hair with ingredients like aloe juice, jojoba and sunflower oils, and peppermint essential oil. It cleans the hair without removing the beneficial natural oils. What I love about this product is that it has pretty clean, non-toxic ingredients, plus it eliminates several bottles in my shower. It also saves me a ton of time! No lather, rinse, repeat, then condition, its one and done.
Since I quit using traditional shampoo and conditioner my hair is shinier, has more body, and has way less frizz. This in and of itself has eliminated several products from my routine. The styling products you use will obviously vary based on hair texture, length and style, but I’ll share a few of my favorites and tell you why I like them.
Hair Balm is made by the same company as New Wash, and is a new product in my routine. Its especially designed for people who let their hair air dry, and is a light weight cream that adds shine and light hold. I use this a LOT because I don’t blow dry my hair very often. On days I want to scrunch my hair and really bring out my natural curl I love the Deva Curl Ultra Defining Gel. This product has enough hold to encourage the curl, but any crunchiness can easily be scrunched out. I rarely use hairspray any more, but Aquage Finishing Spray is my long-time favorite.
I keep my hair tools extremely simple as well. I keep a blowdryer and diffuser on hand, a 1 1/4″ curling iron, and a flat iron. I rarely use heat tools on my hair any more, but sometimes it needs a day 2 touch up.
I definitely don’t believe in bargain shopping on hair care items, call it an occupational hazard. But by being minimal in what I use on my hair I am spending money on quality, targeted products instead of a little bit on several products that aren’t really what I am looking for anyway. I am loving the extra space in my cupboard and the time saved from messing with my hair. Does minimalist haircare sound like a good fit for you?