Ever since my lock down hair disaster (three lots of bleach and two box dyes later), I’ve become a little bit more cautious of how I treat my hair, and the products I use on it. I’ve never been huge on extravagant hair maintenance. Much like my make-up and skincare, I try to stay as low-maintenance and as natural as possible.
I am in no way a hair care expert, and all my understanding stems from personal experience. I’ve grown up with thick hair, and so, over the years, I’ve come to understand the best ways to tame the mane and keep my hair as healthy and lively as possible. Here are five tips and tricks for maintaining healthy thick hair, even when you’ve put your locks through hair care hell.
When it comes to my hair care routine, simplicity is my main priority. I’m always a bit cautious about using lots of different products on my hair because it’s already been through so much. There are three products that are my holy-grail hair care products, and continue to be my go-to for natural styling. These are dry shampoo, a hair mask, and hair oil.
Dry Shampoo- As a teenager, I was a hairspray fiend. I wanted big, texturised hair, and I thought hairspray was the only way to achieve this. Over time, the amount of hairspray I was using left my hair feeling crunchy and unclean. I’ve not sworn off hairspray, but I have drastically reduced my usage. Now, if I invest in a bottle, it’s usually higher quality and a well-evaluated purchase.
Instead, I’ve started using dry shampoo. I used to think dry shampoo was only useful for day three of a festival; when the grease was seeping through and speckles of dried mud were becoming crusty on the hairline. It turns out dry shampoo has many great qualities, one of which being texture. It provides volume and texture, without the crispy and sticky residue you can get from hairspray. You can add volume and keep your hair feeling fresh between washes.
Hair Masks- Hair masks are a product I’ve started using in the past year, and I’ve noticed a real difference in the condition of my hair. If you frequently dye or use heat on your hair, I would recommend investing in a good hair mask. My two favourites are Garnier ultimate blends 3 in 1 and Rituals Cosmetics intense nutrition. A hair mask is going to provide the deep conditioning that damage and dehydrated hair needs.
Hair Oil– There are hair oils for almost everything you can imagine. A good hair oil won’t only leave your hair looking sleek and shiny, but will work to protect your hair from the inside. People shy away from oils due to fear of greasy-looking hair. If used correctly, oils won’t leave your hair looking oily, but restored and refreshed. Hair oil should be essential if you use a lot of heat on your hair.
Like our skin, the sun’s rays are damaging to our hair. Adding extra heat is only going to worsen the hairs condition. I know that cutting out heat can be daunting– I still use heat on occasion, and on those days when nothing else seems to be working. One of the easiest ways I reduced heat use on my hair is through natural drying; instead of using a hairdryer, I rely on product and styling to get my desired look.
Tip: if you straighten your hair daily, try doing it only after washing and use a straightening oil or serum to keep your style fresher for longer.
When people tell me they wash their hair daily, my heart sinks. Not only is washing your hair daily time-consuming, but it also does no favours for your hair. Washing your hair frequently can strip it of the natural oils that work to nourish and care for your hair.
I wash my hair about every 4-5 days– this is because my hair is very thick and I know it benefits from long periods of time between washes. Different hair washing schedules work for different hair types and lifestyles; you need to develop an understanding of your hair and what it needs.
Tip for washing less: try adding an extra day between your usual washing schedule. Use dry shampoo and an up-do to keep the grease at bay. Eventually, your hair will adapt to a new washing routine, and you will start to notice a reduction in grease and discomfort.
This post was about caring for thick and damaged hair.
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