Whilst a consistent skincare routine is pretty much standard these days, we're all prone to being a little more laissez-faire when it comes to showing the same care and attention to our hair. In the past I've tended to adhere only to a typical routine - shampoo then conditioner, and it's only really been in recent months that I've started to branch out and explore more options. I've never had major haircare issues - I don't dye, rarely use styling tools, and have always avoided over washing, but my ends are definitely on the dry/damaged side of the scale and in the winter especially my hair is very flyaway/frizz-prone.
The past few months have involved lots of trials and testing as I've tried to fathom what works best for my hair - balanced with the need to have a fairly speedy and straightforward routine (I have very long thick hair so both washing and drying can be VERY time-consuming). In terms of building your own routine, I find haircare products to be a lot more temperamental than skincare products, so unless you have the same hair type/concerns/desires to mine, you'll no doubt have to do some tweaking. But as far as structure goes, the below template is certainly a good starting point.
Wash I used to be an 'every other day' kinda gal, but these days I really don't have the time, so I tend to wash my hair two (and never more than three) times a week. This really isn't as gross as it sounds, and is actually much healthier for your hair than over-washing, which causes hair to go greasier sooner. Cutting down on washing does inevitably mean a few weeks of greasy hair, but is worth it in the end in order to avoid buildup (and admittedly, save time). I usually opt for thickening and volumising shampoos, and do the usual shampoo followed by conditioner 70% of the time. If I can sense a little buildup then I'll occasionally condition before washing as I find this has a kind of 'reset' function on my hair. I also use a build-up removal shampoo about once every ten days. This is hugely helpful at keeping my roots grease-free and weightless.
Prep I always always ALWAYS use a leave-in conditioner before I blow-dry my hair (preferably one with heat-protectant capabilities). Spritzed liberally and combed through, they make brushing my tangle-prone wet hair 10x easier, and leave it noticeably softer. I adore Aussie's offerings (they're affordable, smell amazing, and last for ages), but for those on the hunt for something a little more luxe, Sachajuan's leave-in conditioner is a dream to use. Volumising mists and dedicated heat protectants occasionally come into play here, but not really on a day-to-day occasion.
Brush & Dry I only ever use a comb or Tangle Teezer in my hair when it's wet (brushing causes breakage), I comb my conditioner through my hair before washing it out (this make combing the knots out afterwards much easier), and I also comb in my leave-in conditioner to ensure an even distribution of product. I introduce a round brush to my blow-dry when my hair is about 70% dry as I find this really helps to give a silky smooth effect my hair and add lift to the roots. I try not to blow-dry my hair every time I wash it, but (being long and thick) it does take hours to dry naturally (literally, I can go to bed with wet hair and wake up with it still damp) so I do pick up my drier a little more than I should. Investing in a micro-fibre towel has made some difference, so I always try to wear it for at least half an hour before I dry my hair.
Finish Keeping my ends soft and flyaways at bay is TOP of my haircare agenda, so I use dedicated products for each. Sachajuan's Shine serum gives an instant softness and silky sleek feel to my ends - and keeps them that way for days. I apply it post blow-dry (and spent the rest of the day smelling them). Bumble's Invisible Oil is another product with a serious scent factor. This is quite literally the only thing which tames frizz and smooths down flyaways in my hair. A little goes a long way, and one tiny drop is enough for my entire head of hair - HERO product. For the ultimate luxury, I add a spritz of hair perfume to my hair - I wish more brands would jump on this bandwagon because is there ANYTHING more satisfying than incredible smelling hair??
Style I have neither the time nor inclination to style my hair on an everyday basis but when I do I rely upon a few steady favourites. For a polished wavy look I reach for my curlers and spritz a little of Bumble's Cityswept Finishing Spray through my lengths to keep the curls separated. For a slightly more relaxed/casual look, Bumble's Surf Spray is the only product guaranteed to give my hair a hint of a wave and keep it in place. I also rely upon thickening sprays to give my hair volume and keep updos in place if I'm attempting something gravity-defying.
My picks : Vidal Sassoon Infra Radiance Curler*, Oribe Dry Finishing Spray*, Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Texturising Spray, Bumble & bumble Surf Spray, Bumble & bumble Cityswept Finishing Spray*.
Extras I use a hair mask once a week, and sleep in an overnight mask once a fortnight - my current favourite is a homemade blend of coconut oil, which leaves my hair unbelievably soft. Leonor Greyl also make a fantastic pre-shampoo oil treatment which works wonders on dry hair so I reach for this about once a month.
What are your tips for building up a haircare routine?