A woman’s hair is her secret weapon, a sacred asset that most of us are O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D with. No wonder so many women search the planet far and wide for tips and tricks on how to maintain healthy hair. Thanks to a few good years working for the big guns in hair care, I’ve got 5 easy and oh so effective tricks up my sleeve that I will happily share with you girlfriend!
How To Maintain Healthy Hair: 5 Industry Secrets Revealed
While working in the hair care business, I was all ears, all the time. Most likely just like you – I’m crazy about my hair.
I get anxious going to the hairdresser, I’m careful about which hair care products I use and I absolutely FREAK if something happens to my locks.
On the other hand, I’m also crazy about experimenting with hair colors (that’s me in the picture, going through my pink hair phase!), which undoubtedly has left my hair pretty dried out and damaged.
That’s why I was hungry to find out how to maintain healthy hair, learning from the best in the industry.
Turns out it’s actually really easy, once you know the what, how and when. Prepare to be shocked at some of these.
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1. Invest In A Great Hair Mask
It doesn’t matter what kind of shampoo you use.
I was stunned when the director of a a leading hair care brand threw this statement at a meeting. Wait, what? What do you mean it doesn’t matter? Why the hell are there so many varieties then?
How am I supposed to learn how to maintain healthy hair when there’s so many different opinions floating around?
Shampoo is meant to clean your hair. All shampoos will do the job fine. They won’t do much else, sorry to burst your bubble.
So there I was, picking a shampoo for ages, always scanning the aisle for some amazing hair miracle, while in fact, it doesn’t make a significant difference.
Shampoo cleans your scalp and hair, getting rid of sebum and product buildup.
When I got into the details with our chemists, it actually turned out that this is the raw truth.
When putting together the ingredient list for a shampoo, the main focus is cleansing.
People expect clean hair when they use shampoo, it’s the main product benefit they look for, and that’s what they get.
That’s it my friends. With the amount of cleaning agents in a shampoo, it’s pretty much impossible for it to condition and nurture at the same time. That’s not what shampoo is destined to do. Period.
You Know What Else? Your Conditioner Won’t Make Much Of A Difference Either.
Conditioner is meant to untangle and smooth over your hair, making it easier to brush and style. Aaand that’s about it. WHAT?
Um, excuse me? Again, there’s me, sitting there thinking – I mostly use conditioner to CONDITION my hair aka moisturize, nurture, nourish, protect, cure split ends…. Nope.
Conditioner is basically silicone and essential fatty acids to smooth and detangle.
Additionally – some antistatics to keep your hair tamed, and not much else.
If it does have plant oil extracts, vitamins or any other of nature’s secret weapons, they’re likely not concentrated enough to actively work their magic.
Despite the fact that conditioners are often advertised as moisturizing, nourishing, or even as a miracle cure to split
ends, they’re not really fit to do the job like a boss.
Imagine you saw an advert that promoted a conditioner saying
“It will detangle your hair and make it easier to brush”, would you buy it?
Of course, you can’t say that a product has aloe or argan oil if it really doesn’t – that’s illegal.
But whether these extracts are concentrated enough to actually work, is another thing.
A Great Hair Mask Will Give Your Hair Visible Results
If you want my number one tip on how to maintain healthy hair, this is it. Invest in a great, professional hair mask.
It’s hair masks and hair treatments that are made to work their magic on your hair.
They’re filled with concentrated ingredients that actively penetrate the structure of your hair and actually make a real difference.
A great hair mask / hair treatment is what you need to look for.
These are the products destined solely to nourish and moisturize your hair. It’s their sole job to fix problems like dehydration, weakness, breakage, excessive falling out, sebum imbalance etc.
A great hair mask is what you need to invest in, in order to make sure you’re actually nourishing your hair with the necessary ingredients.
So let’s talk about how to maintain healthy hair by switching from conditioner to hair mask.
Don’t worry – it will not burden your hair with too much product, and will ensure that you nourish it properly.
