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I’m a resident here at Stony Brook University and I have been for 2 years! While there are numerous differences between living at home and living here, the biggest one to affect me is the difference in water. Have you noticed that your hair or maybe your skin feels different after a shower? Personally, my hair feels gross after I shower on campus!

Unfortunately, the water on campus is hard water. This means that the water has and continues to collect more minerals as it travels through the pipes to reach us. The more minerals build up, the harsher the water and the stronger its effects. But, don’t fret. If you struggle with the same thing or are simply just curious about what products to use to counteract the effects that college has on your precious locks, please keep reading! Below I will show you how to maintain healthy hair at your home away from home!

1. Detoxifying Shampoo and Conditioner

During my first semester, I wanted to save money wherever I could! So I took a trip to Marshalls and bought two huge bottles of shampoo and conditioner for $10. I didn’t recognize the brand or know what was it in, but I didn’t care because now I could spend money on more important things… like lunch with my friends! What I didn’t realize at that time was how big of a difference good shampoo and conditioner can make. Those cheap products I bought just made the effects that hard water had on my hair worse. My hair was brittle, dry and lifeless.  

So, I made a change! I went to the drug store and found a shampoo and conditioner set that had the words “detoxifying” on the label. Products that have that advertisement have ingredients that will first degunk all that nasty buildup of unwanted minerals in your hair and then will protect your hair from future washes. My favorite is OGX Detoxifying + Pomegranate & Ginger! I love this brand and I definitely recommend to anyone who wants lighter, silkier and detoxed hair!

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a product given to us by the gods! Mix about two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one cup of water and massage it through your hair. This will also help remove residue build up, and enhance growth in your hair! After a couple uses, I found my hair was shinier than ever! I bought it at my local grocery store and use the mixture once or twice a week. I found that the best way to use it is to cover your hair in it in the shower after you have shampooed, let it sit for a few minutes, rinse thoroughly and follow with conditioner.  

3. Hair Oils

Make hair oil your new best friend. Whether it’s an oil mask or a styling product, they are essential to your hair’s overall well being.

For about six months now, I have been dowsing my hair in coconut oil the night before I want to wash it. I dampen my hair and cover my hair in the oil, wrap it up in a bun and go to sleep for the night! Then when I wash my hair the next morning, my hair is shiny and soft. Coconut oil is a natural way to aid your hair growth while also making sure that hard water isn’t taking its full effects.

I also use a styling product from the brand I mentioned above! It’s argan oil that I put on my hair after I finish styling it. Its light enough where my hair isn’t weighed down but it helps add that extra shine. Click here if you want to check it out!

There are so many ways to keep your hair healthy while at school, but these are just some of the things that have changed my hair for the better! I hope they can help you too!​

Gifs courtesy of Giphy

Luciana is a sophomore studying at Stony Brook University to receive her masters degree in Earth Science Education. She was born and raised in Long Island, NY!
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