My hair journey has been a crazy one this past 16 months or so! Transparently, I’ve put off writing this post for about six months. If you’ve been around a while, and followed me on IG, you’ve seen the hair transformation I’ve had over the past year. After having beautiful, healthy hair, I majorly destroyed it. My hair was dry, brittle, elasticky, and so sad. It took me months to make the proper changes, and get my destroyed hair back to thick, silky, and strong! But wow, what an emotional rollercoaster it has been. I never want anyone to feel like they can’t get their healthy hair back! Today I’m sharing the 3 changes I made to fix my damaged hair.
How I Damaged My Hair
First and foremost, this has been a LONG journey! I want to share exactly what I did to destroy my hair, in hopes that anyone reading this will learn from my mistakes. I also want to point out that not ONE of these items contributed to the destruction of my hair, it was the combination of all of them that did.
Too Much Heat
There is a absolutely such a thing as TOO much heat to your hair! When my hair is long, I think it looks better curled. I was curling my hair at the top heat setting with my T3 curling iron at least 3-4 days a week. That can do a number on your hair! I was using the T3 Convertible Curling Iron on heat setting 4. I have NO idea what temperature that is. In fact, I scoured their website to see what that translates to, and this is all it said:
5 adjustable heat settings Provides the optimal heat level for any hair type-T3 Website (direct link to source HERE)
I won’t lie, that sucks! I was thinking it was’t at the hottest setting, but I swear I could smell my hair burning every time I used it. I’ll get to my transition from this later on, but for now, know that this was a huge contributing factor to my hair damage.
Styling Too Often
Aside from using too much heat, I was also styling my hair almost daily! I’d use my T3 on setting 4 at least 5 times a week. That is WAY too much. Not to mention, I had extensions, so I would use more heat than my natural hair could handle.
Speaking of hair extensions, your natural hair does NOT necessarily need the same treatment or heat as your hair extensions. And this was a huge culprit for me.
As a fashion blogger, I’m constantly in the public eye on Instagram. For a long time, I was always trying to be put together (wearing makeup/doing my hair) on my stories no matter what! That’s honestly not even who I am (learning curve), but this 100% contributed to me damaging the hell out of my hair.
I had tape in extensions for about a year and a half. At the time I absolutely LOVED how they looked. They really gave me confidence! I felt happy and loved how my dream hair looked. However, they can severely damage your hair in multiple ways:
- The tape can pull on your natural hair
- There were times where the extensions grew out and my hair brush would get stuck on the top part and legit YANK my hair. I’m pretty sure this actually pulled out some of my hair
- When removing the tape, it’s extremely damaging! You’re literally pulling tape off of your real hair. Even with the alcohol they use to lessen the pull, hair is still damaged. And that’s at the ROOT of your hair!
- Extensions need to be moved up, so every single time they either fall out or get bumped up, you’re damaging it regardless of how gentle your hair dresser is, it happens.
- You can damage your hair from heat
- No hair is created equal! Some people have hair that can withstand more heat than others. Some people’s hold curl better than others, etc. When you think about those factors, it’s clear that hair extensions will not have the same tolerance as your natural hair.
- I was adding heat setting 4 to my natural hair PLUS holding it longer because of the extensions. Not to mention I was blow drying it, which took more than twice as long than the amount of time my natural hair took to dry. That could have easily caused damage.
What blows my mind, is no matter how high or low I search on the internet, people still rave about tape in extensions being the “safest” for your hair and claim that there is little to no damage from them. Honestly, I call BS!! If you look at what I went through PLUS think about what you’re doing to your hair, it’s obvious that your hair can be damaged after using them.
Dying Too Often
At the time, my hair was bleached blonde! There’s no doubt that dying my hair to get rid of the roots every 6-8 weeks was definitely contributing to the damage. I now dye my hair every 12-15 weeks and have gone more natural. I plan on lightening it, but I no longer have extensions, so that helps!
Using The Wrong Hair Products
It’s so important to use a good shampoo and conditioner, PLUS the right heat protectant when styling your hair. I was using very cheap shampoo and whatever I felt like trying. I was inconsistent and the products did not actually promote healthy hair. I’m not going to name the exact products I used (there were many), because I’m not sure that these were hurting my hair. However, I have figured out which products actually HELP my hair. Details on what I now use below.
The 3 Changes I Made To Fix My Damaged Hair
After a full blown hair meltdown, I decided it was time to take out the extensions, chop and revive my natural hair! 16 months or so later, here we are! My hair is FINALLY healthy, strong, and nearly back to normal. YES it took over a year to get my hair back to normal. I also want to say, this was a very emotional journey for me. I felt SO beautiful with long, thick, blonde hair. My heart broke seeing how damaged my real hair had become. I actually called my mom crying when I removed the extensions and chopped my hair. I didn’t feel beautiful at all!
It’s not just about how you look, it’s about how you feel! I felt really sad, and I’m being open and transparent with you, because I don’t ever want ANYONE to damage their hair like I did and go through this horrible long journey to getting your hair healthy again. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and I feel great again, but for perspective we’re all human and I went through a LOT of emotion at this time in my life.
I was under the impression that taking out the extensions would basically fix itself. This is FALSE. I didn’t make changes for a few months, and highly regret waiting! If you are like me, make the below changes to get healthy hair immediately!!
