Hair loss and brittleness is common enough for both men and women, and though women tend to experience less dramatic episodes than men, worsening environmental conditions and the steady demands of stress-inducing modern lifestyles have impacted the hair quality of all. You can’t count on your fingers the number of times you’ve heard someone say that their mom always has better hair than them. As such, there are an increasing number of people turning to their dermatologist and the internet for hair care.
It’s a misconception that you should wash your hair everyday. The scalp produces sebum, a natural oily substance that gives that it greasiness that gets icky after a while. The thing is, oil is good for your hair and natural substances are far better than manufactured ones. Through daily washing, you remove the sebum from your hair and the body simply produces more sebum in response – making your hair even more greasy.
The best way to wash your hair is as follows: Use warm water. Make sure your hair is combed before you begin, so that the water will flow through all of your hair. With your hair slightly wet, massage the shampoo (remember to pick one suitable for your hair type!) from the tips to the scalp, all across your head. Rinse your hair thoroughly. Do it again if necessary.
Next, you’ll need the conditioner. Conditioners are what give your hair a softer and smoother texture. They contain oils and moisturizers that protect your hair for long periods of time. Apply it to just the hair, not the scalp, and wash first with warm water and then cold water.
Drying is just as important – don’t roughly move the towel over your head. Gently squeeze the water out of your hair, moving the towel from the roots to the tips of your hair. Do this thoroughly.
Blow drying can severely damage your hair in the long run. This is why it is advised to use special hair products on your hair before you begin using the blow drying. The high temperature of a blow dryer is not good for your hair, so don’t overdo it.
Separate your hair into different sections – the top, the sides and the back. Move the blow dryer from the scalp to the tips at a distance of about 15cms (6 inches).
You’ll want to lift the roots of the hair to dry it properly. Start from the back, move onto the sides and finish with the top. Don’t blow dry often – even twice a week is a bit much. Limit it to once or twice a week and don’t do it during the summers. Your hair will be exposed to too much heat.
Whether you’ve got normal, oily, dry or some combination of hair plays a role in its maintenance. In fact, it is a criticalaspect of hair care. Oily hair will require daily washing, while the other requires periodic washing. Dry hair should only be washed once a week and tends to turn brittle fast. If you’ve got a hybrid type, then it’s some combination of this, but is more often than not dry, prone to splitting and of moderate oiliness.
The temperature you should use to curl your hair will depend on the thickness of your hair. Thin hair requires a lower temperature (338 F/170 C), normal hair a medium temperature (392 F/200 C) and thick hair a higher temperature (446 F/230 C). This is vital.
Depending on whether you want cylindrical or conical curls, you’ll have to use different curling irons. The longer you curl, the more emphatic the curl will be. Deep curls requires about 10 seconds, moderate curls about 7 seconds and light curls about 5 seconds.
Don’t ever curl wet hair and don’t do it every day. Clean your iron well after use.
Choosing a Hair Straightener and How to Use it
Here again, thin hair will need temperatures of about 338 F/170 C and thick air 446 F/230 C.
There are three types of straighteners: ceramic, tourmaline and titanium. The first slides through hair easily and is suitable for regular use. The second is better for hard curly hair, as it prevents static electricity. The last is the kind that is used in professional hairstyling.
When you straighten your hair, start with applying a heat protection spray and let that dry. Straighten from the sides and the back, moving from the roots to the end. Then work on the top of your head. Don’t forget to brush!
Use this no more than once a week and never hold a straighten in one place for more than 2 – 3 seconds.
Oils are an excellent supplement to hair care, and they can be mixed with hair masks and other treatments.
There are different oils for different purposes. As we mentioned, hair care is a highly personalized matter!
Avocado oil is used to nourish and moisturize hair. To use it, mix 5 tablespoons of avocado oil with 3 – 5 tablespoons of coconut oil, heat the mixture and apply it your hair. Leave for 20 minutes before rinsing off.
Argan oil nourishes and regenerates your hair. You can use it instead of hair conditioner too, either in its pure form or mixed with another oil.
