Make 2020 the year of naturally beautiful hair! Our hair gets so much abuse every day: heat styling tools, sun exposure, chemical treatments at the salon, over-shampooing and vigorous overbrushing. Then we complain about bad hair days – well, what do you expect when your hair is weak and brittle?
This article will help you rescue your hair and bring it back to health, from how to trim split ends at home (including how to choose hair cutting scissors) to the gentlest way to wash, dry and style it.
Signs you have damaged hair
Do a hair test now to spot early signs of hair damage.
First, check the texture. Take a section of your hair and hold it up. Run the tips of your hair across your palm. Does it feel rough? Are the ends drier and rougher than the rest of your hair?
Second, tightly twist a section of your hair from root to the tip. Are any hairs sticking out? Those are split ends that have traveled up the shaft.
Third, look at your hair in a brightly lit room. Is it shiny or dull? Does it reflect light well? Rough, damaged hair loses shine because the cuticle is no longer smooth and intact. Over time, the cuticle gets so damaged that it can’t retain moisture – which leads to dry, brittle hair.
Fourth, think about whether your hair has become more frizzy and tangled, and if you have noticed more hair strands clogging up your brush or the shower drain. These are all signs that you are beginning to experience hair damage and hair loss.
Get rid of split ends
Don’t wait until your next hair appointment to get rid of split ends! Use hair cutting scissors to snip off the damaged ends before the split ends get worse and travel up the hair shaft. Never use regular scissors to trim hair, since the blunt edge can actually make split ends worse! High-quality hair scissors are very sharp and precise and will give you a clean cut even if you’re trimming the thinnest strands.
To trim split ends, section your hair. Then, roll your hair tightly from the roots to the tips and trim off any hair that sticks out like a straw. Then, trim off a bit of the end. It’s better to do it this way than wetting your hair and then trying to chop off an entire inch.
Stop using your blowdryer
Heat is the enemy of hair! Try looking for alternative ways to style your hair. For example, you can braid damp hair the night before – the next day, when you release your hair, it will fall into pretty beach waves. You can also use hair rollers. Unlike the uncomfortable plastic rollers that our grandmothers endured, the latest hair rollers are made of soft materials like memory foam or silicone that hold hair without feeling bumpy or hard when you sleep. You can also get different shapes and sizes to help you achieve every hairstyle, from subtle voluminous waves to adorable ringlets.
Use Sulfate-Free Shampoos and Conditioners
Sulfates (sometimes listed as sodium lauryl sulfates in shampoo labels) strip moisture from your hair. They also make hair colors fade faster, which means you need more frequent salon visits. There are many affordable sulfate-free hair products, and many of them use all-natural ingredients. The fewer chemicals you use on your hair and scalp, the better!
Make your own conditioning masks
Every week, treat your hair to a nourishing hair mask. While you can buy them at any beauty store, consider whipping up your own hair mask with ingredients you can find right in your own kitchen! You can use avocado, any organic oil (like extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil), egg whites, apple cider vinegar, lemon and more.
The best thing about DIY conditioning masks is that they are natural, easy to make and use, and are just as effective as many expensive hair treatments. Just remember to use the hair mask immediately after mixing them (they can spoil easily in heat and sunlight). To double their efficiency and reduce mess, wear a plastic shower cap. It not only keeps hair in place, but it traps heat and helps the ingredients absorb better.
Use hair oils
Hair oils and leave-in conditioner form a protective barrier around the cuticle and protects the hair from environmental damage. You can use coconut oil or castor oil, or buy hair serums that contain plant extracts and argan oil. Apply on the hair tips or any areas where your is most damaged.
Don’t wash your hair every day
Over shampooing can strip your hair of its natural moisture. It’s best to wash hair about three times a week, and control grease with dry shampoo. Another important thing to remember is to always wash hair with lukewarm or cold water – never hot water! While those steamy showers are quite relaxing, they can damage the hair and the scalp.
Protect your hair from the elements
UV rays and environmental exposure can damage the hair and scalp. Wear a hat or a scarf when you’re outdoors during peak hours of 10 am to 3 pm. Use a spray sunscreen on your hair and scalp. And if you’re swimming, wear a swimming cap or apply conditioner to your hair before jumping into the water. The conditioner acts like a shield that protects your hair from absorbing chlorine or sea salt.
Follow A Balanced Diet
Crash diets deprive your body of nutrients that your body needs for healthy hair. Eat a balanced diet that has 50% fruits and vegetables, healthy proteins, and healthy fats. You may also want to take a hair supplement with biotin and omega-3 fatty acids that encourage hair growth.
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