Growing up, my mom never really cut my hair. As a kid, I had the typical waist long hair and fringed uneven bangs that every immigrant parent gave their daughters LOL I never really changed that hair style, well, I let my bangs grow out but I never really changed it much until 6th grade when a stylist chopped my hair at the shoulders and gave me side swept bangs. That was my first salon experience.
I wasn't really impressed with the outcome, I did go to a really, really cheap salon, but I was happy about the change. Throughout middle school, I'd cut my hair myself and you can guarantee it was not perfect LOL It wasn't until high school that I discovered a stylist that I absolutely love and still visit at least once a year. This leads me into step #1:
#1 Have a stylist that understands your hair.When you have thick hair like me, you need to have a stylist that knows how to texturize it with lots of layers. This really helps thin your hair down and lightens your head. This requires a lot of cutting and you need the layers to blend naturally and evenly, so you need to have a good hair stylist you can trust.
Everyone's hair is different. Its texture is different. It takes color differently. Everything is different. Having a stylist that knows your hair is the best thing you can do for your hair because they'll know what to do to get the look that you want. I've been with my stylist for 5 years and when I walk in she knows exactly what to do.
#2 Shampoo and condition separately.I treat my hair with heat everyday. I also wash my hair with shampoo and deep condition it everyday.
Without a doubt, conditioning your hair after shampooing works best. Don't buy two-in-ones. I don't know why people always argue with me and say that I shouldn't wash my hair everyday. Everyone's hair is different. There's no wrong or right way-- just do what works for you.
Washing AND conditioning my hair everyday is why I don't have any split ends. If I get lazy about conditioning and start to notice some split ends, all I have to do is start conditioning again and the split ends will go away in a few days.
I personally use Pantene Pro-V. I've been couponing so I take any kind I can get but am a fan of the Smooth & Sleek.
#3 Use a serum to combat frizz and protect against heat.A serum is my number one most important hair product. My hair doesn't frizz so I mainly use it to add a little bit of shine and to make my hair smooth. but you have to be careful with this stuff. Too much of it will make your hair look and feel greasy. I have very thick and long hair and I never use more than a drop the size of a nickel.
Serums are also really good heat protectants. I like to put serum in my hair before I curl/straighten. To get smooth hair, you have to put the serum on before you curl or straighten. Working your hot tools into your hair and serum is what makes your hair soft.
Biosilk Silk Therapy is my favorite and a close second and cheaper option is John Frieda Frizz Ease.
#4 Don't blow dry.I get it, sometimes you just have to but when you can you should avoid it. Since I use hot tools on my hair everyday, I try to avoid using unnecessary heat when possible, such as showering in the evening and letting the hair air dry over night.
#5 Learn how to curl a lot of hair at once.Curling a lot of hair at once saves time and helps you prevent damage to your hair.
It's much easier than it sounds and this is literally my go-to everyday look that takes only about 5 - 7 minutes to do every morning.
Below is a video that helps illustrate what I do to curl my hair fast.
That's pretty much everything in a nutshell. What tips do you have? I'll take any tips I can get :)