Having a bad hair day? How about a bad hair week? The good news is you don’t have to put up with average hair, and it doesn’t take an overpriced visit to the salon to get great hair. We’ve asked hairdressers and hair stylists for their hair care secrets and compiled our 10 best hair tips and tricks for your best hair ever.
1. Shampoo, shampoo, shampoo
Clean hair and scalp is your first step to having a healthy head of hair. Use a mild shampoo if you are shampooing your hair every day. The best way to wash your hair? Don’t rub it into your head roughly, piling your hair up on top of your head, instead, smooth it over the hair, using the fingers to massage it into the scalp gently. This way you get fewer tangles and less damage to the hair. Rinse well.
2. Invest in the best conditioner
Here’s a tip straight from hairdressers: if you’re going to spend money on hair care, spend it on a quality conditioner. Conditioners help your hair lock in the moisture and keep it soft and protected from environmental pollution. Conditioners with protein as an ingredient work best to repair split ends. Also, make sure you use a conditioner that’s suitable to your hair type.
3. Get a trim every 6-8 weeks
It’s important to trim your hair regularly, so get a haircut every 6-8 weeks. Not only will this stop the split ends from spoiling your crowning glory, hair cuts are a great way to give you a confidence boost.
4. Get a scalp massage
Feeling tired and stressed out? Get a scalp massage. Not only is it amazing for instant stress relief, it is also great for healthy hair, by increasing blood circulation and distributing essential oils to its roots. Don’t have time or budget to visit a hair salon? Then give yourself a massage, using light oils such as olive or coconut oil, and using only your fingertips. Leave the oil to penetrate for half an hour, and then shampoo your hair.
5. Homemade hair masks
Give yourself a luxurious beauty treatment with a DIY hair mask. Try these treatments for strong, healthy hair:
1. Beat 2 eggs with a little water. Massage into the hair and leave to rest for 15 minutes, then rinse with a mild shampoo.
2. Mix 1 egg with a few spoonfuls of yoghurt and smooth throughout the hair, then rinse with a mild shampoo. This is a great natural mask for curly hair, adding shine and strength to curls.
3. Combine a cup of full cream milk with few drops of honey and massage into the scalp and hair. Rinse with mild shampoo. This mask works wonders on dry hair.
6. Food for hair
Some foods are essential for healthy hair, including salmon for protein, Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids, all of which will strengthen your hair roots; walnuts for biotin and vitamin E, which can prevent hair loss; oysters for zinc, which can also prevent hair loss; sweet potato for beta carotene, which helps in processing Vitamin A, which is essential for generating essential oils for the scalp; and eggs for protein and essential minerals such as zinc, selenium, sulphur, and iron, for healthy hair growth. Wish your short hair would grow faster? Eat more of these foods for faster growth.
7. Avoid too many chemicals
Too many chemicals on your hair, such as hair colour and styling products can leave your hair weak, dry and damaged. Look for organic and natural hair care products – especially products without parabens and SLS (sodium lauryl sulfates). If you want to add natural shine to your hair, rub a little coconut oil between your palms and smooth over your locks.
8. Protect your hair from damage
Our environment damages our hair more than you think. Think about the sun damage alone: we wouldn’t think of going out in the sun without SPF, but our hair and scalp get a roasting. Wear a hat, or channel Grace Kelly and tie a scarf around your hair to protect it against sun damage. Other seasonal damage includes wind damage and chlorine, so use hydrating conditioners and treat your hair to a weekly hair pack to repair the damage.
9. Go natural
Addicted to your hair straightener? Or maybe you wouldn’t leave home without a blow dry? It might be time to ween yourself off your styling tools. The intense heat is very damaging to hair, stripping it of essential oils and leaving hair dry and brittle. Let your hair go natural, especially on weekends.
10. Treat dandruff with medicated shampoo
Dandruff is often the cause of hair woes, and should be treated with an anti-dandruff shampoo. Alternate between anti-dandruff and normal shampoo, and shampoo every day, to keep your scalp clean. Leave the shampoo on your scalp for five minutes and rinse off.
Tell us in the comments: what’s your best hair tip?