I know the outbreak of coronavirus has been stressful for everyone and for so many reasons. I don’t need to remind you about the scary health and unemployment statistics – that is what the news is for. However, serious stressors aside, there is one everyday issue that is impacting so many of us and that is the fact that our everyday schedule has gone out the window along with all access to “normal things”. Some of those normal things for me are beauty appointments. I realize that should be the least of my worries, because it’s not like I’m seeing many people right now anyway, but actually those appointments provided a stress outlet for me on my way home from work. Not having a typical routine or the knowledge to do these services on my own can cause additional anxiety during a time that tension is already high. So, I’m here to tell you to take the extra time for self-care, especially during these times!
It seems like everyone has their one or maybe two things that they rely on for their beauty routine. For me, it’s going to European Wax Center every 4-weeks for my full body wax appointment. I am not going to attempt that on my own, so unfortunately I had to break the hair follicle cycle and start shaving again. Even more than ever, I am 100% reliant on my After Shave Spray to prevent ingrown hairs (I make this myself and shared the recipe on the blog!) My other beauty routine that I follow is a hair cut every 8-weeks. I know that seems pretty often for a female, but it’s only a trim and it’s to dust off the split ends. I prefer to wear my hair long and I’ve realized over the years that when I don’t stick to my regular trims that my hair gets really straggly, thin, and brittle. I eventually end up cutting it off to my shoulders and hating my hair until it grows out again. Thankfully in Arizona the shelter in place order is being lifted and salons will re-open on May 8th. One piece of advice, everyone is in the same boat with their hair and will be booking your hair stylist. If you can be patient, I highly recommend following my tips to warding off split ends by keeping your hair healthy and hydrated. I promise your hair stylist will greatly appreciate your loyalty and patience as well.
I realize more people don’t pay attention to what beauty products contain or are contaminated by gluten, so you might have an easier time finding hair masks and products that you prefer. For me, I work really hard to be 100% gluten free (read my hypothyroidism and celiac disease health story on the blog) and after having/clearing up gluten break-outs all over my skin the last thing I want to do is allow a shampoo, conditioner, hair mask, etc. that contains gluten to wash all over my body in the shower. It’s been a challenge to find gluten free hair products. (Some of these products are saved to an Idea List on my Amazon Storefront, called “Gluten Free – Bath + Beauty Products“. They do the job, but when I find the best gluten free hair products, I’ll dedicate an entire blog post to it.) Out of the few gluten free shampoos and conditioners that I’ve found, I end up taking 20 minutes just to comb through my hair when I get out of the shower. As a result, I tend to get a lot of knots and breakage, which has never been the case before. I used to comb my hair in the shower with conditioner in it and now I can’t even run my fingers through it with a hair mask. Using a hair mask or a leave-in conditioner isn’t an option anymore, it is a permanent 3rd and 4th step. With every shower I use a hair mask that you leave in your hair for 1-3 minutes, but lately I’ve been stepping up my game and doing hair masks that require to sit in your hair for 30 to 60 minutes before rinsing it out.
30-60 DIY Deep Conditioner Hair Mask with Coconut Oil + Ylang Ylang
I found this recipe in the Young Living mailer that I received with my monthly Essential Rewards order and it’s so easy to make! It took me all of 5-8 minutes to make and transfer into my hair.
- Microwave a large coffee mug of water for 1-1.5 minutes or until hot.
- Put 2 tablespoons of regular coconut oil that you would find in your kitchen (mine is gluten free, organic, extra virgin, cold pressed and unrefined by Viva Naturals) into a small container that you can easily hold into the large coffee mug to heat up the coconut oil, but without getting any hot water inside of it. This is creating a double boiler. If you have a double boiler, you can use that too. I do not have this.
- Once coconut oil is liquified, add 7 drops of Ylang Ylang essential oil to it. Mix together and remove from heat. (I purchase my essential oils from Young Living and you can find out why in a recent blog post.) Ylang Ylang is a key ingredient is luxury skin and hair products. It nourishes the hair and scalp while offering a warm floral scent.
- Allow the mixture to cool and thicken. While you’re waiting, grab a towel to drape over your shoulders and catch any drips. Spray your hair with water or lightly splash some water on it from the sink if you don’t have a spray bottle.
- Using your hands, apply the mixture to the crown of your hair to the ends. (Optional: comb the mixture into your hair.) Then wrap your hair into a bun on top of your head or at the nape of your neck.
- Allow for the mixture to sit in your hair for 30-60 minutes. Then rinse, wash and style your hair as normal.
I will say, the first time I did this I actually showered first and washed my hair, then I put the mask on because I’m used to masks being the last thing that I do before exiting the shower. This left my hair way too wet, so it didn’t soak into my ends. Plus, I had to rewash my hair after the mask because the coconut oil is very heavy.
In case you need recommendations for what to do during that 30-60 minutes of waiting…
- Do nothing. Sit in a bathtub and read a book.
- Laundry. One time I folded towels, while watching a TV show.
- Soak your feet and give yourself a pedicure without the polish – wait till after the shower to paint your toenails, but do everything else!
- Jump into the shower about 10 minutes before rinsing it out and give yourself a head to toe body scrub. I have a great DIY coconut oil and sugar scrub recipe on the blog.
- Shaving my legs takes forever, so that’s usually what I do to pass the time.
- This sounds weird, but I did this just the other day and it was great for my hair… I put a hair mask into my dry hair and worked it in just enough to cover most of my ponytail. Then I wrapped it in a low bun with a scrunchie and went for a bike ride. My bun was low enough for my helmet to fit perfectly and the Arizona heat warmed up the mask in order to soak into my hair. When I showered an hour later my hair was so smooth and soft.
Alternative Hair Masks – Do Not Require DIY’ing
If you’re not one for DIY’ing, I recommend trying some of my favorite hair masks. Some I used before going gluten free, so I’ve indicated which are certified gluten free and which are not, along with why these worked for me.
Briogeo – Don’t Despair, Repair (gluten free with notes*) – this is a 3-step deep conditioning hair cap system that allows you customize your treatment based on how long you want to wear the cap, anywhere from 15-60 minutes.
Briogeo – Scalp Revival; Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo, Charcoal + Peppermint Oil Cooling Jelly Conditioner, and Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment (gluten free with notes*) – this is a 3-step scalp treatment that helps you to scrub your scalp (remove dead skin), hydrate and cool your scalp, and promote healthy hair growth at the roots. This takes as long as it usually would to shampoo, condition and add product to your hair as the product does not need to sit in your hair for an extended amount of time.
*Note from Briogeo online customer service: “Unfortunately, we cannot confirm the factories that make these products are entirely gluten-free, however, we perform multiple quality checks to ensure all machinery is thoroughly and sanitized between productions to prevent contamination.”
Biotera – Any Natural Origin Nuture, Restore, or Protect Shampoo, Conditioner, and Masks (gluten free is indicated on the bottle, but I am waiting to hear back if the facility is also gluten free where they are produced) – these all smell great and leave my hair super soft and smooth. This is the only shampoo and conditioner that says gluten free on the bottle and I can still run my fingers through it while washing it. That is why I’m skeptical about the facilities, but hopefully it is 100% gluten free because I love using it! Also, the masks are the only products that need to sit on your hair for an extend period of time, which is 3-5 minutes.
John Masters Organics – Hair Mask for Normal Hair with Rose and Apricot (organic with natural ingredients, but is not gluten free as there is “hydrolyzed wheat protein” in the ingredients) – this hair mask is great for replenishing moisture, repairing split ends and improving elasticity and texture. I can no longer use it, but when I did my hair felt very smooth and soft.
John Paul Mitchell Systems – Tea Tree Special Shampoo, Tea Tree Special Conditioner, Tea Tree Hair and Scalp Treatment (not gluten free as there is wheat germ as an ingredient) – I’m so sad that I can no longer use this three step hair treatment. I love the peppermint and tea tree smell and feeling as it tingled my scalp. It does require you to allow the conditioner and treatment to sit in your hair for a few minutes.
Last, but not least — this is not a hair mask, but just as important of a step as any as you put this in your hair once you get out of the shower.
Living proof. – Perfect Hair Day; Fresh Cut Split End Mender (can’t tell if it’s gluten free by ingredients list and website, waiting for online support to confirm) – this products is like a lightweight lotion for your hair. You apply this only to your ends right when you get out of the shower and after you comb your leave-in conditioner through your hair. It instantly seals and heals your split-ends! No joke! I swear this is the only reason that I can miss a haircut appointment if I ever have to. You can also apply to your ends when your hair is dry and after styling, however I never really do.