Coconut oil is the go-to oil for repairing damaged hair. It can help hair regain its natural vitality and is commonly used in hair massages. Add a few drops into your shampoo when you wash.
Jojoba oil is an increasingly popular oil that enriches and protects your hair. It’s great for a hair massage. Just apply a few drops to your fingers and spread the oil thoroughly across your hair.
Burdock oil, like coconut oil, is used to strengthen and repair the hair’s damaged structure. To use it heat a few tablespoons up and spread it across your hair. Wrap your hair for about an hour, and rinse off.
You can also turn to hair masks to take hair care a step further.
One such mask is a nourishing mask for normal hair types. You’ll need 2 tablespoons of burdock oil, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 10 drops of each of Vitamin A and E. Heat this mixture, mix it thoroughly and apply. Rinse your hair properly after an hour.
For weak hair, you can use a strengthening mask that is a combination of 1 teaspoon of castor oil, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of aloe juice. Mix these well and apply these to you hair half an hour before washing. Rinse thoroughly.
If you’ve got damaged and dry hair, mix 2 tablespoons of sea buckthorn oil and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Heat the oil, mix the lemon juice in and apply the mixture. Put on a shower cap, wrap your head in a towel and leave your hair like this for half an hour.
It’s a little more complicated for oily hair types. You’re going to need 2 tablespoons of dry mustard, 4 tablespoons of warm water, 3 tablespoons of either black or green clay, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix all the ingredients and apply to your hair for 30 – 40 minutes. Wash normally afterwards.
A Healthy Diet Makes a Big Difference
For perfect hair, you’ll need balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals. It cannot be overstated how important a healthy diet is for hair care. What you’re looking for is vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, omega-3, selenium and zinc.
Vitamin A stimulates cell regeneration and slows hair aging. Good sources are liver, cottage cheese, eggs, carrots and pumpkin. Vitamin B accelerates hair growth and gives it its shine and elasticity. You can source it from cereal, nuts, bran, eggs and wholemeal bread.
Citrus fruit, kiwi, sea buckthorn, currants and rose hips offer vitamin C, which improves blood circulation and stimulates hair growth. Vitamin E is vital, as nourishes hair roots and protects against UV rays. Good sources are nuts, seeds, eggs, leafy vegetables and vegetable oils, like coconut oil.
Omega-3 is good for the body overall, as it slows down the aging process and keeps the immune system strong. Get it from fish and seafood, flaxseed oil, avocados and walnuts. Zinc and selenium protect against environmental damage and can be sourced from eggs, beef, rye bread, milk and seafood.
And So Does Hair Color
Yes, hair color does matter.
For lightly colored hair, use peach, oil, jojoba, avocado or coconut oil for masks. You can maintain hair color by rising hair with and water and adding a little bit of lemon juice.
Olive oil or apricot kernel oil is more suitable for the maintenance of darkly colored hair. Citrus fruit-based essential oils also make the hair shine.
Redheads will need olive or apricot kernel oil as well for color maintenance. Burdock oil can make the hair softer.
Warm Weather and Cold Weather
During the colder seasons, use hats, blow dryers at low temperatures and room humidifiers to protect your hair. For nourishment, masks, serums, oils and vitamins work well.
During the warmer seasons, it’s hats again, along with sun protection products and the absence of blow dryers. To regenerate your hair, just like in the winters, ensure you get your dose of masks, serums, oils and vitamins.
While hair care is largely a matter of a healthy, diet and a good lifestyle, it’s likely that you’ll experience worsening hair quality as you grow older. In the event you find your hair turning frizzy and brittle, or encountering anxious phases of dramatic hair fall, you’ll have no choice but to turn hair care products to deal with it. Hair care products are highly individualized products, meaning not everyone can use the same product and expect the same results, because everyone’s natural hair state is different. They work only so much; truly healthy hair is knowing what your hair type, how to wash and dry it, and how to fashion it.
Everyone however wants their hair to be soft, silky and available in bulk. To do that, you’ll need to take certain steps to ensure that your hair grows healthily and supplement that if you’ve got more serious hair care problems. This guide will help you get started!