60 of the Best Ever Hair Care Secrets Revealed
Static dry hair is all too common in winter, while in summer we all have the problem of dry and damaged hair, and we need to reveal a few secrets to make sure you never look in the mirror and feel the frustration of taking care of your hair sink in. Tips and tricks are always available to keep things well under wraps and your hair’s natural beauty shining through, but here’s a rather thorough list of 60 of the best hair care secrets to healthy hair for life. We can all do with less split ends and more volume, and here’s how!
It’s All in the Wash
1. Make sure you use shampoo on your hair every 2-3 days. This will ensure you keep your hair healthy and happy, as it will surely respond by looking well cared for and with a perfectly silky shine to add to the attraction of the mane.
2. According to experts at Schwarzkopf, the best way to shampoo is through multiple steps: comb out residual product, make sure your shampoo is right for your hair type, use lukewarm water to dampen hair, add a dollop of shampoo about the volume of a hazelnut, which you foam up with water before applying to the scalp, make sure you don’t scratch your scalp with your nails but use your fingers to feed it in a circular motion; rinse out the shampoo from your hair completely, squeezing the hair as you rinse until it’s squeaky clean before switching the water to a cooler temperature and stimulating the blood circulating in the scalp. For some extra care, use conditioner once a week to care for your locks before using lukewarm water to rinse out the product.
3. You should be changing around your shampoo and conditioner every month or 2 in order to keep it from plateauing. If you want to keep it fresh, healthy and full of volume, you need to keep shocking the roots so the miracle of the product lasts longer. This is the case with any form of shampoo. Personally, I have 2 different shampoos that are natural and fight against hair loss. Every 2 months, I switch for 2 weeks to the less natural version that doesn’t have as great of an effect, before going back to the one that packs the real punch.
4. To figure out how often you should wash your hair, use a napkin and dab it over your head a few days after washing last. If there’s a lot of oil, you should shampoo every other day at least, if not 4-5 times a week; on the other hand, if there is little oil to be found, you may wash your hair every 3 days and use conditioner with the shampoo.
5. The water you shower with should not be too hot, nor should the shower in itself be too long. Usually we love to lounge under the hot water that our bodies crave so much, but you will be stripping your hair of its natural oils thus, making hair dull and limp instead of full, shiny and positively lush. Keep showers to 15-20 minutes max with lukewarm water as your best friend.
6. If you have long hair, you should actually be applying the conditioner before the shampoo. The hair falling below the shoulders should have a little bit of the product added before rinsing off, ensuring the fragile ends are properly protected. Any and all holes in the hair cuticles will also thus be filled with moisture, giving you the shine and silky feeling you’ve been trying to get.
7. A quarter-sized amount of shampoo should be used on shorter hair, but if your mane is really long, you should be doubling that amount. Furthermore, you should start the shampoo from the scalp down to the ends instead of the other way around, placing particular focus at the nape.
8. Do not add shampoo before first thoroughly rinsing the hair, as you need to get the dirt and oils off. You will need this done before the cuticles are able to absorb the moisture from the shampoo and conditioner afterwards. Make sure you never start off with too dry of hair.
9. Never rinse and repeat. Honestly, never! You do your hair a great disservice by stripping it of its natural oils to such a point, where there’s nothing left. Unless of course you have spent the month without shampooing or have fallen in a pool of oil, honey or something equally as sticky, icky and hard to get out of the hair, this is a bad idea. Of course, you will find opposing council on this point, wherein there are experts that say a cleansing shampoo first and then your regular one helps immensely. Personally, I wouldn’t do a double shampoo unless I haven’t used it in 4-5 days and realize there’s way too much oil for a single rinse to clean out.
10. Conditioner should be used on the tips of the hair strands, not the roots. The roots will already build up their oils come morning, but the ends won’t have the luxury of that lubrication unless you go without shampooing for a few days. This is why it’s so important to keep the conditioner to the areas that need it most. Also, make sure you don’t rinse for over a minute, as you don’t want to fully remove the product you just fed the hair.
