Hair Then, Hair Now


I’m quite vain about my hair. I like to brush it. I like to wash it. I like having it played with and I like getting it done at the salon. It is directly linked to my self esteem no matter how hard I try. I always find that on any given day it reflects the feelings I have about myself. Whether that is a good thing or not is completely up to the individual but over the last ten years I’ve realised how strong that link is for me.

When I was 17 I lived in the Northern Territory. It was hot, dusty, humid and I felt like I was constantly sweating. My hair never got longer than shoulder length because it would get so thick and hot I’d just cut it all off. I never wore it down anyway, it was always split down the middle and then slicked up into a ponytail. You could say I was not exactly the epitome of cool. I lived at home and used Mum’s product of choice, Pantene ProV. My hair always felt like an oil slick.

When I was 19 I lived in Townsville in QLD, still a similar hot sticky climate but people actually got dressed up there. I’d never really had to dress up in more than a good pair of jeans and a singlet top. It was a whole new ball game and I went all in. I dyed my hair a light mahogany colour with blonde streaks that made my eyes pop but looking back it made my skin seem ashen and sickly. I started using L’Oreal Shampoo and Conditioner and I felt like a rock star.

When I was 21 I converted to being a brunette full time. My hair was a big deal as I was getting married and it had to be perfect. It was a dark mahogany brown, minus the foils and I started to embrace my curls. By then I’d discovered Redken and had started to “invest” in my haircare. The bottles lasted forever and it made my hair feel fantastic. After seeing such a difference I decided I wanted to go to a Redken Salon and that’s how I found Lu from LM Style in Windsor.

When I was 23 I got the confidence to let Lu give me a lovely concave bob and I felt like a brand new woman. No other hairstyle has left me feeling so posh and refined. He stuck to dark ashy browns for my colour and my I got my first few white and grey hairs. I would stick to my appointments every six weeks and lavish my hair with treatments but that was all about to change as I fell pregnant with Aidan.

When I was 25 my Redken shampoos and conditioners weren’t as great. My body had changed immensely and I no longer had time for regular appointments, every 6 months if I was lucky. I’d let myself go but I was determined to change things. I started looking into organic treatments and was introduced to Stevie English Hair and then promptly fell in love with Original Mineral. Oh and I dyed the tips of my hair pink.


When I was 26 I started using only Original Mineral products in my hair and it felt and looked AMAZING… but (there’s always a but) it was $30 a bottle. Sure it lasted ages but at the register it hurt like hell. When I was in NYC my hair was so shiny and healthy, people commented on how nice it was. When I got back I didn’t have money to splash on expensive products so I convinced myself I didn’t need it. I was introduced to a L’Oreal smoothing shampoo and conditioner that was about $7 a tube and I liked it. My hair felt soft and silky but over time the shine was gone and I had to wash my hair more regularly.

Now I’m 27 and my hair is a bit shit. The shine from O&M is well and truly gone. Having box dyed my hair for the last 6 months hasn’t done it any favours either, despite using top shelf stuff it just can’t compare to the luxurious O&M glossy colours dye jobs I got at Stevie English Hair. I feel like I’ve back tracked into my own hair history and I have to start again from scratch.

New York is just less than five months away and I have a lot of work to do to get myself back to where I want to be. I’ve changed my diet, added vitamins, upped my exercise, changed my sleep routine and reassessed my beauty products. I’m doing this for my general wellbeing not just for New York but having the goal is helpful. Great hair stems from a great body and at the moment neither are up to par.

I asked you guys on facebook how much you spend on shampoo and conditioner and the results were definitely mixed. You’re happy to spend anywhere from $50 per bottle to $3 bottles from discount stores but the average being around $20 per bottle You’re a smart lot too, stocking up on your favourites during sales or during gift pack promotions. I was poised over my shopping cart when I asked the question, was I really prepared to drop $30 per bottle on shampoo again?

The answer… yes.

What Shampoo & Conditioner do you use?


  1. 1

    Kelli says

    I currently use a few products but will change a few when they bottle are empty. I use Moviestar Bright Lights (purple) Shampoo & Conditioner alternated with Bed Head Dumb Blonde Shampoo & Conditioner. I also use a Kerastase one every couple of weeks and Argan Oil.

