12 things to know if you want to achieve beautiful hair
I don’t have great hair, and I honestly don’t put much effort into trying to achieve that look either. I get haircuts twice a year, and have never had any treatment done (yes, not even a colouring job). I only know two hair styles - up in a ponytail, or down. Except for my hairbrush, I have zero styling tools and very few dedicated hair products. Even my shampoo is a 2-in-1 with conditioner! In spite of my simple routine, my hair feels somewhat healthy. It is not shiny or high-impact, but it feels balanced.
Just like skin care, a hair care regimen varies from person to person. Your routine and product choice all boil down to your personal needs and preferences, but there are some basic tips that are applicable to all of us. Follow these pro hair tips for your best hair ever!
1. Avoid using hot tools. We’ve been hearing this one for the longest time, but some of us just can’t leave our hair be. And I get it, sometimes hair feels impossible to style without heating tools. If you really must, slather on a protective serum first before letting that hairdryer or hot iron come into contact with your hair. You can also try using steam rollers, as the heat is not as harsh but the effect is pretty much the same.
2. When out in the sun, use hats or umbrellas. Just as heat from styling tools can inflict damage on your hair, so can heat from the sun! Over-exposure to the sun will not only make your scalp burn, it will also dry out and oxidize your hair. Protect your hair (and skin!) with a hat or an umbrella. Hats also have the added benefit of making you look extra chic.
3. Get regular cuts or trims. It may seem counterintuitive when you’re trying to grow your hair, but regular trimming actually help hair grow faster. Without split ends to worry about, the growth is more likely to be strong and healthy enough to achieve the length you want.
4. Go natural as often as you can. Aside from allowing your hair to air-dry as often as possible, you need to let your hair out of the ponytail or headband from time to time. This reduces traction and pressure on the hair shaft, and reduces the risk of damage.
5. Deep condition every week. Just like our skin, our hair needs moisture, and what better way to give it that than to use a deep conditioner? Usually, this is what saves bleached or overly treated hair from becoming a dry and brittle mess. A hydrating hair mask will also do the same.
6. Avoid hot water in the shower. By now we can see a pattern emerging: hair doesn’t benefit from major heat! Warm water is okay, since heat helps to open up the pores and the cuticle of the hair shaft, and allows it to absorb conditioner more easily. But if the water is too hot, your hair can get extremely porous and become dry and brittle instead. For best results, begin your shower with warm water, and then rinse with cold water to seal in the moisture.
7. Wash hair often. Yes, this goes against some advice to wash your hair only every other day, but some experts say it is ok to wash your hair daily. It all depends on your hair type and the products you use. Washing your hair daily has its benefits - it keeps your hair clean, makes your scalp less likely to break out, and helps to moisturize and maintain hair health, given that you use the right products.
8. Know the right amount of product to use and where to use it. It is best to concentrate shampoo on your scalp where product buildup is most present, and concentrate conditioner on the mid-shaft to the tips to moisturize the ends and prevent your hair from getting weighed down.
9. Brush the right way. Slowly move your way up! Remove tangles and knots from the tips first before attempting to brush the mid-shaft and then the scalp. This way, you’re less likely to damage the hair shaft or cause yourself unnecessary pain.
10. Take care of your scalp as you would your face. This is common sense - a healthy scalp ensures that your hair can grow out more easily and beautifully. Don’t insist on products that make your scalp break out or flake up. Not only is it bad for your overall hair health, it is also damnably painful (like, expletives-inducing kind of painful) whenever you accidentally hit your comb or brush on a scalp zit.
11. Stay loyal to a brand. If you find what works for you, stick to it! It’s a common misconception that switching up brands benefit your hair by preventing it from building tolerance. Experts say that your hair can neither discriminate between brands nor build tolerance, so stick with what makes your hair feel healthy and amazing.
12. Eat the right food. Experts suggest eating food rich in protein, iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids to stimulate the growth of hair follicles. Food rich in vitamin C, niacin and biotin are also good for hair health.
Personally, I do 10/12! Not bad, I guess. How many were you able to tick off this list? Any other hair care tips you’d like to share?