It's officially hot, hot, hot here in Charleston and with the rising temps comes intense humidity. As a former Floridian turned city dweller I've had to deal with not only my fair share of humidity but also the elements. From rain to wind to sleet, I've spent the better portion of the last 10+ years figuring out a hair routine that works for me - in a multitude of environments. With naturally wavy/curly-ish, very thick and course hair, I strive to achieve two things when styling my do - smooth locks that last at least two days, and frizz-free waves.
To achieve this I've narrowed in on a few products and a technique that works for me regardless of the season or weather. In total this routine consists of 6 products (give or take given the weather) and takes me about 10 minutes to complete - time well spent for a style that lasts. Before I hop into the details of my routine let me tell you that much like my wardrobe approach, my beauty rituals (hair, makeup) take a similar tone of simplicity. Even though I like to look put together, I do not like to spend a ton of time doing so - after all, there's too much to experience in life to spend it picking out an outfit or trying to perfect a complex beauty look. For me, less is truly more and I like to fill my beauty arsenal with products that offer maximum impact for minimum effort.
Before we dive into the products that I rely on, I want to delve a little deeper into my personal hair story and what lead me to where I am today. For as long as I can remember I have had a ton of hair. We're talking thick, heavy and very uncomfortable in the heat hair. In fact, when I was younger living in Florida my dad would joke that it was no wonder I was so warm because I had a blanket on my head - ha! All joking aside though my hair has been less than easy to deal with over the years.
Even though I've always known how thick my hair is, throughout my childhood and early adolescents my mom was responsible for styling it so I was relatively unaware of how time intensive that process could be. Also through the beauty of childhood I never cared what my hair looked like. In fact, it wasn't until my late teens that I looked back at pictures of myself and realized the hair that I was struggling with had always been this way - I just didn't notice before.
As I entered high school and wanted to fit the hair ideals of my peers I picked up my first blow dryer. To say that the result was more poodle than Kate Middleton would be and understatement. No to be deterred though, I spent the next 10+ years experimenting with products promising to turn my hair into silk only to be disappointed time and time again. The whole thing seemed impossible at times and throughout this process I gave up the search more than a few times. On multiple occasions I would quite literally throw in the towel and resort to wearing my hair in it's natural state. Letting my waves run free was more successful on some days than others and the inconsistency ultimately drove my search further. As someone who likes structure I like knowing that I can ensure a good hair day when I need to, so I was determined to find a process that worked for me day in and day out. That way, on the days I wanted smooth, polished hair I could transform my locks without spending half the day to do so.
Which brings us to today. Throughout my hair journey I've tried nearly everything under the sun and have found some hits and some definite misses along the way. From coconut oil (not for me unfortunately) to leave-in treatments (I like them occassionally but don't think they're necessary) I've finally honed in on a set of products that I've been using consistently for the past 2+ years with great success. Below I've outlined each of these items along with a quick tutorial. My hope is that you find either some tips and technique from this post or discover a new product that can help streamline your own routine. So, let's jump into it shall we?
1 | ALTERNA 10-IN-1 COMPLETE CORRECTION | After showering (I like to do this at night to allow my hair to air dry about 80-90% before rough drying) I apply two pumps of this 10-in-1 miracle product and the Living Proof Nourishing Styling Cream to my damp hair. Combined, these two products help smooth my hair and lock out moisture which can lead to frizz later on.
2 | LIVING PROOF NOURISHING STYLING CREAM | Like I mentioned above, I mix a very small amount of this product with the Alterna and distribute evenly to the middle/ends of my hair when it's damp - not too dry because then it's a little too late. I want to mention that while I like to combine these two products together, they're both not necessary. I've used each individually with success and if I had to pick just one it would probably be the Living Proof.
3 | GHD 1" PROFESSIONAL STYLER | When getting my look to last I have found that the tools are almost more important than the technique. If you saw my original hair care post then you know that I adore this straightener and my blow dryer to achieve my style in no time flat - I let my hair air dry about 80-90% then I rough dry the rest before ironing. Not only are they both super powerful, but they really deliver. This iron allows me to create both straight and curled looks and does so in record time - it heats up in a matter of seconds and styles my hair in about 10 minutes. If your hair isn't as thick or course as mine you may be able to get away with a less powerful straightener but for me, this high-powered beauty is a must for creating smooth styles that last until I was my hair.
4 | MASON PEARSON HANDY BRUSH | After curling or straightening my hair with the GHD iron, I like to brush everything out so it doesn't look too "done." If you've been following me for a while then you know that I absolutely LOVE this hair brush and am consistently impressed with how well it smoothes my hair without ever making it frizzy. If you're interested in more information about this must-have tool, I did an in-depth review of it here.
5 | LIVING PROOF HUMIDITY SHIELD | This next step is one that I only do on days when the humidity is out of control and I can't recommend it enough. Over the years I've tried my fair share of humidity sprays and while I've definitely found others that I like, this is my favorite. It's lightweight, smells amazing and really does help lock out humidity which is no small feat in the 90% or higher humidity that we have here in South Carolina.
6 | ALTERNA CAVIAR OMEGA+ NOURISHING OIL | Like step 5, I only do this last one on day 2/3 of my style when the ends and under sides are looking a little puffy. I love this oil/serum hybrid because it's lightweight, never weighs my hair down and does a beautiful job of smoothing my style back into place.
This post is not sponsored or affiliated with any of the aforementioned brands. All opinions, as always are my own. This post contains some affiliate links which allow you to shop and support Audrey À La Mode. Thank you so much for reading!