I wanted to pass along all the information and results that I have experienced in my own haircare to you all, as a kind of supplement to my post “Tried and True Tricks for Stimulating Hair Growth (naturally!).” Some of my everyday haircare tricks overlap with my tips for stimulating hair growth so if you want to read more specifically on that topic, you can!
I do several things to keep my hair silky and shiny, and sometimes that involves NOT doing things, so I will include a list of “don’ts” as well!
- Use a hairbrush with wooden bristles. Natural wooden bristles massage the scalp, increasing circulation, and promoting growth at the cuticle. The bristles distribute the natural oils of the scalp evenly throughout the hair, preventing build up or clogging of cuticles and removing impurities. The only “alive” part of our hair is where the hair meets the scalp. So for overall hair health, as well as for stimulating hair growth, it is important to pay attention to the cuticle. The wooden bristles do this job for you! (Bonus: wooden bristles don’t create static electricity!) Just be sure you’re buying a brush that has actual wooden bristles, and not just a wooden handle. You can find one at a great price HERE on Amazon.
- Apply natural hair masks. There are, of course, hair mask products on the market but I believe the best results come from using pure, real oils on the hair. (And you minimize your risk of having some extra chemicals thrown in there that you may not be aware of). If you are careful with reading through the ingredients on the hair mask, see my previous post on that, you can benefit from a store-bought natural hair mask. But usually they have coconut oil or argan oil as the principal ingredient in them anyways, so why not use the real thing?
The night before I wash my hair, I run about a tablespoon of coconut oil throughout my hair from my earlobes down. Any higher than that tends to be really difficult to fully wash out the next morning. Also the top part of your hair usually doesn’t need the extra dose of shine as much as the rest of your hair does that is exposed to more heat and products. The only thing to remember is to wash the strands fully with shampoo the next morning because if you don’t scrub them a bit, the remaining oil will make your hair look greasy. I also like to use real argan oil for this as well in place of the coconut. (sidetone: I stay away from olive oil for my hair. Although it is one of those magical beauty products, it is super hard to wash out.)
- Sleep in a loose, low braid. It is the softest way to keep hair out of the face at night. I do it every night to avoid pulling too hard on my scalp with a ponytail or bun, which can cause hair to fall out. It also gives you some soft little waves in the morning which is always nice!
- Use a hair oil for your everyday style. An oil adds instant shine to your straightened, wavy, or curly look for the day. For my everyday do, I use a hair oil with argan oil, rather than a pure organ or coconut oil because pure oils tend to make the hair look greasy (even when you try to just put a little!) The formula of hair oils tends to go on lighter, without weighing things down- but remember that a little goes a long way. I haven’t yet found one that doesn’t contain some fragrance, but I am a little more lenient with the ingredients list when applying products to my hair below my scalp since hair is essentially not really alive. (I refuse to call it “dead”-it’s weird). Fragrance on the hair itself, is different than fragrance in say, your face cream that gets absorbed right up. I like Moroccan Oil and the OGX argan oil. (There is also a specific Moroccan Oil for lighter shades of hair so that the dark color of the oil doesn’t leave a residue on blonde hair.)
- Get trims regularly. I try to get at least a little micro trim every three months. If you have split ends, the “split” can extend up the hair shaft and cause damage. It’s always a good idea to keep your ends healthy, and if you’re growing it out, ask your stylist for a little tiny mini trim or trim it yourself!
- Say affirmations about your hair health! I am definitely planning on writing a lengthy post about the power of affirmations. For those who may not know, affirmations are statements you can say whenever about anything you want to draw into your life. The mere stating of what you want- in the form of a statement as if you already have obtained it rather than a request- sends a powerful signal out into the universe. When you feel and say that you already have something, the universe brings it to you. Stating affirmations for everything from physical things like hair health to more important aspects of my life is something I do every single day. And I know it works! I’ll say, “My hair is healthy, shiny, and thick” as many times as I want or think of it. Try it. There’s nothing to lose! 🙂
- Love your hair! Along the same lines as affirmations, saying and feeling “I love my hair” is a powerful statement. Our bodies and cells are alive and can hear if we hate them or love them. Keep this in mind for other parts of your body you may be critical of. Your body works so hard for you everyday, so love it and say it aloud to make your intentions even more powerful.
This part is going to make me sound like a little Debbie downer, but the advice works!
- Wash your hair everyday. The best change I made for my hair health was not washing my hair everyday. I was washing my hair every single morning all through high school and half of college before I realized this.
- Washing everyday strips the scalp of its natural oils, causing it to produce more oils faster, so you can count on your hair being greasy sooner and therefore to constantly wash it. Very annoying.
- It can promote hair loss. Once I started waiting one or two days between washes I noticed how much less hair I was losing in the shower than when I was scrubbing it everyday.
- In addition to oils being stripped from the scalp, washing everyday can make the rest of the hair look visibly dryer, as t
he hair shaft itself is constantly being scrubbed of any and all oils.
- Wash hair with super hot water in the shower. I’ve read in countless places to try and wash hair with at most warm water, because hot water can also strip the hair of its natural oils and dry it out. Hot water can also make the hair overly porous, leading to dry and brittle hair. So try to stick to warm or cool water while washing!
- Use heat tools on it daily. Everyone needs the blowdryer, straightener, or curling iron sometimes. I just make a point of not using those things daily. I let my hair dry naturally when I can, and sleeping with a loose braid or a couple loose braids gives a natural wave anyways for the next day! And be ware with the temperatures you’re using on your styling tools. Unless you have very coarse hair, you should not be on maximum heat settings.
- And always use a heat protectant! (Though technically more of a “do” 😉 ) The argan oils double as heat protectants, so if you use those already, just be sure to apply it before you blow-dry or style your hair. Otherwise you can easily find a serum or heat protectant spray to protect your hair with.
- Pull hair up too tightly. This goes for while you sleep and also for everyday styles. Pulling hair back to tightly can lead to hair loss, particularly of the delicate hairs close to the face. I often experience headaches when I pull my hair back, so that’s a sign that something isn’t right and I loosen things up. Remember to always be gentle with your hair.
- Overdo it with coloring. It may be tempting to keeps coloring once you get into it, but the damage can definitely show. This goes particularly for going lighter, and bleaching. I bleached my hair once and I made my whole head a dark blonde shade and it was so damaging and drying. And that was just one time. People who change their minds a lot, or go over the same highlights with more bleach will definitely experience dryness creep in, and that’s not great. We’ve all seen those girls (for me particularly in high school ha!) that have over-bleached their hair and essentially have straw growing out of their heads. Find a colorist you can trust and use tons of oils to replenish damaged-by-bleach hair. Also, going darker will help give you shine. My colorist actually put some blue and purple tones in my nearly black color now to add a new dimension of shine, which is pretty cool!
Hope this helped some of you! Let me know what you think! <3 <3
photo of coconut oil: pure formulas.com, Creative Commons Attribution license
photo of moroccanoil: moroccanoil.com
photo of hair washing woman: forevertwentysomethings.com
photo of blowdrying: mamiverse.com, modified