As the season of snow, rain and other harsh elements comes to an end, many people feel a new sense of energy that may have been lacking in the prior months. Whether you enjoy spring cleaning or finally getting outside to do the things you love, take a minute to assess your hair care routine.
When it comes time to ditch the hats, hoods and scarves, you’ll want your hair looking its best. If your tresses aren’t getting the love and attention you think they might need, here are some tips for how to get your healthiest hair by summer.
Cut Down on Washing
No matter how much you crave that squeaky clean feeling that comes with washing your hair every day, almost all hairstylists and hair care experts agree that cutting back on shampooing is one of the best ways to maintain healthy hair. Why? Natural oils in your hair are there to keep it healthy, and when you shampoo daily, these oils get stripped away.
It also causes a vicious circle of overproduction; the more you shampoo, the faster your hair will produce oils. Training yourself to wash 2-3 times per week is the best thing you can do for healthy tresses. This is especially true for colored hair, which can both fade in color and shine the more it gets washed.
Experts recommend a high quality dry shampoo to help reduce oil buildup and maintain volume and texture with the in-between days. You can also continue to rinse and condition your hair every other day, especially if the thought of not washing your hair after going to the gym, for instance, is enough to drive you crazy. Stick to using shampoo only 2-3 times per week, though, and you’ll be happy for the change.
Believe it or not, there are some techniques for conditioning that will change your hair care game.
1Find the right product for your hair texture and damage level.
Make sure you’re not just picking the best value bottle. Investing in your hair care products is important, especially when it comes to conditioners.
2Make sure to condition at the right time.
The best way to make sure your conditioner is working to its full potential is by removing any excess water from your hair first before applying any products. This ensures that the conditioner can penetrate each strand deeply and work properly (excess water in the hair “fills” each strand and doesn’t allow room for conditioner to absorb).
If time allows, towel-dry your hair after shampooing or rinsing and then apply conditioner. At the very least, make sure you’re squeezing out as much water from your hair as you can before using conditioner.
3Focus on the ends.
Keep conditioner away from the scalp because it may cause too much oil buildup and weigh down the hair. It will also make you want to shampoo more frequently, which we know is not good for healthy hair. Focus on the ends where hair is typically drier and more damaged.
4Use conditioning treatments when possible.
Working out or going to the gym can actually be a great time to deep condition your hair. When you know you’re about to sweat, wet your hair down and apply conditioner from the ends to about the middle of your strands. After your workout, simply rinse your hair—no shampoo if you can help it!—and you’ll have shiny, healthy and hydrated locks.
When you sweat, any sweat that touches your hair can actually dry it out. With deep conditioning, you’ll prevent extra damage and make it easier to style your hair post-workout.
After the shower, take extra care when styling to avoid damage. Hair is much more fragile when wet, so be careful to not rough it up too much while towel-drying. If you can, take time to gently squeeze the water out with a towel instead of rubbing your hair dry.
And you’ve heard this before: NEVER brush your hair when it’s wet. To detangle, use a wide-tooth comb and gently work out any knots or tangles starting from the bottom of the strand working up.
Try to rotate hairstyles so that you don’t need to use hot styling tools every day. But when it’s a must to blow dry hair, there are better ways to do it to keep hair healthy.
1Maximize air-drying time.
Wait as long as you can to let your hair dry naturally before using a blow dryer. The less time you spend putting heat to your strands, the better. Even waiting 15 minutes helps.
2Always, always, ALWAYS use heat protective products.
This one speaks for itself, but using leave-in treatments and heat protective sprays before heat will help your hair retain moisture and shine all day.
3Use low heat.
There should be no need to blast your hair on the highest heat setting. When blow drying, the air should feel comfortable on your hand. If it feels hot on your skin, the risk of damage to your hair is higher.
4Take time to use proper techniques.
If you’re anything like the general population, you might be taking your blow dryer and blasting it all over your head with the goal of drying your hair as quickly as possible. But if you slow down and take a tip from expert stylists, you’ll leave the house with not only a better style but also healthier hair.
Always try to keep the dryer at least 2-3 inches from the hair with the nozzle pointed down. Coming at your head from every angle will cause static and frizz. It’s also a good idea to start drying from the neckline up to the crown of the head, making sure not to hit the same spot repeatedly. You can also avoid this by moving your dryer constantly. Last but not least, use clean brushes. Excess buildup of hair and oils in your brush is a welcome invitation for bacteria.
After a blowout, get creative with your styles to make the most out of it. Wear your freshly blown out hair down one day, dry shampoo it the next, put it in a ponytail on the third day and rock a messy bun on the fourth. With the right schedule and products, you can cut back on your shampoos AND save yourself some major time in the mornings.
There are endless leave-in conditioning products that will work wonders for your hair, and almost every stylist would agree that they are the worth the investment. But when the budget speaks up, you can whip up your own conditioning products right in your kitchen. Work around salon prices by trying any of these DIY at-home hair masks.
2 tablespoons honey (we recommend acacia honey)
1 tablespoon almond oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Mix ingredients evenly. Apply mask to roots and comb through to the ends. Leave on for 1 hour and wash. Your shiny locks will thank you.
1 ripe banana
½ cup flat beer (contains proteins that help support thick, strong hair)
1 tablespoon honey
Mash the banana, then add egg and blend until smooth. Add beer and honey and blend again. Apply from scalp to roots, let sit for at least 1 hour and wash.
For Everything Else
1 ripe avocado
½ cup coconut milk
3 teaspoons olive oil
Mash the avocado, add liquids and stir quickly to combine. Warm up the mixture by heating it slowly and gently on the stove. Apply warm mask to hair from roots to ends, massaging into scalp, and leave on for at least 30 minutes. Wash to reveal healthy, nourished hair.
What do you do to keep your hair healthy?