Taking care of your hair can be quite a task. Everyone’s hair looks, feels and behaves differently, and therefore, has different requirements for its care as well.
People often check social media to see if there are any tips or hacks to ensure every day is a good hair day. The hashtag ‘HairTok’ on TikTok has almost 54 billion views, with thousands of hair care hacks under the tag.
But do they all actually work? Hair extension experts at Cliphair have shared with HuffPost UK the hacks that actually work, and which ones you should avoid.
Works — Rice Water for Hair Growth
People have been using rice water on their hair for centuries. Rice water contains eight of the amino acids that are needed for the production of keratin, which encourages hair growth, vitamin B, which keeps the hair strong, and vitamin E which prevents hair loss and smooths frizz.
You can make your own rice water by filling up a jar with a cup of white rice and two or three cups of water. Leave the rice to soak in the water at room temperature for at least an hour (ideally twelve to twenty-four hours). Strain the rice and leave the water in the jar to ferment for one to three days.
When you’re ready to use it, shampoo, rinse, and towel dry your hair. Make sure the hair is completely saturated, and massage it into the hair and scalp. Leave on the hair for thirty minutes to an hour before rinsing thoroughly.
Use it once or twice a week for best results.
Doesn’t Work — Heated Hair Band Removal
Those elastic hair ties are great if you want to tie your hair up without something visible. But they can take a chunk of your hair out too when you take them off.
Using a straightener or a curler to melt the elastic off sounds good on paper, but it can damage your hair. Instead, a tiny drip of lemon essential oil can make the elastic break without any heat damage to your hair.
Works — Slugging
Hair slugging involves sleeping with oils and conditioning products on the ends of your hair to lock in moisture and improve texture. It works, but you need to be careful about what products you choose.
One of the best ways to bring your hair back to life is using oils, as deep conditioners can cause product buildup. Coconut oil is full of hydrating omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E that can help with dry hair. Just don’t use it too often as it can lead to a protein build-up and cause your hair to become more brittle.
Other oils you can use are olive oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil and argan oil.
To slug your hair, brush your hair and apply your oil of choice to the mid-lengths and ends. Wrap your hair in something to keep the oils in and protect the hair from friction – like a silk headscarf or a clean fluffy sock.
This hack is especially useful for hair extensions that don’t benefit from your scalp’s natural oils, and can keep them looking their best for longer.
Doesn’t Work — Dry Shampoo on Clean, Wet Hair
Dry shampoo usually helps you space out your hair washes and save you a lot of time in the mornings. But the hack of applying it to clean, wet hair before the grease even forms is not a good idea.
It can lead to product build up which can lead to clogged pores and dandruff.
Works — Tips on Washing Hair Extensions
The viral hack of only washing the top section of your hair while keeping your hair extensions (including taped in ones) tied up at the back is very effective. It saves you time and increases the life of your extensions.
The top section of your hair is the part that generally looks greasy the quickest, so the bottom part can usually go a few days longer in between washes. As your extensions don’t benefit from the natural oils your scalp produces like your natural hair does, over-washing them can cause them to dry out and show signs of damage.
The best way to wash your hair extensions is to first brush them so they’re not knotted while washing. Use sulphate and alcohol-free products to avoid removing natural oils and drying out the hair.
Use a conditioner with every wash, applying only to the mid-lengths and ends of the hair. Avoid using it at the roots as this can loosen the tapes or nano-rings and cause them to slip out.
Use warm water before you apply any products so that it penetrates into your hair strands, and cool water while rinsing to lock the moisture in.