Photo Credit: Sweethearts Hair
We have all been guilty of stressing our hair to its limits. Whether it be through bleaching, straightening, chemical processing or even just a lack of conditioning. There are so many treatments and hair care products available to us now. And we are bombarded by so much information that it can be hard to determine which pieces of advice would actually be relevant to our hair type. There are also many factors outside of just the origin of our hair that will determine the best ways to care for it. However, there are a few top tips that can help maintain a good hair care routine that will give you long and healthy growing hair.
Use A Hair Mask Regularly
Photo Credit: SweetHearts Hair
Hair masks are essentially; a very powerful conditioner that will deeply penetrate your hair. These high viscosity treatments form thick layers on the hair, keeping it moisturised and often contain natural oils. The hydrating action of a good hair mask will reduce hair breakage and strengthen its ability to grow.
Even if you consider your hair to be in good health, it is advisable to use a hair mask once a week and leave it in for longer than you would your normal conditioner. Times do vary from brand to brand but 10-15 minutes is normally a good amount of time for the best results.
Ditch The Sulphates
You may have noticed sulphates as a bit of a buzzword lately. More and more brands are launching their 'sulphate free' hair products. If like me you've thought - so what on earth have I been using on my hair before? Then here's the lowdown!
Sulphates are chemicals called surfactants which are commonly used in washing and cosmetic liquids. They are used because they easily spread the liquid through the solid surface of your hair. Recognised as the foaming action we see, this also allows for the removal of oil and dirt. However, surfactants are a chemical compound which erode the natural keratin in your hair. It then leaves a residue that strongly binds to the keratin and creates a newer hair surface; shielding it from natural oil penetration. This can make your hair dry and brittle in the long term. Always opt for sulphate free hair shampoos and conditioners to retain the natural balance in your hair.
Be Careful With Wet Hair
Hair is extremely strong. Except of course, when its wet. You may have noticed that much of the hair you lose happens after a shower. This is because each strand is enclosed in a protective armour called the cuticle. When wet, the cuticle actually stretches causing it to become fragile and weak. Stretched to its limits, it can splinter and cause deformities; making your hair feel rough and dry.
To avoid this there are a few crucial things to remember. After washing, always blot the hair, never rub it. Then detangle your hair with a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to avoid the stretching of the cuticles. A detangler spray is recommended evenly throughout the entire hair. Then blow dry on a medium to cool setting to avoid heat damage. It's important never to sleep with wet hair also as trying to detangle in the morning will most certainly cause your hair distress.
Don't Encourage Tangles
This one will come as no surprise to anyone to has very thick hair or wears hair extensions. Working from the nape of the neck you should section off your hair and style it a bit at a time. Running a brush through your entire hair (even a detangler) will not only drag aggressively on the cuticles but also allow other potential tangles to go unchecked and become more entwined.
This can easily happen when you throw your hair up constantly in a messy bun. We've all done it when we're busy. Then when you take it out, it's greasy in the roots, dry at the ends and matted in the middle. Also if the style is tied up very tight, this leads to further hair breakage and hair loss.
Too Much Of A Good Thing
Dry shampoo has definitely saved my hair on many occasions and it wouldn't be something I could really live without. However over-use of this sort of product plugs the pores and will start to mix with the natural oils in the hair. Too much of a reliance can also cause you to not wash your hair as often as you should potentially causing skin irritation in some cases.
There are other solutions for a quick-fix volume solution such as a Volumiser Hot tool, easy braiding hairstyles and hair pieces you can add in. It's important to give some thought to the potential stress you may be putting on your hair by becoming complacent with your hair care routine. Getting long, healthy-living hair doesn't have to put a great amount of additional time onto your normal routine. It's more about being more aware of the things that will, slowly but surely, cause long-term damage to your look and feel of your mane. The right products and the right habits will most certainly unlock the potential of your hair and strengthen it for many years to come.
Photo Credit: SweetHearts Hair