Hair poses a frustrating struggle for many women. Even if you love your locks, you’ve no doubt experienced at least a few bad hair days in your lifetime. Whether it’s curly, straight, or somewhere in between, hair can be extremely difficult to control. When it doesn’t do what you want, your hair can quickly become your worst enemy.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent your hair from taking on a mind of its own every once in a while. Those fateful days are the reason beanies and messy buns were invented. That being said, taking good care of your hair can significantly reduce the amount of bad days you’re forced to endure. No matter the texture or length of your hair, these tips will help you take better care of your hair and get improved manageability in return.
1. Treat Wet Hair Like Tissue Paper
Most people underestimate just how fragile wet hair really is. When your hair is wet, it is more than three times weaker than it is after it dries. This means that if you handle your wet hair as if it were dry, you’ll likely end up with extreme breakage and fall out.
Whenever possible, leave your hair completely alone for as long as you can after you wash it. If you’re worried about how it will dry if you don’t brush it, apply a smoothing, softening, or detangling serum with your fingers. At the very least, use a wide toothed comb instead of a brush whenever your hair is wet. Start at the ends of your hair and gently work the comb up to your roots, putting as little strain on your hair as possible.
2. Perfect the Art of Towel Drying
It’s common knowledge that subjecting your hair to excessive amounts of heat is one of the most damaging things you can do. Frying your hair leads to dryness, breakage, fall out, and impossible manageability. For most women on a tight morning schedule, blow dryers are the main culprit of heat damage.
It is often unrealistic to let your hair air dry completely. However, towel drying your hair thoroughly and correctly can significantly reduce the amount of heat you have to use on it. Avoid rough-drying your hair, as this technique damages wet hair and causes breakage and fall out. Instead, gently wrap your hair up into a microfiber or t-shirt. Try to make as much direct contact between your hair and the towel as possible in order to absorb more water quickly. Keep your hair wrapped for as long as possible. Save your blowdrying for the very end of your morning routine to minimize the amount of heat you have to apply.
3. Use Oils Wisely
Oils are touted as one of the best ways to make your hair softer, smoother, shinier, less frizzy, and more hydrated. However, many women are hesitant to use oils in their haircare routine for fear it will leave their hair looking limp and greasy.
Harnessing the transformative benefits of oil for your own hair doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. The key is moderation. Use your fingers to comb a small amount of hair oil–almond, coconut, jojoba, etc.–through your hair right after you get out of the shower. Your hair will absorb the oil more easily while wet and dry soft, smooth, and frizz-free. If your hair is already dry, mix a very small amount of oil with whatever spray, serum, or other product you usually use on your dry hair. Apply the product like normal and enjoy soft shininess without a greasy or weighted finish.
4. Turn Down the Temperature
As comforting as a hot shower might be, it can inflict a lot of harm on your hair. Washing your hair in excessively hot water strips it of its natural oils. This stripping process leads to dryness, frizziness, and breakage.
You don’t have to give up hot showers completely. Just turn down the temperature when it’s time to wash out your hair. Extremely cold water is ideal for sealing moisture into your hair. However, lukewarm water is a fine, non-damaging alternative for those who don’t want to pour freezing water over their head every morning.
5. Take Your Time
Even if you invest in the highest-quality hair products, they won’t do much good if you don’t give them the time they need to work their magic.
Always read the labels of your hair products before you use them. Scan them to find out how long you’re supposed to let each one rest in your hair before combing it through or washing it out. You might be surprised to learn that the conditioner you’ve been quickly rinsing down the drain in thirty seconds leaves your hair much softer when you let it rest for five minutes instead.
6. Keep it Loose
Hair bands are a little-known cause of severe hair damage, especially among women. If you tie your hair back into tight buns or ponytails on a regular basis, you’re probably causing significant breakage.
Always wrap your hair bands as loosely as you can to put as little stress on your hair as possible. Also, try to give your hair at least a day’s break between up-dos. If you don’t want to switch up your tied-back daily style, stagger the height of your buns or ponytails from day to day. This prevents your hairbands from putting significant strain on one part of your hair over and over again.
7. Make it to the Salon
It can be very difficult to fit regular salon visits into your regular schedule. When faced with all of your other responsibilities, taking time for a basic haircut can seem next to impossible.
Experts recommend getting your hair trimmed at least every six weeks. Regular haircuts are necessary to prevent the pesky split ends and dryness that can render your hair completely unmanageable. Don’t let your haircuts fall through the cracks of the rest of your busy schedule. Schedule appointments at regular six-week intervals and make sure to stick to them.
If you treat your hair well, it will reward you with a softer finish, less split ends, and improved manageability. Making easy, small shifts in the way you care for your hair can make a big, noticeable difference in the way it looks, feels, and responds to styling.