If we women all have one thing in common, it’s that we love to have beautiful hair every single day. Whether our hair is curly or straight, we’re almost constantly googling homemade hair masks and beauty tips in order to nurture it and make it look prettier. When doing so, you need to be careful and do some research. The reason is not all products work for all hair types and not all beauty tips work period. Some can end up damaging your hair (bummer!). The good thing is some of the best products you can use for your scalp are found right in your own kitchen! For instance, if you have oily hair and you apply a hydrating hair mask to your scalp that’s made with oily ingredients, you’ll most certainly overhydrate your hair, and you will also increase the levels of oils in it. Oily hair equals dirty hair (and who wants that?!). If you think your hair’s irreparable, or that it’s impossible to make it look healthier, stop worrying about that! There are products that have been scientifically proven to repair your hair while providing a more natural look. Not only will we tell you about them in this article, but we’ll also be sharing some great hair beauty tips with you (to help a sister out!).
15. Avoid getting it wet every day
Washing your hair on an every day can be harsh for any type of hair. It has been scientifically proven that it isn’t only water that damages your hair, but shampoo as well. Both dermatologists and stylists agree that there isn’t just one answer to how often people should shampoo their hair. The main purpose of shampooing is to capture the excess oil and dirt in your hair and trap it, which is why your hair usually feels lighter after it’s washed. However, our hair self-nurtures thanks to our own natural oils which hydrate our hair and provide it with vitamins. If we wash our hair too often, shampoo can dry our scalp and damage it. If you have oily hair, and you need to wash it to avoid going out with ‘dirty’ hair, we have the solution! Dry shampoo will become your new best friend. It will help you keep your hair clean and well nurtured, all at the same time. Of course, we recommend you use it approximately only one or two days before washing your hair again (depending on how oily your hair is), because it is definitely better to use regular shampoo to clean your scalp properly. You can find dry shampoos at your local drugstores and supermarkets, and they have really great prices!
14. Brush your hair throughout the day to achieve a better look
Almost every single girl carries a hairbrush with her; it’s kind of intrinsic to us. The brush we use is so important and should be carefully chosen. According to thankyourbody.com “most commercial hair brushes can actually be quite damaging to your hair. Brushing with synthetic bristles causes friction on hair, leading to cuticle damage and breakage, which makes hair lusterless and frizzy”, which is why they highly recommend people use natural bristle brushes that you can easily find at Ulta or Sephora. Brushing your hair can be beneficial, not only for its general appearance but also for your wallet. By brushing correctly, we can eliminate the need for a dry shampoo in the first place. It’s not advisable to brush it when it’s wet, however, because that’s when it’s most vulnerable. So, comb it and untangle it first instead. If it’s dry, brushing it twice or three times a day is always a good idea. This will help you prevent hair loss, and will also help reduce the concentration of oil on the top part of your scalp by distributing it throughout your hair, thus, preventing it from looking dirty. Brushing also helps remove excess waste in the hair and strengthens it… and what girl doesn’t want that?
13. Avoid hot water at all costs
Hot water + hair is a recipe for disaster; there’s no doubt about it. That doesn’t mean you need to wash your hair with cold water in the wintertime (that’s a relief!). You can use warm water which is even better for you than cold water. Warm water cleans your scalp and removes excess oil effectively. However, if you use very hot water, you dry out your scalp making your hair more prone to breakage, and you also remove more oils than necessary. This will cause an overproduction of oils in your hair making it look dirty more quickly and shredded all the time. Cold water, on the other hand, is a little unpleasant and can reduce the hair volume. However, it is very good for frizz control and for making hair look shiny. It also helps by improving blood circulation to the scalp. To summarize: avoid hot water, cold water shouldn’t always be your go-to choice, and when showering mostly use warm water to maintain balance in your hair (and that’s what we all want, right?) while making it look healthy and beautiful.
