Our hair is like a hat we can never take off, so it makes sense that a lot of people want to do what they can to make sure their hair looks (and ideally is) healthy. And while yes, getting regular trims can cut down on split ends and other troubles, they’re not always a possibility — whether it’s because you’re extremely busy and all about that dry shampoo, never seem to get around to the salon when it’s actually open, or there’s something like a global pandemic that can cause everything to shut down for months on end. And while salons are considered “non-essential,” keeping up with your hair care and maintenance is essential if you want to keep it healthy. Here are a few quick beauty tips for keeping your hair healthy, regardless of the type.
Know Your Hair Type
Before we get into specifics, it helps to understand a few key factors. According to Healthline, these are:
- Your hair type and texture
- How often you use hair products
- Your activity level
Once you’ve figured that out — and factored in your personal preferences — you’ll have a better idea of things like how frequently should you wash your hair (depending on whether it’s usually dry, oily, or a combination of the two).
No matter your hair type, getting those regular trims, avoid washing it every day (we’re looking at you oily hair types, no matter how tempting it may be), and load up on antioxidant rich foods and don’t forget your vitamins.
Brush Your Hair Before You Wash It
For most hair types, it’s a good idea to brush your hair out before hopping in the shower. “When your hair is wet it is more vulnerable to breakage,” Sunnie Brook, a Los Angeles-based celebrity hair dresser tells Good Housekeeping, “so always brush knots out of your hair when it’s dry.” Brushing your hair when it’s dry (regardless of whether or not it’s immediately before a shower) helps distribute its natural oils, so they aren’t all stuck on your scalp and can condition the ends.
Pay Attention to Ingredients in Products
Again, regardless of hair type, you should check the ingredients in any products before they go on your hair. To start with, try to avoid shampoos, conditioners, and other treatments that contain parabens, formaldehyde, and sulphates that can each damage your hair and/or scalp in different ways. And while you’re reading that label, if you see ingredients like coconut oil, Argan oil, aloe, or spirulina, those can help your hair look especially healthy.
Use Conditioner (But Not Too Much)
Though it can be tempting to think that more conditioner is better, that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, unless your hair is super long, a dollop of conditioner the size of a nickel is plenty. “Apply your conditioner first to the mid-shaft and ends of your hair; then work your way up to the scalp,” Brook tells Good Housekeeping. And make sure to keep the conditioner on for at least a minute (2 to 3 minutes is even better) to let it sink in and work its magic. Also, you may not need to use conditioner every time you wash your hair. Experiment with this a little to find out what works best for you. And, as the AAD points out, you should make sure that you coat the ends of your hair with conditioner because they are the oldest and most fragile part of your hair.