When you try your best and you don’t succeeeeeed with your hair (yes, that was a Coldplay reference), you know whatever you’re doing is completely wrong. Let’s face it, your hair has a mind of its own and does pretty much whatever it wants on a daily basis. And, I’m sure there are days when you feel like it’s completely out of control. But, there is one way that you can show your hair who’s the boss and gain back control. And that’s through a proper hair care routine.
Now, I’m not telling you to completely overhaul your current hair care routine and buy all new hair products. But there are certain simple tips and tricks that you can follow that can bring about a massive improvement in your hair in just a few days. So, let’s check them out!
1. Tips For Washing Your Hair
You’re probably thinking I’m daft to suggest that you’ve been washing your hair wrong your whole life. Well, there are actually a few things you could be doing wrong in the shower that are stopping your hair from looking its best. So let’s look at some tips you can try out:
- Oil your hair: Oiling your hair before washing it is probably the best thing you can do for your mane. Massage some coconut oil, olive oil or almond oil onto your hair and scalp an hour before getting into the shower to pre-condition it.
- Use lukewarm or cool water: Hot water can damage your hair in the same way that the heat from heat styling tools does – by dehydrating your hair and causing split ends. So, always wash your hair with either lukewarm or cool water to close the hair cuticles and retain the moisture in it.
- Dilute the shampoo: We’re all prone to using 2-3 pumps of shampoo when washing our hair. But the harsh truth is that shampoo strips your hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry. To prevent that from happening, dilute 1-2 pumps of shampoo in half a mug of water and then use that to wash your hair.
- Gently massage: Don’t rub your head harshly when shampooing it. Instead, gently massage your scalp and hair with your fingers in small, circular motions while shampooing it to prevent excessive tangling and damage.
- Apply conditioner only on the ends: A big mistake I made for the longest time was applying conditioner all over my hair from root to tip. However, I have since learned that doing so can create a lot of buildup on your scalp. So, apply conditioner only from the mid-length to the ends of your hair and wash it off after 2 minutes.
- Don’t wash your hair every day: The last and most important tip for washing your hair is this – Don’t. Wash. Your. Hair. Every. Day. While you may think you are being very hygienic, all this will do is dehydrate and damage your hair, strip it of its natural oils, and make it more prone to breakage and hair fall.
2. Tips For Drying Your Hair
You may not know this, but there is a high chance that you are unleashing a world of damage on your hair while brushing and drying it. So, here’s a few things you need to keep in mind once you step out of the shower:
- Use a microfiber towel: Pre-dry your hair with a microfiber towel once you step out of the shower. Avoid using a terrycloth towel as it can tangle your hair too much, increase frizz, and cause it to break.
- Avoid blow drying: The heat from blow dryers damage your hair just as much as heat styling tools do. So it’s best to apply a leave-in conditioner all over your damp hair and let it air-dry.
- Blow dry only after your hair is partially dry: If you absolutely cannot stop using a blow dryer, then just make this one simple adjustment. Blowdry your hair once it is 70% dry. This gives time for your hair cuticle to close up and will reduce the heat damage.
3. Tips For Brushing Your Hair
Yes, there is a bit more nuance to brushing your hair than going straight at it with the hairbrush/comb of your choice every morning. After all, knots and tangles are a major cause for hair breakage. So, here’s what you need to do:
- Detangle in the shower: Detangle your hair in the shower with a wide toothed comb while there’s conditioner in it. This is when your hair is soft and malleable, thus making it easier and less painful to detangle it.
- Use a boar bristle brush or wide toothed comb: If you’ve been using a round brush or metal brush to detangle your hair, then you need to stop right away. Those brushes are meant to be used when you are blow drying your hair. For everyday use, opt for a boar bristle brush, wide toothed comb or stagger toothed comb to remove the knots and tangles from your hair.
- Detangle from the ends to the scalp: You may not know this, but detangling your hair from roots to ends can create more knots and ultimately lead to more breakage. The correct way to go about it is to start a few inches above the ends and brush downwards, slowly working your way up to the scalp.
4. Tips For Heat Styling Your Hair
I won’t sugarcoat this for you. There are just two things you need to keep in mind when you use you use heat styling tools like the curling wand or straightening iron on your hair.
- Avoid heat styling: While it is best that you stopped using heat styling tools altogether, I know it can be impossible for a lot of you out there. So, a good compromise is to limit your heat styling to once or twice a week. After all, applying heat to your hair too often can cause split ends and damage to your hair.
- Apply heat protectant: Always, always, always apply a heat protectant to your hair before straightening or curling it. This acts as a barrier between your hair and the heat, thus protecting your tresses from untold damage.
5. Tips To Protect Your Hair From The Sun And Pollution
You may not know this but every time you step out, your hair is being bombarded by the sun and the innumerable pollutants floating around in the air. So, it’s super important that you take some steps to protect your precious tresses from them:
- Wear a hat/scarf: Cover your hair when you step outdoors, especially during summers. A hat or a scarf can go a long way in protecting your hair from intense sun damage.
