Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Millersville chapter.

Recently, I’ve noticed many people telling me how beautiful my hair is. Whether it’s the color, texture, cut, or how I’ve styled it, I get many compliments on it. . . but it wasn’t always this way. When I was in high school I was OBSESSED with curling or straightening my hair. So obsessed that it was the only thing I did for a while without putting heat protectant on my head, and instead forcing damaging chemicals in my hair.

Needless to say, that started to be the beginning of the end for my hair’s health. Soon I discovered that my head smelt like burnt plastic and the ends were super dry and ridden with split ends. The natural shine of my hair was no longer there and I soon began to deal with an unhappy head of hair. One of the major issues I had however was how every time I changed my shampoo, almost immediately a month after, my hair would reject the products by either getting greasy from it or clumpy and dry. This was something I struggled a lot with as well as how to combat my thick dark hair. And listen. . . I couldn’t go as far as dyeing my whole head or cutting it all off, but I got pretty close. I went through the bleaching highlights phase, cutting it super short, and even cutting my own bangs (twice and we know that story).

Hercampus Member
Valentina Zamora

Slowly after my final years in high school did I realize that something needed to change, but I wasn’t sure what. This was also after a time when I was afraid to go into a salon. The hairstylist I had at the time prior to junior year of high school made a mistake and gave me a style I was quite unhappy with. From there started this mistrust and fear of going to hair salons and showing them a picture expecting that to be the outcome. On that journey, I ended up going to Great Clips and chopping my hair really short. Something I thought was a great idea and then realized how my hair grew out to look like a Danish boy’s. But here’s the thing: just because you cut your hair does not mean its health will get better. It’s a start, but it’s something that must be maintained as well. Something that I didn’t do well. So when I finally got to college I was absolutely lost on what to do.

I wanted to change, but I was fed up trying to figure out how to take care of my hair. I ended up asking a stylist for their opinion of what my hair should look like and the result was “good”, however, she tried “thinning” my hair so it wouldn’t be as heavy and I also didn’t like the look as well. Months after that I ended cutting my bangs and entrusted my mom with a pair of scissors to give me a “trim” (something I don’t think I’ll be doing for a long time, sorry mom <3). At that point, I was truly just desperate to try anything. So the question still stands. . . how did I save my hair? Well, one day I looked in the mirror and realized that it was finally time to do research and ask for professional help to seek out somebody I could trust in achieving what I never thought possible.

I did research and I found a salon that I absolutely fell in love with called The Charlee a little while after the pandemic. This was during a time when I felt my hair had the best break in a long time from products and heat. My bangs managed to grow out and I was ready to start something new. I met with a wonderful stylist named Danny who really took the time to understand my hair and what I needed. From there I graduated to the middle part and he gave me amazing advice on how to start repairing my hair. It was there that I gained the confidence back that I had lost so long ago. I was finally excited to style my hair and protect it. As time went on, I gained more trust and confidence in other amazing salons and stylists like Luxe Lancaster, and my old friend Jenna Fisher. After experiencing what the hair care world had to offer, I picked up many tips and tricks to help save my hair.

So here’s what I did:

1.) Understanding my hair and texture
I always just thought my hair was thick and dark, I never really understood how it had a natural wave to it or how greasy my scalp was on top, but remained perfectly calm towards the ends. They are not kidding when they say your hair has a mind of its own.

2.) Finding a salon or stylist who takes hair seriously
It may be a little expensive, but trust me the haircut or dye job is worth it when you find somebody who has the knowledge and time to truly understand, and take care of your hair. It might be hard separating yourself from other salons that you may be going to for a while or things that are cheaper, but this is an investment in yourself and how you want to be portrayed in the world… Trust me it’s worth it.

3.) A little goes a long way when it comes to products
I realized a lot of the problems I was having may not have been the result of the products I was using. I was trying so many things at once when I realized nothing was working. When I asked my stylist what to do on the situation of how my hair rejects products every month, I got the response that I should be detoxing my scalp every two weeks. This allows your hair to get a refreshed and deep cleanse from all the hairspray, dry shampoo, pollution, and other products you may be using. He said to keep it simple and stick to a nice shampoo, conditioner, detox mask, dry shampoo, heat protectant, and clean hairspray when it comes to your hair. Obviously, this could change with your hair texture, but these are the basic ones I was told work the best.

4.) You don’t have to wash your hair every day
Something I was doing in high school was washing my hair every night and then going to bed with it wet. Not only does that not let your hair properly dry, but it’s stripping your scalp of the natural oils that it takes to produce and keep your hair healthy. With this, I try experimenting with different styles or using dry shampoo. Now I wash my hair every 3 to 4 days as needed.

5.) Be confident in your choices and don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you feel like you’re lost and struggling when it comes to the health of your hair and you’re not sure what to do, ask the professionals! I can’t tell you how many times I thought that I could take things into my own hands to solve the problem and then was not happy with the results. I mean sometimes you just have to cut your hair to figure it out, but other times you can also ask for help from either the internet professionals or a salon stylist. They’ll have the time to assess your hair and give you the proper treatment regimen that you’re looking for.

In the end, it’s taking me a lot of time to finally nurse my hair back to health. I’m not saying it’s perfect and that I don’t have a single split end, but I do feel more confident in it than I have before. I guess my final advice would be to rock whatever you have and don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way. Asking for help was one of the biggest reasons my hair makes me feel like a French “It girl” every day. 

Valentina Z

Hey everyone it's me Valentina Z, and I am a Senior at Millersville University! Currently, as a Media Arts Production major, I am exploring the world and sharing my new experiences along the way. I have a passion for fashion, lifestyle tips, food, and nerd culture. I am a proud Latina who is always ready to try new things and isn’t afraid to take on life. Follow me into the unknown that is college, dating, and more! I hope my work inspires you as you read <3