Establishing the ideal hair care routine for me has involved a lengthy trial and error process to say the least. However, I’d say I’ve got it down pat for the moment. My hair looks to be thriving- my natural curls are much more prominent, I’m experiencing less frizz when exposed to humidity and the elements. My locks feel much lighter, bouncier and with extra spring. So much easier to style. Bring on the thick, glossy, healthy tresses we all wish to covet! A few years ago I was convinced packet dyes were the way to go. Every time my dark roots would begin to peek through, I’d repeat the process all over again with fresh colour. At the very least, I should’ve asked for help so I wouldn’t make a mess and emerge with patchy hair.
There’s definitely been days where the bathroom ceiling copped an unfortunate spattering. That was my chosen mode of self expression in my mid High School years. I’ve been a brunette, blonde and even a redhead at one stage. However, I’ve never gone darker. Black hair always seemed too intense. I missed the mark often but occasionally found a colour that really suited me. I had cool toned ash brown hair for a month and it did wonders for me. I just never thought to make record of the dye I used and couldn’t find it at the store the next time around. Eventually I graduated to salon trips, not wanting to miss out on the opportunity to feel pampered for the day.
My hair at this point was fairly effected by harsh chemicals. It lacked toning and was dry and brittle at the ends. I never understood the importance of a regular trim to encourage healthy growth. I’d say I was more concerned with keeping the length of my hair, however counter intuitive that seems. At the moment it’s chocolate brown, reaches halfway down my back and has a loose wave. When it comes to styling, a balayage is such a classic, feminine look. The graduating tones frame my face nicely and add shape and definition. For a look that remains natural over time, I no longer take my colour right up to the roots.
The process is fairly straightforward- I’ll go to my hairdresser with a vision, usually a board I’ve compiled on Pinterest. I know I can count on her honest advice about what will and won’t work. I remember having my heart set on rose gold hair once. She warned me it may not take since my hair is dark but I went ahead anyway. What can I say? A learning curve. Nowadays I get a full head of toner to lighten my colour a few shades and then layered blonde highlights. These are placed very intentionally because if they’re too even, the contrast is stark. I usually get a few inches off the bottom and layers in the summer. My look below is slightly golden, honeyed.
I see Winnie at Esstudio Galleria Colour Bar which is this really hip, urban space. So much character. Her salon is Parramatta based for all my fellow Sydneysiders. She’s fun, vibrant, chatty and has a great eye. I’ve never left dissatisfied. Her massages are next level too. After a blow dry you can choose how you want your hair style. I opt for curls most often because you see the full spectrum and dimension of your colour that way. They use only the best Olaplex range and I always feel welcomed. It’s the personal touches that take good service further. The offer of a cup of tea and so forth. I’ve met some wonderful apprentices there too. It’s amazing where you can make friends!
Now let’s talk about the Monday Range- Cult haircare without the cult price tag.
The luxury Monday haircare range was originally made available in Australia and New Zealand by entrepreneur and beauty enthusiast Jaimee Lupton. Her belief is that exclusivity is too big a buzzword in beauty. By definition, that means someone is always left out and she didn’t want that. Monday was designed to be part of an inclusive movement. Salon quality formulas available at local stores and without the exorbitant price tag. What you’re paying for is quality haircare that’s vegan, cruelty and animal testing free, dermatologically tested and without SLS or Parabens. Their formulas are award winning and the gorgeous millennial pink bottles completely recyclable, therefore not contributing to landfill and minimising your carbon footprint. There is a strong focus on natural ingredients. The bottle design straightforward and minimises waste. About two pumps is sufficient.
How often do you take the time to properly read and analyse the ingredient lists on your beauty products? Furthermore, how much would you understand? Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a chemical cleansing agent that creates a lathering effect. It’s effective at stripping hair of dirt and oils but can irritate a sensitive scalp or cause damage to finer hair. Meanwhile, Parabens are preservatives that prolong shelf life, preventing the growth of mould and bacteria. This contains the female hormone Estrogen which can also wreak havoc on your strands. It’s this incredible lack of transparency across the beauty sector that perpetuates a damaging narrative. Shouldn’t we, the consumers, be entitled to look and feel good without compromise?
Part of our commitment to making luxury more inclusive means ensuring personal care is accessible to people who need it most. We partner with a charity or not for profit in each of the regions Monday haircare is sold in to help provide beauty essentials to vulnerable women and girls in a way that respects and is tailored to their needs.
I use the Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner which cost ten dollars each when on sale. Otherwise, they’re about fourteen dollars. This is suited to frizzy, curly and coiled hair. The hero ingredients are Ginger root extract to stimulate the hair and scalp, Hydrolysed rice protein for strength and volume, Vitamin E to support hair and scalp health, Shea Butter to nourish and Panthenol for hair elasticity and split ends. Artichoke leaf extract protects the hair cuticles, contains antioxidants and has anti inflammatory benefits. The Monday range has three other core formulations. The first gives an intense moisture boost, the second volumises and the third gives hair much needed tender loving care. The Monday range has won Cosmopolitan beauty awards and featured in magazines the like of Elle, The Strategist, Byrdie, Grazia, InStyle, Vogue, Allure, Vanity Fair and more.
My strategy lately has been to double up. I first use Provoke’s Touch of Silver Shampoo and Conditioner to maintain my blonde and avoid that terrible orange brassiness it can take on if you’re not careful. I’ll rinse my whole head with warm water, then shampoo my scalp, roots and down to the base of my neck. Afterwards I go in with my Monday product. A quick scrub usually does the trick. Personally, I prefer not to shampoo the lengths of my hair. Next is my conditioner. I start with Provoke and work a generous amount through my lengths. I’ll separate any knots or tangles until I can run my fingers through without interruption. That is followed up by a smaller amount of Monday conditioner. Now I tie my hair up and treat the combination as a hair mask. On hair wash days my showers are longer and I’ll exfoliate, shave and the like while I wait. After getting out of the shower I wrap my hair in a towel and then comb through it gently.
The rectangular shape of our bottles wasn’t just an aesthetic choice- it means they can be packed more tightly and efficiently during transit. The pump top gives you just the right amount of product so it can be used on your hair and never wasted down the shower drain.