    • 2

      Kelli says

      Ignore all those typos, haha!

      Also forgot to mention – great post! I remember the centre part/slicked back ponytail well from my primary school days. :)

  2. 3


    I’ve always thought your hair looked nice (the pink was especially cool!!) but I totally understand it being linked to how u feel!
    I’m a bottle blonde and I’ve tried going dark to keep it healthier but I just don’t feel like me with dark hair, and after the novelty wears off, I start to hate it. Which means I have to buy salon shampoos to help it recover from all the bleaching but I think it’s worth it :)

  3. 4

    Toni Brockliss says

    Dani I boxed dyed my hair for years and last year I changed to Henna. It softens my hair, leaves it shiny and glossy and it has zero chemicals so I can dye it whenever I want too.
    Lush sells the Henna and it’s $24 for 300g. It will last you ages. If you look on the Lush website it has all the details. The blocks come in red, red brown, brown and black.
    Just something a little different to think about. :)

  4. 6

    Mrs Woog says

    Some massive bottles of L’oreal Professional stuff the my beautiful hairdresser picks up for me at cost from her supplier.vx

  5. 8

    Kakka says

    Have just started using Silk Oil of Morocco shampoo and conditioner and love it, but I also loved Label M Organic Lemongrass – but it was $50 a bottle and with both shampoo and conditioner just got too expensive.

    I loved your pink ends and glossy dark hair as well.

  6. 9


    I swear by TRESseme. I was a Pantene user for years but something changed and my hair wouldn’t straighten as easy as it normally would. Another good thing about TRESseme is that’s it’s always on special in either of the big supermarkets or Target.

  7. 10

    Zia says

    Toni & Guy. All the way.

    I blow dry my hair every day. Every second day I put three or four drops of AlfaParf Crystalli Liquidi in the palm of my hand, rub my hands together and work it through. So soft, so shiny. I swear by it, and it lasts forEVER. You can get it at HairHouse Warehouse and those sorts of places pretty easily.

    The AlfaParf shampoos and conditioners are lovely too.

  8. 11


    I’m desperate for answers here. I have just started seriously investing in my hair this year {and embracing – LOVING and nurturing my curl} and I’m on the hunt for a good sulfate free shampoo. I’d be so grateful if someone could recommend one.

    • 13

      klarena says

      Hi there, just wanted to give a tip on shampoo & conditioner.
      I have rather fine/thin hairstraws – but I have a lot of them, so my hair seams rather thick though. It’s a bit dry, and I have some stubborn curls :)

      This is what I use:
      Desert Essence, Organics, Green Apple & Ginger Shampoo, 8 fl oz (237 ml) $6.05 –>

      and the conditioner Desert Essence, Conditioner, Green Apple & Ginger, 8 fl oz (237 ml) $6.05 –>

      It says volume, so I was a bit worried to have really BIG hair (it’s big enough from nature :D ) but this gave just a healthy fresh feeling. Plus for cruelty free, no sls/parabens/silicone or petroleum <3

      I have really searched all over to find something that I could use, that is not full of chemicals, not tested on animals or doesen't give me scratching. And with that low price – I love it! I also use some macadamia oil every time I washed my hair – gives nice shine and manageability. Hope some of this could help :)

      (You can save $5-$10 by using the coupon code "USE049" if it is the first time shopping at iherb – Orders of $40 or more receive the maximum $10 discount, while smaller orders receive $5 off.)

  9. 16

    Rachael F says

    I always think that your hair looks amazing!! I’m very jealous!
    I used to always use whatever was on sale, but now I have made the switch to organic shampoos & conditioners that are made by carbon neutral suppliers as I am trying to minimise my environmental impact. They smell INCREDIBLE and don’t cost as much as you would think. I think they do the job just as well as any other shampoo I’ve used before, only I notice they don’t lather quite as well so I do tend to use a little more.

    • 17


      well this is what i do to grow my hair longer ;]well brush it alot, &take care of it more .use thoes shopmao&comditioner that has nutrugents .& like trim a little at the bottem so you’ll have lessdead ends &stuff .

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