Does your hair need a lift? Does it look dry and flat? Would you like it to have more shine and look softer? The winter can be especially harsh and drying on your hair, and summer swimming means drying chlorine which can both lead to dull, dry hair. There are several things you can do to get shinier, softer hair.
Use whatever shampoo you want.
Your shampoo does NOT matter in the health and shine of your hair. Use whatever cheap or nice smelling shampoo you like. All it's going to do is help wash out any dirt and they all do that the same, so save your money for the rest of your hair care products.
Credit: Amberdawn 2011Invest in a good conditioner.
Good is a relative term. For some, this means more expensive conditioner at a salon. For me, I've found that you can get a decent conditioner for around $4 or $5 at a drugstore. My advice is to start there if you haven't already. Most $1 per bottle conditioners are poor quality because they contain more alcohol, which dries out your hair. I have not found one yet for less than $3 that are worth using. But you need a good conditioner because you want one that won't leave your hair dried out. Otherwise it will be dry, tangle, look dull, and it won't feel soft.
Leave your hair slightly damp after you wash it.Credit: Amberdawn 2011
The less heat on your hair, the less dried out it will be. It would be ideal if you skip blow-drying your hair. However in the cold months, you can still blow dry your hair as long as you leave the ends slightly damp. That will prevent split ends from forming.
Try a hot oil treatment once per week.
Hot oil treatments put a LOT of moisture in your hair. You can buy these treatments, such as V05's in most drugstores. Simply follow the directions on the bottle.
Get a haircut!
If it's the ends of your hair that look dry and frayed, it might be time to trim them. This will change the whole way your hair moves and catches the light. Most people need a haircut every three months.
If you are still not satisfied with the result after trying these steps, there are also products on the market called "shine enhancers" or "spray on/leave in conditioners." These are good to use if you have tried the previous steps and need more intensive moisture on your hair.
Tips & Warnings
• I say save the "leave in" products as a last resort because they can weigh down your hair making it look flat, and sometimes they can make your hair look greasy, as opposed to shiny.
• If you want nice hair on a budget, skimp on the quality of the shampoo. The cheapest shampoo will clean your hair the same as any other.
• Don't worry: "hot" oil doesn't mean "scald yourself." It's not painful, you just warm it up.