I’ve had a lot of questions about my hair, so I thought I would write another hair care post. I have had long hair for most of my life; here are some tips and secrets I’ve picked up along the way…
That’s me on my 18th birthday!
– Never brush your hair when it is wet. It is very fragile in this state and is more likely to break or tear.
– Use a wide-toothed comb instead of a hairbrush. This gently detangles your hair – plus, if you have wavy/curly hair, it keeps the curls intact, whereas a brush usually flattens them out and causes frizz!
– Comb your hair starting from the ends, especially if you are prone to having tangly hair. If you start from the scalp and work your way down, you are more likely to rip through tangles, causing breakage and damage.
– Use heat protection every time you do style your hair. I haven’t found a product that I love yet, though.
– In general, irons are less damaging than blow dryers. Blow drying combines heat with air, which can cause even more damage!
– Hair styles that involve buns and braids can be very flattering and pretty and cause much less damage to your hair than heated tools. If you are addicted to your iron/blow fryer and don’t like your natural texture, give your hair a break for a few days and throw it up into a bun.
– I haven’t found a way to straighten the hair without using heat, but you can certainly curl your hair by usingcurlers, braiding/bunning your hair when it’s damp, or gently scrunching your hair with some gel right after you wash it.
– Pomades, mousse, gel… it can all be so confusing! Plus, I hate the way store-bought products feel in my hair (everything makes it icky-sticky) and they cause build-up as well. Which means you have to use a harsh clarifying shampoo to get it all out! Try to use as few products in your hair as possible, and substitute natural products whenever you can. I need gel to tame my frizz, so I use 100% natural aloe vera gel which works perfectly for me.
– This goes for shampoos and conditioners, too. I rotate a couple of my favorite cleansing products (currently love Lush and Aubrey Organics). In general, salon products make my hair feel dry and cause build-up!
– I don’t usually like store-bought deep conditioners (except those by Lush, which smell scrumptious and work well for me!). Most of them – especially salon brands – make my hair feel like they are coated on the outside rather than moisturized from the inside. Natural products such as oils, yogurt, honey, avocado, etc. work much better for me.
– I don’t dye my hair. Personally, I think that we usually look our best with our natural hair (and eye) colors, but I do understand that some people feel they look better with lighter or darker hair.
– Taking your hair a shade lighter involves some sort of bleaching agent, which literally strips the hair of color, causing damage and split ends. I don’t recommend doing this to your hair, but if you must, make sure to trim it and deep condition it on a regular basis!
– Taking your hair a shade darker does not usually cause much damage, unless you are doing it regularly. Consider using semi-permanent washes or using henna or henna blends to dye your hair.
– Hair clips, sticks, combs, bows, etc. can cause damage to your hair! If an accessory is pulling out pieces of your hair when you take it out – or if you notice broken pieces of hair lodged in the hair toy – you should stop using it.
– Some barrettes can be made more hair-friendly if you paint a coat of clear nail polish on the metal part.
The most important thing to remember is that what you put inside your body counts more than products you put on top of it. Eat a healthy diet – including unsaturated fats that come from nuts, some vegetable oils, and omega-3s (which can be found in fish if you eat it, or flaxseed if you’re a vegetarian). Exercise regularly. Don’t smoke or drink too much alcohol (studies show that both are linked to dull skin, weak hair, brittle nails, etc.)
I hope that was helpful! Let me know if you have any more hair-related questions – as you can see, it’s one of my favorite topics which means I can ramble on about it forever!
What are your favorite hair tips? Share them in the comments below!