It seems like you are always going for a hair trim and everyday is a bad hair day. You want to grow your hair out or make it look nice without spending hours manipulating your hair. You need a hair intervention. You need to stop abusing your hair and start taking good care of it. Here are some tips to do just that:
1. Do not use heat on your hair. Straightening, curling, and blow-drying will all cause damage to hair. The heat from styling tools not only sucks out moisture from hair, but also damages the protein structure of hair. Dry and brittle hair also is prone to breakage. People usually start using heat on their hair to fit in or for fun, but eventually use it to hide the damage they have done. It is a vicious cycle. Your hair is damaged from heat so you heat style it to hide the damage, which only damages it more. The best thing is to never use heat on your hair because even one heat session seriously damages hair. There are many no heat and gorgeous hairstyles such as your beautiful natural hair. But because this is unrealistic, you should decrease how often you use heat on your hair, use a good heat protectant when you heat style your hair, and moisturize hair after using heat.
2. Do not bleach your hair. Bleaching hair causes the hair to become irreversibly dry. You can moisturize hair as much as you want but the moisture is released so quickly. Breakage is inevitable. If you already have bleached hair, cut as much of it as you can off because there is no going back. This is harsh but true. Dyeing hair without bleach also damages it but not to the extent that bleach does. This is a good option for those who really want to change the color of their hair.
3. Brush hair gently. Or better yet, use fingers or a wide tooth comb. I like to brush hair super carefully and finger comb when I come across a large knot. Brushing hair harshly really does break hair. Combing and finger combing won't cause as much breakage but the most important factor is gentleness. It is a good idea to start brushing hair from the bottom up but in downward strokes as carefully as you can. Do not yank hair when faced with a knot; carefully detangle. As a child I had the frizziest of hair. My friends would all try to help me by using different defrizzing products but nothing worked. The only thing that did was brushing my hair gently! My broken hair grew and few new ones took their place.
4. Use sulfate-free shampoo and silicone-free conditioner. Shampoos with sulfates strip hair of natural oils. This causes the scalp to be dry and produce a lot of oil. Before the oil is produced, hair is prone to breakage. The sulfate-free shampoos clean hair and remove some oil, but not all of it. Silicones in conditioner coat hair so that hair seems moisturized but isn't and don't allow moisture into hair. For some people, however, silicones in conditioner make hair more manageable and protect it from drying out. So you can test out which type of conditioner is better for you.
5. Wash your hair less. Whenever you wash your hair, you remove the natural oil that is great for hair. So the more you wash hair, the more oil your scalp produces to moisturize hair. Your scalp knows that you wash your hair everyday so it must keep producing oil with the hope that some of it remains after your wash! If you begin to lengthen the amount of time between washes, your scalp will produce less oil and your hair will be less greasy. Just be strong through the transition period and your hair will be much happier.
6. Be careful when hair is wet. When hair is wet it stretches easily and therefore breaks easily. You should NEVER and I repeat NEVER brush or comb hair when wet because it will definitely break A LOT. Also, do not go to sleep with wet hair because you will move around in your sleep and your hair will break. It is better to blow dry hair on cool then to go to bed with wet hair.
7. Use deep treatments. It is imperative that hair is moisturized for it to be healthy and deep treatments are the way to do it. Simply spray detangled hair with water until is damp and then apply your treatment. I like to use coconut oil because it penetrates the hair shaft but there are many other oils and masks you could use on your hair. Oils can be kept in for as long as you want (I go for about 8 hours.), but read directions if using products. Use deep treatments as little as twice a month or as often as eight times a month, depending on the amount of time you have and how dry your hair is.
8. Use SPF in your hair. The sunrays and sun heat damage your hair. I thought this was a myth until I realized I was in need of a trim and the ends of my hair were many shades lighter than the roots of my hair. Learn from my mistake. Use heat protectant with SPF in it if you will be in the sun for long periods of time.
9. Sleep with hair in a braid. When you sleep, you move around. This causes hair to get tangled and even break. You will have to brush or comb your hair, which always has the chance of breakage. To avoid this, sleep with your hair in a loose braid, or even a loose bun. Your hair won't move as much so it won't not tangle or break as much.
10. Sleep on silk pillowcases. You could also wrap hair in a silk scarf or wear a silk cap. Silk is much gentler on hair than cotton and other fabrics and won't cause hair to break as much. Also, the silk won't take moisture out of your hair.
You may have noticed that having healthy hair involves avoiding damage and not just avoiding causing damage. So leaving your hair alone will actually still damage it. You must take care of it. But remember to enjoy your hair, no matter what.
Which one of these tips is your favorite? Which ones do you plan to use? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!