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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hair on a Budget

You know expensive, well cared for tresses when you see them. They shine, they have rich, deep color. The hair has a cut that is simple and clean. You can spot the difference at twenty paces. It’s the difference between those who have the time and money to invest in their hair and the rest of us. But it doesn’t have to be. Those of us who ride the coattails of luxury can have those same hallmarks of expensive hair. We just have to work a little bit harder.
Getting shiny, gorgeous hair seems easier when I cut back on shampoo and other products. I find that mousse, gel and creams add body and structure to my hair, but they leave a residue behind. That makes my hair dull and lackluster. When I reduce the use of product, I increase the shine. Granted, that becomes easier when I get a really terrific cut so that it requires less product to control it. Using less product also reduces the need for frequent shampooing. I wet my hair down every morning, but I only shampoo every third day or so. This keeps my hair from getting dried out and dull. I also invested in a real hairbrush, the kind Grandma had. I brush my hair before bed each night. It’s a soothing, relaxing ritual. It also distributes the oils in my hair, so that the hair gleams.
Color is another note point of gorgeous, expensive hair. I want rich looking, deep color. And I don’t want to go to the hairdresser and pay the outrageous charge for coloring. I simply cannot afford it. I choose a color that is slightly lighter than my own natural color. In my case, I chose a reddish shade that matches the natural highlights I had when I was younger. It doesn’t fundamentally change my own color since my natural color is darker. But it does add depth and shading to my color. It adds swing and reflects the light. And… it covers up the gray.
Finally, the most notable mark of rich hair has got to be the cut. The wealthy do not sport the latest trendy cut --- no Jennifers, Farrahs or Dorothy Hamills for them. They wear classic haircuts that suit their faces and lifestyles. So, why do the rest of us fall prey to the trends and fads? We end up with hair that we cannot manage, that does not suit us, and that looks cheap. Good hair should not take hours every morning to turn out. It should not require gallons of goopy product to make it stay put. Those are indicators that the haircut suits the stylist and not the wearer. You do need to pay for a good cut, but it lasts and lasts. It can be “touched up” by the usual SuperCuts, but the fundamental cut needs to be done by someone more expert and more accustomed to meeting demanding clients wishes. Once a good cut is in place, the rest is easy.