No matter if your hair is kinky, curly, straight, fine, or thick, we all have one thing in common — we want beautiful, healthy hair. That said, there are a few golden hair care rules every gal should know. These “golden” rules can apply to everyone, no matter your hair type. If you want to know how to best take care of your hair for healthy, and strong locks, keep scrolling.
If you think your hair needs some TLC — try these 10 hair care rules for healthy hair.
Rule #1 Condition only the mid-length of your hair
Surprised? Haircare experts say conditioner is only meant to be applied to the mid-lengths to ends of your hair (excluding your roots.) The scalp creates its own oils and doesn’t need any help in that department. The imbalance arises when that natural oil doesn’t make it to the mid-length of your hair — enter mid-length conditioning.
Additionally, applying conditioner to your roots can weigh your hair down which can suffocate curls or make thin hair appear thinner.
Stop using your conditioner all over, and only apply from your mid-length down.
Rule #2 Do a final rinse with cold water
Hot showers can cause the hair cuticle to open and swell (aka, welcome to frizzville). In general, it’s best to shower in lukewarm water so as not to damage the hair cuticle. But just before jumping out of the shower, turn on the cold/cool water and do one final rinse. This cool rinse closes the hair cuticle which will help smooth the hair and minimize frizz. And yes, after a warm shower, this chilly moment isn’t the most fun you’ll have all day, but it’s especially worth it if you’re prone to frizz or dryness.
Rule #3 Squeeze dry hair with a cotton shirt
There’s always that one scene in the rom-com where the protagonist is towel drying her hair with this feverous tousling motion right? Well, let’s collectively stop doing that.
Instead, use a cotton shirt (as opposed to rough terry cloth) and a squeezing motion (as opposed to a tousling motion.) After showering, get an old cotton t-shirt and squeeze the leftover water out of your hair using the shirt and a scrunching upward motion. This minimizes friction, and frizz and maximizes moisture. You can also use a microfiber towel or turban.
Rule #4 Protect your hair in the pool
Planning to be in the pool all summer? Protect your hair from that harsh copper and chlorine. Before going in, soak your hair in freshwater so that your hair absorbs less of the harsh, drying chemicals. Or, you could also coat your hair in a leave-in conditioner or hair oil. This creates a barrier that prevents damage.
Rule #5 Rethink your shampoo and opt for SLS free
The first ingredient of a lot of the shampoos on the market today is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) which is also used in degreasing dish soap. This chemical is extremely harsh on hair, especially if you wash your hair every day. There are other ways to cleanse your hair that are just as effective but are gentler. Opt for SLS free and try washing your hair only every other day. Over stripping the hair can cause breakage, and over time it may change the texture of your hair.
Rule #6 Naturally dry hair? Deep condition and OFTEN
If you know your hair is naturally dry, you should be deep conditioning regularly. Opt for protein-rich deep conditioners as protein can help strengthen your hair to avoid future breakage. On wet and detangled hair, smooth a deep conditioner all over and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Skimping on your moisturization can compromise the health of your hair over time.
Rule #7 Brush from the bottom up to minimize breakage
Hair is most fragile when wet. This is why brush detangling can easily cause breakage. To avoid putting too much tension on your wet hair, brush your hair from the bottom up. Doing this allows you to detangle in small sections without very much tension. As you detangle you’ll move up to the root with less and less tension. Brushing from the root down is a common practice, but it could be causing unnecessary damage.
Rule #8 Opt for a silk pillowcase
Rolling around on a cotton pillowcase can cause friction, tangles, and frizz. Cotton pillowcases absorb moisture and oils from our hair leaving them a little bit robbed each morning. Silk or satin on the other hand has less friction and does not absorb moisture the same way cotton does. For some ladies, sleeping on silk pillowcases has been a game-changer for second-day hair (and, heck, third-day hair too.)
Rule #9 Always use a heat protection product when heat styling
You’ve heard this before but it’s really really important. If you use blow dryers, straighteners, or curlers — you need to be protecting your hair. Heat protectants add a bit of moisture and form a protective layer around your hair. This combats damage, breakage, brittleness, dryness, and split ends. If you are an everyday heat styler, this is an absolute must for healthy strong hair. (You might also consider air-drying a few times a week to give your hair a little break.)
Rule #10 Get regular trims
Trims are “mini” hair cuts that take off around half an inch or less of hair off your length. The biggest benefit of regular trimmings is split ends management Split ends have the tendency to spread up the hair shaft. Once your hair is “split” that damage can spread, causing more and more damage. So, it’s best to keep this under control with regular trims.
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