Top 5 of 2014: Hair

Now that I've thoroughly decompressed over the holiday, made some realistic resolutions and gotten back to life and work and all that fun stuff, it's time to take a look back at 2014...

But not to worry. I'm not about to barrage you with a collage of all the events that went on in my life during the past year. You don't need to see that. If you've been reading, I've kept you up-to-date with the more important things. You don't need to see a photo of me having a mimosa with someone at a random brunch or a pair of awesome pants I bought 6 months ago.

No, I'm going to try to be much more useful to you...which is why, over the next few weeks, I'll be dishing out my favorite products of 2014 (which I'm gingerly using at the start of 2015 as well) to let you know how I'm getting by on little sleep, lots of bi-coastal travel, and not enough hours in the day. As it turns out, it takes some effort...I definitely don't have the resilience I did in high school, so let's get started.

This round, I'm going to let you in on my favorite hair products of 2014. This one is especially interesting because this past year was the year I went blonde, so my hair routine changed dramatically.
Ok, here we go:

Kiehl's Damage Repairing & Rehydrating Line

I discovered this line while casually perusing my local Kiehl's store. Sure, I already had various shampoos and conditioners that I had been experimenting with, but I decided it was time to really take care of my hair since it was so processed and fragile now.

After questioning the sales reps and reading each mini-novel on every bottle of hair product on their shelves, I landed on this line and, to be honest, I took one whiff of it and was sold. (It's sad how much the scent of something can win me over.) So, I purchased the Shampoo & Conditioner and gave it a go. (For a luxury line of products, I'd say that it's fairly affordable and since I'm down to washing my hair only twice a week at this point, it lasts pretty long.)

A few things of note about this line. It's...
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Contains Moringa Tree Oil, Hyaluronic, Ceramides (to smooth, hydrate, fortify hair fibers, and improve manageability)
The shampoo and conditioner feel luxurious and smell heavenly, so it makes the task of washing overly processed hair a bit more tolerable. (If you're wondering what that's like, just think about being super gentle with everything and taking your time so you don't break any brittle hairs...letting conditioners stay in longer, hair masks and treatments, wide tooth combs and shower caps and letting things can get pretty intense.)

Later on I purchased the Leave-In Treatment to really go full-force with the hair-lovin' and I gotta say that my hair is pretty happy. Now if only I could really master properly giving myself a blow-out, my hair might look just as good as it does when I walk out of the salon. Practice, practice, practice is in order.

Schwarzkopf BC Color Save Silver Shampoo

This one was a reco from my fellow blondie, Jenna, who searched high and low for the best shampoo to keep the brassiness away from her white-blonde highlights. Enter this purple Shampoo that puts a lot of other purple shampoos to shame.

The minute you pour it out into your palm, part of you will be completely shocked by the intense purple-blue that is puddled in your hand. Another part of you will think for a minute "will this stain the tub?!" And the instant you start lathering up with it, you'll notice your hair looks silver (this is good...this means the brassiness is being demolished. Die, brassiness, die!) and probably panic momentarily.

These are all natural reactions when working with this product for the first time, but I've never met a product that kills any hints of brass in my hair like this one (aside from the magic my stylist uses at the salon.)

It's also pretty affordable. I use it once a week and my hair has stayed cool (I'm talking about the tone here...but maybe I'm also referring to its overall attitude towards life.)


This was the find of the century and I have my stylist to thank (more on him below.) You may have been hearing about this miracle treatment, but it's basically what is going to help you achieve blonde hair without having your locks melt away or get brittle and break off.

As a lot of you know, I went from black to basically white blonde this past year and, thanks to Olaplex, have been able to maintain my hair's strength overall. (This isn't to say that my hair hasn't gotten dryer and a bit more damaged. I have put it through the ringer in the last 6 months with about 7 or 8 rounds of bleaching.) Whatever the case, thanks to this stuff, I've been able to keep the hair on my head, which clearly wouldn't have been the case after that many rounds of bleach without this stuff.

If you plan on going blonde or platinum or silver soon and you have dark hair, you better make sure your colorist is using this stuff. And make sure you get the take-home treatment too so you can continue to give your locks the TLC they need between salon visits!

The Right Tools

Took a while to pull it all together, but I finally found my list of tools I cannot live without. So, what do I need to maintain my hair? Here's my essential list:

Charles Fox (My Hairstylist)

It's no secret that my hair wouldn't be where it is today without the 3+ year relationship I've cultivated with my hairstylist, Charles Fox. He eased me through the process of growing my hair out from a super, short Louise Brookes bob to a Jane Birkin long look with bangs and back to a Sia wig-inspired lob. He also took me from my natural black to a subtle ombre to a more intense ends were in there somewhere and then we went platinum to buttery blonde to, now, silver.

And my hair is still on my head, which says a lot about his skills. He's has not only become the sole person I trust with my hair, but also a great friend. If you live in LA, I recommend you go see him immediately and tell him Nami sent ya. (He's currently at Neighborhood Salon in Echo Park.)

If you're local and want his info, hit me up. I'll give you his number and you can text him directly.

As a former hairstylist, I can tell you this much. There are a lot of stylists out there who talk the talk. Don't be fooled just because they're super-stylish and act like your best friend. (I've met so many stylists who are all flash and no function.) You want someone who will listen to you, is super-neurotic and perfectionistic and will always put your satisfaction first. Charles has never failed me and always listens to what I have to say or how I feel about something and will always make sure I'm happy with what he's done.

Bonus points: For long salon visits (a.k.a our quarterly bleaching sessions - he takes his time so my hair doesn't fall out), he always makes sure I have plenty of tea and will whip out all kinds of snacks to make sure neither of us gets a hunger headache. I tell him he's the best mom. #ChocolateCoveredSunflowerSeeds #AwesomeTrailMix #HerbalTea

So, there it is. My top 5 hair must-have's all from learnings in 2014. Hope it helps you find your best hair in the new year and don't you worry. If I discover anything else along the way, I'll be sure to let you know.

Cheers to your best hair in 2015!

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