By Tamryn |
We want to love our hair, we really do. But sometimes it behaves so badly that we can’t muster more than mere indifference, if not out-and-out hate. Still, whether it’s wild and woolly or limp and lifeless, we are glad it’s there (after all, what’s the alternative? Horrors!), so the thing to do is to nurture your hair to be the best it can possibly be. Here are some easy hair tips:
Get your best hair yet
* Give your hair a break – From blow dryers, flat irons and curling rods, that is. These hair styling implements have benefited us endlessly, but despite the massive improvements over the years, they still can and do cause damage. So make the effort to learn how to make your hair look great without them. Ask your hair stylist for advice and practice her tips. Learn how to put your hair up in a twist, braid or bun that suits your personality and position. All of these can look chic or sophisticated; it will just take a little trial and error on your part. But it is well worth it to expand your hairdo repertoire and avoid those instruments of torture, at least a few times a week.
* Use protection – Since we know you’re going to fire up the iron anyway, please remember to use protection! Thermal protectants will help minimize the damage 450 degree flat irons and the like do to your hair. Always use one! And experiment with your flat iron to find the lowest temperature you can use on your hair that gives you the results you want. If your hair is fine, it’s a safe bet to say you should never turn up your Chi full blast. You risk scorching, split ends and breakage.
* Treat your hair – For all you put it through, it deserves a spa day and then some. If your hair is dry or damaged, give it a weekly treatment with warmed up coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil or neem oil. If it’s only your ends that show wear and tear, just treat them, going no higher than your ears. You can also give one of the new split end sealers a try. These potions temporarily repair split ends, binding them together, usually while you sleep, to try to inhibit further damage. Of course, the best thing you can do for split ends is to get them snipped off. Left to their own devices, they will travel up the hair shaft, weakening the strands and causing breakage. But a sealer will buy you some time until your next hair appointment.
* Dull, lifeless hair – Perk up your locks with an easy and inexpensive fix. In a spray bottle, combine two parts water with one part apple cider vinegar and store in the shower. After you shampoo, give the bottle a quick shake and spritz hair thoroughly with the mix. Leave in five minutes. Apple cider vinegar breaks down residue from your hair products that may be dulling its natural shine. It also adds body and balances the pH of your scalp. While you’re waiting for the ACV hair rinse to do its thing, gently massage your scalp to boost circulation and hair growth.
* Hungry hair? – Examine your diet. Is it over-caffeinated, over-processed, over-loaded with salt, fat and sugar? You don’t have to tell me, of course, but be honest because, believe it or not, this type of intake is not only bad for your health overall, but it is also terrible for your tresses. Your hair follicles are where your strands are born. Poorly nourished follicles produce inferior-quality hair. Period. They thrive on antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, like the rest of you does. And too much caffeine can actually stunt your hair growth.
* Green hair – If enjoying the pool has left a greenish tinge to your hair, hit the pantry and grab some tomato juice. Soak your hair with it and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes. The acids in the tomato counteract the chlorine and bring back your hair’s natural color (it will not turn red, really). This trick works with tomato sauce or paste, too. Pile your hair up in a shower cap and wrap in an old towel to avoid discoloring clothing.