Ciao, welcome back to my blog!
Today I am sharing with you my best hair care hacks to have healthy and strong hair after years of mistakes.
Let's start by stating that I have very ordinary hair: not super straight, not curly, not dark, not light. My natural colour is a lifeless brown with no highlights and the texture of my hair is thin and frizzy. Definitely not my best feature.
Since I started to dye my hair 4 years ago, I noticed that they slowly became thinner, drier and frizzy.
As a result, my hair was also prone to breakage and falling much more than before. I could find a huge ball of hairs in my shower after every shampoo (yuck!) and they were dull and lifeless even when clean.
I was desperate to know why and how to take care of my hair!
Now, you might think: just stop dying your hair.
Yes, that could be an option but, unfortunately, I am not ready yet to show the world how many grey hairs I have got already.
I then started to do some research online about healthy long hair tips, I asked my hairdresser how to have the healthiest hair and I also collected healthy hair tips from friends and family.
The reality was that I was making a lot of mistakes daily, plus I wasn't aware of some major life hacks for hair that could help to make them healthy and shiny.
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-Wash your hair once, maximum twice a week.
I used to wash my hair every other day since I was a teenager but I have learned one simple fact: the more you wash your hair, the sooner it will be dirty again.
Not to mention that they will be more damaged, especially on the ends.
The first month it was a real struggle avoiding my usual shampoo, now I can see a massive difference. My hair stays clean for much longer now and after 4/5 days my hair is not super fresh but still presentable, even when I am working out!
Even better would be to stay away from shampoo for a while, (the so-called NO-POO) in order to prevent further damage and also to save water and be more sustainable for the planet. Personally, I find it difficult but maybe I would give it a go.
-Swap to a bar shampoo
I used to buy the biggest shampoo bottle I could find for 2£ at the supermarket.
Sulphates and silicones present in cheap shampoos are extremely damaging as they are too stripping for the scalp so they can cause dryness and itchiness.
A bar shampoo made out of natural ingredients is a much healthier choice for you and the environment.
I also learned that if a shampoo doesn't foam it doesn't mean that it is not cleaning enough. It just has less harsh and nasty chemicals, therefore it should be preferred.
Moreover, less is more when it comes to the dose utilised.
No matter how long your hair is, you only want to clean the scalp, which is where the oils and dirt are.
Most women will spread the shampoo on the length too but this causes dryness and split ends.
Last but not least: be gentle when massaging your scalp: no deep circular motions (they will tangle your hair), only gentle sideways motions.
Apply a deep conditioner on the hair shaft before the shampoo if your hair is super dry and damaged. This will protect them but they will still be clean after.
It is super important: neither hot (too stripping) or cold (not cleansing). It should be lukewarm.
If you, like me, love a hot shower after a long day, shower your body separately. Wash your hair either before or after so you can adjust the water temperature and not be cold.
Colour specific hair mask
Apply a suitable hair mask depending on your hair colour.
In my case, I want to avoid brass colour in my blonde highlights so this anti-brass mask is ideal to protect the colour as well as the health of my hair.
After shampoo and conditioning, rinse your hair with a solution of 3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a cup of cold filtered water (I use Brita maxtra) to balance the PH of your hair (massively important if you have hard water at home as I do).
When an alkaline substance (the shampoo and the hard water) is applied to the hair, the cuticle opens up and causes the hair to swell. On the other hand, acidic hair products (our ACV + filtered water) close the cuticle layer and cause the hair strand surface to be flattened out, thus making hair smooth and shiny.
Please don't skip this step: it is definitely one of the most crucial!
Use rice water every 2 weeks to promote growth
According to researchers, women in the Heian period (794 to 1185 CE) in Japan had floor-length hair they kept healthy by bathing it in rice water.
A modern-day equivalent of this story can be found in China. The Yao women, who live in a village called Huangluo in China, are famed for having hair that averages 6 feet long.
Soaking is the quickest way to make rice water.
To use this method:
take ½ cup of uncooked rice
place rice in a bowl with 2–3 cups of water
leave to soak for 30 minutes
strain the rice water into a clean bowl
Rinse your hair with the rice water at the end of your shower.
Coconut oil is not always the best choice
I often have been using coconut oil on my hair to prevent damage and make them softer.
The problem is that it is very hard to wash off (sometimes I had to wash my hair twice in a row because they were still greasy) which in my opinion does more harm than good.
Then I came across this eye-opening article from Glamour:
"If your hair has been damaged from over-processing from colour, or is weak and fragile, you need to get amino acids into the hair shaft, so definitely don't want to coat your hair in oil.
Hair oils - and especially coconut oil - tend to seep into every tiny hole in your hair shaft and disguise the real problem to act as a quick-fix; this won't help your hair in the long-run and is one of the main reasons I advise against using oils in your hair."
Instead of using oils to fight frizz, always use low PH products on your hair."
If you really need to nourish your hair, I would recommend olive oil and Argan oil instead. I found them easier to get rid of once in the shower and it is still hugely beneficial for my hair.
Good quality hair oil will minimise the damage to your hair and prevent future breakage, especially for curly hair.
If you want to know more brilliant tips to moisturise your curly hair, check this article from Curly Girly Says
No plastic brush, yes to wooden combs
Brush your hair starting from the ends first and then proceed to the scalp.
This will prevent pain if you have tangles and also breakage.
Wooden combs are the best tool to have to style dry damaged hair.
Wrap your hair in a large microfibre towel or in a T-shirt rather than using a rough cotton towel. They will dry faster!
Do not rub or forcefully massage your hair when it's wet as this will damage them.
This is by far the best styling products I have ever used for dry frizzy hair: it is cheap but super effective. It really does it all and it smells fantastic!
I just apply it when my hair is still damp and it helps against the fizz as well as making them softer and it especially good for long hair.
Let your hair dry naturally or if you can't, make sure to use a heat protectant and then blow-dry at a warm temperature.
Besides, never blow dry your hair upside down: it opens the hair cuticles again causing frizziness.
When your hair is fully dry, you can occasionally apply some flaxseed oil on the strands to extra protection against split ends.
No strict or super tight hairstyles
Opt for scrunchies instead of normal hair ties or let your hair down.
Beauty tips for long hair:
Sleep with a silk nightcap or invest in a silk pillowcase: your skin and hair will immensely benefit from it and I found a big difference right after the first try.
If you really want to dye your hair, make sure your hairdresser is using Olaplex, which is the best hair care treatment. Olaplex is formulated to protect hair from the process to get the desired colour, but it also makes the hair strong, healthier, shinier and also help mend some of the previous damage.
Extra tips for good hair
Diet for healthy hair:
A balanced diet is essential to get healthy hair (especially for dry hair) as well as to increase your hair growth.
Eggs, fatty fish, spinach and berries contain essential nutrients for hair and they should be always present on your table to get shiny, strong hair.
To know more about nutrition check this article: The 14 Best Foods for Hair Growth
Top up for winter:
Try vitamin D and/or biotin supplements if you need an extra push to achieve good hair health.
Be patient: it will take time to see results but if you stick to this advice, you'll have amazing hair!
Click here to shop for my favourite haircare products.
Diy tip for healthy, natural hair:
Make hair healthy with this mask for damaged hair (only for the length)
1tbsp of honey
1tbsp of olive oil
Mix the ingredients until smooth then apply on your hair except for the scalp and wrap it with foil.
Leave it for 20 minutes then wash your hair.
Tip to avoid your hair from smelling: after shampoo and conditioner, rinse your hair with the cider vinegar and water mentioned above that will also add shine.
Thank me later!
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