How To Maintain Healthy Hair With A Hair Mask Routine
On weekdays, apply a hair mask after shampooing, about 2-3 inches away from your scalp, all the way to the ends.
Keep on for about 1-3 minutes depending on how much time you have. Rinse, style as usual.
On weekends, take the time for a 30 min treatment.
Apply the same hair mask from root to tip, put on a hair cap, tie a towel around your head, and keep on for 20-30 minutes.
Take off, rinse, style as usual. That’s.it.
The heat that will be induced by keeping 2 layers on your head, will open up your hair follicles, making it easier for the ingredients inside the mask to deeply penetrate your hair structure, hence giving your locks more lovin’.
♥If you want to learn more about effective beauty routines, you’ll love this post!♥
2. Apply Hair Treatment To Towel Dried Hair
So now that you know you should be using a hair mask to see visible results on your hair, as well as prevent any future damage, it’s time to talk about application.
When learning how to maintain healthy hair, product application is a key lesson!
If you apply any sort of hair treatment on wet hair, it will dribble down with the water, and won’t actually do your hair any good.
This was actually quite a surprise to my ears. I always slapped on some conditioner / mask right after I shampooed and rinsed my hair.
So basically my hair was soaking wet. I’d put the product on, wait a bit, wash off, and then wonder why nothing works on my locks.
Take a moment to pat your hair dry post shampoo, and only then apply a chestnut sized portion of hair mask or treatment. Keep on for at least a minute so your hair has the time to absorb the product.
Such a small change, makes such a big difference.
3. Only Brush Your Hair When It’s Dry
When your hair is wet, it’s more prone to damage and breakage. Why?
Water weakens the bonds in your hair’s structure, meaning your hair becomes more flexible and fragile when it’s damp .
It will break easily – especially if it’s thin or fine.
Don’t even get me started on curly hair, don’t brush it when it’s wet! Use a wide toothed, wooden comb if you really must.
Wet hair is susceptible to mechanical damage when you man handle it with a narrow toothed comb, or even worse – a brush.
Also take care when you use your towel – scraping it against your hair with a lot of force can cause split ends.
It’s actually best to wait until your hair is about 80% dry before doing anything with it.
I know that’s tough, especially when it’s morning time before work and you don’t have a moment to spare. Use moderate heat to dry and brush through after.
You may think that your hair will be tougher to style when you air dry it, or refrain from brushing when it’s wet.
I’ve started doing this a while back and find that my hair actually looks much better and more natural. Plus – it’s way more healthy and shiny.
4. Swear Off Elastic Hair Ties Fo’ Life
Who doesn’t love a messy bun, or in fact any style that will keep your hair out of the way?
Sure, blowouts and long waves are awesome, but when you’re a busy mom hustler or ladypreneur, it can get messy and uncomfortable.
So we tie our hair up with elastic bands, into tight ponytails or messy updo’s and go about our day, not realizing how much damage this does to the structure of our locks.
Styles that involve a tight ponytail or tightly wrapped updo put your hair under a lot of pressure.
This pressure is constantly pulling on your hair , damaging the shaft (the structure), and even the follicles (what your hair grows out of). Elastic bands are big no no if you want to maintain healthy hair!
If you want to prevent your hair from becoming weak and breaking, to the point of increased hair fall, listen up yo!
Invisibobble is your friend – you can have the cake and eat the cake with this miracle hair tie! It’s gentle on your hair, doesn’t pull on it or damage the structure with metal elements like hair ties do.
You can use it for the same hairstyles as you would a hair tie, except it’s way more delicate.
This is why they’re all the rage now, and not going anywhere soon. Once you go invisibobble, you never go back! It’s probably the easiest hack on my “how to maintain healthy hair” checklist!
♥Want to know more about preventing hair fall & growing your hair loooong? Read this post!♥
5. Stop Shampooing Your Hair Daily
Say whaaaaat? I have thin, fine and greasy hair. I used to wash it daily for years, otherwise it looked like I’ve had a bucket of oil spilt on my head.
