Whether she likes to admit it or not, every girl dreams of lustrous, gorgeous looking hair. This is true for those who rock long locks, a bob, undercut, pixie, or anything in between. Same goes for brunettes, blondes, and redheads, and those with wavy, curly, straight, fine, or coarse hair. There may be certain tricks that blondes do to keep their golden mane intact that brunettes wouldn’t. Likewise, girls with fine hair probably shouldn’t use hot oil treatments, while those with coarse hair could use them every week.
Hair maintenance is partly knowing what to do for your hair type and partly practicing healthy hair habits. While every girl’s hair is different, that doesn’t mean you were born with better or worse hair than someone else. The truth of the matter is, those with great manes know the certain tips that keep their strands strong and shiny.
If you’re not one of those gifted ladies who seem to know all the hair secrets, it’s your lucky day! Below, we’ve rounded up the best-kept secrets that will help you achieve gorgeous locks.
- Don’t wash every day.
Lathering up too often leads to drying, fading, and breakage. Washing every day often dries your hair, because the shampoo strips it of its natural oils. You should keep shampooing down to a minimum of a couple times a week.
However, if you have naturally oily hair, you will have to wash it more than someone who has dry hair. There is no exact rule of thumb, but you should use your best judgment, here. If your scalp is itchy and your roots look visibly oily, you’ve gone too long. For some, that may be every day; for others, it may be every four days.
- Concentrate on the right places to shampoo.
This isn’t something your mother taught you. When you do lather up, focus shampoo on the scalp rather than the entire hair shaft. If you don’t focus on the scalp and roots, you could unknowingly cause flyways that are dull and coarse. When you rinse the shampoo out, it will clean the rest of the hair shaft.
- Try apple cider vinegar.
This is a go-to for those with beautiful manes. Apple cider vinegar can be used a couple of different ways, and it comes with some great benefits! Applying apple cider vinegar to your hair before shampooing breaks up product residue. This helps you get a deeper clean. Product buildup also leads to lifeless, limp hair, so it’s good to get that out of your strands. After shampooing, rinse with apple cider vinegar for added shine.
- Avoid harsh ingredients.
Synthetic chemicals and harsh ingredients only work against your mane. Products filled with sulfate, parabens, silicones, and alcohol strip your hair of its natural oil, breaks down the hair cuticle (which leads to frizzy, dry hair) and weighs your hair down. Make sure you look for “sulfate free” options. Also, be sure to read the labels carefully. Don’t just assume because a product says “natural” or “green,” it is. They often have harsh ingredients lurking in there.
- Don’t brush wet hair.
While you may think you are doing your hair a favor when you brush through wet hair, you’d be mistaken. Rather than raking through fragile hair to detangle it with coarse brush bristles, use a wide-tooth comb. This is a gentler way to detangle that won’t break off strands of your locks.
- Rinse and condition in cold water.
Rinsing off your conditioner with cold water will help seal in moisture. The cold water seals the hair cuticle, which leaves it softer and smoother after the wash. Strands with open cuticles dry out faster, so it’s super important to rinse with cold water to lock in extra moisture.
- Give heat a break.
We know you love your curling wand and flat iron, but you should give heat tools a break. They only damage your tresses. Stick to working with your natural texture and air-dry your mane. Sometimes your hair just doesn’t want to cooperate, so cover up bad hair days with cute hats, buns, and braids. Also, there are tons of ways to get softer, looser curls by air drying.
- Sleep on silk.
The softer the fabric you sleep on, the less breakage, moisture loss, and damage you will experience. So, if you think your hair could use a softer landing place, update to silk pillowcases. Plus, it helps fight against creases and wrinkles on your face. Not bad, considering such a small switch makes a huge difference in your appearance.
- Condition hair before diving into the pool.
Before you take a dip in the pool, rinse your hair with water and slather on conditioner. Instead of absorbing too much chlorine, the clean water and conditioner will soak into your stands.
- Ditch the hair towel.
Probably since before you can remember you have wrapped your wet, freshly washed hair with a towel as it dries. However, it’s time you break that habit now. Terrycloth towels often lead to frizz and breakage. Instead, wrap your hair in an old t-shirt. The cotton will help absorb the water without the added damage. Oh, and if you rub the towel all over your hair, that also causes breakage and frizz. Be sure to instead squeeze the excess water out of your hair.
- You are what you eat.
You know the old saying. Leafy greens, veggies, fruit, healthy fats, and protein all lead to stronger, shinier locks. If you eat like crap, don’t be surprised if your tresses fall dull and lifeless. The key to overall health, hair included, is to maintain good eating habits.
- Turn to vitamins.
Sure, you’ve heard of taking vitamins and supplements for stronger, faster-growing hair, but do they actually work? While essential minerals such as B vitamins, biotin, and vitamin C are great for your hair’s health, there is no foolproof evidence that they help your tresses grow faster. This, again, comes down to how fast your hair normally grows, and a number of other factors. But, if you don’t believe you are getting optimal health benefits from your diet, then vitamins and supplements are a good idea!