In the time and society of the blowout, extreme dye jobs, and maybe even perms (they're coming back right?), it's not a question of if your hair is damaged but of how bad the situation really is. There are so many tips and tricks out there to keep your hair "healthy" and free from dryness, but some of them can be very weird (does anyone really want to rub mayonnaise on their head?). Before you start feeling hopeless and looking for hacks that may only cause more damage, consider that even wrecked hair can be revived with a few sneaky little adjustments to your routine, according to scientists. We did the research and we have put it to the test. If you are looking for shinier, healthier, and even sexier hair, you have come to the right place! Here is our tips on how to keep your hair healthy in just a few simple tricks!
Keep Your Hair Wet Less and Stock Up In Your Shower
Step one is definitely the simplest - don't wet your hair as often as you do. Water makes your hair follicle swell from the inside-out, which forces the hair follicle up. According to cosmetic chemist Randy Schueller, "when that happens over and over again, you get frizz and breakage." You definitely do not need to wash your hair more than you already do. It is recommended that whenever you can, skip a day of washing your hair. Instead, embrace a dry shampoo that's a hard-core oil and odor absorb-er. Find one that works for you and your hair type that can aid in removing grease and sweat from your hair rather than just coating it with powder.
On those days when you do wash your hair, it is recommended that you actually start with a pre-shampoo - which, yep, that's a thing now apparently - to your routine. Pre-shampoo is similar to that of a sealant, being incredibly smoothing to the hair's cuticle before it gets wet. This helps prevent less damage, but is not recommended for fine hair types. Pre-shampoos also protect against friction from massaging in shampoo, as the edges can fray from time-to-time.
Get Smart About Your Shampoo and Conditioner
When it comes to choosing a shampoo, it actually is said that you do not need to worry about sulfates or no sulfates. All shampoos have detergents that strip oil and color from hair, so it is also super important to not get a shampoo with any clarifying formula since they're meant to strip your hair of anything and everything. What you want is a shampoo that says "damage repairing" on the label and has proteins to strengthen hair, or even a cleansing conditioner, which has the lowest concentration of detergents. With conditioners, we all know they are amazing for smoothing frizz while also making your hair softer and shinier. However, if you own a blow-dryer or flatiron, you should also know that conditioners are critical to heat protection. Conditioners are just as important as any heat-protection spray, if not more, because conditioner is better at coating the hair. Skim labels for ingredients that won't rinse off, looking at for words such as "methicone" or "polyquaternium" in them. Leave it on for at least five minutes, and then rinse with cool water.
Add Protecting Layers
Since heat is perhaps the worst thing for your hair, it is critical to double-down with a heat-protectant spray. It is also noted that if your hair feels hot after you blow-dry or flatiron it, that means it's still frying, so hit it with the cold-air button. However, it is also important to recognize that if you are going to use a heat-protectant spray, you've got to apply it like a legit hairstylist would:
- Grab small sections of damp hair and mist each one up and down the length (two or three spritzes per section).
- When you're finished, comb your hair to distribute the formula, as heat protectants are pretty useless if they're not applied all over and getting there takes only a few seconds.
When wanting to blow-out your hair, anything that speeds up the blowout is good! Keeping as much heat away from your hair will keep it healthy and shiny. In doing research, we were told to blot (don't rub) your hair with a towel or, if you can, a cotton shirt, then do the same with paper towels. You'll be shocked at how much more water comes out of your hair!
Doing something like a weekly scalp treatment make a bigger difference in the long run, as it helps in keeping the hair follicles clean, while also preventing the blockage and inflammation that leads to thinning hair later in life. It is also recommended that you use dry oils to help with the shine factor of your hair, which contain the lightest silicone and oil. These will help in creating the most believable shine.