There is a surprising amount of maintenance that goes into keeping your hair happy and healthy, regardless of your natural texture or colour. Your hair is very fragile, and if not cared for properly, it will not grow properly and will be very susceptible to breaking. Here are 10 simple and easy tips that you can incorporate into your hair care routine, that will leave you with the best natural and smooth hair.
1. Use an All-Natural Shampoo and Conditioner
The best thing you can do for your hair is use an all-natural shampoo and conditioner. This might differ from the products you currently use, but you will notice an immediate difference to your hair after the first wash. All-natural shampoos and conditioners only use ingredients that are one hundred percent natural, so your hair is absorbing the best vitamins, nutrients and minerals possible. With this kind of product, you don’t have to worry about washing your hair with chemicals, so it will be much gentler on your hair. Natural shampoo and conditioners provide moisture, strength and can even prevent colour from fading. It’s not only good for the environment, it’s great for your hair and scalp too.
2. Avoid Parabens, Sulfates And Silicones
If you’re wondering what parabens, sulfates and silicones are, you might be in a bit of trouble with your hair. To put simply, these are chemical cleaning agents added to shampoos and conditioners, and they are different from all-natural ingredients because they are synthetically made and do not provide any nutrients to your hair. In fact, parabens, sulfates and silicones strip your scalp of its essential natural oils, and even coat your hair to make it look shiny, tricking it into looking clean. You might find that using a product with any of these ingredients, you need to wash your hair more frequently. You’re better off using a product that does not have any of these ingredients, so make sure to check the ingredients before purchasing.
3. Keep It Cool
There is nothing better than a nice hot shower, sunbathing and changing up your look with your straightener or curling iron. Your body might love the heat, but your hair certainly does not. You are already familiar with the dangers of overusing your blow-dryer, straightener and curling iron, so think of the other ways heat can impact your hair. To protect from the sun, wear a hat or use sunscreen on your scalp, because the skin there is as sensitive as everywhere else on your body and can burn just as easily. If you like a hot shower, wear your hair up and wash with cooler water, it doesn’t have to be cold. Most importantly, if you use heat styling tools often, get a protecting spray or consider argan oil shampoo.
4. Change Your Style
Changing up your hair style is not just for looks, it is for the health of your hair. Your hair has a memory of its own, and you need to wear it more than one way to prevent it from weighing down and breaking. In between washes, you should play around with a mixture of styles, including wearing it down, wearing it up and braiding. Make sure to use soft ties and soft accessories, so as not to tug and pull your hair from the root and avoid elastic rubber bands at all costs. Don’t forget to change your parting every now and again as well. This will allow your roots to stand upright and breathe better.
5. Wash Less, Condition More
For happy, healthy hair, you should wash less and condition more. Washing your hair is great for your scalp, but over-washing can cause you to remove the essential oils provided by your scalp to protect your hair. Your hair has its own way of helping itself stay clean and healthy, so washing less frequently is actually better for its overall health. Hair care professionals recommend washing only 2-3 times per week. The reason you would want to condition more frequently is to add moisture to your hair and protect it from daily damage of heat styling tools and brushing too hard.
6. Careful Combing
Believe it or not, there are rules to combing your hair. The rules are more common sense than anything but are there to protect your hair from breaking or being pulled at the root.
Rule 1: Do not brush wet hair. When your hair is soaking wet, it is very fragile and can break more easily. Instead of brushing, gently use your fingers to detangle your hair, but still make sure not to tug too hard.
Rule 2: Invest in different brushes, because one brush does not fit all the needs of your hair. The right brush can protect your hair when detangling or styling and stimulate your roots.
Rule 3: Brush from root to tip. Use a boar bristle brush for brushing from root to tip, to not only stimulate your scalp but distribute your scalps natural oils to your ends and protect it from damage.
7. Clarify Your Hair
Clarifying your hair might sound a little intimidating if you haven’t done it before, but its one of the best things you can do for your scalp. There is a natural build-up of oil and dirt on your scalp, as well as leftover residue from the hair products you use. If left on your scalp for too long, it struggles to breath and makes your hair look and feel dirty. You can clarify your hair with a clarifying shampoo, typically a charcoal shampoo or apple cider vinegar shampoo. Not all shampoos are clarifying, so make sure to check the labels carefully. Clarifying will lift the unwanted build-up from your scalp, allowing it to open up and breathe. A clarifying shampoo can easily be incorporated into your weekly washing routine, as its recommended use only once a week.
8. Stop Avoiding That Trim
Are you the kind of person who avoids going to the hairdresser for a trim, because you are dying to grow your hair? The truth is, trims really are the best way to grow your hair and the longer you wait to get a trim, the more you’ll have to cut off. Haircare professionals recommend getting a trim every 6 weeks, but you can wait as long as 8 weeks if needed. Trims will keep your hair healthy as it grows, removing any split ends that could cause further breakage and damage to the rest of your length.
9. Sleep On Silk
Your pillowcase might be damaging your hair, especially if it is made of cotton, nylon or linen. If you aren’t already sleeping on a silk pillowcase, you should make this switch as soon as possible. Silk and shine shampoo is very beneficial to your hair because of its smooth and soft surface. This will cause less friction than the other typical materials used for pillowcases, which are often the cause of split ends and damage to your hair. Sleeping on a silk pillowcase keep your hair smooth and manageable first thing in the morning, and help you retain more moisture. Don’t forget to sleep with your hair tied up, to protect it further.
10. Eat A Balanced Diet Have you ever heard the saying “You are what you eat”? This is especially true for your hair. The vitamins and nutrients from in your food will be absorbed throughout the body, including your scalp and hair. If you aren’t getting enough, your hair will be weak, and an extreme deficiency can lead to hair loss. Foods like eggs, berries, fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, spinach, sweet potatoes all provide the proper nutrients your hair needs to be naturally beautiful, healthy and strong. Junk foods, fast foods and greasy foods should be avoided because there is no very limited nutritional value for your hair (or your body). The better you eat, the better your hair will look and feel. Of course, if you feel you aren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals from your diet, you can also take supplements.