Hair Care Basics
By Kate on 19 June 2009
Caring for your hair doesn't have to break the bank and achieving fabulous, healthy, shiny hair and great hairstyles doesn't have to take up all of your time. The right kind of hair preparation is all you need to ensure that your hair looks great and is easy to style.
Hair Care Basic # 1: Nourishing Your Hair
Eating a diet full of fresh food is essential for giving your locks the nourishment that they need and will make your hair more manageable.
Protein (eggs, lean meat, fish, dairy products etc) will pump life into your hair and help with the growing process, and vitamins A, B and C are essential for the health of your hair and scalp. These vitamins can be found in cod liver oil, vegetables (try anything red, yellow or orange in color and include lots of deep green leafy vegetables), fruits (citrus fruits for vitamin C) such as tomatoes, berries, pineapple, apples, and nuts and seeds.
Hair Care Basic # 2: Washing Your Hair
It may sound too simple and easy, but correctly washing your hair and making sure you're using the right shampoo and conditioner does make a difference. When you use the right shampoo and conditioner it will look after your hair and your scalp and help with the styling process.
You don't need a lot of lather when you shampoo and only need to concentrate on your scalp. When you rinse your hair, the lather will wash through the rest of your strands, taking any impurities with it. If you're hair is extremely dirty, wash once to remove dirt and build up (there shouldn't be any lather due to the dirt) and a second time to cleanse (at which point there should be lather). Always remember to work the shampoo into your hair gently and rinse well.
For best results, ask a professional which is the best shampoo for your hair type and condition and try as many brands as you can until you find the right one for you. Hair that is color treated, prone to dandruff or is especially dry will need a special care shampoo and conditioner.
Although a conditioner isn't necessary to give your hair a thorough clean, it will nourish and protect your hair. Conditioner should be applied to your ends only and gently combed through your hair for best results. Because the ends of your hair are the oldest part, and therefore the driest, they need the most attention. For a basic guideline, fine hair can get away with using a conditioner every second wash and coarser hair types should condition every wash. Keep an eye on your own hair and how it reacts and balance your conditioning routine to work for you. Remember also to:
- rinse your hair with cool water to complement your hair care routine and enhance your as it will close your cuticle and add shine to your hair
- wash with warm water (never hot) and rinse well
To provide the best care for your hair, treat your tresses with treatments! Those with normal hair should apply a treatment at least twice a month, while those with dry hair will benefit from using a treatment more often. Remember:
- protein enriched treatments will strengthen your hair
- moisture-based treatments will combat frizziness and help your control your hair
- mud or clay based treatments are a combination of protein and moisture treatments
Hair Care Basic # 3: Handling Your Hair
How you handle your hair is just as important as caring for it and should always be done gently.
Towel dry your hair by blotting out the excess water and remember to never rub your hair. Gently work out any knots with a wide tooth comb, starting from the ends of your hair and gently working your way up.
Use elastic bands that don't have metal fasteners when securing your hair as the fasteners can snag your hair and cause tangles. Always brush your hair gently and use a brush which is made with pure bristles as they will not tear or damage your hair. During the day, try to avoid playing or excessively touching your hair as your hands can transfer dirt to your strands and cause your hair to become oily.
Special Tips: How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?
How often your hair needs a wash depends on your hair type, texture and lifestyle. Those with finer hair will need to wash every other day because their hair can become dirty very quickly. Those with coarser hair, however, can get away with a wash every 3 to 5 days.
Other factors, such as if you have an active lifestyle, use a lot of styling products or work in a messy environment will also need to be considered when working out your washing routine.
Applying these simple hair care basics to your daily hair care routine will not only leave you with healthy hair, it will also ensure that your hair is easier to manage and help you to cut down on your styling time. Give these simple tips a try today and make the most of the benefits!