The Products That Brought My Fine, Dead Hair Back To Life

Many unspeakable crimes have been committed against my hair over the years. Straightening irons, regular clothes irons, crimpers, Sun In, bleach, at-home packet dye, DIY trims with paper scissors, hair elastics with hell-raising metal bits, going to bed with it wet… You name it, my hair has been exposed to it. My justification has always been that I was dealt a dud hand when it came to my hair. Unlike my mum and sister (who both have shiny, thick manes), my hair has always been limp, cow-licked, and malleable to whatever weather condition is thrown at it that day. The logic is shaky, but I guess I’ve never really viewed my hair as a ‘crowning glory,’ and thus have committed to every trend that’s come along without much thought for the long-term effects it might have on my hair. I’ve always prioritised styling and dyeing over nourishing products. Hmm?

In the spirit of atoning for one’s sins, I’ve dedicated the past year to getting know all the most nourishing products for fine hair on the market very intimately, so as to give my very mediocre lot in life (also known as my hair) the chance it deserves. I know, I know—it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. The pivotal turning point for me came earlier this year after a trip to the hairdresser for my bi-monthly scalp bleach. I noticed that a patch of my scalp was bleeding and told my friend, who stared back at me in horror, despite me trying to assure him that “sometimes scalps just bleed!” I’m not sure why it took a boy looking at me with immense fear in his eyes for me to realise that the term “beauty is pain” should never be taken that literally, but it did, and now we’re here. That reminds me: you clicked on this article to hear about the products I use to resuscitate my hair, not a rant on my blood-splotched scalp, so let’s get on with it, shall we? Out of all the products that have made contact with my mop this year, these are the top four that have been most effective in bringing my cold, lifeless hair back from the dead. Turns out that when you give hair some good old fashion TLC, it responds very well. Who knew?

  • Sachajuan Moisturising Shampoo

    Since my hair is naturally fine and has been exposed to a decade of blonde on top of that, I find that nearly every shampoo I’ve try strips it of the teensy bit of moisture it has left. But not Sachajuan’s Moisturising Shampoo. It adds much-needed moisture, without weighing my fine hair down. I may never be as fortunate as the other women in my fam when it comes to thick hair, but thanks to this godsend shampoo, I’ll never look in the mirror and see Gollum staring back at me again, which, TBQH, is nothing short of a miracle. Sachajuan’s products have brought me a nudge closer to my dreams of people looking at my shower caddy and thinking to themselves, Mmm, #goals. The bottles are very chic. If they were women, they’d vacation in Isle of Capri, drink spritzes, and wear Ciao Lucia exclusively. But good looks alone do not a healthy head of hair make. Thankfully, the contents Sachajuan’s Moisturising Shampoo live up to their exterior. It’s very hydrating, thoroughly cleansing, and went to town fixing my itchy, dry scalp. You know what they say: healthy scalp, happy hair!

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    Christophe Robin Cleansing Mask with Lemon

    Oh em eff gee. This stuff is bottled gold. Christophe is consistently outdoing himself, and I was ~shocked~ to find that the Christophe Robin Cleansing Mask With Lemon has superseded his Volumizing Paste as my favourite ever product. My hair went through a particularly bleh period recently. It looked sad and lifeless, and, to be honest, I was starting to seriously worry about its wellbeing. Thank gawd for this cleansing mask, then, which the lovely folk at Que Colour prescribed my mopey, sad hair when I went in recently for a colour. The mask is a nourishing alternative to shampoo, and was created with sensitive, highlighted, damaged hair in mind (tick, tick, tick). It’s incredibly gentle, gives my scalp a tingly feeling in the best way possible (like its just been fed a mint tic tac), and makes my hair impossibly shiny and beautiful, like Princess Sparkle’s tail in The OC. I also usually wash my hair every 1-2 days (sue me), and found that I could go much longer between shampoos when using this—around the 3-4 day mark, even. Miracle. Needless to say, I’m in love.

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    David Mallett Conditioner No.1 L'Hydration

    I’ve been keen to get my mitts on this conditioner for as long as I can remember. Reviews from friends, peers, and the good people of the Internet have been nothing short of obsessive, and it turns out they were warranted. David Mallett’s Conditioner No.1 L’Hydration is one of the best conditioners I have ever used. I’ve got very fine hair, and find that I often emerge from the shower feeling like either a scarecrow or a ball of grease. There’s always a trade off—my hair is either textured and bouncy (but not so pleasant to touch), or shiny and smooth (but incredibly flat to my head, and limp). Not with the bottled magic David is pushing, though! Get you a product who can do both. The product is imbued with Keravis: a veggie-based protein complex that helps to condition and protect while preventing residue build-up. Since my hair once was what professionals might have called “particularly fucked,” I would often use it as a hair mask, leaving it on for 20 minutes before washing it out. My hair feels and looks D-I-V-I-N-E as a result.

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    Kevin Murphy Shimmer.Shine

    It recently came to my attention that when it comes to body products, Tom Ford’s Soleil Blanc Shimmering Body Oil is my ride or die. The news initially surprised even me, but I guess it fits into the aesthetic I’m currently chasing: natural-looking fake-tanned skin, and golden, blonde-flecked hair. I’m basically a (very, very) poor man’s Gisele Bündchen. After the revelation was made that I wanted to shine, baby, shine, I knew I had to get my hands on the hair equivalent of Tom’s magic oil—and I found it in Kevin Murphy’s Shimmer.Shine spray. Rich in baobab seed oil, bamboo extract, and other antioxidants, it adds a glistening sheen to my hair whilst simultaneously repairing it. It also makes me feel very rich and luxurious, which is the ultimate endgame when it comes to products, is it not?

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    Words, Madeleine Woon.