Have you ever looked at a woman on a blistery day, wind whipping your hair all akimbo, and noticed her tresses look…perfect. How does she do it? It's all in how you care for your hair, baby. Granted, hair that doesn't move is either under a hat or a serious amount of styling product. But that shine, those perfectly un-split ends…that's taking care of your assets in between styling sessions.
If you've ever wondered how to separate haircare fact from fiction (no, trimming your hair does NOT make it grow faster), we're here to help. Live by these seven rules and you'll be on your way to giving yourself the hair you've always dreamed of. Note: healthy hair is also a product of taking care of your body and your stress level. As if you needed another reason to be an all-around healthy gal, add gorgeous hair to the list. Now, here are the ways to protect hair and treat it right, once and for all!
1.) Skip Daily Shampooing
If you're washing your hair every day, you're doing it a major drying-out disservice. I know, you're like, "But I have super oily hair!" That's what dry shampoo is for. Or just warm water in the shower. You do not need to shampoo every day. Every other day is plenty and your hair will look better for it. Trust. Try to keep the shampoo on your scalp and the conditioner for your lengths and ends, too.
2.) Stock Up on Vitamins
Look at the labels of the products you buy and stick to nourishing natural vitamins, minerals and even oils. They do your hair good, just as they do the rest of you good when you eat them. In fact, consuming healthier foods will directly contribute to healthier hair. Think of essential fatty acids, leafy greens and vitamins A, E and C.
3.) Brush Sparingly
There's only one reason to brush your hair — ever. If you're being a good girl and haven't shampooed it in two or three days, you might notice some oil buildup on your roots. That's natural, normal and healthy. Use a boar bristle brush from root to tip to distribute that natural shine serum from the top of your head to the tips. Otherwise, stick to combing. Combs don't flatten your volume or reduce your natural wavy or curly texture.
4.) Dye Wisely and Only Out of Necessity
It's sort of common sense to dye your hair sparingly, right? But if you're an at-home dyer, here's another tip that will make your hair look 25 when you're 45: Dye only your roots on a four to six week basis. This saves the length and ends of your hair from extra damage. As for the rest of your hair, it can be dyed only a few times per year if it's particularly faded or brassy. As a blonde who's been dying her hair for 15 years and using this method, I revel in compliments about how healthy my hair looks. People assume it's natural – nope!
5.) Listen to your Scalp
Your scalp is an indicator of your hair type. If it's oily, are your strands. If it's dry and flaky, expect brittle, breakable hair. Depending on what you observe, choose your haircare products. Moisturizing for you dry types and clarifying for extra oily scalps.
6.) Use Protection
Like skin, hair retains damage from heavy and repeated sun exposure. If you can wear a hat on a sunny day, do so. Now imagine what a blower and flat iron are doing to your strands. Yikes. Too many women think heat-protectant creams and sprays are an unnecessary add-on to their haircare regime, but without them, you might as well be hanging out in the middle of the Sahara in your polka dot bikini sans sunscreen.
7.) Stay Trimmed
Once and for all, keeping hair trimmed does not promote growth. You hair grows from your roots, not your ends. What getting your hair trimmed actually does for you is keep your ends looking…trimmed and healthy! It also allows your hair to look its best while it grows out. Split ends don't necessarily stop at the tips either. Without a trim, they'll just keep moving up the hair shaft, meaning you could be in for losing more hair than you want when you sit down in your stylists chair.