Early in life, healthy hair came naturally – no special treatment required. But that all changed the day you discovered a curling iron or even before then, when your parents threw you into chlorine-infested swim lessons. From that point on, it’s imperative that you be diligent about protecting and nourishing strands. Don’t get tied up and tangled just yet. With these six simple tips, hair care will feel completely natural again.
Tip #1: Wash Your Hair Less Often
You may think you have oily hair, but you probably just need to give your hair a break. Washing hair every day can lead to an overproduction of oil. Start by skipping a day, then go two days without washing and repeat that for a couple weeks. Letting your scalp naturally produce its own oils will give hair a healthy shine versus a dirty gleam.
Tip #2: Use Dry Shampoo in Between Washings
If you absolutely cannot stand the look and feel of your hair when you skip washings, dry shampoo can buy you time. Some people have naturally oily strands. Others may just need a touch-up, because you worked out and got a little sweaty. For a quick-and-easy refresher, apply dry shampoo closer to the top of your hairline and toward the front if locks are looking lackluster. The right shampoo shouldn’t weigh down hair at all.
Tip #3: Choose Naturally Formulated Shampoo & Conditioner
When you can pronounce every ingredient, that’s a good sign you’ve found the right cleanser. Since shampoo and conditioner are the products you’ll use most often in your hair, it’s important that they be rich in key nutrients. Look for these at the top of the ingredients list: biotin, argan oil, aloe and grapeseed oil. Andalou Naturals is one of my favorite brands, because their formulas are always non-GMO, cruelty free and gluten free.
Tip #4: Nourish Strands with a Weekly Hair Mask
Once a week, or after a handful of washes, a deep-conditioning mask offers a nice boost of nutrients to revitalize dull strands and speed recovery – particularly if you’re a flat-iron addict or blow-dryer-obsessed. An intense mask basically acts like a massage for your hair (and who doesn’t love a good massage?), leaving your hair and scalp feeling stronger and rejuvenated.
Tip #5: Follow Every Washing with a Leave-In Conditioner
Right after showering, apply a leave-in conditioner to prep hair for the day ahead. Whether you’re using a flat iron or spending hours under the sun, a leave-in conditioner can provide the protection you need to keep hair looking healthy and polished. Look for one that’s free of harsh parabens, sulfates or phthalates, as those will just add insult to injury. The point is to nourish and strengthen your hair’s defenses.
Tip #6: Chill Out on Heat-Based Styling
This is not a news flash. Overusing the flat iron or blow dryer can accelerate damage to your otherwise healthy hair. That’s why I strongly recommend limiting heat exposure to two or three times a week. Luckily, there are a few nifty styling tricks that can make air-dried hair look fabulous. For one, spritz damp strands with a sea salt spray to add texture and dimension. Follow that with a shine booster to soften the look. On completely dry hair, run a tiny amount of macadamia hair oil to the ends to make hair shine without looking oily.
You may not get that straight-from-the-salon look without those beloved heat tools, but you’ll save your hair in the long run. Stay strong and style on, ladies!