We all know that one of the things that goes flying out the window when we have children and bills is our weekly (or monthly) outing to the beauty salon.. remember how that felt? someone else washing your hair, getting a professional cut, letting you hair (and yourself) be pampered and looking like a million bucks *sigh* ... anyway, since we cant afford those "treats" here are some inexpensive tips on how to keep your hair looking healthy and beautiful.
1- Protection. Protect your hair (and color) from the sun with a product that has UV filters in it. If you want to be out in the sun, comb in a conditioning mask, at least you are taking advantage of the heat and getting a moisturizing treatment. (specially good if at the pool or beach).
Your hair color gets golder in the sun, to avoid this, mix two tablespoons of baking soda to a dollop of regular shampoo, this will counteract the yellow.
Dont leave salt, chlorine or even perspiration on your hair for a long period of time, this damages and strips hair of its natural moisture. To prevent this wet your hair with fresh water before you go swimming.
Once a week (specially during summer) use a deep conditioner.
If you part your hair in the same manner often and you can see scalp, you need to care for it with sunscreen, the same you use for your face will do. Just dab a cotton ball and apply to scalp, also keep parting in different spots, this way you'll give your scalp a rest.
For added protection, if you are going to wear your hair curly with gel (or mousse) or wet style, add sunscreen to your favorite gel (or whatever product you use) and comb it through, then wrap it in a bun or ponytail.
The best protection would be to wear a hat :) any hat will do, but if you feel uncomfortable wearing hats or if it makes you even hotter, then you can also opt for a scarf.
2- Drying. You could blow dry your hair at home.. or you could air dry it! :) Air drying is healthier for your hair and it can be done and still have a nice style. One option is to brush your wet hair in a low braid and let it dry, then just let it lose and fluff with your fingers (not too much) and you will have dry hair with some curls to it.
Same goes with the bobby pins. Sleek your hair in the front and place the pins on each side, when dry take them out and you will end up with flat and smooth hair across the top of your head.
For ladies with straight hair, you can also brush your hair in a high pony tail and tie in a bun, when dry let loose and you will end up with straight hair with lots of volume.
In short, if you decide to air dry your hair, you can make it do what you want if you tie it up in different ways depending on how much waves or curls you want or if you want it straight.
Lets face it.. sometimes (or more like very often) you need to blow dry your hair, so the best thing to do is invest in a good hair blower (or hair dryer) pick one that feel comfortable to your hand, has different speeds and heat levels and its light. A dryer that gets you from damp to dry in the less time would be best.
3- The Cut. There is not much we can do when it comes to cutting our own hair, sure you can go on "youtube" and follow some instructions there, but believe me when I say, nothing compares to a professional cut. Now if you cant afford to go, lets say... every two months to get a cut, you could always volunteer in a beauty school and get a cut there for the fraction of the cost. You could also budget for that cut or get a cut that is easy to maintain. I get a cut twice a year. Its mid way my back and in layers, I am 41 (ejem.. well 42 in a week lol) and I dont see myself with short hair. I have cut my hair as short as above my jaw and I have left my hair as long as my waist... I still prefer mid back in layers :)
In order to save money on cuts you need to be wise and ask (and also experiment) the beautician what style would be best for you... this way you are not unhappy and wanting to get a cut every month or so.
I will add a second post with homemade treatments to keep your hair looking like straight from the beauty salon :)