The women I know along with myself spend a lot of money on hair products that each claim to work a spectacular new miracle to replenish the damage caused by our flat irons, blow dryers and curling irons; while other women blindly go into big department stores and buy whatever is cheap and smells good.
When it comes to hair care every woman has an individual treatment plan that works for her, but we can all use helpful tips and gain some knowledge on products we aren’t familiar with. What works on one person’s hair may not work for another. In fact the hair type on one head can be a combination of many different nationalities and textures.
Before I go on I didn’t mean to exclude the men; men have hair concerns as well and this blog entry is a dedication to hair tips that have worked for me and may be worth trying yourself.
Personally my hair type is a bit difficult to define and label but I will try to explain what I’m working with. I come from an ethnically mixed family that includes West Indian (Caribbean), East Indian and Irish ethnicities. So my hair isn’t quite like any other hair type I have ever encountered. My hair is naturally curly, tight curls very soft and thick. When I flat iron my hair it is half way down my back, fine strands, soft and shiny. In the curly form my hair tends to be dry but while straight for long periods of time it becomes quite oily. I have never dyed or bleached my hair. I have never used any harmful chemicals on my hair. The only tools I do use on my hair are a flat iron aprox 2-3 times per month and occasionally a curling iron a few times per year. Below are two pictures so you can see what my hair looks like.
*Not all of these techniques or products will work for everyone, sometimes trial and error or trial and success is the only way to know what will work for you.
*Try to wash your hair as little as possible, 1-2 times per week:
This rule isn’t set in stone; people who have active lifestyles and go to the gym or partake in physical activity like me may need to wash their hair more often. In this case try to do deep conditioning treatments to help seal in moisture and use a very good shampoo such as those that do not contain harsh chemicals like sulphates, parabens and waxes.
*Limit the use of heat styling tools, or use the lowest heat setting possible to achieve your style.
*Allow hair to air dry if you have the time rather than blow drying. If you do have to blow dry use the cool setting.
*Always use a heat protectant before using styling tools on your hair
*Keep hair moisturized especially if the ends tend to be dry and split. You can use serums or oils for this.
*Do weekly scalp massages to improve circulation to hair follicles
*Do a deep conditioning treatment at least once per week. You can also try putting the deep conditioner on the hair, placing a plastic cap over the hair and applying heat with a blow dryer for 5-10 mins. The heat allows the hair follicles to open up and absorb the benefits of the conditioner.
*Always do a final rinse with cold water to help seal in the benefits of the conditioner and avoid washing hair with hot water as it can be damaging
*Use natural oils such as coconut or argon oil before you wash your hair (leave in overnight if possible) (note: make sure the coconut oil is 100% coconut oil non- hydrogenated. Coconut oil should be the ONLY ingredient listed!) I use the Organic Virgin Coconut oil.
*sleep on a silk or satin pillow case or with a silk/satin head scarf to avoid breakage and damage while sleeping and make sure to get enough sleep. Hair tends to grow when the body is healthy and well rested.
*Do not brush and handle your hair excessively and avoid brushing hair when wet
*Use a boar bristle brush when brushing your hair.
*For tangled hair use a wide tooth comb.
*If you have naturally curly hair DO NOT comb or brush your hair when it is dry, it will cause damage.
*Always condition after shampooing hair. Use thick creamy conditioners or deep conditioners.
*Drink lots of water
*If your hair is dry and breaking wear protective styles as you treat it. Keeping your hair up and off of your shoulders will reduce the friction against clothing.
*Certain vitamins are geared towards healthy hair. Vitamins that contain Silica or Vitamin B such as biotin can be helpful.
*Try to exercise regularly
*Try to color your hair less. Also avoid harmful chemicals like bleach, dye and relaxers all together if possible. (I have never used any dyes or chemicals on my hair)
*Use a finishing product on your hair that won’t leave a build up but will give you a shiny finish and help with dryness
*Trim split ends with PROFESSIONAL scissors, scissors meant for cutting hair and get regular trims.
*When you do use heat styling tools make sure they are of good quality. Try to use 100% ceramic heat tools. Avoid using ceramic plated irons or clothing irons ect. Try to avoid holding heating tools on the hair for a long time.
*Protect your hair from UV rays in the summer; use a leave in conditioner, a shampoo with UV protection or a heat protectant spray.
Let’s talk products
I have used too many products to even list! But one way of knowing for sure if something works on your hair is to TRY it. So let’s just say I have tried many of the products that are on the market and I’ll tell you which ones I like the most.
Shampoos and Conditioners
*Nexxus Humectress Deep Conditioner.
*Nexxus Pro Mend Shampoo and Conditioner
*Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner
*Mixed Chicks Leave in Conditioner
*Poya Organics Rosemary Mint Conditioner
This product is made with all natural ingredients and although the smells from the herbs are very strong and minty it makes your hair super soft and silky, you can feel the difference as soon as you put it on! It is enriched with 100% pure essential oils and botanical extracts. This product is sold by a Canadian company but you can order online at:
*Dove Nourishing Oil Care Shampoo and Conditioner
*Pantene Breakage to Strength Shampoo and Conditioner Medium to Thick
This shampoo and conditioner not only smells good but it is also affordable at about $6.00 per bottle. The conditioner leaves your hair feeling nice and soft. It works to strengthen hair against damage and help prevent split ends. I’d suggest that you adhere to some of the other hair care tips listed above and use them along with this line in order to see results.
*Dark and Lovley Healthy Gloss 5 Shampoo and Conditioner
I found that the Dark and Lovely shampoo did not strip my hair at all; in fact it made it feel softer, like I had just conditioned it. The conditioner also works well and for about $5 a bottle it’s a steal. The products are made with satin oil and helps restore the 5 signs of healthy hair:
1.Moisture 2.Shine 3.Strength 4.Softness 5.Body and offers 5x more conditioning.
*Herbal Essence Hello Hydration conditioner
This conditioner gives your hair a healthy dose of hydration and moisturizer to help combat dry damaged hair. It is infused with Orchid and coconut milk and can be found anywhere hair products are sold for about 6 dollars.
*Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner
This deep conditioner sells for just over three dollars and is great at making your hair soft and shiny. I have never seen this particular product here in the Greater Toronto Area so you may have to get it when you go across the border to the US.
*Pantene Curly Hair Series Dry to Moisturized Conditioner
*Tresemme Spit Remedy Conditioner
*Vatika Deep Conditioner and Hot oil Treatment
*Aussie Insurance Leave in Treatment
This leave in conditioner claims to repair and restore not so healthy hair. It is a spray leave in conditioner that adds moisture to your hair before styling or extra hold for your curls and helps repair dry damaged hair. You can get it for just over 3 dollars.
*Aveno Active Naturals Nourish+Condition Leave in Treatment
*Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Spray
*Chi Silk infusion: silk reconstructing complex, enriched with pure silk along with wheat and soy proteins that penetrate the hair strengthening and leaving the hair soft shiny and manageable.
*Chi Keratin Mist strengthening treatment- leave in strengthening treatment
*Tresemme Heat Tamer Spray- minimizes heat damage, guards against heat and friction to help keep your hair shiny and soft.
*Olive oil Heat Protectant Serumnote: I find that with the cheaper shampoos and conditioners such as Dove and Pantene you need to adhere to the hair care tips as well as do regular oil and deep conditioning treatments for best results.
note: prices of products may vary depending on retailers and location)
*Revlon ceramic curling iron (thin)-This curling iron was inexpensive, is easy to use and curls my hair in a short amount of time.
*Boar bristle brush