You probably have a hair care routine that you rarely deviate from – from how often you wash it, to which products you use, and even how you brush and dry it…
However, just because you have a routine doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest for your hair. Your tresses may be in need of some extra love, but there’s no need to stock up on a cupboard full of products or spend time you don’t have on your hair care routine. In fact, it may be more about how you’re treating your hair, rather than what you’re using to treat it. That’s why we’ve got a few simple changes that you can make today to give your locks the attention they deserve.
1. Check your water
This comes down to mineral content and temperature.
Mineral content is how ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ your water is. Hard water has a higher mineral content, and soft water has a lower mineral content. But what does that mean? Hard water makes it difficult to effectively clean your hair, as it can result in soap buildup. Basically, those minerals stick to your hair follicle and hold onto shampoo residue. This can leave everything feeling rough, tangly and a bit sticky. Soft water is much gentler on hair, so you won’t likely have these problems. In terms of temperature, stay away from scalding heat as this can damage your hair more – leading to a dried out, limp look.
Quick tip: Use distilled water or a shower head filter to cut back on mineral content.
2. Assess your shampooing style
Let’s recap the purpose of shampoo: to clean your hair. Sounds simple right?
Well, it is… but we want to recap the basic rules anyway. Before you get in the shower, give your hair a quick brush using a comb or your fingers. This will help separate your hair strands so they all get equal attention at the shampooing stage. Then, once in the shower, make sure to wet your hair thoroughly, giving your whole head a rinse so the shampoo can work it’s way into each follicle. Be sure to use warm – not hot – water for this stage (see point above). Now you can begin to lather using about a quarter-sized amount of shampoo and working it into the roots. Focus on the top, sides and back but keep your shampooing close to the scalp, spending about 2 minutes working it in. There’s no need to apply the shampoo directly on your roots as they tend to be drier and more fragile – and too much shampoo can strip the few oils they have. When done, rinse out the shampoo, again making sure to use warm water.
Quick tip: Your hair is unique – just as your skin is. So, like you’d choose skincare products for your specific skin type, choose a shampoo that matches your hair type! If you tend to have oily hair, a purifying shampoo can work wonders – whereas coarse, drier hair can benefit from hydrating shampoo.
3. Master massaging techniques
Now let’s talk about how you apply shampoo.
We’ve already discussed focusing on the scalp, but now we want to talk about how much pressure to apply. The trick is to find that sweet spot of invigorating the scalp while still being gentle on your hair. Here’s how do it: You know that delicious feeling when you go to the salon and tip your head back into the wash basin and your hairdresser works his or her magic on your scalp? Replicate that. This gentle massaging technique will help activate the hair follicle at the root, promoting growth and healthy oil production.
Quick tip: Use your fingertips – not nails – to prevent breakage, and make slow small circles along your scalp as you go.
4. Focus your treatments
The treatment stage is when you return stripped oils back to hair to promote a natural, lustrous shine.
This is most likely your in-shower conditioning stage, but you can also use a serum or conditioner spray once you’ve gotten out of the shower. Now, where you applied the shampoo to your scalp, you want to focus your treatment stage on your ends. Although the shampoo may have removed excess oils at the scalp, that’s where you naturally produce oils, so you’ll be able to make up for any lost oil content there. However, the ends of your hair don’t get as much of that natural oil content, and thus nutrients necessary for shine, so that’s where the treatment stage comes in. You’ll want to start applying your treatment product halfway down the hair shaft and then all the way to the very ends.
Quick tip: If you apply conditioner in the shower, leave it in for 3 minutes before washing out. If you use a post-shower serum or spray, apply in the same fashion, comb through, let sit for 10 minutes, and then dry your hair as you normally would.
5. Delay your detangle and dry
Trust us, by the time we get to this point, we just want to brush and dry our hair as fast as possible too… but when it comes to a healthy hair care routine, it really is worth the wait on detangling and drying.
You may be inclined to give your hair a brush either when in the shower or as soon as you get out -but wet hair is very vulnerable, so it’s wise to wait on this. The best thing to do is to gently finger brush your hair while removing your conditioner to help start the detangling process. When you get out of the shower, resist the temptation to pull your hair back in a quick towel wrap. Instead, hold the ends of your hair in a towel and gently squeeze out the excess water. Continue with the rest of your morning routine for 10-15 minutes and let your hair air dry a bit before using a wet brush or comb to work out any remaining tangles.
Quick tip: If you do use a hot tool to dry or style your hair, invest in a quality, heat-protecting spray or serum – and try your best to not use a hot tool on a daily basis.
Want to add more natural ingredients to your hair care routine? The answers can be found right in your kitchen! We love a good homemade hair mask – and we’ve got some incredible ones featured in the all new Baby2Body Premium journey – now available on our app! Find it in the app store.