Let’s face it, sometimes having the hair of our dreams comes at a price. Who doesn’t love a perfectly painted balayage, or endless options of hair styles and textures? Hot tools, hair color and even the weather affects hair health, and can really take a toll on or precious locks.
If you’re anything like me and find it difficult to forego your styling tools (at the very least a hair dryer), have color treated hair, or just want to find more simple ways to add more life to your hair, here are a couple of tricks I incorporated into my routine to help minimize some of the damage (so I can keep on styling!).
1. Wash your hair less…
I hope no one is washing their hair every day! I know it may seem gross, but our hair needs the natural oils and washing it every day will strip our hair from those oils. In fact, the more you wash your hair, the faster it’ll get oily. My hair used to get oily the day after my wash, but the less I washed it, the less oily it got. When you wash your hair often, your hair follicles will want to produce more oil to make up for what’s lost and to condition the dryness. The less you wash, the more oil will be on your hair, and the more conditioned your hair will feel. Your hair follicles will not need to produce as much oil. Over time, your hair is “trained” to produce less oil. Check this article out for more information on “hair training”.
If you really feel like your hair is too dirty, opt for dry shampoo.
… or only wash a section of it
If dry shampoo doesn’t help, only wash the front section of your hair. This is especially useful for people who have bangs – only wash the bangs! Bangs and front facing layers get dirty and oily the fastest, so just section off those sections, given them a quick wash and style. It saves you time and keeps the rest of your hair healthy!
I don’t have bangs, so I can assure you this works on all hair styles. When my hair needs a quick refresh in between washes, I take a small section from the top, front part of my head and a few face framing pieces, shampoo the roots, condition the ends, dry and style! I don’t do this often, but it’s especially helpful on days when I need a good hair day but don’t have time for a full wash.
2. If you’re going to use hot tools, air dry first
Personally, I don’t like how my hair looks or feels when it air dries, so I at least blow dry it. So for me, applying 0 heat to my hair is impossible. What’s the next best alternative? Less heat.
This is also great because it requires much less effort, but requires a lot more time. If you can afford the time, I suggest it. Let your hair air dry to about 75%. For me, that means my hair is still a little damp and I can feel the ends drying. This is enough moisture to be able to blow dry and style my hair easily, with a fraction of the heat time and effort.
A key step here is to use a leave in conditioner when you get out of the shower. That will help nourish your hair as it dries.
3. Cool off
This isn’t something I enjoy doing, but it’s more important than you realize: rinse your conditioner with cool water.
I don’t do this as often in the winter but it’s something I adopted into my routine last summer (thanks to the heat wave…). I found that rinsing my conditioner with cool water actually help leave some of the residual conditioner in my hair, without weighing it down. Plus, my hair was extra soft and shiny.
I love a hot shower just as much as the next person, so my tip here is to leave your conditioner on as you wash your face and body. This will also give your hair a chance to mingle with the conditioner for a couple of minutes – which is also a key step in reaping the benefits of your conditioner (don’t just rinse it off right away!). Once you’re all done washing your self, turn the temperature down and rinse your hair. I leave it to the very end because it then forces me to get out of the shower after!
4. Mask up
Besides wearing your mask when you go out, remember to put on a hair mask! Give your hair some extra love every once in a while with a hair mask, oil or treatment. They make a difference if well incorporated into your routine.
Personally, I like to do a hair mask every 1-2 weeks. You can make your own with natural ingredients (here are some hair mask recipes). Lately, I’ve been loving the Olaplex No 3. Hair Treatment. I’ll apply it and I’ll either clean or even work out while it’s on for about an hour or so. If you can’t find a hair mask that works for you or don’t want to DIY a mask, I recommend coconut oil. It has amazing benefits! Sometimes, I like to apply coconut oil to my hair for a few hours – I’ll even go out to run errands with it on!
5. Tie your hair gently
Keeping our hair open all the time increases our exposure to weather damage, tangles and breakage. I try to keep my hair up as much as I can with a satin scrunchie, especially when I sleep to prevent my hair from going all over the place. I prefer using a scrunchie over hair ties as they don’t tie my hair so tight that it will cause creases or breakage. Satin is a great fabric for hair health – I should even get a satin pillow myself. Satin is known for retaining moisture and creating shine, so it’s great for dry hair. I always keep my scrunchie on hand because I’ll never know when I need it.
Besides, they look cute too – on the hair and on the wrist!