11. Your shampoo does not NEED to lather. It’s one of the biggest secrets we can share, actually, particularly since there are certain types, which don’t really lather at all but have an amazing effect. The lather may be caused by sulphates, which you should steer clear of for best results.
12. For your hair to really absorb the benefits of conditioner, make sure you always wring out your hair first, before applying the product. You don’t want the effects to become diluted because your hair was too wet.
13. When it comes to gray hair, purple shampoo is your friend. We’re serious! Brassy, yellow tones will be neutralized with this type of shampoo. Furthermore, it brightens up blondes by restoring original hues you had done at the salon instead of the washed out look you have now. A monthly rinse with lemon water will also work wonders on the pigmentation of your hair.
14. When it comes to dandruff shampoos, it’s best to be left in for at least 3 and a maximum of 5 minutes to really take effect. A scalp massaging brush used to really work it in is a great addition to your hair washing routine. Just make sure you then remember to rinse it thoroughly.
15. According to so many testimonials on the Internet and quite a few episodes on doctor related shows, going on without shampooing your hair can actually help keep it soft, smooth and healthy. It doesn’t even need to smell if you wash the dirt and oils out right.
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Drying It Out
16. Wet hair is quite sensitive so rubbing or towelling it dry would only hurt the tendrils. If you are able to, let it all air dry or press your towel on your hair and let nature do its work with the towel absorbing the moisture without causing any damage to the sensitive hair.
17. If you want to dry it out without causing a frizz, use a t-shirt instead of a towel to soak up the excess moisture. It may seem like a strange trick, but it works wonders on making sure your hair is smooth and those curls look perfect when left to their natural devices. Towels create friction, which will in turn have the hair tangle and cause split ends to form. You should squeeze out the water and wrap your hair in a t-shirt after your shower instead.
18. In order to blow dry hair that’s normally too stubborn and with a mind of its own, try using mousse and a smaller brush to create long last curls with lots of body. You should put the same amount all over your hair if you want to achieve uniform perfect.
19. While most people love to start from the bottom up when blow drying, the best way is to start from the crown and use your fingers or a boar bristle brush to smooth hair downwards and you move to the tips. This helps ensure you don’t have frizz or flyaways. Dry the roots until it is 70% done and then move on, giving you space to use product if need be.
20. Use a nozzle when drying out your hair. This is something many women forget to do and it just has the hair frizzing up instead of falling beautifully around your shoulders. If you want your hair to be looking smooth and luscious, you need to make sure the air is concentrated on the sections you are drying out.
21. It’s also important to start using heat protectants. Applying heat protectant oil from mid-shaft is the right trick for preventing the hair from drying out and for securing its healthy shine after the blow-drying process. Moreover, using such products is also good for managing your hair.
22. One major mistake made is blow-drying the hair as soon as you are out of the shower, before you have let it dry out a little. You should pat the excess moisture out and let things sit for a while or flip your hair over and shake it out, letting it pre-dry.
Combing Through the Manes
23. You should use a wide toothed comb to detangle your hair while still wet or damp, most especially without using any force. Personally, I wait until it’s nearly air dried before combing, making it easier to glide through without damaging the strands.
24. When brushing your hair, we often make the mistake of starting from the root and going to the tip. Instead, we should start a little ways up from the tip to comb out the tangles and then move our way up to the roots so we’re not actually snapping at the hair follicles.
25. We often use the wrong brushes on our hair, causing problems for ourselves. When combing through your hair first, always use a wide-toothed comb. Natural boar bristle brushes are the gentle options over the synthetic bristles, while they are also better at distributing your natural oils across the hair.
26. While we may have been told that we should be counting 100 brushstrokes to keep our hair strong and healthy, the fact is that over brushing can actually lead to breakage sooner. Once you’ve gotten those knots out, stop brushing your hair. You already have it healthy and smooth at this point.
27. Never brush your hair without first washing out the brush once a week. The bristles do get clogged up from the hair and the product you use and you should make sure you have it fresh for the next day. Remove the excess hairs, and use warm water to clean out the bristles. You may also use shampoo to clean it out fully, before using a towel to dry it out.
