Bad hair is a hassle to fix on busy days. It also has a negative impact on your self-confidence, even if people tell you that you look fine. The trick is, bad hair days are a lot more likely when your mane is damaged or unhealthy. So here are some easy steps you can incorporate into your routine to keep your hair in great shape.
Review your brushing practice
Many of us brush the tangles out from our hair in the shower, usually while the conditioner is in. However, this makes it more vulnerable to damage. Wet hair is more fragile and prone to breakage. Instead, brush it out before you get it wet.
Brushing while the hair dry distributes the natural oils from the scalp to the ends. You avoid going overboard with shampoo and conditioner. As a bonus, when your shower is done, the detangled hair is much easier to style.
Also, invest in some quality hair brushes that are the right type for your hair. Consider things such as bristle material, bristle softness, brush size and shape, handle size, pin softness, and bristle density.
Some brushes are tailored to sensitive scalps, others are great at detangling thick hair, etc. Take your time in researching and selecting the right brush for your hair type and texture. Your hair (in and out of the shower) will thank you.
Mind the ingredients in your products
Hair care products offer a wide range of specially tailored formulas. Choosing the right one for your hair can be overwhelming. If you have a trusted stylist, you could ask them for custom recommendations. However, there are some essentials that are more or less universal.
Firstly, ensure proper hydration for your scalp and the hair itself. You should also consider strengthening products. Look for shampoos, conditioners, and masks which nourish the strands and ensure healthy growth.
The ingredients that are good for these purposes include coconut oil, argan oil, aloe vera, macadamia, nettle extract, panthenol, and castor oil.
Maximise the benefits of conditioners and masks
Conditioner prevents hair and scalp dryness. This is why your hair gets extra greasy when you go overboard with it. Most hair lengths and textures require a dollop of about two centimetres in diameter – or less.
First work it into the middle shaft and hair ends, then spread up to the scalp. Leave the conditioner in for at least one full minute. This makes sure both the hair and the skin on your head are hydrated. Then wash it out thoroughly.
If you use hair masks, opt for those with moisturising or deep-conditioning effects. They are especially important for hair that is regularly exposed to heat. Give your hair a nice mask treatment at least once a week.
Long and short hair alike need regular trimming to stay healthy. Get a haircut monthly (short hair) or bimonthly (long hair) to remove split ends and dried out, breaking strands. You can ask your stylist for a dusting, which means just snipping at the tips. That way you remove the damaged ends without sacrificing your length.
Upgrade your pillow cases
The fabric of your bedding makes a huge difference to your skin and hair. There is the matter of sweating, heating vs. cooling effects, friction, textures, and so on. Just as you would invest in quality sheets and covers for your torso, invest in quality pillow cases for your head.
Your hair rubs against them all night. The wrong fabric could result in increased damage and dramatically reduced hair quality over time. Forgo the default cotton options and treat your hair to some nice silk pillow cases instead.
Silk is very gentle on the hair. There is notably less friction, so your cuticles are spared most of the usual damage. The strands will also be less prone to overnight tangles. Silk is also breathable and has great temperature regulating capabilities.
The only downside is that it’s susceptible to static cling. If your hair gets staticy at night, do some research on different materials and choose the one that will suit you best. Fabrics made from silk include:
● Crepe de chine,
● Shantung, etc.
Bonus styling secrets
Here are a few more tips to help keep your hair healthy and strong. If you adopt these strategic approaches to your styling routine, you will minimise damage and maximise fabulousness.
● Air dry your hair as often as possible.
● Always use heat protectant spray.
● Use only one hot tool (curling iron, blowdryer, etc.) on any given day. Try to rotate them through the week.
● Opt for solid ceramic straighteners and curling irons, instead of ceramic-coated. They distribute heat more evenly and lock the style in place more quickly.
● Invest in hot tools with ionic technology. These are pro-grade and infuse your hair with moisture during styling, so there is less heat stress on the strands.
To sum up, the key to healthy, voluminous hair is minimal damage and maximum nutrition. Hydrate your scalp and use strengthening hair products with natural ingredients. Invest in quality styling tools and gentle silk pillow cases to reduce heat- and friction-based damage. Avoid brushing your hair when wet, and don’t neglect your regular trims.