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Every once in a while, I asked Joe for his opinion on my hair style or color, but it's not something that he's usually willing to give. He says that his having an opinion on my hair would be like me having an opinion on the length of our grass (I'm a licensed cosmetologist and he's owned a lawn care service for most of his life). With some poking and prodding, I've gotten him to tell me that he likes my hair best when it's long and he loves when I curl it. Coincidentally, that's the hairstyle that I feel most confident in so it's a win/win situation.
Over the last few years, I've found myself doing my hair in the morning less and less. Even though I recently made it part of my daily routine, there are some days when I decide to use that time on other things. But no matter what, I ALWAYS do my hair for date night, even if it's right before we leave, and I usually spend a bit more time making it look just right for the occasion. I have a goal to do my hair and makeup more often for myself and to show my husband that I still make an effort as part of my daily pursuit of him.
Despite being a hair stylist, I am fairly loyal to my tried and true products and don't often try new ones, unless they come highly recommended. I have been using the same hair care product line since it launched while I was in cosmetology school 11 years ago. The first time I used the Lavender Mint shampoo and conditioner, I fell in love with how it made my hair feel and how well my hair styled after it was dry. I've tried other products over the years, in an attempt to switch up my routine, but I always end up back with my tried and true because I love it so much.
Disclaimer: When purchasing this product, or any salon brand product, make sure you are buying from a salon, beauty supply, licensed professional, or a trusted source online. You will note that the product links I have provided in this post are specifically sold by Paul Mitchell brand. This ensures that you are getting product that is not expired or being sold from the black market. The prices are generally the same as you see in many grocery stores for "salon product", but the product that I've seen in my local stores are in older packaging and won't be the quality that you are looking for. Ulta and Sephora are also great places to shop for salon level hair care products.
I invest in higher end hair and skin care products because when my skin and hair are in good shape, I feel good as well. If you're willing to invest the money, your hair is going to be healthier and easier to manage and your color will last longer. If your hair is a priority to you, I definitely suggest paying the money to treat it right. Using salon quality products, getting regular haircuts (or trims) and only having your hair colored by a professional are all things that I suggest everyone do.
If you've never heard of Paul Mitchell's Lavender Mint products from their Tea Tree line, you are seriously missing out! The scent of this product line alone is enough to convince me to use it every single day. Lavender is one of my very favorite scents, and I love starting my morning with something so calming. Lavender Mint is made to be hydrating and soothing for your hair, body and mind. It's the best moisturizing product I have found, no matter what the weather or the air around me is like.
On days when I wash my hair, I use the Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Shampoo and Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Conditioner. Are you ready for another professional tip? I wash my hair twice! The first lather removes build up and dirt, the second lather (which you'll notice suds much better), cleans your scalp. I also only scrub my scalp when I'm using shampoo. I never lather and scrub my hair past the mid shaft (about to your ears) because it strips the natural oils and dries out my ends more. Then I apply conditioner starting at the ends and working all the way up to my scalp.
Tip: If you have a dry scalp, you might consider conditioning your scalp every time you wash it. If your scalp is more on the oily side, avoid applying conditioner directly to it.
To achieve optimal conditioning, I leave the Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Conditioner on for up to 15 minutes in the shower. So I wash and condition my hair first, then shave my legs, wash my face, etc. before rinsing the conditioner out. Once every week or two, I've been using my new favorite Tea Tree Lavender Mint Deep Conditioning Mineral Hair Mask after I wash my hair, but before I condition it. During the winter, when the air is dry in our area, I definitely use a mask once a week. I'll put it on at night or one morning when I get up early and leave it on while I clean my bathroom, browse social media, or watch an episode of one of my favorite shows. Then I rinse it out and condition as usual.
Paul Mitchell recently released another product in the Lavender Mint line that I have really loved. The The Tea Tree Lavender Mint Conditioning Leave-in Spray is used every single day! I prefer to have soft hair that's easy for my husband to run his fingers through, so the only styling product I use regularly with the leave-in spray is the popular Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum. If I'm blow drying my hair (usually I let it air dry), I also love the Paul Mitchell Extra Body Sculpting Foam and will sometimes replace my leave-in spray with The Cream.
Tip: You want to let your hair dry just a bit before you put your styling products in. Putting product in your hair while it is still dripping wet won't do it any favors, and most of the product will evaporate with the water. I like to towel dry my hair really well and wrap it in a towel for a few minutes before I apply the products I mentioned above and use the blow dryer or let it air dry.
Like I mentioned, I love soft hair so I don't usually apply product like hair sprays or waxes to it after it's dried and styled, whether I'm curling it, wearing it straight or going with the beach wave look. One thing that I really love to do is rub a small pump of Super Skinny Serum through my hair after curling or using the flat iron to tame fly-aways and give it a smoother more finished look.
If you're curious about my styling tools. I have had the same green smoothing iron from Paul Mitchell since I started school in 2007. It's been so good to me and has a lot of miles on it from personal use at home and use for years in the salon. I use this $20 curling iron and honestly haven't found anything that creates a curl that my hair will hold better than that.
Tip: Get styling tools that are ceramic. Ceramic coating will wear off. You want solid ceramic plates for the smoothest style. I love ceramic because I can heat it to a lower temperature and still get really good style while not damaging my hair with as high or as much heat.
Now I just need Paul Mitchell to bring back the Lavender Mint body wash and body butter and my entire morning routine will be like a pampering trip to the spa. Those are the other two products that I've loved and miss dearly. I purchased a lot of them when I heard they were not going to be making them anymore. The day I ran out was a sad one.
Tip: When you're running a flat iron over your hair, lower heat and slower motions will give you better results and healthier hair. High heat and many repeated passes over the same section of hair open the cuticle and cause more damage to your hair in the end.
What is your go to date night hair style? Do you have favorite products that help you achieve it?
Photography by Sadie Banks Photography