Have you always dreamt of having the kind of luxurious, bouncy, shiny locks that you see on the covers of magazines? Do you wonder why some women seem to have this beautiful hair without even trying and you can’t seem to keep yours from looking dull and dry?
Well the answers to your questions (and dreams) are here. The secrets to keeping your hair healthy!
1. Don’t wash your hair every day.
In fact, you should only be washing your hair two to three times a week, tops. Washing your hair every day strips your hair of its natural oils, which are designed to protect and condition your locks. Washing too often will create a vicious cycle of your hair overproducing oil and needing to shampoo more often.
This is especially true with colored hair, where frequent washing also causes loss of color and shine. Using a quality shampoo every few days and using styling products in between will keep your hair looking fresher and healthier. Dry shampoo is a great product that allows you to reduce the oil build-up in the air, while maintaining your hair’s texture and essential moisture.
Be sure to take your hair type into account when determining how often to wash it. Curlier hair can go longer without shampooing then straight hair, which may look oilier faster as the oil travels down the tresses. Activities like swimming or working out frequently can also affect how often you shampoo. Although rinsing with just water after a work-out is enough to remove sweat and salt, without stripping your hair’s natural oils.
2. Wash your scalp and turn down the temp.
Using the right amount of shampoo is just as important as using the right kind. You may be tempted to use a large blob of shampoo, but in actuality, the amount of shampoo you need depends on the length and thickness of your hair. Use a smaller blob for short to medium length hair and a larger blob for long tresses. Be sure to concentrate the shampoo on the scalp only, not the ends of your hair. Massaging the scalp is also important, as it encourages blood circulation and detoxifies the scalp.
Most importantly, turn down the temp in the shower. Extremely hot water can dry out hair and result in tangles and breakage. Instead, use warm or cool water to rinse out your locks.
3. Condition and towel dry your hair, but not in that order.
Equally important to a good shampoo, is a good conditioner. Investing in quality conditioners and leave-in treatments or masks can keep your hair looking healthy at home, especially if it’s curly or color treated. Opposite of shampoo, conditioner should be concentrated on the ends of the hair and not the roots, where it can cause your scalp to get greasy faster. Avoiding too much sun and using conditioner in the hair before dehydrating activities like working out, will also keep your hair looking hydrated and healthy.
An important step that most people aren’t aware of is towel drying the hair after shampooing and before applying conditioner. Hair that is still saturated with water won’t be able to absorb anything else, meaning the conditioner won’t be able to deliver the necessary moisture to keep your hair looking shiny and healthy.
4. Brush regularly, from the bottom up.
Brushing your hair twice a day will leave it looking shiny and healthy. But it’s important to brush your hair the right way. Contrary to what you may think, you should be brushing your hair from the bottom up, as brushing from the roots can cause damage. It’s also important to use the right tools at the right time – such as a wide tooth comb when hair is wet, a round brush for blow drying and a flat brush for styling. To keep your hair healthy, make sure to clean your brushes at least once a month with baking soda and warm water, to prevent bacterial build-up. Regularly remove the built-up hair and use a toothbrush to clean individual bristles.
5. Use low heat, pointed down.
One of the worst things you can do for your hair is expose it to too much heat. You can cut back on the amount of heat by letting your hair air dry from time to time and by reducing your use of hot styling tools. Make one blow dry last for several days by changing up your look and wearing a ponytail or a bun. But, if you can’t bring yourself to cut back on the blow drying, then it’s important to do it right. Use a protective spray or cream before styling, allow it to air dry for at least 15 minutes before blow drying and use the low heat setting on your dryer.
Drying your hair with the dryer nozzle pointed straight down and two inches away from your hair, as well as moving your hair around while drying, will keep the hair from being exposed to too much heat in any one spot.
6. Use products like castor oil, dry shampoo and hair oil.
Hair oil can help to regulate oil production on your scalp just as facial oil does on your skin, and can be used on both dry and oily hair. Castor oil is a great nourishing conditioner for the scalp and can also be mixed with dry shampoo for the perfect amount of shine and oil control on hair a couple days out from shampooing.