5 Inexpensive Ways to Care for Dry, Damaged or Color Treated Hair

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I’ve had bleached and color treated hair for quite some time, and I’m basically on a never ending quest to find the perfect routine for my hair. It’s easy to drop loads and loads of money on products promising to perfect your dry, damaged hair – and as we all know, some work much better than others. Here are some easy (and budget friendly!) ways to help improve the condition of your dry, damaged hair. Of course in addition to this, you’ll also want to work in a good sulfate free shampoo and conditioner (or cleansing conditioner if that’s your jam), heat protectant, leave in products, etc….but hey, I’m keeping it simple today.

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How to Curl Your Hair Without Heat

As much as I love having short hair, sometimes it can be a bit of a drag. You can’t do nearly as many cute braids and of course the elusive top knot simply isn’t an option. In the last 8 years I’ve tried lots of different styles but I have to say that earlier this year I did something I’ve NEVER done before – super crazy tight curls. The best part? It’s an old school technique called rag curls and it does ZERO damage to your hair.


When I debuted this look, I got tons of questions about how I did it and to be honest I just never got around to doing a tutorial. Well, now that I’m doing videos I thought this was a perfect opportunity to share the EASY, heat free method for super tight curls. Check out the video below and recreate this look with ANY hair length…you long haired babes will just need to be a little more patient. 🙂


My Snapchat followers got the first look at this hairdo this time around, make sure to follow me (just search for valerybrennan)! You’ll get a lot more behind the scenes unfiltered content there than you do on Instagram or Facebook!


Favorite Products for Pastel/Bleached Hair

When I colored my hair purple, I had a REALLY hard time finding resources for how to maintain pastel hair (other than really generic tips like “moisturize”) so after some trial and error, I’ve put together a video with all of my favorite hair products. All of these products are also great for non color treated hair but I think they’re particularly helpful for my pastel babes. Check it out and let me know what you think!


DIY Purple Hair 101

How do you do that-

Want purple hair? Don’t want to pay the salon big bucks to do it? Feeling brave and want to DIY? I’m here to help, folks. This post is pretty lengthy but hopefully will help some of you folks who are looking to DIY purple hair.

So my hair was supposed to be lavender, and it’s really not but I still love it. The good news is, bright colors fade so it’ll be lavender eventually (hopefully). Either way, if you like my shade of purple, here’s a tutorial! Even if you’re not aiming for purple, hopefully this will help any of you other babes who are thinking about playing around with Pravana.

Thank you SO MUCH to Stephanie Drenka for taking these photos and for helping me out with the back of my head so I didn’t end up looking like a crazy person. Life saver.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a hairdresser by any stretch of the imagination. Just a girl on a budget who loves her #1 accessory. I bought my Pravana on Amazon, which I know some people say is a no-no, so do that at your own risk. Basically this whole post is at your own risk. If you want to take the plunge, here’s what you need!



Shower cap | Wide tooth comb | Bowl | Hair color brush | Clips (if your hair is longer) | L’Oreal Color Vibrancy Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner | Pravana Chromasilk Vivids in Violet (just a few drops) | Pravana Chromasilk Pastels in Mystical Mint (whole tube, more if your hair is longer)

After doing a hilarious amount of research, I opted to use Nicole Richie’s lavender formula. Known as an “antique lavender” I liked it because it was more blue than pink, which is exactly what I was wanting. Also her hairdresser went with this particular formula so it would fade gracefully – what more can a girl ask for? The formula is super easy – one tube Pravana Chromasilk Pastels in Mystical Mint with 3-5 drops of Pravana Chromasilk Vivids in Violet. Admittedly, I think my Violet drops were too big so keep that in mind if you want yours lighter!

My hair was lightened about a month ago, I’ve got about a quarter inch of regrowth but I’m not ready to get it bleached again so I’m just going with it. I wouldn’t recommend DIY bleaching just because of the SERIOUS damage you can do to your hair. If you’re trying to keep your budget lower, I would go to a beauty school and have them bleach it for you. You’ll want to get it SUPER light, like the inside of a banana peel. Mine is already pretty ashy because it was previously toned. I used clarifying shampoo to get rid of most of the previous color but it’s still not as yellow as it is freshly bleached. Either way, violet will cover it.

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I mixed up half a tube of mint with 2 drops of violet. Again, mine was probably too much – I would say each one was around 3/8″ long. I ended up using the whole tube of mint, even though my hair is short I have a LOT of it but keep that in mind when you’re purchasing your Pravana. I would purchase two bottles of mint just to be safe if your hair is any longer than mine!

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I applied the color starting on my roots, did the roots all over and then the rest of the hair.

