Has your crowning glory lost its gloss? It's all too easy for your hair to become dry, lifeless and damaged. In addition to regular visits to your hairdresser in order to give your mane some serious professional TLC, there's plenty you can do to protect your tresses in between times. Read on for some tips on how to keep your hair looking healthy.
Too much heat
Whether you want arrow-straight tresses or a mass of tumbling curls and waves, the usual styling solution is heat, and this is terrible news for your hair. Heat dries out your hair and strips it of the natural oils that give it flexibility and shine.
Protect your hair by keeping use of straighteners, hair dryers and heated rollers to a minimum, and always use a protective serum before you style. Why not try leaving your hair to dry naturally, or using cold rollers instead of heated ones? Both these options are much better for your hair.
Avoid daily washing
There's really no need to wash your hair every single day. A wash every other day is all you need to do to keep your hair clean and fresh. Too much washing strips out the hair's natural oils, leaving it dry and lacking shine.
Did you know that you can really damage your hair by brushing it too often? Over-brushing your hair can thin it and cause unsightly split ends and breakage. Stick to brushing your hair once in the morning and then again in the evening to avoid damaging it. In addition, brushes with soft, natural bristles are much kinder to your hair than those with stiff, nylon ones, so ditch the fake and go au naturel.
Although you might enjoy a tipple every now and then, your hair doesn't! The alcohol contained in some brands of hairspray, gels and other styling products strips the moisture and oil from your hair, leaving it looking dull and limp.
Many shampoos contain sulphates. Sulphates are what make detergents lather-up, and although a head-full of sweetly-scented, foaming bubbles might feel and smell great, those sulphates dry out your hair and can exacerbate dandruff and scurf. Instead, look out for products that contain natural ingredients and are sulphate-free.
Products used for perming, bleaching and colouring hair can contain damaging chemicals that strip away your hair's cuticle. Without this protective layer, your hair becomes more porous and loses its natural moisture much more easily. Keep these treatments to a minimum, and always have your hair permed or coloured professionally by a hairdresser, rather than taking the DIY route.
Use moisturising conditioning products
If you have dry hair, or hair that's suffering from the effects of over-colouring, always use a conditioning product that contains added moisturiser.
It's a good idea to treat your hair with a nourishing, moisturising mask or a hot oil treatment every week as part of your hair care routine. For added effectiveness, apply the product to your hair after washing, and then wrap your hair in a warm towel. Allow the product to soak into your hair for half an hour or so before rinsing it out. This allows the moisturisers contained within the mask to soak right into your hair, giving it greater flexibility and shine.
You can keep your hair in great condition in between your regular visits to the hairdresser by following the advice given above. If you're not sure which products to use, your hairdressing salon will be able to guide you in your choice.