Hey. Hair is important. And hair care is one of the most vital milestones to having healthy, beautiful hair.
Obviously other influences play into it – the food you eat (something you can control), the environment you live in (not so easy to control), genetics (out of control in general) and whatnot. Still, hair care is the most important part of your hair looking lush and gorge.
I didn’t care for my hair for a very long time, personally – I’d spent most of my teenage years using whatever shampoo I’d get, burning it away with hair irons, not trimming the ends on time; it never looked outright dastardly, but it didn’t look (or, even more so, feel) its best, either.
So what is it that you and I both should look out for when it comes to hair care?
Ingredients to avoid
The obvious and most improtant part of your hair care routine should be vigilance when it comes to ingredients. On the one hand it’s annoying, of course, but on the other it’s becoming progressively easier all the time – seen how certain composition and ingredients (or lack of thereof) are now the major selling points.
There’s a number of ingredients to look out for; let’s look at the most important ones.
A lot of different kinds of alcohol can make it into a lot of beauty products – be they hair care, skin care and a lot more. The issue is – alcohols are always super drying, and that’s never good. It makes your hair brittle, it makes it suffer, it makes your scalp flake… you really don’t want any of that.
Especially avoid isopropyl alcohol – that stuff goes into antifreeze. Seriously.
Can make you lose your hair. Can act as carcinogens. Can irritate your skin. Exclude out of your hair care routine whenever you can – for your own good. Usually found in both shampoos and hair conditioners, so do check both.
This stuff is so bad it was banned from toy manufacturing in America. However – surprise! – phtalates can still be found in a number of hair care products. Now, the ban should indicate how not-good it is, right?
These fellas make your hair look healthy without actually making it feel healthy. They clog your pores and coat your scalp, creating an outer shine with no inner substance. If you must use something with silicones (to protect your hair from straightening equipment, for example) make sure to only apply the products to the ends of your hair. Keep it away from your skin!
Sulfates are what make your shampoos really foamy and nice. The thing is, your shampoo doesn’t need to be extra foamy to actually work. There’s a number of different kinds of sulfates, but they’re all kinda bad. Depending on how sensitive your skin and hair are, they can do anything from making your hair look dead and dry, to giving you rashes and burning your scalp.
In addition, if you have wavy and/or curly hair naturally, sulfates really make curls fall apart, making your hair look like you spent twenty minutes brushing it meticulously to create the lovely cloud look. Mwah.
Habits to adopt
A proper hair care routine, just like a proper skin care routine, doesn’t just revolve around ingredients, however. It also involves what you do to your hair and how you do it.
I’m obviously not the hair police. I’m not going to go into rash advice like ‘never dye it!’ or ‘dry it with a freshly washed towel every single time!’ – I know that’s impossible. However, some tricks I’ve picked up and managed to adopt for myself without too much effort are:
Don’t wash your hair too often: That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wash it at all. Please wash your hair. The feeling of greay hair is absolutely revolting for your own self, first and foremost. Somehow, greasy hair really makes you think that everything in your life is wrong.
Regardless, the more often you wash it, the more actively you’ll end up washing out both the greasiness that you don’t need, and the natural oils that you do, in fact, need for your hair to be healthy. Try to stretch the time you go without shampoo a little – by a couple of days in-between, at least.
Dry shampoo will help you with the abovementioned advice.
Use natural shampoos: Shea butter, argan oil, coconut butter and a myriad of other ingredients that you could include into your hair care can absolutely transform the way your hair looks and behaves. For me it was shea butter, but everybody’s hair has its own needs – read up on hair types and recommended ingredients!
Go on shampoo ‘detoxes’: Listen, I know this may sound slightly bizarre, but that’s the reality of it. Even if you found your perfect shampoo that gives you everything you’ve ever wanted, it’s important to sometimes switch it up – otherwise your hair gets too used to the same product and stops reacting to it.
Comb through your hair in the shower: Combing wet hair may sound like a nightmare. And it is. Unless you apply hair conditioner first.
Put some conditioner into your hair (never onto the scalp though, just the lengths!) and run through it with a comb or a detangler. This helps you comb your hair easily without damaging it, helps with spreading the product evenly, and helps people with curly hair comb through their hair without making it look like, well, that.
Use a microfiber towel to dry your hair: This sounds annoying, but in reality you just need an extra towel. Microfiber towels allow to reduce frizz and help your hair hold its shape together better, thus being an important part of your hair care habits/routine.
Trim your hair regularly: A piece of advice as old as time, that often gets overlooked by girls that try to grow their hair out. Spoiler alert: the more regularly you trim your hair => the healthier it is => the faster it grows. I swear. I know that because I try to keep it short and, frankly, I’m getting tired of cutting it this often.