I always find it interesting to read personal beauty posts, which is why I started writing about my skincare and makeup routines. I've been meaning to write a haircare post for awhile since I actually get quite a few emails asking me about my haircare routine. I've always had a love/hate relationship with hair. I love having a nicely styled head of hair, but I don't enjoy styling it. As I was writing this post I realized how much hair can be a part of our identity, I can remember my hair style at any given moment in my life. Throughout my childhood I had long straight hair with bangs, minus the spiral perm I got in 6th grade. In high school I was nominated for "Best Hair" in my graduating class (gotta love those cheesy awards). Back then I had long straight hair with bangs and like many teenagers at the prime of their vanity, I made the extra effort to style it. In college I grew out my bangs and my hair length varied from long to shoulder-length. During graduate school I started wearing my hair in layers. I used to get my hair cut at this super cheap hole-in-the-wall salon on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley by this younger Korean woman. I paid $8-10 for a cut but would splurge on nice shampoo and hair products. After I had the boys I kept the layered hair, but favored the air dry or pony-tail look since it was quick and easy (key points when you have two boys under the age of two). I also started using drugstore shampoo and tried unsuccessfully for many years to find the perfect hair stylist. It wasn't until 2009, after we returned from our first stint in Busan, that I found "the" stylist for our family. He is the one responsible for the boys' awesome haircuts. (If you live in PDX, I highly recommend John Lee from Urbaca Salon.) After John started cutting my hair I realized how important a good cut was for three reasons: 1) I wasn't almost in tears when leaving the salon with a haircut totally different from what I had imagined (we've all been there, right?), 2) it made styling my hair so much easier (he thinned it out a lot so I would only have to dry my hair for 5 minutes), 3) it also made a huge difference in how my hair grew out between cuts (goodbye straggly hair). After trying 5+ salons here in Haeundae, I finally found a stylist I like. I still want to try out some salons in Seoul (I hear they are much better than the ones here in Busan). Right now I am growing out my hair and am contemplating a digital perm at the end of the year, more on that later. Wow, who knew I had so much to say about my hair history?

On to my haircare routine.

1. Goldwell Dual Senses Rich Repair Shampoo / This shampoo was recommended by our stylist in Portland. I like to use it a few times a week to keep my hair moisturized and soft.

2. Goldwell Dual Sense Rich Repair Conditioner / I apply a small drop of conditioner to the ends of my hair and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing out. I always rinse my conditioner out with cold water.

3. Mise en Scene Silky Shine Shampoo & Conditioner / This is a Korean brand that can be found at our local beauty pharmacies and markets. I use these as my everyday shampoo/conditioner and it makes my hair feel clean and it has a subtle coconut fragrance (which my boys love). 

4. Aveda Wooden Large Paddle Brush / I use a regular hairdyer (nothing fancy) and dry my hair with my head upside down. Once it is almost completely dry I use the blow dryer and brush to slightly "curl" my layers in towards my face. I have been using this same brush for ten years and love it. Every week I clean out the hair trapped in the brush and use a dab of shampoo and warm water on a clean toothbrush to clean the bristles and let it air dry, bristle side down on a clean towel.

5. Chi Ceramic 1" Flat Iron / This is a high quality flat iron and it gets super hot so you only need a quick run through your hair to get it straight. I have naturally straight hair but I tend to get little fly-away hairs so I like to tame them with a quick pass through the flat iron. It only takes me about 1 minute to use the flat iron on my hair. (Side note: Shortly after we moved to Korea I managed to fry my flat iron, despite using a converter for it. I ended up buying a less expensive Rowenta flat iron and find that it works well.)

6. Shiseido Macherie Decoration Keep Spray / This hairspray, or what Shiseido calls "decoration keep spray" is a lightweight hair spray that I like to use to tame the stray fly-away hairs. 

7. Bumble and Bumble Sumotech / I use this "midweight moulding compound" to give texture to my layers. I use a tiny dab and rub it on my fingertips and work it into the ends of my hair (after it has been dried).

So now I have some questions for you. I keep hearing about dry shampoo. Who has tried it? What do you think about it? I am also curious about gloss treatments. Anyone tried it before?

P.S. If you enjoyed reading this post you will love Anna of Door Sixteen's haircare post and Lisa Eldridge's hair video

Reader Comments (9)

Hey Sally,

I know what you mean with finding the perfect hair stylis! I'm an Asian living in Germany, and I've already given up finding a German hair stylist who can work with Asian hair. I just go to an Asian hair stylist instead. It's also very difficult to find good hair products here, most of them turn my hair dry. I wish there was an easy way to get Korean/Japanese hair products here. Did you have difficulties when you were in Portland? (I always imagine that it'd be easier in the US....)

07.22.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

ALEX // My hair stylist in Portland is Asian-American, so his expertise is cutting Asian hair. :) Sorry to hear you have a hard time finding good hair products in Germany. I wonder if you could order some on eBay or Amazon? Good luck!!

07.24.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSALLYJSHIM

Hi Sally,
Thanks so much for posting this. I've lived in PDX for almost 5 years now and have yet to find a stylist I feel comfortable returning to. My last cut was so awful that I considered stopping by my (awesome) former stylist in the Bay Area for correction while on holiday down there. Thanks for the rec in PDX. I think I'll give it a try once the current cut grows out.

As for dry shampoo, I have been using it for about 3 months and love it. After researching I went with Batiste (popular UK brand). I have dark hair but did not go with tinted as some recommended. The original works just fine and the smell is subtle. I tried Oscar Blandi early on but prefer Batiste for my hair.

07.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPayal

I have an extremely stressful work. Because of that I sometimes experience problems either with skin, or with hair. This summer the hair loss has become frightening. I’ve started to take a dietary supplement. By the way, it was developed for military people, and now it is also being sold to others. (I was just curious, do the soldiers really suffer from hair loss? :) Anyway, I am taking it for 2 months, and yesterday I first detected a lot of short hair on my head. This supplement is called Hair Gain Formula, by Military Grade.

11.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJane

Thanks for suggesting these Sally, appreciate it. There are so many products for hair out there today, I seem to get lost haha...

Very useful products.

12.17.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjosephcaron

I'd like to see what the ultimate results area unit
and congratulations on your nomination :)
lots of love.

Hair care Products

These are very useful products for hair care. thanks for share.
Toddler Haircut

06.1.2016 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

From long back I have been thinking to get one Aveda Wooden Large Paddle Brush. Look like, I must get it now. It would be handy to manage my layered haircuts. Thanks for the inspiration.

10.31.2016 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>