When you like to change your hair color or style a lot, keeping it looking and feeling healthy is often difficult. I think we all know by now that it helps to condition regularly and to try and keep from bleaching and using heated appliances as much as possible, but there are a few things you can do to keep your hair manageable and shiny that a lot of people don’t know about. Here are a few things you can incorporate in your daily routine without spending any money on products and treatments.
* First of all, buy a good soft-haired brush. Mason & Pearson is a great brand if you’re willing to make a bit of an investment, but you can get great “all natural hair” brushes for little money in most drug stores. The only thing you need to make sure is that the hairs aren’t sharp in any way, because pointy hairs can really hurt your scalp and tear off fragile hairs. Never brush your hair when it’s wet – to prevent breakage and/or fluffiness – but use your new brush A LOT when your hair is nice and dry. This helps distribute natural oils to the ends of your hair, which is fantastic if you have long hair, but also smooths out fly-aways and promotes hair growth.
- Keep heat away from your hair. Okay, so this is an obvious one. A lot of you are probably already washing your hair with cold water to preserve colour, but to those who aren’t: it makes a huge difference to the condition too.
- Try washing your hair as little as possible. Shampoo, even the gentlest ones, are made to strip natural oils from your hair and in doing so they can really dry it out as well. A lot of people don’t know conditioner has cleaning properties too, so if your hair isn’t really that greasy, it can be enough to just condition daily and wash once or twice a week. And remember, the more you dry out your hair, the more oils your scalp will produce.
If you do wash your hair, try doing it like this: first, rinse with cold to lukewarm water. Make sure it’s really dripping wet. Then, take a tiny bit of shampoo (how much depends on the length and greasiness of your hair) and add a little water. Rub your hands together to create lather and rub it on your scalp – it will run down the lengths of your hair by itself when rinsing. Next, rinse with cold water again, apply conditioner to the tips and middle of your hair. Leave in for a few minutes, then rinse again. (On a side note: I can really recommend The Body Shop’s hair products; they’re a bit pricey, but the bottles last forever and work fantastically. They’re what saved my fried hair a couple of years ago.)
- Once a week, or twice if your hair is really dry, use a hot oil treatment. You can buy treatments like this, but most people have some coconut or olive oil in their pantry, so why spend extra? For short hair, just rub a tablespoon (a little goes a long way) of the oil of your choice – I find coconut works best – between your hands. For long hair, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil until warm. (Be careful though, oil heats up really quickly and can cause nasty burns!) Just knead the oil into your hair, working from the tips up. Cover with a shower cap or cling foil, you can apply some heat with a hair dryer if you want to, and wash out after a couple of hours. Ta-dah! Shiny, natural-looking hair for little to no money.
There you go. I’ve really found these things made a huge difference to my hair when I fried it (going from black to blonde in one go is a terrible idea) a couple of years ago. I hope this helped!