You might skip over this post, thinking this is too basic for you and that you are far more advanced with your hair care, but you may be making some simple mistakes.
Like riding a bike (something I only learnt last year!) I found most of my friends couldn’t explain how to start and stop. It’s easy to forget the correct way to do something when you are so used to it and have developed bad habits.
Everybody’s hair is different, but here are a few easy-to-follow tips to take better care of our tresses.
1. Don’t over-wash your hair. Most people don’t need to wash their hair every day. If you do, it could be because you are using the wrong products for your hair and scalp type.
2. Only apply shampoo to your scalp and massage gently. Don’t pile your hair on top and scrub it, as this will only create knots. Work the shampoo gently down to the ends of your hair and rinse thoroughly.
3. Forget about lather, rinse and repeat. It’s just a brilliant marketing idea to make you use more shampoo. You only need to shampoo once.
4. But you really like that “clean” feeling when you wash your hair twice, right? If you use a lot of silicone or wax products, try washing with a clarifying shampoo once or twice a month instead of your normal shampoo.
5. Curly-haired girls, you may want to consider skipping the shampoo entirely. Sounds strange I know but curly hair is often very dry, and washing with conditioner alone will freshen your hair without drying it out. I cut out shampoo for 4 months and it definitely works. Unfortunately I colour my hair, use too much product and swim in the sea too often to maintain the cycle.
6. Ever have an itchy scalp after washing your hair? Stop applying conditioner to your roots. Start from the mid-lengths and really condition the ends of your hair. Gently comb through and allow it to work for at least a minute, the longer the better.
7. Rinse your hair in cold water. Make sure you remove all your conditioner and finish with cold water. This is a bitch in winter, so don’t go freezing yourself in icewater, but a cool rinse of water will close the cuticle and seal in the moisture to each strand. It’s ok to shampoo your hair in hot water but finish it with a cold rinse.
8. Never brush your hair when it’s wet. Instead use a wide comb to gently smooth your hair.
9. Ease off with the towel drying. Don’t rub your hair with a towel, you’ll only cause damage and make your hair look dull. Instead gently squeeze out the excess moisture and allow to air dry. In saying that, I only do this on the rare occasion I wash my hair on a weekday night or have nothing to do on a Sunday. Parlux is my best friend and dries my hair in no time at all.
10. Treatments – hair masks are essential if you use heat stylers or colour your hair. Even if you don’t you will still appreciate the moisture a mask brings. Normally this is applied between shampoo and conditioner, so I either get out of the shower, have a cup of tea and catch up on blogs while I let it work, or get some chores done.
Do you use hair treatments? What type of hair do you have and what’s your favourite shampoo and conditioner?