You want the perfect head of hair, and yet you treat it like your enemy with over-styling and too many products. With all the chemical and physical abuse you put your hair through, no wonder it won’t cooperate. Damaged hair is dry and brittle, and it looks dull and frizzy. Give your hair a little TLC to treat and help prevent damaged hair in the future.
Sally Hershberger, executive style director for John Frieda/Sheer Blond, recommends washing hair every two to three days to prevent stripping hair of natural moisturizers. Apply conditioner to the ends of hair so as not to weigh hair down at the roots and make it look limp. Choose a conditioner with silicones to smooth, amino acids to strengthen, pro-vitamins to moisturize and mineral oils to protect. Use a deep-conditioner once a week. If you are an avid swimmer, Rodney Cutler of Cutler salons in New York City suggests using a shampoo specifically designed to break down chlorine two to three times per week.
Brushing your hair 100 times a day doesn’t make it thick and lustrous, but it does cause split ends and breakage. Starting at the ends and working your way to the root, use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair. Never use a brush on wet hair, as it can cause it to pull and break. Use a brush with soft, smooth bristles on dry hair versus one with plastic balls on the ends. Finally, only brush hair enough to style it.
Over-styling with blow dryers, curling irons and flat irons can sap moisture out of your hair and leave it feeling rough and brittle. Before drying hair, wrap it in a towel to soak up most of the moisture. Apply a product containing dimethicone, which protects hair from heat, and then dry hair on a warm setting. Choose styling tools that are ceramic plated, which heat more evenly and prevent scorching. Replace tools at least once every five years before the heating element fizzles out.
Harsh chemicals in hair color open the shaft, making hair more porous and susceptible to damage. If you must color your hair, choose a semi-permanent hair color. For major dye jobs, visit a salon and let a professional color your hair. Use a color-protecting shampoo and conditioner to make color last.
Your skin is not the only part of your body that suffers from sun damage. To protect your hair and scalp from the sun, Dr. Kathy Fields, a San Francisco dermatologist, say to apply a UV spray before going outside. After swimming, don’t rub your hair vigorously with a towel, which can cause breakage. Instead, wrap it to absorb water and then massage in a detangling serum before combing. Keep hair looking healthy by trimming spit ends regularly. Also, stop damaging habits like twisting or chewing hair, and don’t wear too-tight ponytails.
- shaping hair image by Kostyantyn Ivanyshen from Fotolia.com