LA Girl: Kat Griffin’s Hair Essentials

Kat Griffin’s hair is, well, like her voice-smooth, velvety (can hair be velvety?), silky and chocolate brown. I covet it. When I asked her for her beauty essentials she told me it would be “mostly hair” and I was delighted. I didn’t think she’d share her trichological secrets with anyone. Lucky us!

• For my long hair I used to see a stylist maybe once a year. Now I keep a monthly appointment at a great owner-operated salon that’s both reasonable and responsive. Laura Carlucci at Manic Panic in Highland Park has been administering my trims and color since she opened and I’ve never been happier. The atmosphere is casual yet professional and the music’s always good.

• I wash and condition my long hair three times a week, using a different shampoo each time. To protect my color I use Dumb Blonde Shampoo by Bed Head/TIGI. It’s sulfate-free and smells like candy. Sometimes I even use it as body wash.

• Shampoo #2 is Philip B. African Shea Butter Shampoo. It cleans gently and moisturizes without weighing it down. It compliments any conditioner I might be trying at the moment.

• Philip B. Imperial Russian Amber Shampoo Treatment will make your crowning glory sparkle like a display case at Van Cleef and Arpel. Read the directions because the longer you let this penetrate into your hair, the happier you’ll be with the results. My jar from Larchmont Beauty has lasted a year.

• Somewhere there’s a wealthy chemist whose lifestyle I’ve financed with my obsessive compulsive hauls of hair conditioner. When I’m feeling fiscally responsible I buy L’Oreal VIVE Pro Hydra Gloss Moisturizing Conditioner with Royal Jelly Complex (or as I like to call it, The Yellow One) and Trader Joe’s plain Greek yogurt. The protein in the yogurt acts as a reconstructor, fortifying the cuticle of the hair shaft and helping it to lay flat. I scoop out a healthy dollop and mix it with an equal amount of the L’Oreal VIVE Pro in an empty salsa container and take that into the shower. After the shampoo is rinsed out I work that into the strands with my fingers. If I’m due for a trim or if it’s been windy, I stretch a shower cap or plastic bag over it and blast a hot drier on it for five minutes, or until I feel the heat all over my scalp, then rinse in cold water.

• If you just can’t put food on your head, I recommend Bed Head/TIGI’s Catwalk or Dumb Blonde Reconstructor, or take that $18 and buy a top-shelf organic multi-vitamin like PhytoVitamins Whole Food Hair & Nail Capsules. Expect full-bodied results in two to three weeks.

• This next step is like a cherry on top of my treatment. Take an 8 oz spray bottle and fill it up with distilled water (really, distilled), two rounded teaspoons of good hair conditioner and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Shake the bottle, spray over your wet hair thoroughly, and then twist up in a towel. I don’t know why this makes your hair shiny and manageable. It works pretty much the same as Philip B. Detangling Finishing Rinse, which I love. I let it dry in the California sunshine if there’s no hurry.

• Finding the perfect brush comes second only to finding someone who willingly brushes your hair for you! It’s a serious relationship. Target has a line designed by Umberto that mixes natural and nylon bristles in a medium stiffness. I use a rounded brush with a blow drier or a flat paddle brush on thoroughly dried hair. When it’s wet, I use my fingers or a wide-toothed comb.

Kat Griffin has a thing for independent radio, as evidenced by her decades-long relationship with Los Angeles public stations and Internet music purveyors. Lately, her program Madly Cocktail is heard Saturdays on, and Americana Matinee is on Sundays at KCSN.


Funky Jen

Donna Lethal

About Donna Lethal

Donna Lethal is the author of "Milk of Amnesia" and writes for her own blog (Lethal Dose), Hair Hall of Fame, Dowager Quarterly, Find A Death, & the Valhalla Cemetery chapter in "Weird Hollywood." A native of Lowell, Mass., she's lived in Boston, NY and London before settling here. When not writing, she's hiking, soaking in a Korean salt room or in the high desert with her pit bull.
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