Hair is something that we all hope will last a lifetime but over time, our locks can become weak and lifeless. There are many factors that we can contribute to this, from stress to many illnesses and an unhealthy diet. Another factor is this time of year in particular – with the oncoming change of season, it’s bound to become cold, windy and rainy in many countries worldwide, with a lack of rejuvenating sunlight. It may start to feel like you will never have strong, vibrant hair again… So, what can you do? There is no harm in trying some of our top tips to see if your hair becomes revitalised, thick and luscious!
1. Change your shower routine
If you shower more than 3 times a week, use a hair grip to keep your hair out of the water every other day – your locks should not be washed more than 2 to 3 times in one week. Hot water can also be very damaging for hair and should be avoided. In fact, this leads on to the next point…
2. Treat your hair to some cold water
Next time you have a bath or shower, try (quickly) rinsing your hair with some cold water. Depending on how you deal with the cold, use a little or a lot. Be warned that if the water is too cold on your scalp, you may collapse from shock… but otherwise, this simple trick revitalises your roots and after a few washes you should start to notice the difference with shinier and smoother hair.
A tried and tested technique for using minimum amounts of cold water:
In the shower, turn down the temperature slightly (while facing the shower head away from your skin!) and rinse the water over your hair. Brush it through and repeat. Perfecting this technique will mean the water never touches your skin, although for those not a fan of the cold, this works with even with just a splash of cold water. Don’t forget to use a hair grip to keep your cold hair off your skin while you get out of the shower!
3. Massage your scalp
When using conditioner, massage it into your scalp to help it work its way to your roots. This process allows the conditioner to work better, while the massage strengthens your scalp. It’s important to be quite rough and not gentle with your roots – as long as you don’t end up with a headache! The more often you massage, the stronger your hair will become, preventing strands from falling out. This will in time lead to thicker hair.
4. Use less of the heat products
Many people get out of the shower/bath and are straight over to their hairdryer. Hair hates the heat, especially when it is still damp. Although convenient (especially for girls with longer hair), hair also doesn’t react particularly well to being wrapped in a towel (often referred to as a ‘turban towel’). Instead of doing this, try dabbing your hair with a dry towel and massaging the roots. A common misconception is that putting your hair in a towel is enough to fully dry it, however, it is worth releasing your hair occasionally and brushing it through. Maybe put it up in a clip – this allows it to dry naturally while keeping your damp hair off your neck. With enough time, this method will completely dry your hair, but if you have places to be and must use a hair dryer, at least use the lowest heat setting to prevent causing damage.
The same goes with straighteners and heated curlers… although for unruly curly hair, the oils and proteins in avocados have incredible powers in smoothing the hair (apparently…). If you’re not feeling adventurous, invest in a good quality heat-defence spray and follow the instructions to keep your hair feeling and looking healthy.
5. Stop using tight bobbles
Many ballerinas who tie their hair up tightly every day can tell you that after a while, your hair will begin to pull from the roots, leaving bald patches which can often be painful. Before using a hair bobble, always give it a stretch (like you would do with a balloon!) to loosen the elastic.
Many people find it effective to tie their hair up before bed time to prevent waking up with a face full of hair, or worse, getting spots from oils in the hair rubbing against your skin. While it is useful for many reasons, try tying your hair in a simple plait before bed instead of doing a ponytail or bun as these can pull hair out and lead to headaches if tied too tightly.
6. Dry shampoo – yay or nay?
We all know that dry shampoo is like a bottle of powdery magic, especially on a Monday morning when there isn’t time for a shower because you just had to have that extra lie-in (don’t worry, we’re not judging), but is it doing more damage than good for your hair and scalp? Hair care experts advise that dry shampoo should be used in moderation and shouldn’t be used for more than three days in a row, otherwise your scalp can become irritated, leading to itchy and flaky skin. This is because dry shampoo dehydrates hair and makes it tangle easily, making it weaker so the strands snap easier during brushing. Don’t forget to wash out dry shampoo properly before washing with shampoo and conditioner as this will only lead to product build-up.
Don’t forget to always spray dry shampoo from at least 20-30cm away from your roots and keep shaking the can in circles to ensure even distribution. Brush through your hair after a minute of allowing the dry shampoo to do its job.
These are not one-off cures for luscious locks!
Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you to improve the quality of your locks. They need repeating and are not one-off cures for improving the quality and healthiness of your hair. Over time, you should start to notice the benefits as your hair becomes shinier and stronger, meaning the strands will break less easily, leaving you with thick and luscious locks.