28. You don’t necessarily need products in your hair but they can come in very handy if you have a certain problem that needs fixing as soon as possible. This includes unmanageable hair due to lack of proper moisture. Just make sure that whatever you’re using doesn’t have alcohol in it
29. Always make sure you keep your shampoo and conditioner caps locked tight. You don’t want to be allowing air to seep in and oxidize the active ingredients, which in turn makes the products less efficient.
30. You most certainly do not need to be using every product out there. Less is definitely more when it comes to hair care. Just make sure what you decide to use is quality material and will help your hair, instead of having side effects. A single product that conquers many of your needs is just perfect as that means less different types of products are added to your pretty locks. This also means you don’t have to shampoo so often, allowing your hair to retain more of its natural appeal.
31. You’ve often heard about using oils after blow drying your hair, but you should be aware of the fact that once dry, your cuticles are closed off and the oils will only weigh them down instead of adding to the moisture build up within. For best results, apply the oils to your hair from mid-shaft to the edges before blow-drying the mane.
32. In order to ensure that hairspray is not going to have your hair looking like the ‘80s styles or like there’s a wet spot refusing to dry out, keep far away from the spray as you spritz. You want a light, even stream that coats your hair just the way you want it. With thinner hair, keep at least 6 inches away from the head, while thicker hair might need 3, less of a distance overall. Furthermore, using a mascara brush to put the product on, particularly a lightweight version of the spray, can help smooth out the look the way a heavier spray would have.
33. If you use hair waxes, it may be a great idea to warm it up in your palms before applying it. You should always use less than what you think you need, allowing you to add as much as necessary without overdoing it and having to start all over again, which is not fun and extremely time-consuming.
34. Many people opt to use dry shampoos these days, but fail to realize there should be shimmying their fingers about as they apply the product. Massaging the scalp won’t be a good idea as you are using the dry shampoo to hide the oiliness of the hair, not stimulate it more.
35. Thick conditioners are certainly not recommended if you want to keep the volume in your hair, making it look and feel bouncier. Lighter styling products will keep frizz at bay while teasing at the roots.
36. When adding product while you blow dry, make sure that it’s already half dry but not fully so. You don’t want the styling agents in your hair when it’s still really wet as that will just weight it down by saturating the cuticles and will not achieve the bouncy, soft look you’re aiming for. A slight dampness will help it absorb the product better and deliver the best results possible.
37. If you straighten curly hair, make sure you use a silicone serum to prolong the look, or else you may find yourself fighting those curls soon enough. Apply a dime-sized amount, focusing on the ends after you use a flat iron on the strands or simply blow-dry it straight.
38. Many women use a volumizing spray when drying their hair. This is often done without also adding a straightening balm, which should be used in order to create a more managed ‘do, especially if your aim is to look sleek and elegant.
39. Always check the label of the product you are applying to ensure it’s done correctly. Sometimes we apply too little while other times it’s way too much. We may also apply it to the wrong regions. Anti-frizz should be focused on the hairline, while root lifters work best when used between sections of hair.
40. If you must add hairspray, you should opt for shine serums instead, as it will add lustre to your locks and reduce the problem of dulling hair that spray alone may cause.
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Styling Made Easy
41. Bobby pins are great for styling your hair. Using hairspray or dry shampoo on the pins themselves, you can make them more likely to stay in place and less likely to fall off and get lost. It will help keep the hair secure all day without much trouble. Furthermore, make sure that you put in the pins with the smooth rounded part facing the scalp, ensuring it won’t slip out at all.
42. Crimpers are great for adding body to your limp hair, particularly if it’s of fine texture. A mini crimper at the roots is the best to use.
43. For a messy, slightly grunge-appearing look, a fun way to manage it is to apply a salt spray or light hairspray to your hair, tuck it under a cap and blast with blow dryer before letting it cool down for about 5 minutes. Take off the cap and voila!
44. When you’re going for a half-up, half-down hairdo, don’t literally go 50/50 as that will leave too little hair hanging, while too much hair would have been pulled into the style you’re going for. Instead, always do a 30/70 ratio, with the 70% left down and 30% braided, knotted, clipped, etc. Furthermore, when picking up the hair, use the ends of the brows as a guide from each end of your forehead.