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After it was all applied, I put a shower cap on to keep some heat in and also to keep me from making a mess all over my house. 30 minutes later, I was ready to rinse! (You may want to check after 20 mins, that’s the recommended time).

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Rinse, rinse, rinse. The good news is – this stuff is surprisingly easy to rinse out! It only took me a few minutes before the water was running clear. Then shampoo and condition with a color safe shampoo. I used what I already had, L’Oreal Color Vibrancy (unfortunately L’Oreal isn’t cruelty free and I totally forgot when I bought it so I definitely won’t be purchasing again. Otherwise it’s really great.)

I recommend either following up with either a deep conditioner or at least applying some kind of leave in. I’ve recently become obsessed with It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In per the suggestion of my hairdresser. I’ve used SO MANY PRODUCTS and it’s one of the few that I can actually tell puts moisture back in my hair and makes it more manageable. Totally worth the money.

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And here’s the finished product!!! It’s more Indigo than Lavender but I really love the shade. Here’s to hoping that it fades into a lovely greyish lavender but if not, I think this color is going to really grow on me. I feel like a real life anime character – just call me James Rocket!!!

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A few things to keep in mind:

  • My hair has been bleached a lot and it’s REALLY porous so some parts of my hair are quite a bit lighter (Pravana actually says if your hair is too porous, it won’t take the color very well) but I kind of like the dimension it adds.
  • If you’re going to do this at home…do a strand test. Don’t be like me.
  • I haven’t had any transfer on towels or pillowcases but that doesn’t mean you’ll be so lucky. Make sure to use towels and bedding you don’t mind getting stained.
  • A few days after coloring, I used Renpure Rosemary Mint Cleansing Conditioner and it hardly faded at all – I highly recommend it for retaining color (and it’s SUPER affordable at Target!)
  • If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can always take this formula to your stylist!

And just for fun, here’s a before and after! Look how much shinier my hair is after! I kind of can’t believe it.

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If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. AGAIN I’m not an expert but I can definitely tell you about my experience!


Tutorial: Coconut oil hair mask

Hey y’all!

So, in case you haven’t noticed…I bleach my hair. As much as I absolutely LOVE the color, my hair becomes a dry, brittle nightmare if I don’t baby it. I have several tried and true products that I love and I only wash it 1-2 times a week, but it still needs more TLC. After reading some recommendations online, I finally decided to try coconut oil a few weeks ago and let me tell y’all, it’s a miracle worker.

The first time I tried it I had just come home from the salon and my hair felt a little more brittle and prone to breakage than normal – I was kind of panicking. Never fear – this all natural, super easy and cheap method helped strengthen your hair, increased shine and decreased breakage. Here’s what I do!


So dry……also, I’m in the process of growing my hair out which is why it looks so awkward.

-First I measure out 1/4 cup coconut oil and put it in a bowl so I’m not putting my hands inside a jar of coconut oil – ew. You might need more but just start with that – your hair might not be as dry or thick as mine and you can always add more later.

-If there are any large chunks that aren’t melted, I just break them up in my hands. No need to microwave or anything like that.


-Next I just start rubbing that stuff all over my hair. I like to just pour a small amount from the bowl into my hands and then apply starting at the top of the head and working backwards. Then I add more to trouble spots that are particularly dry.


Make sure to get the pieces of hair right at your hairline-those baby hairs need some lovin’ too! Sorry this looks like an Instagram filter, the lighting is AWFUL in our bathroom.

-Once my head is totally greased up, I usually take a brush or comb and CAREFULLY run it through my whole head. This helps make sure I didn’t miss any spots. It also gets everything nice and slicked back so I’ve got that snazzy used car salesman look just in time for bed. (If your hair is longer you might want to loosely put it up in a pony tail or bun. You could probably even wrap it up in a small towel. Unfortunately I’m not an expert in the long hair area.) Gotta be honest, I made the husband take some pictures of me after I was done but they were WAY too embarrassing for me to post. Sorry boutcha!


-I don’t think coconut oil stains (don’t quote me on that!) but I usually put a grungey towel down on my pillow just to be safe. Also I try REALLY hard not to move around once I’ve laid my head down so I don’t wake up with a face full of coconut oil.

-In the morning, I usually have to shampoo 2-3 times (remember, I’ve got at least four days worth of product buildup in there PLUS a crapload of coconut oil) and then condition really well. If I can avoid heat styling my hair that day, I do.

-I usually try to do this once a week in addition to other deep conditioning and leave in conditioner on the ends between washes. In other words, if you don’t like babying your hair and conditioning a lot, you probably shouldn’t bleach it.

Let me know if you have any questions, hopefully between the ridiculous photos I made my husband take and the super long explanations, everything makes sense. 🙂