12. Avoid braiding your hair tightly before sleeping
Braiding your hair can be really bad for you… now imagine braiding your WET hair!! As we mentioned before, wet hair is really vulnerable and can break more easily. When we regularly braid our hair, whether it’s wet or dry, we’re changing its appearance little by little. We know braids are beautiful and comfortable, but they can be deadly (not literal… but almost). Braids contribute to hair breakage, and that’s why braiding wet hair should be a habit you get rid of in 2017 if you haven’t already. Whether it’s a fishtail, French braid, or Dutch braid (which we adore), tightening your strands of hair to accomplish these looks will tear your hair and you won’t even notice it; the tighter the braid, the worst the result. There is no real fix to this situation. So if you like braids, then keep treating yourself to them when your hair is dry, however, don’t wear them every day. But if you’re goal is to simply keep your hair out of your face, just pin it back with any hair accessory that doesn’t pinch your hair as much. You can find these EVERYWHERE and at a very good price. Lightly pinned hair is a lot less damaging than a tight braid.
11. Apply hair masks at least twice a month for better results
Hair masks are a must if you want your hair to look better and healthier. However, you will want to read the ingredients carefully and make sure the ones you use are natural. There are hair masks for every type of hair. Here are the ones we highly recommend:
-For Dry, Damaged Hair – The miraculous coconut oil mask. All you need is:
1. A quarter of a cup of warmed coconut oil (liquid-y). Apply it to your hair, it doesn’t matter if it is wet or dry and leave it on for at least one hour (use a shower cap). Wash it off and do this once a week for better results. This mask will definitely help by hydrating your hair and giving it that natural, healthy look.
-For Oily Hair – The lovely egg white and lemon juice mask. All you need is:
1. One egg white and one lemon + a little salt
With your egg white in a bowl add the lemon juice extracted from the lemon, and then add a bit of salt. Blend it all until it becomes a smooth paste. Put the paste on wet hair and leave it on for 30-40 minutes and then wash it off using shampoo then rinsing thoroughly. Lemon juice has high levels of vitamin C, which controls excess oils. The egg white helps balance moisture on your scalp so that your hair doesn’t completely dry out.
10. Oils are heavenly
As already mentioned before, treating your hair with oils is not only nurturing, but also nice and relaxing. Coconut oil fixes literally EVERYTHING but it isn’t the only product available on the market! There’s also Argan oil (aka Moroccan oil))… and if you don’t know what Argan is, it’s a tree. The oil is extracted from the nut it produces. The oil protects your hair from heat damage cause by hair straighteners or dryers. It also moisturizes your hair and reduces frizz… the question is, what doesn’t it do? Then there’s also the Jojoba oil, which is commonly recommended by doctors because of its uncanny resemblance to the oil our scalp produces (which is called sebum). Knowing this, we can assure you that Jojoba oil will hydrate and moisturize your hair on a totally different level. One last oil we love, and you might not have seen coming, is olive oil. It acts as a heat protectant as well, and it also strengthens your hair and gives it a sleeker look. The trick with these oils is to see how many times a month you can use them, (depending on your hair type ), how much nutrients your hair requires, and of course, are you getting the results you’re expecting from them.
9. Use protection when you’re in the pool
As your mother probably told you growing up, chlorine in pools can be deadly to hair, which is why she probably made you take a shower after a day in the pool. According to NiceHair.org, “Your hair may become dry and brittle, as chlorine sucks the sebum (a greasy, oily substance) out of the hair shaft.” Now that summer’s around the corner, pools are going to become part of our every day lives. So, in order to keep our hair pretty and healthy, we must take some things into consideration. As your mother always made you, douse your hair both before and after going in the pool. Your hair and even your skin are less likely to absorb more chlorine water if they’re soaked already with natural water. Treat your hair after you go to the pool… because chlorine water has oxidized metals that will attach to the proteins in your hair and give it a greenish color (this happens if you don’t shower afterward… and is even more noticeable if you’re blonde). If it happens to you, you can use apple cider vinegar to undo the damage. Back to the point, treat your hair with masks and oils. Just make sure you’re always treating your hair after any damaging substances reach it.
