I'm straight-up obsessing over the future Queen of England's gorgeous coif.
Of course, it's easy to have perfect hair when you're, you know, a future princess with dozens of beauty professionals at your disposal. But what do you do when you're just little 'ole me, some poor schlump with only my own skills to make me presentable?
You see, I've waged a battle against my own hair my entire life. Rather than being blessed with the frizz-free, gorgeously straight auburn hair that is so rampant on my mother's side of the family (and apparently Kate's), I inherited all of the worst possible hair genes from my father's side of the family. This means my hair more closely resembles the raggedy end of a dirty mop. My hair is dark, roughly textured, drier than the Sahara, and continually plagued by split ends. Not cool. Basically, this means I have little luck with the products meant to tame my poof, and as such, in the past my poor hair has seen far more of the straightener than is healthy.
In short, my hair is fried.
So while I will never have Kate's hair, I make the most of what I've got. This means nothing short of babying my hair, taking it from this:
Rough, kinky curls with uncontrollable frizz
Smooth waves that stay
So how I do it:
I wash my hair normally, but instead of applying the conditioner in the shower, I get out, squeeze the excess water from my hair*, and apply a half-dollar sized amount of conditioner to my hair, working it through from the scalp to the ends.
Leave this on for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the needs of your hair. I keep this conditioning treatment on for much longer, but again, my hair is really dry and needs all that moisturizing. Rinse, and done. Your hair should be soft, manageable, and smooth.
*Note: never rub your hair with the towel; that causes additional breakage, which means all those fine baby hairs along your hairline will be kaput!
2.) Choose shampoos and conditioners that are formulated for your hair type:
This can be expensive, because quality shampoos and conditioners are not cheap. It's also a process of elimination, because you may not find the correct formula right off the bat. So explore your options and choose products that do your hair justice.
In the past, I've loved Paul Mitchell's daily treatment products, but my hands down favorite moisturizing conditioner is Aussie's 3-Minute Miracle. God send! Just review the pictures above for confirmation of what this product has done for me (in short, moved mountains).
3.) Do not stress your hair with tight braids, rolls, or other styles, and NO metal elastics:
Cute as they are, you have to work loosely with your hair. Pulling and stretching strands can cause them to break; hair is only so elastic. I love my braids as much as the next girl, but keep them loose!
The metal elastic thing is (I hope) common sense at this point. Why would you gather your hair in something that was fundamentally designed to rip it form your head? *Cringe* Ouchless elastics, they are your friends.
4.) Avoid heating tools like the plague:
This is the hardest bit of advice to follow, especially for me. I can not live without a straightener. Unfortunately, my hair exhibits serious damage from years of heat exposure. But how can I have the sleek hair style I crave without using a straightener?
Here's the trick: right before you get out of the shower, blast your hair and scalp with cold water. This seals moisture within the hair strand, which in turn weighs the hair down, preventing it from bouncing up into frizzy, unstructured curls.
And ovbiously, don't forget the day-to-day products! Leave-in conditioners, protein milks, smoothing lotions, and even hand lotion make excellent controls for those errant strands when you're on the run.