How to Take Care of Your Styled Hair
Hair care can be tricky. Keeping your hair looking good, both healthy and stylish, requires effort. Between washing, drying, coloring, and styling, there is a lot to do, and a lot of room for errors. Most hairstyling techniques take some sort of toll on the health of your hair. This is especially true if you dive into hair care without knowing how to do it properly.
Did you know, for example, that pulling your hair into a ponytail or braids while it’s still wet can cause a ton of breakage because as it dries, your hair swells and will break where it gets stuck behind a hair tie? Here are some of the big ticket items to watch out for when caring for your hair.
Good Shampoo and Conditioner
Start with the basics. Regular washing is good for your scalp. You need to clear away the oils and dirt that build up so your hair follicles don’t get clogged. Here’s how to shampoo and condition correctly.
Choose a good quality shampoo, one that will not cause build-up or be too harsh on your scalp. If you color your hair, look at sulfate-free varieties. Try not to shampoo every day. Aim for three to five times per week. This will prevent dryness and chemical build-up.
When you condition your hair, use a wide-tooth comb or wet brush to ensure that the conditioner gets onto every strand. The bonus of this method is that you will also have fewer tangles to deal with when your hair dries.
Get Regular Trims
Between brushing, styling, and the wear and tear of our heads rubbing on all sorts of things, like seat backs and pillows, the ends of our hair tend to thin. If they are broken or get too brittle, they can also split. The longer you leave a split unattended, the higher the split and damage can go on your hair strand.
Getting regular trims limits damage. The other perk of heading to the hairdresser on a regular basis is that he or she can help you keep an eye on your scalp and overall hair health. Hairdressers are pros at recommending the right products for your particular needs.
Use Heat Protection
Most styling tools rely on heat to shape the hair. There are really only two things you need to pay attention to when it comes to heat-based styling. The first is to use tools that are designed to be gentle on your hair. For example, if you want to use an ion flat iron to straighten, smooth, or wave your hair, choose an iron that has ceramic plates, not metal, and which uses the correct amount of heat for your hair. Always use as little heat as you need.
The second rule is to pre-treat your hair with a heat barrier. There are a wide variety of thermal sprays available. Use them every time you apply heat to your hair for the best results.
Choose Your Color Carefully
If you color your hair, you already know that picking the right shade isn’t just about what color will look pretty on you. There are some big implications for the health of your hair too. In a nutshell, the lighter you make your hair, the more you will change the texture of your hair. Major changes tend to equal major damage, especially when going with a lighter color than your natural color. Work with an expert at hair color, specifically, if you want to go with a color that is significantly different from your natural shade.
Extensions are Temporary
Extensions are totally fun. They can add a real punch of drama to your look in a very short amount of time. Be careful, though. Extensions can do a ton of big damage if not installed correctly or removed promptly.
Because extensions are applied near the root of your hair, if they are put on incorrectly or left on too long, they will damage or break your hair up near the root, or even at the follicle level. That means you are stuck with the damage for a very long time, until that area of root grows out, if it ever grows out again.
Yes, you have to pay good money to have them put in, but extensions are not something to stretch the use of. The longer you leave them in, the more they pull on the roots of your hair and the more damage you can do. If you really care about preserving the health and thickness of your hair, the best practice is to take extensions out at the end of the day.