8. Trimming your hair at least once every two months is essential for better-looking hair
Forget about all those myths that say trimming your hair will make it grow faster… that’s simply false. When you trim your hair you get rid of the ends, but your hair grows from the follicles in your scalp, so really there’s no correlation between the two. What you need to know though, is that trimming your hair helps give it a better look, as well as it helps to keep it healthy while it grows. Think of your hair as a bush; pruning it will help its branches grow beautifully, which is why it’s important to do it. You should trim your hair every 3 to 4 months, which is the average time hair needs before requiring a trim. Other benefits to trimming your hair include preventing breakage since you get rid of split ends after a trim which gives you with a thicker/fuller look, which means healthy, beautiful hair. Just make sure that you find the right salon and the right person to trim your hair. Because if you trim your hair with someone who doesn’t have any experience, your hair will end up looking damaged and shredded and that’s definitely something you want to avoid.
7. Your eating habits need to change as well
Your eating habits not only affect your body but your hair as well. Eating healthier will help you improve your internal body conditions, which will result in physical benefits like having better-looking hair. Some of the most recommended food choices to avoid are: all oils and excess salt. Also, other foods to avoid to have healthier hair are:
- Diet Soda
- Anything with too much sugar
- Fast food (of course!)
The reason being all these foods contribute to hair loss, lack of proteins in your hair and breakage. However, there are some foods that are beneficial to your hair according to eatthis.com. The following foods help your hair growth, they strengthen the hairs, and promote more blood flow to the scalp:
- Greek yogurt (yum!)
- Salmon, and
To name a few. If you change your eating habits you’ll see results without a doubt. It’s actually a win-win situation because you help your scalp become healthier and you may lose weight at the same time! It’s time to start eating healthier and seeing ‘diet food’ as a lifestyle, instead of a punishment. Healthy foods are often low in carbs and rich in nutrients.
6. Avoid heating tools as much as you can
Blow drying your hair and straightening or curling it is stylish but very damaging. We always suggest you avoid it as much as you can, and to only use these gadgets only when truly necessary. However, some of us still use it every day because of work, or simply because of personal preference. The decision is up to you, but we still need to address how badly it can harm your hair and scalp. There are some products on the market, like heat protectants and primers that help your protect your hair while using these irons. You can find them in beauty/makeup stores. Another thing we recommend is to hydrate your hair once you shower after you’ve curled or ironed your hair because flat and curling irons usually tear your hair apart and burn it, so it’s crucial to repair it as soon as possible. You can either buy hydrating products or do a homemade hair mask in the comfort of your home. Some of the best hydrating products we’ve tried are Pureology’s Hydrate Hydra Whip and Macadamia Professional’s Ultra Rich Moisture Masque, but there are hair masks you can do yourself, see #11.
5. Hair vitamins are always a good option!
Sometimes our body doesn’t produce certain vitamins enough or at all that our hair needs and that’s ok! Taking vitamins has nothing to do with what our age. Some people will need supplements, others won’t, but they’re always a good option! If you want your hair to grow stronger, faster, and healthier, here are 6 vitamins you should consider (according to DrAxe.com):
- Fish oil nourishes the hair and thickens the hair strands, and reduces inflammation in the scalp. It is the holy grail of hair vitamins.
- Zinc reinforces hair follicle health. And, when our follicles are healthier, our hair looks better overall.
- B-Complex or Biotin, helps your hair grow or can help prevent hair loss in general. However, if you take this vitamin, remember it’s not only your head hair that will grow.
- Vitamin C is great for many things like increasing your white blood cells count, but more specifically in terms of hair, it works as an antioxidant. This means that it slows the process of your hair turning gray, and it also prevents it from falling out excessively.
