Most of us have that one friend (or friend of a friend) who uses some basic shampoo, can’t be bothered with conditioners and thinks hair treatments are a waste of money and time. And she has great hair. Well, some people simply win the genetic lottery in this regard and there’s no need to waste time comparing.
If you aren’t one of those lucky lucky ones, I suppose you aren’t a stranger to the struggle of trying making your hair feel smoother, seem thicker and simply be more balanced from roots to ends. While there’s no magic wand-like solution for this and hair maintenance will affect your budget and add to your beauty routine significantly, there are ways to make your
Know Your Texture Type and Treat it Right
No matter how lovely, informative and entertaining your favourite girl talk you-tubers/influences are, unless they have the same hair type as you, you should do your own research and avoid buying products they recommend just because you love their style and content. Hair types can differ so much that one may require very frequent washing for optimal health, whereas for another kind that might be detrimental.
Women with curly hair, for instance, often wash their hair way too often and then have to use a lot of hair beauty products to keep it moisturised, which tends to weigh the hair down and make it feel greasy a lot quicker, which leads to more frequent washing, all leading up to a vicious cycle.
Women with straight hair are more likely to have oily hair since the natural oils can be distributed easily from the roots down near the ends. There is a vast grey area regarding this aspect (depending on the level of thickness) however, in general, this hair type requires more frequent washing and is a bit more resilient.
This is the naturally “beachy hair” and it is easily manageable. Some women might have loose spiral curls among the waves. While with this type there are many good hair days, many women struggle with frizz.
Curly hair is prone to frizz, no matter how coarse or soft. However, using the right styling products can help minimize or prevent it completely. Proper care amounts to luscious and bouncy curls.
This type of texture can often appear “wiry.” The curls are tightly coiled in S or Z shape. Women with this type of hair usually keep it shorter for easier maintenance. This type of hair can get dehydrated the most compared to other types cause the natural oils can’t reach further than a centimeter or two from the root. It is recommended that women with this hair texture use moisturising oils.
Note: Apart from texture, hair types differ in thickness and also scalp condition. Women with sensitive scalps might benefit from using products with tea tree oil. The easiest way to reap the benefit of this oil is to use a sensitive scalp shampoo where it’s one of the active ingredients.
Add Hair Treatments to Your Routine
Many of us have tried using homemade natural treatments and while they can be beneficial, the hassle of preparing them often outweighs the results. Also, they lack ingredients such as pathenol which has the ability to attach to the surface, thus help repair damaged cuticle layers.
Giving your hair regular treatments can help you render it less frizzy (if it’s curly/coily) and less oily (if it’s straight/wavy) in the long run since these are merely external sigs of imbalance. Treatments help make the best out of your natural texture, provided the products you choose are packed with rich and nourishing components. Some of the most common conditioning and protective ingredients present in quality treatment hair products are: vitamin E, Aloe vera, chamomile, rosemary, shea butter and jojoba.
Note: These hair products should be used on a weekly basis and within a month, there’ll be some significant differences. Treatments are usually applied in small amounts to clean, damp hair. They ought to be rinsed after 3-5 minutes.
Look for Moisturising Ingredients
Both Dry and Oily Hair
Both dry and oily hair require proper hydration. Apart from masks and conditioners that contain hydrating ingredients such as olive oil, coconut oil, Aloe vera and honey, you can also start using hair mists. For best results, go for one that contains lactic acid and sodium PCA (a naturally-occurring component responsible for the moisture binding properties of human skin).
Note: Avoid washing your hair with water that’s too hot and avoid drying it with stiff towels (and use less force). Air drying is your best friend for retaining moisture, but since it’s not always possible, at least make sure you dry your hair using a lower setting and hold the dryer at an appropriate distance (usually 15 cm).
Use the Middle Ground Approach to the Surfactants Debate
While it’s true that surfactants strip hair from its natural defenses, thus making it more prone to breakage, not all of them are made the same. For instance, Coco Glucoside is a mild one, whereas sulphates such as SLES – Sodium Laureth Sulphate, SLS – Sodium Lauryl Sulphate are quite harsh. Using conventional shampoos that rely on the later type can prevent the hair from maintaining its own natural barrier since these act as detergents and while you may feel that your hair is extra clean after the wash, it can also be extra dehydrated.
Now the middle ground approach is to use a daily shampoo that has mild surfactants for your frequent washing needs and a conventional shampoo that contains sulphates twice a month (if you have straight/wavy hair) and once a month (if your hair is curly/coily).
This approach will enable you to get the best of both world – the stronger shampoo can help you get rid of some product buildup that’s very likely to cling to your hair if you style it frequently, whereas on a more day to day basis, the mild shampoo can help you keep your hair smelling amazing and keep it in an optimal clean condition.
Note: There are mild surfactants able to produce lather, but you might have to forgo the pleasure of mountains of foam. The less foam there is, the better for your scalp and hair in general.