For me, hair care was just something that I did on autopilot for most of my life. I learned at an early age how you should wash and dry your hair, and I never really strayed far from that.
In my teens, I experimented with styling products, heat tools, and enough Aqua Net to singlehandedly deplete the ozone layer, but I never thought much about actually caring for my hair.
Now that I’m well into my 20s, I’ve realized that my hair needs some serious help. So, I’ve pivoted my love of researching beauty products into the realm of hair care. I’m certainly not the end-all expert when it comes to perfect hair, but I’ve compiled a few hair care tips over the years that have seriously helped me take my hair game to the next level.
Today I’m going to share some of those hair care tips with you!
1. Apply Your Dry Shampoo Like a Pro
Did you know that you’re actually supposed to apply dry shampoo at night in order to get the most benefit from it? I didn’t until a friend who owns a successful hair salon told me to try it, and I’ve never looked back.
In the same way that you’re supposed to apply antiperspirant at night to give it time to do its job, dry shampoo works best when you spritz it directly onto your roots at night so that it has as much time as possible to absorb excess oils produced by your scalp.
I definitely still use dry shampoo in the mornings for extra fluff and texture, but my roots are always noticeably less greasy when I give my dry shampoo that extra overnight time to work.
2. Don’t Shampoo Your Whole Head
When you’re washing your hair, you should really only focus on massaging the shampoo into your scalp. It might feel good to scrub the lather into your whole head, but shampooing your lengths can actually dry them out and cause unnecessary damage.
I like to use a cheap conditioner like V05 to coat the mid-lengths and ends of my hair before washing. But I’ve also recently started using Aquis Prime Water Defense pre-wash spray, and it does a great job of protecting my hair too. Adding a buffer layer of conditioner or treatment while you shampoo your scalp and roots helps to protect your strands from getting dry and brittle.
The buffer layer will rinse out with your shampoo, so be sure to still follow up your cleanse with your usual conditioning treatment!
3. Remember That Your Scalp Is Skin, Too
I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating! It’s easy to overlook scalp care, but remember that scalp skin isn’t all that different from face skin. It still needs gentle cleansing, occasional exfoliation, and plenty of soothing and hydrating (yes, even if it’s oily!).
Be sure that the shampoos you use are gentle and low pH, and don’t be afraid to experiment with applying lightweight, hydrating toners directly to your roots. A lot of the itching, flaking, and sensitivity that occurs can be soothed with the right scalp care!
I’ve written an entire post dedicated to scalp skin care, so feel free to check it out if you’re interested in learning about how to keep your scalp skin as healthy as the rest of your skin!
4. Ditch the Towel Turban
If you want great hair, you need to step away from the towel turban. Right. This. Second.
No matter how thick, strong, or resilient you think your hair is, you’re not doing yourself any favors by wrapping it up in a rough, heavy towel. Towel turbans put a lot of stress and tension on your hair, which can lead to breakage and thin spots near your hairline (umm, no thank you!).
Besides the extra stress, regular towels are notoriously bad for roughing up your hair cuticles and breaking your ends. This means frizz, dryness, tangles, and ragged ends. Again, no thank you!
Instead, switch to using old cotton T-shirts or soft microfiber towels to blot the moisture out of your hair. If you need to wrap it up, try plopping instead of a tight turban. Even if you don’t have curly hair (or don’t plan to wear your hair curly), plopping your hair into a lightweight T-shirt puts less stress on your strands.
5. Switch From Ponytails to Pin-ups
If you’re like me, you can’t stand being suffocated by your own hair when it’s time for bed (or when it’s 4,000% humidity outside). Do you normally reach for a hair tie in these situations? I used to, but now I rarely do.
There’s nothing wrong with rocking a cute ponytail or bun sometimes, but if you’re addicted to tying your hair up, you might be causing more damage than you realize! Constantly pulling your hair back into a ponytail or bun with a hair tie puts tension on your hairline, and if you have a lot of hair, concentrating all of that extra weight into one spot on your scalp adds to the stress even more. If you pull your hair up into a messy bun, now you have to deal with extra damage to your ends, too!
The solution I like best is to use comfortable bobby pins and clips instead. I twist my hair into a loose bun (low or high, depending on how I feel) and secure it with bobby pins on all sides. The pins don’t pull, pinch or tangle my hair, and they also help to distribute the weight of my hair more evenly so I’m not concentrating all of the weight of it in one spot.
Plus, there’s no annoying ponytail lump to lay on, and I don’t have to deal with ugly ponytail marks in my hair when I unpin it. Win-win!
Hair Care Doesn’t Have to Be Hard!
It never ceases to amaze me how making the smallest changes can yield such big results. If you’re in a hair care rut, try one of the tips I’ve outlined today and see if they help you as much as they helped me!