Ways To Care For Your Hair
There are many factors to consider when washing your hair, to ensure that the hair isn't getting damaged, whilst getting cleansed, and refreshed.
Firstly, the water temperature. The water should be warm, not hot. Having the water too hot can strip your hair of the natural oils, and cause irritation, which can contribute to greasy, flat hair.
Next, you need to choose a shampoo and conditioner that work for you. I've found trying a new shampoo for a couple of weeks, and then deciding if it is doing what I need it to, is the best way; simply trial and error. Make sure that you check whether the products are going to help with your specific needs; if your hair is coloured, check the product works with treated hair. If your hair is fine, don't choose a heavy, thick consistency of shampoo, as this will weigh it down and cause it to feel greasy. Expensive products aren't always worth the price tag, and drug store or supermarket options can be just as effective. Don't be put off without giving them a try!
I would also advise that once a week, you should treat your hair to a mask of some kind, to give it a boost of hydration or a deep cleanse, or whatever you feel you would benefit from depending on your situation.
My hair is dry at the ends, and tends to be greasy towards the roots, so I prefer to use a natural option, coconut oil. Now, I know everyone raved about coconut oil recently, but there are definitely some benefits as far as I can tell from personal experience. I use enough to coat my hair from the mid lengths to the ends, wrap in clingfilm, and put on a shower cap. I leave this for as long as possible, up to an hour or so, and then I shower and shampoo my hair to remove. It leaves my hair feeling so soft and deeply moisturised. (I do use coconut oil for other things; please see other articles on my page!).
There are a couple of other things that I believe are worth a mention.
I always rinse my hair with cool/cold water once I have rinsed all products out, at the end of my shower. I go as cold as I can bear it. It isn't always very pleasant, but it definitely does add shine!
The final tip I have regarding washing of the hair, is to be sure that all products are rinsed thoroughly. I once read somewhere that you should rinse until you feel all product is out of the hair, and then rinse for a further minute, to ensure no traces are left behind. This is vital to stop build up. You can also use apple cider vinegar as a rinse for hair to remove product build up, which can be very effective. I would advise this once a week. It can help to add great shine to your hair too!
I don't know about you, but as soon as I step out of the shower, the first thing I want to do is scrub my hair with a towel.
STOP! STOP IT NOW!
This is one of the worst things you can do to your hair. When it is wet, the strands are so much more prone to breakage, and the rubbing action causes frizz and even more damage than you started with!
The best thing to do is use a towel, or for an even gentler approach, an old cotton t-shirt, and squeeze the hair to remove the excess water. The way you treat your hair when it is wet is very important. Be kind to it!
Once you have removed some of the water, I would then advise to very carefully use your fingers to separate the hair strands. Again, this must be done without pulling or tugging, and if there are knots, then work these through extremely gently. Once the hair is separated, I use a heat defence product every single time, if I am going to use my hair dryer. And let's be honest, most people cannot wait around for their hair to dry naturally every day, which of course would do the least amount of damage. But busy people need to get things done quickly sometimes, and so I would definitely recommend using a product that protects your hair from the styling heat.
I always use a wide toothed comb to run through and tidy my hair up before I dry it. This type of tool pulls the least on delicate wet strands, and helps the air from the hairdryer reach the under layers, meaning the job can be done quicker. It is also advisable to make sure you point the hairdryer at a sharp angle to your hair, pointing down and along the hair shaft. This helps to reduce frizz for a smoother style, which isn't damaging the hair cuticles.
I have also recently been giving any kind of hair smoothing, straightening, calming or frizz reducing balm, oil, cream or gel a miss at the moment. A lot of these products cause my hair to actually have the opposite reaction, and since I have stopped using them, my hair has actually looked and felt better for it. I may use a tiny dot of coconut oil and run it through the ends, if they are feeling a tad dry, but other than that, I have just been leaving it be, and have been surprised in the difference! I suppose it could be that the build up of products, or the heavy oils and creams I own just aren't right for my hair, but one less step in my routine means more time for other things, and I can't complain at that.
When it comes to styling, the way I look at it is less is more. There is nothing better than healthy, clean, relaxed hair.
I usually try not to use heated styling tools on a daily basis. As we all know, these can be damaging, and cause hair to be dry, brittle, and over worked.
It can also be bad for your hair to tie it up too tight. It can pull on the strands, causing them to break and can even pull back your hairline, which no one wants to encourage!
A good way to get gentle waves, is to plait your hair, usually into two halves, like pig tails. Best done when the hair is damp, and then slept on; this causes a gentle wave which can be very pretty.
A simple high pony tail can look groomed and stylish, and as long as it isn't pulled too tight, isn't damaging for your scalp or your hair. This can be good for work or evenings.
A messy bun is good for days when you haven't washed your hair, which is sometimes good for it! A good quality dry shampoo will disguise greasy roots, refresh the scent of your hair, and even give texture to clean hair. I have recently been using one from Tigi, called 'Oh Be Hive', which doesn't leave any of that white residue that some dry shampoos can leave, and it smells heavenly.
I can also vouch that sometimes, the best thing to do, is just to leave your hair completely natural! It's not something women think to do these days, and it can take some getting used to. You may need to prise those straighteners out of your hands. But believe me, it's great for your hair, makes you look naturally clean and groomed, and gives hair the break it needs.
- Treat your hair gently, it'll thank you for it!
- Don't over load on products, and choose the ones that are right for your hair, not the ones that are being spoken about on TV or online
- Wash with warm, not hot, water
- Use a towel or t-shirt and squeeze the water out of your hair when out of the shower/bath
- Don't tie your hair up too tight