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7 golden haircare rules for healthier-looking hair
Hands up if you're guilty of paying way too much attention to your skin lately and not enough towards your hair?
We get it, discovering new glow-getting ingredients (like niacinamide) and testing out new chemical exfoliants is super fun, but if you find your hair gets none of love until it's too late (cue: salon appointment), it might be time for some recognition.
There are plenty of quick and easy ways we can show our hair some respect, and as a bonus it often rewards us back with glossy results.
So if you've been treating your hair like the forgetten third child recently, here are some everyday ways to win back its love...
#1 Never heat style on bare hair
Think of your poor scorched strands each time you heat style! As the first golden rule, avoid blow-drying, straightening or curling your hair without first applying a heat protectant. It will create a barrier to shield hair from extreme temperatures and help protect against split ends, breakage and frizz. Whether you’re a heat styling addict or more of a blow-dry-whenever-you-can-be-bothered type of girl, this step is non-negotiable.
#2 Invest in a good dry shampoo
We’ve told you before and we’ll tell you again, dry shampoo is an absolute hair (and life) saver. Not only does it absorb excess oil, dirt and grease, but it can also give hair (especially thin locks) a little extra grit and texture when styling. But the best part? You don’t have to wash your hair as often, which means your natural oils are left to do their thing and you'll automatically heat style less as a result.
Good to know: If you're already well aware of how great dry shampoo is and use it all the time, you may want to incorporate a scalp scrub into your routine weekly or fortnightly to avoid product build-up. We're currently loving Sukin Naturals Natural Balance Scalp Scrub.
#3 Use a treatment regularly
Treat your locks to a rich, conditioning at-home treatment at least once a week. Twice if your hair is in need of a little extra TLC. Look for ingredients such as avocado oil, argan oil and keratin to nourish and repair any damage. If you're someone who colours their hair a lot, also look for formulas with bond repair technology, that repairs the hair shaft from within.
#4 Comb wet hair
Do. Not. Brush. Wet. Hair. We repeat, do not brush your hair while it’s wet. The bristles will tug at your wet and vulnerable tresses, making them far more prone to breakage. Instead, towel dry your hair really, really well to remove as much moisture as possible (preferably with a microfibre towel) and gently detangle locks with a wide tooth comb. Start from the ends (where most knots hide) and work your way up.
#5 Brush your scalp as well as your hair
Brushing your scalp stimulates blood circulation (hello luscious hair growth!) and helps distribute your scalp’s natural oils evenly through your hair. This keeps your locks smooth, shiny and resilient, and you haven’t even applied any product yet. Curly (read: frizzy) haired beauties should save this step for the night, while those with thin (and sometimes limp) hair should do so in the morning.
#6 Cut back on heated tools
Only use heat styling tools when you absolutely must. Try extending the length of your blow-dry by wearing your second-day hair slicked back, your third-day hair in braids and on the fourth day, up in a chic top knot. Trust us, your strands will thank you for it.
#7 Investigate ingredients
Just like our skin, there are some haircare ingredients that will work better for some than others. After all, our hair types are completely different, so finding out whether coconut oil is your friend, or silicones and sulphates aren't, is something you can become more familiar with by reading the label. Considering we use shampoo and conditioner fairly frequently, this is a good place to start. When you find something that works, take note of the ingredients, and the same for when it doesn't. You might be surprised to discover what your hair's preferences are.
*This article has been updated since its original publication.
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