Proper haircare is more than just washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner (plus maybe an ocassional trim or hot oil treatment)—it's about knowing your hair type, what it needs, and not overdoing your haircare.
There are a many different factors that affect how shiny and strong your hair is, and it's not by completely redoing your current hair care routine and buy new products, it's with these tips that we gathered from experts namely, board-certified dermatologist Meg Sison, M.D., and hairstylist Francis Guintu.
Here’s how to properly care for your hair.
1. Comb wet hair with extreme care
Wet hair is very fragile and prone to breakage. To untangle your wet hair, use a wide-toothed comb and run it from the roots to the ends of your hair as gently as possible.
2. Don't wash too often
Washing your hair is essential, but sometimes people overdo it. Dermatologist Meg Sison, M.D. suggests, "We recommend that you wash your hair and scalp once a day, especially if it is oily. For hair that's chemically treated, you can wash it less frequently since it may be drier." That said, it is also recommended that you shampoo every other day or two to three times a week to prevent hair from drying.
3. Go sulfate-free
"Shampoos are intended to rid the hair of sebum, sweat components, desquamated stratum corneum, styling products, and environmental dirt," says NCBI. But what most people think is that the more suds it forms, the more effective the product is. While it is indeed true—thanks to sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and ammonium laureth sulfate—it can also strip your hair's natural oils, leaving your scalp dry, frizzy, or even irritated. Sulfates are also known to cause eyes to sting when shampoo runs down the side of your face.
A better alternative is sulfate-free shampoos. Sulfate-free shampoos have little to no alkaline soap base and no hard detergents. This means that it's milder, not drying, and can control scalp inflammation.
4. Choose the right product for your hair type
It pays to know what your hair type is—is it oily, dry, frizzy, thin, or color-treated? Hairstylist Francis Guintu says, "Shampoo is essential, but you still need to find one that fits you."
"Avoid overly moisturising shampoos when you have an oily scalp, but also, playing too safe with gentle shampoos may not be the best if you lead an active lifestyle. When you shampoo, it’s best to concentrate the application on the scalp since this is where oil and grime tend to accumulate, scrub with your fingertips and make sure that you apply enough pressure and avoid the long nails," Guintu says.
5. Boost hydration
Hair can lose its moisture due to weather, sun and wind exposure, and chlorinated or salty water exposure. Just like our skin, it needs protection, too. To keep your hair's moisture, avoid using hot styling tools. If you really need a blow-dry, use a thermal protective product before applying heat.
Once or twice a week, deep condition your hair using a mask. While in the shower, apply mask before conditioning your hair and tie it in a bun or wrap in shower cap and leave it for 10-15 minutes, or 30 minutes if you can.
You can also apply oil such as Argan oil, jojoba oil, or macadamia oil, on dry hair. These act as an humectant to lock in water and prevent hair from losing moisture.
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