Are you dealing with signs of aging – thinning hair and falling hair? Your hair might be losing thickness from the absence of new follicular growth, becoming more spaced in between, or your hair is falling faster than they can be replaced by new growth. Well, even if that sounds like an intro to a sales pitch, I am not going to sell you anything. I will share my experience, and you can do what you please with the information.
So I finally achieved the healthy, soft, shiny, and smooth hair that I have been dreaming of since I was a little girl! When I was growing up, I really wanted to have long hair. In my treasure chest of a suitcase hidden under my bed, I had a big bow clip I was keeping specifically for this purpose. My sister, though, told me that having long hair would take all the nutrients out of my body and go into my hair, and that would not be good for me, so I never grew my hair out. I always had either short hair or super-duper short hair. In the more recent years of my adulthood, I have already managed to grow my hair long, but it was never the healthy, smooth one I wanted! It was long, damaged, and had rough and split ends.
Last year, after I gave birth, my hair started falling off by the hundreds! It got so bad that I had two bald patches on the side of my forehead that I could not even tie my hair back in a ponytail or put on a headband. I was alarmed.
I started doing my research on the internet on what I can do to make my hair grow back, specifically the bald patches on the side of my forehead. I read about different oils, castor oil, and coconut oil. To be honest, I always balk at using coconut oil on my hair because, as a person who grew up in the Bicol region of the Philippines, we used coconut oil for basically everything we cooked, and coconut oil always reminds me of food! I really didn’t want my hair smelling like ulam (viand), so I tried to steer clear of it.
My research led me to this:
So I started using a DIY hot oil treatment on my hair every weekend using the ratio of 3:1:1, which is 45ml castor oil, 15ml argan oil, and 15ml almond oil.
I bought myself a hair towel wrap and my own steamer mask (heater) off Amazon. Months passed, and I started seeing the effects on my head! My hair was growing, and the bald patches started disappearing! I was ecstatic!
Shortly after, I ran out of my almond oil supply. I looked for other alternatives. I wanted to keep the argan oil because, based on previous experience, it really does wonders for my hair. Argan oil makes my hair soft and smoother. I was using argan oil shampoo and conditioner from OGx for years. I only stopped it when I decided to try other expensive shampoo and conditioners I read about in magazines, like the Living Proof, Bumble and Bumble, Davines, and the Hair Story New Wash. None of them worked as well as I had hoped, and I came back to my trusted argan oil shampoo and conditioner.
I then decided it was time to give this coconut oil a try. I buy all my healthy and organic brands from the iHerb website because of the unbeatable prices and reliable shipping. I finally ordered the coconut oil that was #1 on the site, and it was this:
Fast forward to September 2020, I have been using the blend of 3:1:1 castor oil, coconut oil, and argan oil; and you know what I discovered? The coconut oil is the bomb! It has made my hair so soft, smooth, and silky, as it has never been before! I absolutely love it. Yes, it still smells like I have Bicolano food in my head waiting to be eaten when I put it on my hair, but with the results I get, I dare say it’s worth it. Other people might find the scent of coconut oil even pleasant if they, unlike me, didn’t grow up with it always in their food.
My hair is thick. It’s been that way ever since I used Mane N Tail shampoo and conditioner on it back in my late teens! My God, that s*** works! I barely used it for a week, and the strands of my hair became noticeably thicker that I had to stop using it! I gave the big bottles away to a friend, I think. Ever since, ladies at the salon who needed to blow dry my thick mane of hair would complain about the amount of time and effort it took to thoroughly blow dry my hair. I can only smile apologetically.
Now that my hair is back to being thick and plenty on my head, I have decided that for November, I would change the ratio of my DIY hot oil treatment to 2:2:1, which means I now mix 30ml of castor oil, 30 ml of coconut oil, and 15ml of argan oil. I do not want more hair! I just want it healthy, shiny, soft, and smooth.
I think one can experiment with the ratios of the oil according to their specific needs. In the next months, I see myself changing the ratio again to 2:2:1, this time with 30ml of coconut oil, 30ml of argan oil, and 15ml of castor oil. I will update you guys on what happens!
For now, let me leave you with the following tips to help you in your journey to having long, healthy, thick, smooth, soft, and shiny hair like mine. Forget about all those shampoo commercials! All it takes is a DIY hot oil treatment and a good blow-dry, and you can have the hair as you see in those models in shampoo commercials. No kidding.
Here are my tips for growing long and healthy hair based on experience:
- Do not shampoo your hair every day. I wash my hair two to three times a week only. Though I do not live in a polluted place, so my hair does not get that dirty. I also do not sweat a lot, so factor that in. But ideally, hair should not be washed and shampooed often. If you must wash your hair, do the No ‘Poo method.
- Do not apply conditioner on your scalp. Apply the conditioner only on the strands and plenty at the tips. Do not overwash it either, and leave a bit of conditioner on your hair before stepping off the shower.
- Refrain from using too much heat on your tresses. Apply a heat protectant before blow-drying. I use Davines and Bumble and Bumble products. Frankly, the effects of using a heat protectant on damp hair are not very visible to me. Still, I do it anyway because it’s better to err on the side of caution, right? I like to think of it as applying sunscreen on your face every day, even if you feel you cannot see the effect of using a sunscreen every day.