- Don’t step out with oily/wet hair: Don’t step out right after you’ve oiled or washed your hair as it can make dust and dirt stick to it.
- Use a hair sunscreen: Invest in a hair sunscreen and use it religiously to protect your hair from the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun.
- Tie up your hair: Leaving your hair open and loose when outdoors can make it more prone to dryness and damage. So, tie up your air when heading out into the world.
- Deep condition: Deep condition your hair at least once a week to restore cleanse your scalp completely and restore moisture back into your dull, dry hair.
6. Tips For Styling Your Hair
There are just a couple of things you need to keep in mind when styling your hair. These include:
- Use soft hair elastics: Only use soft hair elastics when tying up your hair. Avoid using rubber bands and the hair elastics that have a metal clasp in the middle as they can tug on your hair and cause breakage.
- Don’t tie your hair up tightly: Don’t tie your hair up in very tight braids, buns, or ponytails as it can damage your hair and hair follicles and cause hair fall. Besides which, they can give you a raging headache.
7. Tips For Hair Care At Night
We tend to take care of our hair all through the day but jump straight in the bed without paying heed to how you could be damaging your hair while you sleep. So here are a few things you should be mindful of before falling asleep:
- Tie your hair up loosely: Tie your hair up loosely with a soft hair elastic or bandana if you like sleeping with your hair tied up. Tight ponytails and buns can pull at your hair and cause them to break as you toss and turn at night.
- Use a silk scarf/pillowcase: Wrap a silk scarf around your head or sleep on a silk/satin pillowcase. Cotton pillowcases tend to be more abrasive to your hair and cause frizz and breakage.
- Moisturize the ends: Rub a little bit of any hair oil of your choice (olive oil, almond oil, and argan oil work best) on the ends of your hair before going to bed to give them an extra moisturizing boost.
8. Simple Natural Treatments For Nourishing Your Hair
Yes, it is important that you use the right shampoo, conditioner, and styling products on your tresses. But, you also need to give your hair some of nature’s love by treating it to some natural home remedies. Here are a few that you can whip up in just a few minutes with things that you probably already have in your kitchen:
- Condition Your Hair With Olive Oil: Warm a little bit of olive oil in a glass bowl and massage it onto your scalp. Leave the oil in for 45 minutes before washing your hair as per usual.
- Apple Cider Vinegar Mask For Dry, Damaged Hair: Mix 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 3 egg whites together and apply it all over your hair. Put on a shower cap and leave this hair mask on for 30 minutes before shampooing your hair.
- Yogurt For Dull Hair: Dampen your hair and massage half a cup of yogurt onto it. Leave it on for 20 minutes before shampooing your hair as usual.
- Castor Oil To Reduce Hairfall: Massage some castor oil onto your scalp, and from the roots to tips of your hair. Leave it on for half an hour, and then wash it off with shampoo. You may have to shampoo twice to completely remove castor oil from your hair.
- Henna To Repair Split Ends: Mix half a bowl of henna powder, 4 teaspoons avocado oil, an egg and some water to form a thick paste. Apply this henna paste all over your hair and leave it on for 2 hours before washing it off with lukewarm water.
9. Foods To Include In Your Diet For Healthy Hair
A lot of hair care may seem to involve applying some stuff or doing some other things to it. But, in reality, a major part of hair care is dependent on what kind of food you eat. So here are a few things that you can include in your diet to boost your hair health:
- Eggs: The protein provided by eggs is a major source of nutrition and growth for your hair.
- Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits like lemon, lime, and orange are a great source of vitamin C and boost the production of collagen that is essential for the strength and growth of your hair.
- Dry fruits and nuts: Munching on dry fruits as a snack is a great idea because they contain omega-3 fatty acids that nourish and thicken your hair.
- Green leafy vegetables: Green leafy vegetables like spinach are a great source of iron that nourishes your hair roots and follicles, and thus, aid hair growth.
- Carrot: This root vegetable provides vitamin A that is essential for the production of the natural oil sebum that nourishes your hair.
- Avocado: The vitamin E provided by avocado helps maintain oil levels and pH balance on your scalp that ensures your hair follicles don’t get clogged up and stop hair growth.
- Whole grains: Whole grains provide a range of nutrients like iron, biotin, zinc and B vitamins that are essential for hair growth.
So, that’s that ladies! A few (OK, maybe more than a few) hair care tips to keep in mind to ensure the health of your hair. Did any of them take you by surprise? Comment below to let us know!
Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions
Q: Is it okay to comb your hair in the shower?
A: Yes, it is okay to comb your hair in the shower as long as you’re doing it after applying some conditioner to it.
Q: What would happen if you brush your hair too much?
A: Brushing your hair too much can cause frizz and breakage.
Q: Is it okay to wash your hair twice in one day?
A: No, you should avoid washing your hair twice in one day as it can dehydrate and damage your hair.
Q: Is it better to comb or brush curly hair?
A: It’s better to comb your curly hair as brushing it can ruin your curl pattern and make it frizzy.
Q: Is it better to let your hair air dry?
A: Yes, it is better to let your hair air dry as the heat from the blow dryer can damage your hair.