I get my hair bleached, highlighted, and dyed every six weeks on the dot, so this means that my hair tends to get dull and dry very quickly. As a fellow bleach blonde, I figured Julianne Hough's hair routine might just be the key to shining up my strands. After all, I know that dulling effect is only going to get worse in the summer, when I start spending unhealthy amounts of time in the sun at the beach. I've been running on overdrive trying to find easy ways to make my hair look amazing that don't cost me tons of money or take up a ridiculous amount of time.
I am willing to try almost anything if it means it will make my hair shinier and glossier (I once showered with Coca-Cola, so when I say anything, I mean anything). In times of need like this, I turn to the professionals: celebrities who have truly fabulous locks and their hairstylists. Or, in this case, celebrities who have truly fabulous locks and beauty blogs. Last week, I stumbled across actress Julianne Hough's blog, and read a post on how to get glossy hair using two ingredients most of us probably already have in our kitchens. I was instantly intrigued, especially since I was suffering through a particularly bad hair weekend, and I was dying to do something that would spruce it up.
Julianne's "recipe" seemed to be exactly what I needed: It was easy, it wouldn't mess up my routine, I already had the items so I didn't need to spend money, and it seemed like it would actually work. In her blog post, Julianne writes about how she found a woman in a grocery store who had amazing hair. She was so fascinated with it that she asked the woman for her secret, and she got it (of course she did, she's Julianne Hough).
The secret? Mix together one tablespoon of coconut oil and one tablespoon of organic raw honey, warm it up on the stove for a minute, then use as a mask on wet hair. Let sit for a bit, wash out, show off your new glossy, shiny, jealousy-inducing hair. Tada! Perfection.
I felt very optimistic about this tutorial. Coconut oil and honey are two edible items that are known to have tons of benefits for your hair. Coconut oil can protect your hair from breakage, moisturizing it while also giving it essential nutrients and antioxidants. Some people swear that coconut oil can make hair grow faster as well. Not only does it do all of that, but coconut oil is also known for making hair soft and silky, like a real-life Disney princess.
Honey does similar wonders for hair. It contains lots of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that make strands healthier and more nourished. It softens hair, prevents loss of moisture, can bring back much-needed shine, and even boost growth. I figured these two super hair ingredients together had to make for one amazing DIY mask. So, I dove right in.
After taking a quick shower to get my hair wet (no shampoo or conditioner, just clean hair at this point), I mixed together a hefty tablespoon of coconut oil and one of honey, then warmed them up for two minutes on the stove. As Julianne points out, "the treatment is more effective when it’s warm because it opens the pores or follicles in our hair, allowing it to better absorb it."
Once the mixture was warm, I leaned over my bathroom sink and gently spooned the mixture over my head — on my roots, on the ends, basically everywhere I possibly could. A few notes: One, I should not have warmed it up on the stove. It was SO hot that I was burning my scalp. Two, I have a medium-length lob and found that two large tablespoons was a little too much for my hair. I thought that I would need a little extra since my hair is on the thicker side, but nope. Three, this stuff is really, really sticky. Like disgustingly sticky.
Once I was satisfied with the amount on my hair, I gently clipped it up out of my way and let it sit to absorb for 45 minutes. Julianne's instructions say to let it sit in your hair for as long as possible, but at least for 15 minutes. I left it in as long as I could before I felt like I just wanted to shower because it was SO sticky.
As a comparison, here are two pictures of what my hair looks like on a pretty normal basis. It's not in the worst condition ever, but it is definitely on the dry side.
Back to the experiment. Julianne's blog post said to shampoo and condition very well, so that's what I did. I used my favorite Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo to make sure I really got the stickiness out, and followed up with my favorite conditioner, Drybar's Happy Hour Weightless Conditioner. After showering, I spritzed my hair with the leave-in conditioner I always use, and then carefully blew it out.
Here's what my hair looked like right after I blew it out (in bad lighting. Sorry!):
I know it looks a little dull in this awful lighting, but to be honest with you guys, my hair felt AMAZING. Like, beyond amazing. It was so incredibly soft that I couldn't stop touching it. My hair had been so sticky before I showered that I was worried it wouldn't go away. I was also worried that the coconut oil would leave my hair, which gets oily quickly, feeling super slick and oily. It didn't. My hair felt so much cleaner and softer than it ever has before.
Since my hair is always a little on the frizzy side right after I blow it out, I decided to wait a few hours to take another picture of it once it calmed down. Here's what it looked like later on in the day:
And here's what it looked like another hour later when I hadn't brushed it all day:
Although my hair wasn't as shiny as celeb hair, it was pretty damn shiny. And seriously, can we just talk about how soft it felt? Because it was incredible.
The verdict? I loved this. My hair felt amazing, and I think it looked really great also. I had been worried about putting oil in my hair, but I shouldn't have been - my hair never felt oily. I went over three full days without shampooing, and my hair looked pretty fabulous all three days.
I will definitely be doing this again. It was super, super easy to do, and it really did work. The bonus is that not only does this DIY hair mask make your hair feel great, but it's healthy for it too. And we could all use that sometimes!
Images: Jessica Booth