Real Girl Beauty

For every girl who's imagined herself as Lucky Magazine's "Lucky Girl." Or who's conquered her addiction to the bitchier-than-thou forums. Or who reacts every day to her Daily Candy email with the same: "Who can afford that?" Here are some heartfelt health and beauty tips from one Real Girl to another.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Getting Slick

So, Real Girl has some Big Life Decisions on her plate that have kept her away from this dear pink page of lovelies, and I can only hope I make the right choices. But nothing takes your mind off Oh-God-What-Should-I-Do like…deep conditioning.

First, the story. A few weeks ago, Real Girl visited her beloved stylist Julie for a cut-and-highlight extravaganza. Mmm. Bouncy root-free ringlets. Heaven. (By the way! Julie’s got a fab web page on the way soon, and it just might be the cutest thing ever, with writing by yours truly!). While in Julie’s Chair of Beauty, Real Girl confessed her deepest hair angst: the winter weather has left my tresses dry and scraggly. I try to hide it as well as possible, but really. My mop needs some help.

Unlike some stylists who would recommend EVERY PRODUCT on their own shelves (for what, $20 each?), Julie just looked at me and said, frankly: “Olive oil.” Apparently, Julie clues all of her clients into this miracle home remedy, but until now, only one girl had ever tried it—the girl whose hair made Julie say, “Boy, your hair has gotten so healthy. What are you doing to it?”

Real Girl has tried Julie’s secret to healthy hair. I used what I had in my kitchen--Filippo Berio Extra Light Olive Oil, which I like because it’s good for baking. But now it was going on my hair. Oil. On my fine, delicate hair. Wait, did I really want to do this?

If you had seen Real Girl try this treatment, you would have laughed. I laughed. I didn’t want to get oil on my shirt or on my bare back—because, hello, clogged pores much? So I did what any home beautician would do. I tore holes in a garbage bag for my head and arms and turned myself into a bag lady. Then, I spilled some olive oil into my hands and slathered it all over my hair—making sure to avoid the roots, which have enough oil of their own. BLECH. The texture of my hair seemed like I hadn’t washed it for a month. Julie had said to wrap the treated hair in plastic, so I tore open a Whole Foods bag and wrapped it like a scarf around my head, tying it just above my forehead. Getting the picture now? Next, I ran a hair dryer around the plastic, heating up the oil. Finally, I left it to stew for half an hour, heating it once more before shampooing like I’ve never shampooed before.

Results: For real, my hair felt softer afterwards. I’m glad to say there was no oily residue, and in general, I noticed a healthier sheen. I’ve only tried this baby once so far, but I’m ready to make it a regular treatment—once a week if I can, until my hair gives up the last of its scraggle. I would say there’s some experimenting involved. I’m pretty sure I should use more oil next time, even given the BLECH factor.

I haven’t used V05 Hot Oil since I was in high school, but I like the fact that the olive oil option is more natural, and I know for sure there’s no alcohol or chemicals. Still, it’s pretty much the same idea, I'd suppose.

Another home remedy from La Julie? If you think your hair’s full of build-up and needs a deep cleansing, just mix a scoop of baking soda into your shampoo and wash away! No stripping detergents needed.

In the comments for Real Girl’s last entry, we got some great kitchen-based beauty advice. Do you have other home remedies to share, for either hair or face? Any favorite deep conditioners? Feel like chatting about V05 Hot Oil? Anything at all?

With love,
From one Real Girl to another.