Sometimes dry, dull, lifeless hair may seem impossible to fix—but don’t go getting a cropped cut yet! Here are some practical tricks to help get you out of dry hair hell, and some pointers on how to avoid getting there in the first place.
When it comes to healthy hair remember: natural oil is good. It moisturizes, smoothes and protects your delicate hair follicles. This is probably the most valuable hair tip you’ll ever get: don’t wash your hair every day. I know this may be tough, especially if you’re used to showering every morning, but after a week your hair will stop looking dirty on the second day, and after two weeks it will look much healthier. Massaging your scalp regularly will help promote oil secretion.
Speaking of showers, one of the easiest things you can do to prevent dry hair is put a chlorine filter on your shower-head. Chlorine is very drying to both hair and skin and a simple shower filter (available at most hardware stores) is a quick, easy fix.
Another prime culprit is a harsh ingredient in many shampoos called Sodium Laurel Sulfate. The best way to avoid this detergent is to use “natural” shampoos, which you can find in most health food stores. Get three different kinds and alternate week-by-week to reduce build-up. And, to avoid limp, lifeless hair, only use conditioner from your chin down, where your hair is the oldest and needs it the most.
Here’s a trick that European women have known for centuries. Once a week, comb olive oil through your hair, put a shower cap on, let is soak in overnight and shower it out in the morning. Olive oil is a great natural conditioner and is easily absorbed by the hair shaft, restoring natural softness and elasticity to dry hair.
But don’t forget: you are what you eat, and this applies to your hair as well. A healthy diet of fresh foods, whole grains, protein, minerals and lots of water will go a long way towards great looking hair. And be sure to fit exercise and sufficient sleep into your schedule—a healthy lifestyle will lead to great hair from the inside out.
If all that doesn’t do the trick, get a humidifier for your bedroom, stop curling or blow-drying your hair with heat and don’t be rough with your hair when it’s wet and most fragile.
Finally, sometimes all the tricks in the world won’t save truly damaged ends. In this case, the best thing to do is just get regular trims. If your hair is fine get a blunt cut rather than layers to keep hair looking healthy and full of body.