I’ve spent years wishing for soft, silky, hydrated hair, as my natural hair is anything but. I have always struggled with how dry and frizzly my hair is and have tried product after product to try and remedy it. Through years of experimentation and terrible hair days, I’ve found that these six things really improve the condition and look of my hair.
1) Regular Hair Cuts
I know that if you’re trying to grow your hair out, going to the hairdresser is the last thing you want to do. But trust me, the longer you leave it, the worse the condition of hair tends to get. This is because any split ends that exist at the end of your hair will gradually travel up the shaft, making an increasing amount of your hair broken and dry. Having you hair cut will remove these split ends, preventing them from travelling up the hair shaft.
Dry hair also tends to break off easily at the ends. You might think that you’re growing your hair out by not going to the hairdressers, but whilst the roots of you hair are growing, the ends are breaking off – meaning that your hair will stay the same length! I realised this when I didn’t go to the hairdressers for months at a time yet, whilst my hair would grow, it would never get beyond a certain point.
Therefore, getting a hair cut every 6-8 weeks can really improve the condition and appearance of your hair. Your hairdresser may also be able to recommend products or treatments that could help with the dry nature of your hair – if you’re not sure, just ask!
2) Hair Masks
I tend to think of hair masks as very intense conditioner. You smooth them through the ends of your hair, leave on for a few minutes and then wash out. They give your hair a lot of added moisture and hydration. I wouldn’t recommend using them everyday, as this can overload your hair with product, but once to twice a week is a good amount.
You can buy them from a drugstore, like boots or Superdrug, from your local hairdresser, or even make one at home. My favourite is the John Frieda Frizz Ease Miraculous Recovery Deep Conditioner (£3.55, Amazon)
3) Hair Oils
You can use different kinds of oils in your hair in several different ways. For a really deep conditioning treatment, melt some coconut oil, smooth it through you hair and then either leave it on for a few hours or overnight. Although this can really help with the hydration of your hair, it’s not my favourite thing in the world to do. I find keeping the oil in my hair pretty uncomfortable and only tend to do it if I have a special occasion the next day.
For a lighter treatment, go for one of the many hair oils on the market (Argan, Coconut, Macadamia) and use it to smooth through the ends of your hair to tame any frizz and give your hair some added shine. This article is really helpful as it tells you which kind of oil to go for depending on your hair type. My favourites are the John Frida Perfect Finish Polishing Serum and Josh Wood Radiant Shine Hair Treatment Oil. I like to use the John Frieda whilst my hair is wet as this is the heavier of the two and can make dry hair look greasy. In contrast, the Josh Wood is amazingly hydrating and yet light which makes it perfect for finishing off any look (it also smells amazing!)
4) Don’t Wash Your Hair Everyday
I struggle with this one, as every time I see the slightest hint of grease in my hair I’m straight on the shampoo. However, washing your hair everyday will cause it to become stripped of its natural oils. Thus, while you’re fixing the issue short-term, your hair will start to become dryer and dryer.
If you’re used to washing your hair everyday, it can take a week or two for your hair to get used to being washed less often. However, it will soon take longer to get greasy and you’ll find you c an go an increasing amount of time without washing it. A little bit of experimentation will help you determine how often you need to wash your hair, but generally go with the rule that the less, the better!
5) Use As Little Heat As Possible
Again, something I’m sure a lot of us struggle with. It’s all too tempting to whip out the straighteners every morning, but heat is something that is never going to improve the condition of your hair. It will only make it dryer to the point that hair oils etc. will only mask the problem. I’ve never found a heat protecting product that actually does enough to prevent damage to my hair (let me know if you have any suggestions!) so I generally just try to use heat as little as possible. Instead, braiding can help you achieve curly / wavy hair styles whilst blow drying or wrapping your hair will make it straighter. If in doubt, just throw it up in a messy bun, anything to avoid using heat on it!
6) Maintain A Healthy Diet
A bit of a boring one I know, but a healthy diet including lots of fruit and vegetables can do wonders for your hair, let alone the rest of your body.
Drinking water will also help – it makes sense that to hydrate your hair you need to hydrate your body! The general recommendation is 2 litres of water per day. I have several large litre bottles for when I’m at home which makes drinking enough a lot easier. It can be harder when you’re on the go but just make sure you take a bottle of water with you when you go out, and continue to take on fluid throughout the day. (Just a note, coffee and fizzy drinks do not count – sorry!)
So… I hope at least something there helped! All of these are just small changes you can make to your routine that will slowly but surely help improve the condition of your hair. I know that I have definitely seen small improvements in the health and appearance of my own, and I hope you start to see the same too!