Most of us do not pay our tresses a fraction of the attention that we give to our face or skin. It’s a fact. Our make-up boxes are overflowing with cosmetics from cleansers and toners to foundation, compact, BB creams, sunscreens and God knows what! But when it comes to hair care- we don’t even know whether we are picking the right shampoo for ourselves. Your hair can make or mar your entire look- and I’m not talking just about your haircut or your hairstyle. What you really need to pay attention to is the quality of your hair- and that can only come with good care. In fact, a lot of seemingly uptrend hair care tools like styling appliances, dryers etc. for instance, that make your hair look beautiful temporarily, can actually do a lot of damage on the inside. Get your hair care basics right with these hair care tips and show off luscious locks that radiate the goodness of health!
Hair Care advice for beautiful hair
Washing your hair
Your hair care routine should consist of two to at most three weekly hair washes. Washing your hair regularly strips it of natural oils, leaving it dry and damaged. Precisely, how often you wash your hair depends on what type of hair you have. In general straight hair turns oily and limp very fast- so it needs to be washed more often. Curly or frizzy hair doesn’t get oily fast and so can survive better with fewer washes. Twice a year, it’s a good idea to rinse your hair with vinegar before shampooing. Dilute one part vinegar with 3 parts warm water- rinse and then wash your hair as normal. Not only is this an effective remedy against dandruff, it also lends your hair a healthy shine.
The right way to shampoo
- Wet your hair really well.
- Squeeze out a small amount of shampoo, no more than a quarter and massage into your scalp.
- Remember, while shampooing, do not scrub or scratch your scalp too hard. Instead, massage the shampoo well into your scalp- massaging your scalp improves blood flow and helps your hair grow faster.
- Rinse until you can no more see any bubbles going down the drain. If you don’t rinse out the shampoo from your hair properly, you could get a dry, itchy or flaky scalp.
Choosing the right shampoo
It is important to choose the right shampoo for your hair type. But it is just as important to pay attention to the chemicals that they contain. In general, choose shampoos that do not contain sulfates or parabens. Sulfates are foam creating agents and parabens are preservatives that could cause irritation and eye problems in the long run. It is best to use natural cleansers or organic products made of plant ingredients. In fact, you can make your own herbal shampoo at home by making a fine paste of hibiscus leaves and aloe vera gel- apply it on your hair and wash off after fifteen minutes. Look out for product labels on your hair care products- if your shampoo or conditioner contains more than two detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate or ammonium sulfate etc., it could be bad for your hair.
Conditioning your hair
It is important to keep your hair well moisturized. For this, you can resort to an oil treatment every twice a week. Mix equal portions of almond, castor, olive, coconut and lavender oils, apply to the hair and leave in for four-five hours before showering out. You may also use egg oil, if you can stand the pungent odor! Alternatively, there are lots of home-made hair care masks that you can use to condition your hair. A good way to ensure your hair stays moisturized is to condition your hair after every shampoo. Deep condition at least once a week- however, does not use store-bought conditioners on a daily basis, as they can lead to white hairs.
Hair care after shower
Drying your hair
Once you’re done washing and conditioning your hair, wrap it up in a micro-fiber towel or use a cotton T-shirt. Most towels for everyday use are made of fabric that’s rough and can cause frizz and split ends. Also, don’t rub your hair very vigorously while towel drying as it splits the hair. Stay away from blow dryers and if you must- use the lowest temperature setting. The heat from hair dryers is highly damaging to your hair. It is best to let hair air dry but at times say when, you’ve washed your hair at night before hitting the bed (you should never sleep with wet or damp hair!), blow dry- in low heat at the roots.
Brushing your hair
Brushing your hair when it’s wet makes the hair brittle and weak. Use a detangler spray and a wide-tooth comb to brush out tangles when your hair is wet, so you’re not unnecessarily pulling and tugging at your hair. While brushing your hair stimulates the hair follicles and promotes hair growth, excessive brushing can backfire.
Styling your hair
- Trim your hair every six to eight weeks.
- Avoid styling your hair with tools and appliances every day. It’s ok to want to wear your hair differently for a new look every day, but have some mercy on your hair as well. Avoid perming, crimping, straightening, curling, bleaching or coloring too often. Reserve these for occasional day outs and don’t make them a regular affair.
- Avoid hairstyles that involve pulling your hair tightly back like high ponytails or cornrows. More important, avoid using rubber bands to pull back your hair tightly.
- If you use frizz control serum, use it only in small quantities and once a week, deep cleanse with shampoo to avoid it from building up in the hair (a buildup would make your hair look dull and flaky).
- Also steer clear of hair products that have too much protein. It may sound paradoxical but while hair is made up of protein, too much of it could make it brittle.