Hair Care Products You'll Need for College

Hair Care Products You'll Need for College


With the first day of school quickly approaching, it’s important to stock up on proper hair care products before moving into your new dorm. Testing out different products and brands at the store may be fun, but it’s not very cost-efficient. Use this tried-and-tested starter pack of products to stay stylish on campus.

1. Leave-In Conditioner

While this may seem like an unnecessary extra step if you are conditioning in the shower, leave-in conditioner makes it easier to detangle and comb your hair, which saves time. It can also act as a primer for other styling products. I apply before blow drying to help protect from heat, and because it gives my hair a nice shine. When living in the dorms, it may not be convenient to shower every morning. Start transitioning your hair care routine to your dorm room.

2. Reliable Bristled Brush

A good bristled brush is all you need to create the perfect ponytail. And trust me, you'll wear it often. After a late night out with friends, or maybe an all-nighter studying. It's easy to find something reliable that won't break the bank. Look for a mixture of natural boar bristles and nylon.

3. Salon-Quality Blow Dryer

A quality blow dryer is worth the investment. A well-made, powerful hair dryer cuts drying time in half and it gives you that professional blowout look. When deciding on a blow dryer, look for something quiet and light so you don’t disturb your roommates.

4. Versatile Flat Iron

Even if you don't straighten your hair every day, a flat iron is handy to have around. It can help standardize your hairstyle in an unpredictable climate, even if it’s humid outside. It can also smooth out your hairline or, when done right, add volume and curls to your hair.

5. Dry Shampoo

Washing your hair every day strips away skin sebum, which is your body's natural conditioner. Try every other day, or even three times a week. This is where dry shampoo comes in handy — it keeps your hair softer, shinier and healthier in the long run too. Different scalps react better with different products because some are naturally more oily than others. Find a brand that will help you rid the oil and keep the volume.

6. A Curling Iron

Even if you don’t have naturally curly hair, sometimes it’s nice to shake things up a bit with some waves. That’s what makes a quality curling iron a must. I've always used one that has removable heads so you can buy one iron and have a variety in curl size. If you don't like that idea, a 1-inch or 1 1/2-inch is the most versatile size.

7. Your Favorite Shampoo and Conditioner

This should be an easy decision. We all have our favorite brand of shampoo and conditioner. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try something new. For the first week, bring in your own shampoo and conditioner, but don’t be afraid to ask some girls to sample theirs. Maybe you'll find something you like even better! If you're the shy type, pick up some samples from Walmart or Sally's and figure out what you like. For my fine hair ladies, try using a moisturizing shampoo and skipping conditioner, though.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash Valerie Elash

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.

I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Shaving My Head Taught Me That Self-Confidence Does Not Depend On How I Look

Shaving my head helped me gain more self-confidence than I ever thought possible.


Hair is something that has more power over us than we think. Historically, hair was viewed as a way to identify your gender, marital status, religion, or social position. In the Quapaw tribe, single Native American women wore their hair in braids, while the married woman wore it long and loose. Hair can be sacred, as well. Many Sikhs believe that hair should not be cut in any way, as it is a gift from God.

In most of Western society, hair serves simply as a gender marker. Although we are straying away from traditional gender roles, long hair usually signifies femininity and short hair represents masculinity. The media portrays desirable young women with long, silky, effortlessly perfect hair.

For me, my hair served as a comfort. Although I struggled with its frizziness, brittleness, and tangle-ability, I relied on it to make me feel secure. When it hung to my waist in high school, I would use it to cover up my arms and shoulders when I wore sleeveless tops, as I didn't like these parts of my body.

As a child, I remember watching Natalie Portman on the Oprah Winfrey show, talking about having to shave her head for a movie role. Even though I thought it was extreme, her calm and pragmatic demeanor about it changed my perceptions on having a shaved head. I remember her saying, "I always wanted to do it once in my life, anyways. It'll grow back my natural color eventually."

Months before I left for college, I began to devise a plan. I would dye my hair the fun colors that I wasn't allowed to in high school, and then shave it all off for the new year. I got started the week after I moved into my dorm and bleached my hair. As the chemicals burned my scalp and made my eyes water, I realized that there was no going back now. I had committed to shaving my head.

When January rolled around, I was starting to get apprehensive. The weekend I had marked on my calendar approached, and I trekked through a snowstorm to the nearest SportsClips. The barber seemed bewildered at my request but didn't give me any time to reconsider. She took the clippers right to my head, and I watched as my bleach-damaged locks fell to the ground, much like the snow outside.

The first week was hard. I didn't recognize my reflection and often caught myself reaching up to play with my non-existent hair out of habit. I only went out in girly outfits or a full face of makeup, as I felt the need to assert my femininity.

As the weeks went on, however, I began to fall in love with my stubbly head.

Would I recommend shaving your head? I would. Although the journey has been challenging, the benefits make the shave well worth it. Not only do save time in the morning, but I also have learned how to stop hiding behind my hair.

Shaving my head taught me how to stop relying on my appearance for self-assurance. When I had long hair, I would often base my validation around how I looked. Although it provided me temporary confidence, it meant that I wasn't placing any confidence in my other traits. I cared more about how the world saw me than how it heard me. Now that I've stripped myself of my comfort blanket, I feel as though I can conquer anything, no matter how I look.

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