In the age of blowout bars, bleached hair and the use of many different hot tools, it's not a question of if your hair is damaged, but how damaged it is. I think most of us try to do all the right things when it comes to their hair; washing it every few days, using conditioner to keep it hydrated, getting regular haircuts... but there's gotta be more that we could we be doing to get back those healthy looking locks we all want. Getting healthy hair is much easier to achieve than one might think. Adding in a few little tips and tricks in your haircare routine will make the biggest difference. Because let's face it, most of us would rather sell our soul than have to get rid of our flat iron.
WASH IT LESS OFTEN
Your scalp creates a natural oil called sebum that protects hair and keeps it moisturized and soft. Sebum eventually builds up along with styling products and dirt, weighing hair down. Shampooing removes this buildup, makes us look and smell fresh again, and prepares hair for styling, (clean hair will hang onto a heat-styled look longer than dirty hair). Try not to shampoo every day though, as washing too frequently can strip the hair, leaving it brittle and prone to breakage. Aim to wash every other day at the absolute most, or wait a few days between shampoos if you’re able to. I like to wash my hair on Monday's & Friday's and make sure to stick with it. How long you wait is up to you, but if your scalp begins to itch or if your hair becomes uncomfortably oily and doesn't get better over time, it’s time to lather up. If your hair feels oily between washes, use some dry shampoo onto your roots to absorb that excess oil and give your hair a boost of volume.
USE THE RIGHT SHAMPOO
All shampoos have detergents that strip oil and color from hair. And don't even think of touching a clarifying formula since they're meant to strip your hair of anything and everything. Just as skin type matters when picking a face mask, hair type matters when picking a shampoo. Thinner hair tends to get oily fast, so avoid creamy shampoos and look for clear formulas instead. Gentle and volumizing daily shampoos are also good. If you're usually dealing with frizz and flyaways, your secret is actually more in the conditioner than the shampoo. If dry locks are what you have look for a creamy moisturizing shampoo, and it's important to note to never skimp on conditioner. Also, If you color your hair it's important to use a shampoo that's specially designed for color-treated hair, these shampoos are made to contain gentle ingredients that deposit and preserve color.
Some of my favorite shampoos:
Favorite purple shampoos for blondes:
CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT CONDITIONER
We all know they smooth frizz and make your hair softer and shinier. But if you own a blow-dryer or flatiron, you should also know that conditioners are critical for heat protection. It's just as important as heat-protectant spray, if not more, because conditioner is better at coating the hair. The key to using conditioner is to use a dime size amount and leave it on for about 5 minutes before rinsing, this allows for more residual conditioner to be left on the hair.
Some of my favorite conditioners:
SAVE YOUR OLD TEES
An old cotton tee is gentler on your hair than your towel for drying. They don't rough up the cuticle as much, so you don't have to work as hard to smooth the hair and make it look healthy. Another gentler option is to blot (don't rub) your hair with paper towels. You'll be shocked at how much more water comes out of your hair and makes drying time much faster!
SLEEP IN STYLE
If you air-dry your hair overnight, you can minimize damage and free up time for snoozing, coffee, whatever in the morning. One trick that works for all hair types: Sleep with damp hair in two loose braids. It helps with frizz, loosens curls, and gives straight hair beachy waves. I also highly recommend sleeping on a silk pillow case. When you toss and turn at night, the friction created on regular pillowcases can damage the hair follicle and lead to shedding. That, in turn, leads to less shine and more frizz. Silk fibers are also similar in structure to your hair. This helps keep the hair smooth as it moves across a silky pillowcase and maintain any hair style you go to sleep in. This is definitely helpful for me who always like to save any extra time in the morning to sleep in!
Weekly hair treatments make a bigger difference in the long run than you might think. Maybe your scalp needs some extra moisture after too many color appointments, or your split ends have become a bit out of control. Well, deep conditioners and hair masks are a huge help. Using the right treatments can often help to restore your hair back to its former glory, no matter how damaged it is.
BRUSH THOSE LOCKS
Proper hair brushing and scalp massaging are two of the most important elements in the maintenance of healthy hair. Scalp stimulation from both hair brushing and scalp massaging help distribute your natural sebum evenly through the hair. This helps your overall hair health and keeps those shiny locks resilient and strong. In addition, as your hair is coated with sebum you’ll find moisture is restored, and the hair is generally more shiny, smooth, and manageable.
STYLE WITH PRODUCT
Sure, we mostly use styling & leave in products to detangle, smooth, and control our style, but they are also made to protect against heat styling. Blowdryers and hot tools like flat irons and curling irons can break down even the strongest of hair textures. Using a styling product or leave in creme before hand give the hair an extra layer of protection, and the shine you get is an added bonus!
Favorite styling & leave in products:
Favorite hot tools: