Everyone wants to have healthy and beautiful hair. The good news is that there are just a few basic steps to achieve it at home!
Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner is the most important part to achieving great hair at home. Always be sure to choose what your hair will need. Often times we get carried away with what someone else is using. However, what works for one person may not be what your hair needs at the time. For healthy balanced hair your shampoo and conditioner selection should include ones that have good moisture and/or protein.
When choosing shampoo, pick something that is fit for your hair type. For fine hair, choose a shampoo that will add volume. Ingredients such as wheat protein, rice protein, keratin and amino acids add volume to the hair. For thick/coarse hair, choose a shampoo that will add moisture and increase manageability. Look for ingredients such as shea butter, rosemary, nettle extract and avocado butter. Focus applying shampoo to the scalp working it down to the ends. Massage the hair and scalp gently to avoid tangling.
When choosing conditioner consider the same factors as choosing shampoo. Focus on applying conditioner to the ends of the hair working it up to the roots. This hair is normally more prone to dryness especially if your hair is collar length or longer. Remember when conditioning that your hair is like a sponge. Once your hair absorbs what it needs it will not absorb any more. On average conditioners take anywhere from 1-5 minutes to penetrate the hair shaft while deep/masked conditioners need to be capped and processed for 10-15 minutes. This is because there is a molecule size difference. The smaller the molecule the quicker the penetration. While larger molecules require the assistance of heat (simply capping to trap body heat or using a hooded dryer) to penetrate. Rinse hair with luke-warm then cool water to help close the hair shaft sealing in moisture. After conditioning use a wet or cream leave-in conditioner before detangling and part hair into sections to prepare for drying.
Depending on hair texture and your desired style is how you will choose which method is best. Blow drying works best with most hair types. For naturally curly hair blow drying begins your straightening process. For fine hair, use a medium heat and lower blowing pressure to help keep hair full. Choose a blow dry brush that has fewer rows to maintain fullness. For medium to coarse hair a higher heat setting and higher blowing pressure can be used. A blow dry brush with 9 rows (such as the Denman brand) has great tension to smooth thicker hair. For wet-set styles a hooded dryer or air drying is best. Many dryers these days have ceramic, ceramic-ionic, and tourmaline technology. This technology helps to dry hair faster and locks in moisture leaving hair shiny and frizz free!
Be creative yet practical with your chosen style! Like blow dryers, flat irons and curling irons have ceramic, ceramic-ionic, and tourmaline technology offering the same benefit of locking in moisture for shinier hair. Although the heat of these irons is ‘safer’ it is still important to use a heat setting that is appropriate for your hair. Heat in any form can still cause dryness and breakage to your hair. Always start with a lower heat setting and turn it up as you see fit. Generally a temp of 325° or 350° will suffice.
Nighttime maintenance is key to preserving your style. Whether you are wrapping, rolling or both be sure to cover your hair with a silk or satin wrap. As for your pillowcase, cotton pillowcases tend to dry the hair out. Choose a high-thread count or satin case that will not pull moisture out of your hair while you sleep.