This post is sponsored by Formulate. All opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure here.
They say your hair changes every seven years, and boy, has my hair changed in the last seven years. In high school and my early college years, my natural brown hair was healthy, shiny, wavy and thick. But of course, I wasn’t happy with it. (Isn’t that usually how it goes? Who actually liked their hair when growing up? I’d kill for that hair now!) So, I did something about it. I straightened my hair almost every day to remove the wave from my hair. I began highlighting my hair blonde to try something new. Around the same time I start going blonde, I also started taking birth control.
Needless to say, the combination of using heating devices, bleaching my hair, and taking birth control has (I think) done a number on my hair, beyond just the whole seven years thing. As I entered my mid-20’s, I started to notice a stark difference in my hair. Not only was my hair thinning, but it also began losing its shine and volume. On top of that, I’ve always struggled with dry skin and that has also been reflected on my scalp. Yes, dandruff – I know – yuck. Basically, I got them hair challenges.
I wake up every morning praying that this will be the day that kick-starts the next seven years where my hair magically changes and becomes thick and voluminous again. Stay tuned on that, but I’m not holding my breath.
When I turned 30 this year, I made a pact to myself that I was going to make some changes to both my skin care routine and my hair routine. I wanted to make these a priority and be more mindful of the products I use. I figure, I can still change the way I treat my hair to at least get it in a more healthy place than it has been the last few years. So what changes have I made?
I’m Coloring My Hair Less + Getting More Trims
I realized religiously highlighting my hair every six to eight weeks probablyyyy wasn’t too great for my hair, especially considering it’s thinning like crazy. Lucky me, the balayage trend is still in, so I’ve transitioned my highlights to more modest variation of coloring my hair. With having balayage hair, I only need to color my hair every four months or so. I honestly could stretch it longer too, which is the best part of it because you don’t have to worry about your roots!
I’m also making it a point to get more trims. I used to be pretty bad about that and would only cut my hair like twice a year. I’ve realized because my hair is damaged from the color and heating tools, my hair splits a lot more. Cutting off those split ends every few weeks makes a huge difference in my hair. It looks so much healthier and even appears more voluminous!
I’m Switching Up My Shampoo & Conditioner
Each time I shower, I usually use a different shampoo and conditioner to switch things up. I do it as a way to trick my hair to basically not get too comfortable with one single shampoo and conditioner. For example, I have a purple-based shampoo and conditioner that I use maybe once to twice a week to keep my blonde bright and not brassy. I also started using Formulate’s shampoo and conditioner because it’s customized to my own hair.
What I loved most about Formulate from the beginning is that their mission is to customize their products based on your hair challenges and hair goals. For me specifically, my hair goals were to prevent thinning, aid in color protection, mend split ends, improve my scalp health and increase volume. The process with Formulate starts with them having you take a questionnaire on their website. They ask questions related to your hair type, your problem areas, what heating tools you use, what hair care goals you have, and what scent you prefer and how strong.
Their team then creates a formula dedicated to your needs and preferences. And the bonus is that all the products are preservative, sulfate, paraben, and cruelty free. If you’re interested, you can see how the process actually works in the labs here. Your customized shampoo and conditioner then ships and comes straight to your door! With your products, you also receive a customized brochure that recaps everything you filled out in your survey, in addition to the ingredients used in both your shampoo and conditioner.
I’ve been using the Formulate products over the last few weeks. I’ve noticed numerous positive changes, but the most significant has been with the shine of my hair. It’s so shiny that even my husband, Adam, has noticed. He said to me the other day, “Kel, your hair is really shiny.” Victory!!! My hair has truly not looked this healthy in years. I am so, so happy with these products.
With the shampoo specifically, I really like how much it lathers, which gives me the assurance that my hair is truly getting clean. I went with the Tidal scent which has delicious smelling mineral notes of the sea and coconut, so it smells great. I’ve also seen a difference in my scalp, as it’s a lot less dry since using the shampoo.
With my conditioner, I’ve historically been guilty of usually putting it all over my hair and using maybe a little too much to get the knots out. My Formulate conditioner has argan oil in it which is beneficial for hair to become more soft, silky and shiny. The first few times I used it, I was putting too much of the conditioner in my hair and not focusing on solely my ends. Because of that, as my hair dried, I noticed my hair felt like it had a film on it. I attributed it to using too much of the conditioner and have instead started making modifications. I use a lot less now and only put it on the ends of my hair. Since doing so, my hair has never looked or felt better.
Formulate also reached out to me to check in on how the products were working for me and to see if I needed anything tweaked. I provided them my feedback on the conditioner and they are working on a new formula for me and will send it to me free of charge! Now that’s great service!
I’m Using Conditioning Treatments Post-Shower
I’m also making it a point that after I get out of the shower, I use conditioning treatment products to protect my hair and prevent future split ends. My favorite all-time products are the Redken Multi-Benefit Treatment Spray and Moroccan Oil’s oil treatment.
The Redken spray was recommended by my hair stylist, Mini, and it suitable for all hair types and textures. The spray offers 25 benefits that increase manageability, protect against hair damage and promote the natural beauty of your hair. It can be used as either a leave-in or rinse-out hair treatment, but I use it primarily to leave-in. The Moroccan Oil helps with detangling your hair, prevents split ends, restores the natural shine of your hair, and speeds up blow-drying time. Plus, it smells absolutely divine.
I’m Taking Biotin Pills
Biotin is apparently good for your hair, skin and nails. Given how much my hair has thinned, I figured I might as well start taking biotin to see if that helps. I’m not going to lie, my hair hasn’t magically gotten thicker since taking biotin. However, I have noticed a small difference in my hair’s thickness, but I realize it’s not going to be an overnight process. I’m making it a point to take my biotin supplement every day when I wake up to continue seeing if it’s actually helping. Have you had noticed any difference in your hair from taking biotin? I’d love to know!
What hair challenges do you have? What tips or tricks do you do that have helped? Let me know in the comments!
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Role Strategy and Employee Engagement Manager at Salesforce and has over 12 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.