Beautiful hair is about more than finding the right shine serum. Just like skin, hair requires mindful care, gentle treatment, and a nutritious and balanced diet. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation about haircare floating around—and I’ve certainly bought into some of it! Luckily, the following pro tips about best hair care routine practices can help straighten us out (in some cases, literally—see tip #6!).
1. Don’t Go Overboard with Dry Shampoo—Washing Is Your Friend (Really!)
Dry shampoo and Millennials go together like toast and avo-mash, but scalp and hair expert Anabel Kingsley warns against putting off actually shampooing for too long. When you have too much buildup in your hair (whether that’s from natural oils, styling products, leave-ins, or dry shampoo), you may be more at risk for hair loss, scalp irritation, impeded hair growth, and general dullness. Aim to wash hair at least every three days, and work in a clarifying shampoo every four weeks.
If buildup is still an issue, try this simple yet game-changing baking soda mask.
2. Get Regular Trims
Although it may seem counterintuitive, getting regular trims is a smart move if you’re looking to grow your hair out. Getting a snip every two months will help prevent split ends from traveling up the hair shaft and making damage worse.
To protect split ends from developing or worsening between trims, condition damp ends with a few drops of argan oil. Argan oil is rich in hair-loving fatty acids and vitamin E and arguably belongs in every hair care routine!
3. A Healthy Hair Care Routine Begins with Your Diet
While many shampoos and conditioners may promise to “feed your hair” with their trace amounts of superfood oils and other buzzy ingredients, your hair is best served by a healthy diet. Kingsley explains, “taking in the right nutrients for your hair is necessary for normal growth and maintenance. If you are vitamin-deficient, it usually shows up in your hair first.” Follow a diet that prioritizes a variety of whole versus processed foods. Make sure you’re getting enough protein (it’s what hair is made of) as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which condition the scalp from the inside out.
Indulge in this high-protein tahini date shake.
4. Masks Aren’t Just For Dry Hair
Your hair doesn’t have to be severely damaged or dry to benefit from a hair mask. Even oily hair can benefit from a lightly conditioning mask. Indeed, the right mask will make your hair softer, shinier, and more manageable. Leave your mask on for at least 20 minutes or, for maximum conditioning, leave it in overnight.
Oilier hair types may benefit from aloe-based CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture for Face, Neck, and Scalp. This natural, synthetic fragrance-free formula is also a great choice for those with sensitive scalps.
Dry, curly, or damaged hair will drink up something richer, like Beija-Flor Cocoa Mango Buttercream, a whipped blend of plant butters that deeply penetrate desperate strands.
5. You Don’t Need That Much Protein (In Your Products!)
Contrary to popular belief, protein-laden products, like keratin treatments aren’t the hair panacea they’ve been made out to be. Too much exposure to protein-rich hair products can actually cause build up, stiffness, and brittleness, leading to breakage. Limit use of these products to once a week.
6. The Right Tools are Worth the Investment
While it’s smart to avoid the use of hot tools when possible, sometimes a great blowout or a set of shiny curls is just needed. Just as you do with your shampoo, do a little shopping around for good quality hot tools. Paying just a tad more for a higher-end hot tool can make a big difference in the longevity of your hair. Of course, I don’t mean that we should all shell out for $400 products! Rather, look for a few special qualities in your tools.
The bottom line is to seek tools that maintain an even heat, so your hair is exposed to heat for less time. When it comes to blow dryers, look for one with a 1600-watt (or greater) motor, which should help minimize the time it takes to dry your hair.
“I usually like ceramic, but it depends on how coarse or curly your hair is. For softer hair, I would go with ceramic, for medium curls I would go for titanium, and I would use tourmaline for the coarsest hair. Tourmaline is able to hold the heat and direct it in the most effective way for coarse or super curly hair. It straightens it out in the best way, giving it a smoother, shinier finish, more so than any other hot tool material.”
There you have it! Stylist-approved updates to your hair care routine! What are your healthy hair secrets?
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