45. When styling your hair, you should be using the highest settings if you have really thick and/or coarse hair, while the lowest should be used for the thinnest hair types. Since you are most probably in the middle of the spectrum, set your tools accordingly. For best results without damaging your hair, however, you should use a 1500 to 1800 watt hair dryer.
46. When it comes to your bangs, the less you touch them and try to restyle during the day, the less problems with oil build-up you will have. Your fingers also have dirt residues and oil on them, which only ends up making the look worse instead of better. If you must touch your bangs with your fingers, make sure they are well washed first or use a brush instead.
47. One great trick to use if you don’t have the time to wash your hair and blow dry it back into perfection, you can always just wash the bangs and strands that frame the face, use a blow dryer on that with a round brush and be ready to head out the door. It definitely eases the stress of not having enough time to look your best. Make sure you wash your face well too, since that will have you looking as fresh as the morning dew.
48. When it comes to dyeing your hair, opting for subtle highlights that blend in well with your natural is your best bet as that will ensure you retain most of your texture, and you won’t be drying out the tresses. The gorgeous locks will look healthier for longer periods of time and you will need less product overall. The tone of the highlights should match the flecks in your eyes somewhat, in order to really bring out your features no matter what outfit and/or makeup you choose to wear.
49. It may be tempting to do so, but do not try cutting your bangs yourself if you want it to look salon good. Just give them a call, explain you need your bangs trimmed and they will not charge you the full price. Some places might even do it for free if you are a regular customer.
50. A travel sized toothbrush comes in handy when you are on the go and need to keep your hair tame. It works as a mini brush as well to keep you bangs oil free and fresh-looking. Having dry shampoo in your purse along with the toothbrush will certainly help immensely, no matter where you are.
51. Those with curly hair tend to use a lot of product to weight the hair down, but you should instead opt for lighter products that let you shape your hair the way you want. Also, if you cut layers into the hair, it will alleviate some of the bulk, giving your hair a fresher look.
52. Honestly, extensions are a great way to ensure your locks look full, long and gorgeous! Just make sure you get the right color and texture to match your hair type. You also want it to be of natural hair so you won’t have trouble with styling it. You may have to dish out the extra bucks for that though.
53. When it comes to getting the perfect bob, make sure the ends reach your shoulders, and just past if you want to compensate for shrinkage. Razor cutting the edges will give your hair the bit of a flip it needs to look sleek and professional without the bunt look.
54. Dry or damaged hair has problems holding onto the gorgeous red color you want to dye it. The radiance of the color will shine through if the air is well cared for and deep conditioned once a week, trimmed regularly and heat styling is kept to a minimum.
55. When choosing your hair color, also take a look at your hair length. If you have short to medium hair lengths, lighter colors look best, while the warmer darker colors are perfect with longer hairstyles.
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Fighting Static Hair
56. To keep the static out of your hair, have a dryer sheet with you at all times. While you’re out in the streets, on a date, or just need to smooth out those strands sticking out like radar, run the sheet over the tresses and you will be as good as new.
57. Non-aerosol and non-alcohol sprays are a great way to tame the tendrils that refuse to stay in their places. Make sure what you use is lightweight and won’t be causing your hair to dry out as that is the exact opposite of what we need.
58. Taming static hair requires moisture. This can come from hand lotions that you have lying around in your purse while you’re out and about, though it may make your hair look rather oily. Choose something that’s light and natural for best results, with as little oil as possible. First work the lotion into your hands and then apply it to those static locks of yours.
59. Pure wool and cotton hats, literally made with 100% natural fibres, will ensure your hair doesn’t look like you’ve been hit by a lightning bolt after taking it off. Synthetics such as polyester, acrylic and fleece in particular are known static agents who won’t let your hair look as lovely and smooth as it should.
60. The water you wash your hair with determines how static it will be as well. Considering the fact that static is caused by dry hair, taking long and too-hot showers will only make it more static once you come out. Instead, you should be using lukewarm to ensure you get the most moisture without the hassle afterwards. Keep away from heat styling as well if your static problems are bad. Air drying it out will probably be your best bet.
Photos courtesy of Jamie Nelson
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