In the age of blowout bars, extreme dye jobs, and perms, it’s not a question of if your hair is damaged but of how bad the situation really is. Before you start feeling hopeless because you’d sooner sell your soul than give up your flatiron, consider that even wrecked hair can be revived with a few sneaky little adjustments to your routine and regular salon visits, according to scientists. Shinier, healthier-looking hair is just 11 tricks away in-between your hair appointments!
Get it wet less often.
Water makes hair swell from the inside, which forces the cuticle up. Whenever you can skip a day, that’s great! Instead, embrace a dry shampoo that’s a hard-core oil and odor absorber.
Stock your shower.
On those days when you do wash your hair, add a pre-shampoo—yep, that’s a thing now—to your routine. It works like a sealant, “smoothing the hair’s cuticle before it gets wet so there’s less damage,” says cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson, who recommends this for all hair types except fine. It also protects against friction from massaging in shampoo. “When your hair rubs together, the edges fray,” she explains.
Get smarter about your shampoo.
Don’t worry about sulfates or no sulfates. What you want is a shampoo that says “damage repairing” on the label and has proteins to strengthen hair or a cleansing conditioner, which has the lowest concentration of detergents.
Change the way you think about conditioner.
We all know they smooth frizz and make your hair softer and shinier. But if you own a blow-dryer or flatiron, you should also know that conditioners are critical to heat protection. Leave it on for at least five minutes, and then rinse with cool water to allow for more residual conditioner to be left on the hair.
Since heat is the worst thing for your hair, double down with a heat-protectant spray. But recognize that if it’s going to work, you’ve got to apply it the legit hairstylist way: Grab small sections of damp hair and mist each one up and down the length (two or three spritzes per section). When you’re finished, comb your hair to distribute the formula—heat protectants are pretty useless if they’re not applied all over.
Move things along.
Anything that speeds up a blowout is good, less heat means less damage. Add a quick-dry spray and your hair will be dry in no time!
Save your old shirts.
We kid you not: Your cotton Madonna Virgin Tour tee is gentler on your hair than a Frette towel for drying. They don’t rough up the cuticle as much, so you don’t have to work as hard to smooth the hair and make it look healthy.
Cool your head.
If your hair feels hot after you blow-dry or flatiron it, that means it’s still frying. Hit the cold-shot button on your dryer.
If you air-dry your hair overnight, you can minimize damage and free up time for snoozing, coffee, whatever in the morning. One trick that works for all hair types: Sleep with damp hair in two loose braids. It smooths frizz, loosens curls, and gives straight hair beachy waves.
Weekly scalp treatments make a bigger difference in the long run than you’d think. Keeping the hair follicles clean prevents the blockage and inflammation that leads to thinning hair later in life.
Boost the shine factor.
Sure, you could use shine sprays and serums, but they don’t always look so natural. Dry oils, which contain the lightest silicones and oils, create the most believable shine. They smooth the hair’s cuticle, which is the hallmark of healthy hair!
With these 11 tips and tricks and salon visits, your hair will be as healthy as can be!
What are you waiting for? Request an appointment now
A special shout out to Elizabeth Siegel from Allure.com for the amazing tips and tricks!!