- Iron is spectacular for reducing your risk of hair loss and you can find it in everyday foods, such as spinach, egg yolks, black beans, and so many others. Or if you prefer, you can purchase it at your local drugstore.
- Vitamin D helps you have healthier hair. It does this by restoring your hair and preventing hair loss.
4. Cool your head after blow-drying your hair
Think of this as cooking. When you’re frying an egg and you turn off the stove, you can still hear the egg cooking. Same thing happens with your hair. When you blow dry it, flat iron it or curl it, you can easily burn yourself by touching it afterward. The reason is simple: if your hair is still hot it’s because it’s still burning a little. Knowing this, it’s important that you realize just how important it is to cool your hair a little after practically frying it. Next time you’re doing your hair for a party or simply for everyday life, remember how much damage heat can do to your hair and push the cold-shot button on your hair dryer. You are still drying it, but with cooler air, which will help reduce the damage done by burning your hair a little less. This little practice can help preserve your hair healthy.
3. Avoid dyeing your hair
Dyeing your hair is so bad for your scalp; you have no idea! Bleaching your hair is really harmful because of the harmful products salons use (which contain ammonia and peroxide, for starters). According to Ni’Kita Wilson’s statement from the Huffington Post, ‘this chemical (ammonia) elevates the pH of the hair, and in doing so, the cuticle relaxes and lifts up. The problem with that is once you’ve disturbed the cuticle, the damage has started because the cuticle is not meant to be lifted up”. As for peroxide (the substance that gives your hair color), it’s important to know that in order for it to create a color, it needs to remove the current one; that’s the #1 reason why if you dye your hair from its roots, you won’t be able to return to your natural color ever again. However, if you have already dyed your hair, whether it was a full on balayage or a complete change in color, there is a solution. You can buy special shampoos that repair damaged hair. You can find most of them in supermarkets, drugstores, and beauty stores like Ulta Beauty and Sephora. These are our top three:
- Pureology’s ‘Strength Cure Shampoo’.
- Living Proof’s ‘Restore Shampoo’.
- Matrix’s ‘Biolage Keratindose Shampoo for Overprocessed Hair’.
2. Apple cider as a precaution? YES
Apple cider doesn’t only help you ‘lose’ weight or make a great dressing for your salad, it also works for so many other things and it’s time you know what they are. Can your hair benefit from apple cider’s properties? The answer is YES. Putting apple cider diluted with water on your scalp helps regulate your sebum’s pH levels and will help your hair look better, even more so if you have oily hair. It also works as an antibacterial. As you may know, vinegar is an acid; this is enough to know that it will fight microbes and will kill any bacteria that may try to penetrate your scalp. Another thing apple cider is good for is untangling your hair. Have you ever fought with your hairbrush? The reason it works is that it soothes the cuticle, so tangles slip apart more easily. It also prevents hair loss and breakage. But wait, there’s more. Apple cider also adds shine and reduces frizz and hair porosity. Goals right? You need to go to your local store and purchase this golden liquid right now! It’s literally everywhere!
1. Don’t exaggerate with the amount of hairspray
We know you loved Zac Efron and Nikki Blonsky and that you want to recreate that 60’s ‘stepped-out-of-a-salon’ look, but it’s time to chill with the hairspray. Besides the fact that they contaminate the environment, they also contaminate our scalps. Most hairsprays contain Ethanol, which can irritate your scalp and dry out your hair, making it break more easily. Also, and if you use hairspray regularly (whether they are setting sprays, volume sprays, etc.), it will form layers on your hair that can fall onto your shoulders making it seem like you have dandruff. Hairspray also takes away the shine from your hair because of the materials they’re made of. It is similar to dry shampoo. Dry shampoo is a spray that’s made to hide the greasiness of your hair and scalp. Other sprays do the same but to a lesser degree. So, if you use them on a daily basis, you’re damaging your hair. Knowing all of this, why would you want to use a product that dries out your hair, dulls the shine and causes breakage? Use it only when absolutely necessary… basically avoid it as much as possible.