I’m sure a lot of you ladies can relate to a 2nd day post wash “bad hair day”.
After my burnout came around, I was stuck at home with not much energy to do anything, which meant I didn’t wash my hair everyday.
Not even every 2 days. Make it 2x a week.
Yes – you read that right. That’s when I made a discovery which frankly has been debated quite a lot in the beauty world. Is washing your hair daily too often?
When I stopped washing my hair daily, it became stronger, thicker and started to grow faster. It’s true guys, the less you wash your hair, the healthier it gets.
How is this even possible? Of course, using what I already know about hair, it’s actually logical.
Sebum – the substance which makes hair greasy in the long run, is actually protective of your hair’s structure.
Just like sebum in skin protects and seals it, the same mechanism works for your hair.
Shampoo strips your hair of sebum, which does make it fresh and clean, but it also strips your hair of necessary protection, upsetting the natural, chemical balance of your locks.
There’s only a small group of people who should actually wash their hair daily to benefit its condition. That’s people who suffer from dandruff and an oily scalp. The rest of us? Rest assured – you don’t need to use the poo’ daily!
♥If you want to know more about how sebum affects your skin – read this post!♥
Meet Dry Shampoo, Your New Best Friend
So how in the world are you supposed to have a good hair day with less washing? I have two words for you – dry shampoo.
What? I thought you’re not meant to shampoo daily?
Let me teach you how to maintain healthy hair that’s also well styled ma friend – listen up!
Dry shampoo is basically baking soda & essential oils. Baking soda naturally absorbs sebum, proving more delicate to your hair vs. classic shampoo. When used responsibly, it’s going to help you immensely!
Not only will dry shampoo refresh your hair and give it a nice fragrance, it will also totally boost volume & make styling oh so much easier! Dry shampoo = the ultimate, 2nd day post blowout style, that looks natural & bouncy, woot!
Doesn’t Dry Shampoo Damage Your Hair?
There has been an array of opinions regarding dry shampoo, as with everything in the beauty world, there are yay and nay sayers all around.
Personally, I’ve adapted my routine to washing my hair 2x weekly and using dry shampoo on the other 5 days.
I’ve seen an immense improvement in the condition of my locks as well as how quickly it’s started to grow.
Not even mentioning, how much easier and quicker it is to style my hair. Being thin and fine, dry shampoo really does the trick for me.
I have not seen any visible damage to my hair since dry shampoo has become the regular on my hair care menu.
If you had to choose a lesser evil, dry shampoo is definitely it.
Excessive use can contribute to drying your hair out, but it will not do you as much damage as shampooing daily.
You can also make your own dry shampoo, naturally!
Mix baking soda with a few drops of your fave essential oils for a pretty fragrance, store in a jar and apply to your roots with a makeup brush. If you’re a convenience junkie, I swear by Batiste dry shampoos – they’re absolutely amazing, can’t live without one in my bathroom!
♥If you’re a homemade beauty fix junkie, you will LOVE this post!♥
The Lesson On How To Maintain Healthy Hair – Keep It Natural!
So there you have it my friends, the 5 key points on how to maintain healthy hair, as preached by top industry pros, brought to you by yours truly 🙂
I also want to add something that I’ve come to realize when it comes to hair care, which has also been talked about a lot when I worked on dermocosmetics brands.
The best you can do to maintain healthy hair, is to keep it simple. Less ingredients, less products, less styling. Natural is the way to go.
When we were taught about different skin and scalp conditions, the point that was made over and over, was that product overload is not beneficial for any skin type.
Too much chemical shiz will have a negative impact on the natural balance of your skin and your hair too.
That’s why dermocosmetics are made with the least amount of ingredients that prove effective.
So invest in one great hair mask, attempt to dry air dry your hair as often as possible, don’t brush when it’s wet, wear your natural style as much as you can & stop washing daily!
Easier said than done I know, but once you see the results, you won’t go back to your old ways! Stay healthy my friends!