This is the longest hair care blog I’ve written! It’s taken me awhile to figure out methods of caring for my curly hair without damaging it, so I’d like to share some of those tips and tricks with you! Most of the suggestions below are applicable to all hair types. Modify as needed; for example, if your hair is greasy rather than dry, just apply your hair mask to the ends, use more or less products depending on your hair length, etc.
Turn down the heat
When it comes to damaged hair, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of repair. Once the hair shaft is split or broken due to heat or bleach, there’s nothing that can fuse it back together and you will need a good trim to revitalize it, so it’s important to keep your hair from being damaged.
Since I decided to stop straightening and curling my hair, I’ve begun experimenting with cute updos, headbands, ribbons and other accessories. I have to say, my creativity has expanded! Some of the styles I’ve come up with are way more fun than just regular old straight hair, and much gentler on my locks. It’s not that you can’t every blow dry or heat style your hair, but I’d suggest saving it for special occasions rather than doing it all the time. Also, make sure you aren’t using hot water to wash your hair. I’m the queen of really hot showers, but I always turn down the temperature when washing my hair. Lukewarm water is best for your scalp, too.
Oils and masks
You can make your own hair mask by mixing together the following ingredients (which can all be found at your local health food store):
¼ cup castor oil
¼ cup coconut oil
1 tsp shea butter
When all the ingredients are mixed together (you may have to heat them a little to liquefy them, but it doesn’t need to be hot), slather it all on your hair and leave it on for a couple of hours or overnight. I realize that this can be a bit messy and time consuming, but you only need to do it once or twice a month and it will really help keep your hair in good condition.
Use the right tools
I use a wide tooth comb in the shower to evenly distribute conditioner, and to detangle my hair without disturbing the curls very much. However, I find that I do need to use an actual brush at least once a day to keep my hair smooth. Thankfully, I discovered the wooden brush. This little gem has really helped me detangle my hair thoroughly without snagging it, making it stand on end with static or making it too frizzy. The wooden bristles give my scalp a little massage and help to distribute the oils evenly, whereas many brushes with metal or plastic bristles are too scratchy on my sensitive scalp and seem to cause more split ends. I think it has something to do with the fact that the bristles on the wooden brush don’t get bent out of shape and are spaced a bit wider than normal brushes. I bought this wooden brush on amazon.ca.
Get regular trims
If you’re trying to grow your hair out, then the salon may be the last place you want to go! But getting regular trims is important for the health of your hair. Even if you take the best care of your hair, normal wear and tear will cause split, rough ends (the ends of your hair are the oldest and the farthest from the nourishing oils your scalp produces). Once your ends are split, no amount of treatments can put them back together, and by ignoring them the breakage will only continue until eventually you’ll need to take off a couple of inches to bring your hair back to health.
if youre trying to grow yoir hair out, my suggestion is to find a hairdresser that you trust who will understand not to take too much off. A centimetre every 6 to 8 weeks is enough to keep your hair in great condition.
Sulphate free shampoo is a must, especially for dry or curly hair like mine.
John Masters and Avalon Organics are two of my go-to brands. Their shampoos, conditioners and masks leave my hair soft and manageable, and the essential oils in them smell wonderful. These companies are both committed to sustainably, which is good for the earth as well as your hair! Dualsenses Green by Goldwell is also good line of sulphate free products that are gentle on hair.
Learn to rock second day hair
The best conditioner is the natural oil your scalp produces. And it’s free! You just have to be willing to go a day or two without a shampoo. I like to look for cute little accessories to dress up a second day bun, braid or pony such as the headband and pearl bracelet I used to conceal the hair elastic below:
Eat right for your hair
Last but not least, adequate nutrition, including a clean diet with fruits and vegetables, whole grains, protein and lots of water is important not just for your hair, but for the health of your entire body. If your body is dehydrated or depleted of nutrients, it will horde it’s supply for your vital organs and your hair and skin will be left out. While there are a lot of supplements on the market that promise to improve your hair, I’d suggest prioritizing a healthy, balanced diet as the most natural and effective way to boost your hair’s health.