Hair can be such a fickle mistress; there’s such a fine line between glossy hair perfection and hair disaster. One wrong move and you’re looking at either an oil slick or a frizz ball, and hearing yourself saying “welp, I guess it’s head scarf day again today”.
Here are a few tips to keep your hair the healthiest it can be.
Don’t shampoo too often (and use the right shampoo)
It may seem logical to keep your hair squeaky clean in order to stimulate growth, but in reality, that’s not the case. See, some shampoos have a lot of harsh soaps in it that nix all the good oils you need for strong and healthy hair. Look for a shampoo specifically for stronger, healthier hair growth, such as Bondi Boost HG Shampoo ($32).
And only lather at the scalp
You really don’t need to shampoo your hair from roots to ends. Focus on the scalp and let the water wash the formula down to the tips of your hair, that’s all they need. Too many suds on the ends will dry them out BAD.
Use plenty of conditioner
And on that note, conditioner is your very best friend. Here, you wanna FOCUS on the ends, as the natural oils from your scalp never make it down there.
Rinse conditioner out with COLD water
Yeah look, it might be chilly, and it might not be the most pleasant way to end a warm shower but rinsing your hair with cold water is the business. It smooths down the outer layer of your hair shaft much more than hot water will. Why do you wanna do this? Because it prevents unwanted moisture loss and helps heal heat damage (caused by straightening, blow-drying, etc.). Don’t fret, there’s no need to spend long under chilly water… just a quick blast oughta do the trick.
Only brush your DRY hair
When your hair is wet, it’s super prone to breakage, and ripping a brush through that post-shampoo mess is likely to snap off more than a few strands.
Sleep on a silk pillowcase
Apart from feeling goddamn gorgeous on your skin, silk pillowcases help prevent the friction that causes matting, tangles and breakage. Try Slip Silk Pillowcase ($85).
Don’t do the towel hair wrap thing
Towels have lots of little loops and bristly bits just waiting to tangle with your tresses and cause mass breakage. After all, the hairs around your hairline are so damn fragile and easy to damage. Instead, opt for a microfibre towel or even a t-shirt to wrap up those locks. Try Aquis Lisse Rapid Dry Hair Turban, ($46).
Go easy with the heat tools
Hopefully it’s no surprise to you that heat is damaging to hair, so you don’t wanna overdo the heat and styling tools. If you really can’t live without your precious straightener, hairdryer or curling wand, please please please use a protective spray. Try Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer (from $18).
Get regular trims
It might seem a bit weird to advocate making hair shorter in order to make it longer, but it really does help. Every time you trim the ends off your hair, you’re getting rid of split ends which halt growth. My amazing hairdresser recommends trimming off one eighth of an inch off every 10-12 weeks to keep ends healthy and hair a-growing.
Main Image: @jvn
About the author
Elizabeth Best is a journalist, beauty expert, foodie and travel lover with a mild obsession for all things shimmery. She likes long walks down the makeup aisle and you can follow her adventures on Instagram @thebeautypalate.