- Avoid plastic hairbrushes. I use an all-natural Acca Kappa hairbrush. Yes, they are expensive, but no to plastic is what I say. I also bought myself a boar bristle hairbrush that I use at night and in the morning. I mean, with my hectic schedule, I do not get plenty of opportunities to brush my hair. Still, when I do find myself standing in front of the bathroom mirror with a little time to spare, I apply some Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil or any argan oil product I have on hand and brush my hair from roots to tips using my boar bristle hairbrush until my hair is nice and smooth.
- Do a DIY hot oil treatment at home every weekend. You can leave it all day or overnight. You can wrap your head in a towel and warm it using a heater, like the one I bought, and leave it on for at least 30 minutes. If you cannot do it every weekend, twice a month is good.
- Use leave-in conditioners when you have the time. For me, I use some on my hair every time I have to go in the sea, swimming or surfing, for example. To protect my hair from the harsh effects of saltwater.
- Do an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse once in a while to get rid of product build-up. When you feel your hair getting heavy and greasy, it’s time for an ACV rinse or an ACV hair mask.
- Use no-tangle hair ties or clips. Use cloth headbands. I actually have these:
If you are interested, these are what I actually do:
- Wash hair with shampoo bar. Massage the scalp thoroughly. Rinse well.
- Apply or rub conditioner bar only on hair strands all the way to the tips. Do not apply conditioner on the scalp or roots. Run a wide-toothed detangler brush or comb through hair to make sure conditioner is well-applied and remove any tangles. Rinse not so thoroughly after. During my research, I found someone who said that not washing off the conditioner thoroughly helps the hair. It’s like a leave-in conditioner.
- Towel dry hair with a microfiber towel. Do not rub your hair vigorously. Wring the water out of hair in clumps instead. Air dry during the summer. Use a hairdryer during colder months. Apply heat protectant on hair before hair drying.
- Use fingers on hair and scalp when drying the roots. Use a hairbrush down the shaft. I use my paddle brush for this. It works very well. Use only medium or low heat. High heat dries the hair and makes it all frizzy.
- Dry hair only up to 80% and leave the rest to dry out naturally. Apply hair oil, avoiding the roots, all the way to the tips.
DIY HOT OIL TREATMENT STEPS:
- Heat the oil mixture using a pot of water on the stove and the oil mixture in a glass jar without a cap. Do not let the water or the oil boil. The oil must not be too hot to handle with your own hands and fingers. The water in the pot must be as high as the oil in the bottle.
- Apply to clean dry hair. Oil adheres better to dry hair. Sometimes I wash my hair with shampoo first and dry it thoroughly before doing the hot oil treatment. Make sure all the hair strands are coated with the hot oil mixture. Massage scalp.
- Wrap hair with a microfiber towel. Leave it for at least an hour or overnight.
- When I have time, I put heat as well on the towel-wrapped hair for 30-45 minutes. Then I remove the cover and let my hair cool down before removing the cover and wrap.
- Wash the oil off the hair with warm water in the shower, massaging the scalp for better blood circulation. I wash two to three times until my hair is entirely free of oil and does not feel greasy. Then I condition my hair as normal and do the usual steps.
My daughter says I have hair like Wonder Woman. She also says I have the most beautiful hair she has ever seen. When I ask her if she would like to grow her hair like mine, she says no. “It’s a lot of work!” she says. Indeed!
Judging by how long this blog is, you can tell I put a lot of effort into maintaining my hair. When you are aging, effortless beauty does not apply! I like my hair like this, and I think it’s one of the things people notice first, so I make an effort to make it nice. I cut my hair really short every five years or so, though, which also shows that I do not get that attached to things, especially hair. Short hairstyles actually make one look younger, so it’s an excellent style for women in their 50s and above.
I’m almost 40, but my daughter also says I never age. I will let you in on my secrets to looking ageless soon enough in another blog. Don’t worry, it does not involve face yoga (though I hear that works for others too!)
Hair fall or hair loss can be caused by several things. It may be hormonal changes, such as those caused by childbirth, use of a wrong product, too much hair coloring or hair straightening treatments, or simply just aging. We naturally lose hair every day, but they get replaced. One only must not lose more hair and at a faster rate than it gets replaced. To thicken one’s hair, either you thicken the individual strands, or you increase the number of strands or hair follicles growing on your scalp.
Now, I am not a doctor, and I am not giving this expert advice or tips. They are also not backed by scientific studies. What I am sharing is based on my experience, so please do not blame me if, God forbid, something goes wrong!
Like any information on the internet, please take the information I have shared with you with a grain of salt. Do what you think is right for you, and don’t do what you feel is not suitable for you! Don’t be afraid to experiment, but please do not do drastic experiments! Especially on your hair, or your face, or your body, for that matter. Use knowledge wisely and do more research if needed.
In any case, I try to use all-natural and organic products. If I have some in my bathroom drawer now that are not, I am already on my way to using them all up and not repurchasing. My goal is to have a healthy and green lifestyle, and every day is a journey towards achieving that.
If you decide to buy any products that I recommended from iHerb, please use my Rewards Code: AUD2495 to show a little appreciation my way!
Also, if you find doing DIY too tedious and would like a no-frills and no-effort hair treatment and oil, I recently tested a product that showed similar results. I will blog about it next. Do watch out for that post.
Drop comments, questions, or clarifications down below, and I will try to answer them as much as I can!
Thanks for reading, and I wish you a very good hair day!