Swap Out My Hair Tools
Although I loved my T3 (the convertible size was clutch), I realized not knowing how hot my curling iron or hair straightener was, was terrible for my hair! I wanted to be able to see exactly how much heat was going on my hair, so I ordered Hot Tools. I legitimately swapped out EVERY single hair tool I had for Hot Tools. Here’s why: Hot Tools shows exactly what temperature you’re putting your curling iron or straightener to. So I was able to keep the heat under 400 degrees F every time I styled.
Here’s the hot tools I own and love:
Add in Liquid Collagen
I had seen quite a few bloggers post about Liquid Collagen, and at first I thought it was sponsored, and a ton of girls were just posting to make money (I mean it happens!). Then I saw a good friend post an incredible before/after, so I messaged her about the products. We got to talking and she RAVED about the Liquid Collagen. She also told me that she had been taking them for months, NON sponsored (meaning she paid for the products herself), and eventually became an affiliate after she was happy with her results.
Personally, I’m always a skeptic, but I trusted her. With her testimonial, I ordered my first bottle of Modere Liquid Collagen and stopped using the powdered collagen I had been taking (details below). I started taking Life (liquid collagen) the day it arrived in late May 2019, I took before pictures about a week in (below photos).
For context, I had been taking Vital Proteins powdered collagen for 2 to 3 years. Basically I had read about collagen being “good for me”, so I took it without seeing any noticeable results for years. There’s a chance it helped my skin or maybe my joints, but there was zero improvement to my overall hair health. Not to mention, I was taking the powdered collagen during my hair damage. I’d say it was basically ineffective. I’m not bashing the brand by any means, it just personally didn’t work. I’m sure other people have different experiences, but this was mine.
Within a month, I had already noticed a change! I saw my baby hairs growing on the sides, my hair was growing, and my skin was glowing. Honestly, I was not worried about my skin, but it was an added bonus! I’ll go ahead and let my progress pictures speak for themselves:
I can’t tell you how happy I am with Modere Liquid Collagen! You can see the difference even in texture in the photo comparison above. My hair is thicker, softer, and growing like crazy! I take 1 TBS of Life Liquid Collagen (tastes like a fruit smoothie) every day, and that’s it.
I became an affiliate, because I believe in the products, they work 100%, and everyone deserves to feel confident with their hair. I still buy the products myself, I’m not sponsored, but I do make a small commission if you use my link or code. I think the proof is in the pudding. My photos speak for themselves AND there’s more on my IG story highlights named “Liquid Collagen”. Head to Instagram to see more details.
My code 9080715 is valid for $10 off of your first order. Or use this link and the discount will be included.
Feel free to DM me on Instagram with any questions.
Now, let’s be real for a moment (or always LOL), there’s no ONE product that’s magical. I believe change happens from a combination of things, and adding in liquid collagen was one huge factor. The next thing I did was research the best hair products for damaged hair and make that change!
Switch my Hair Products
On top of adding in liquid collagen, I did heavy research on what shampoo and conditioner to use to help treat my very damaged hair. I actually also tried a third that I didn’t like (Verb was the brand, I just didn’t notice any difference after a full bottle’s use and it wasn’t cheap).
There were two brands whose reviews were stellar!
First: Bondi Boost. I had heard of Bondi Boost through other blogger’s pages. I ended up going to the Bondi Boost website and reading almost every single review! No joke, I spent HOURS going through those, and they had almost 5 stars. I ended up ordering the Hair Growth System (and recently replenished with the Growth Bundle HERE). I used their products for months, and ended up partnering with them after I realized how much I love their products! I can stand behind these and say I wholeheartedly recommend their products and this blog post is NOT sponsored whatsoever.
One tip I have, is brush the conditioner through your hair in the shower and let it sit for 3-5 minutes while you shave/body wash. Below is the exact brush I use in the shower, and I swear it helps get your hair healthier!
Bondi Boost gave me a non commissionable discount code. Try ALWAYSMELISS20 for 20% off the site.
At the time of writing this blog post, I used Bondi Boost exclusively for 90 days. I absolutely saw and felt a massive difference and for the most part have stuck with Bondi Boost since.
The other shampoo/conditioner I highly recommend is Redken Extreme. I’ve found it to be highly effective in helping make my hair silky and strong! You can’t go wrong with either brand. Right now I’m mainly using Bondi Boost, but again, both are fantastic.
Use Clip In Extensions
Last but not least, I obviously haven’t had tape in extensions since October 2019, but I absolutely LOVE the look of them. Rather than risking the damage, I now own clip in hair extensions, which do exactly the same thing as tape ins! I get the volume or length I want, whenever I want them, without the risk of additional hair damage.
The brand I recommend is Barefoot Blonde Hair. I ordered a color match kit for FREE (just pay $5 shipping) to make sure that the color I ordered was perfect for me. Currently I’m using the color Honey Butter, but also have Butterscotch for when my hair is darker.
You can click the images below to shop. I can’t recommend them enough!
I hope these tips help you girls have the healthiest/strongest hair by making just a few changes! I’m finally feeling happy and more confident in myself, and am thankful to have gone through this experience so I can potentially help other girls strengthen their hair.