For the majority of my life, I have had difficulty with my hair. I was blessed (though it took me a few years to realize that’s what it was) with wavy hair with curly tendencies, depending on the weather, what I put in my hair, and how I dried it. Within the last few years, I’ve finally figured out how to deal with it, and how to make it one of my best features. While what I do for my hair won’t work for everyone, I have discovered that there are general principles that will help anyone, no matter your hair’s texture, to enjoy more manageable hair. Keep reading to find out how!
- Moisture is your friend. Every time I wash my hair, I apply a leave-in-conditioner (I prefer one that comes in a spray so that it doesn’t add weight). This will not only add moisture, but also help to make it less tangled. I also use a moisturizing hair mask once a week (this one is my favourite).
- Brush your hair. This doesn’t apply to you if you have naturally curly or wavy hair and wear it that way — only combs on wet hair for you. But, if you have naturally straight hair, or wear it straight on a regular base (or with loose curls from an iron), then this is for you. Every night before I go to bed, I brush my hair (not 100 times like Marsha Brady though), and again when I wake up before I style it or wash it. This helps to get rid of any knots, allows any left over product from the day to be redistributed and makes it easier to style. I used to never brush my hair after I curled it, because I was scared it would ruin it, but it actually makes my style stay longer (so I don’t have to wash it as much) and prevents uneven texture.
- Clarifying shampoos are a must. From creams to texture spray to dry shampoo to hair oils to hairspray, I use a lot of products in my hair, and it can make my hair feel pretty gross by the time it’s ready for a wash. Twice a month, I use a clarifying shampoo to give my hair a deep cleanse and get rid of any build up. I used to do it once a week, but recently switched to every other week, and it’s been better for my hair. If you use a ton of hairspray or dry shampoo (the heavy ones) daily, I would suggest using a clarifying shampoo once a week. It’s basically like a deep cleansing mask for your hair. Also, I always follow it up with a hair mask for best results.
- Wash your hair less. I used to wash my hair every day. And then in my teens, I realized (probably from reading beauty articles in my favourite magazines) that I needed to switch it up to every other day to keep my hair from drying out. Within the last year, I’ve changed that to every three days (though I’ve gone five days strong twice in the last few weeks), and have found that it makes a huge difference to how my hair feels, how it reacts to products, not to mention how much time it saves. Allowing your hair to create its own natural oils rather than stripping them daily will give you hydrated locks that are happier to bend, twist, or curl the way you want them to. Also, the less you wash your hair, the less you’ll have to. Day two used to be a greasy day for me, and I’d immediately have to throw it up in a bun, but now (with the help of dry shampoo), my hair doesn’t look greasy until day four — it’s a miracle.
- Use less heat. I heat style my hair regularly, but when I air dry my hair (or give it at least an hour before blow drying it straight), I notice a huge difference in how my hair feels and looks. Heat (when applied too much and too often) damages your hair, making it drier, looking limp, and less likely to curl and do anything else that you want to do with it. Like I said, I try to give my hair as much time as possible before blow drying it straight (at least 20 minutes, but an hour is best), or just letting it air dry (though I don’t always like the way it looks when I do that). Try to curl it once per wash, which will mean you’ll get looser curls as the days go on, but it will still look like you’ve done something with it.
- Use the right products. It’s taken me years, but I have finally figured out a great routine of products for my hair. The things I use in my hair won’t work for everyone, but they’ve worked wonders for me. Don’t be afraid to spend money on your hair. Some things don’t have to cost that much, but splurging on a few items (like a good hair oil) will make a huge difference. You don’t use much of a product at once, so remember that it’s something you’ll only have to repurchase every few months (or up to a year). It’s also important to use the right products for the look you are trying to achieve. When I wear my hair straight or my go-to loose curls, I go for products that will make my hair smoother and shiny, whereas when I want my hair to show its natural wave or curl, I’ll use products that will add texture. Try something new, and don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work the way you want it to right away. Sometimes it takes a few duds to find something great.
Would you like to see an updated hair routine? Or see how I style my hair when I let it go 4-5 days between washes? Let me know in the comments below!
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