Since moving to Orange County 2 years ago I have yet to find someone to replace my hair stylist Kelly from San Diego. I have gone to a few different places here and there but I haven’t found a stylist here that I love yet. It’s been way too long since my last hair cut [3 months exactly] and I find myself cutting my split ends off strand by strand while watching TV. Let’s just say, Michael does not appreciate the little hairs I leave behind. [ew]
But I know that split ends don’t end at my next haircut. I need to maintain my healthy hair at home every day. So I am writing this to not only share with you the best ways to maintain healthy, split-free hair, but also as a reminder to myself how I need to change the way I treat my hair.
There are many home remedies for healthy hair that you can Google. About 10,521,686 of them will pop up. All different foods you can put in your hair from raw eggs to mayonnaise, every kind of oil you can think of and yes, even beer. All of these will add shine because of the oils in the food but I have found over time that the best home remedy for dry brittle hair is avocado mixed with coconut oil. The avocado is rich with natural oils and omega fatty acids while coconut oil has the ability to penetrate the hair rather than just coat the hair like some other oils do. Coconut oil is rich in carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals which is great for rebuilding your hair from the cortex out! For a hair mask, mash an avocado and mix in some coconut oil to create a creamy paste. Massage into hair and leave in for at least 30 minutes with a little heat. Wash out with a gentle shampoo and style. If you’re looking for a quick fix, apply a small amount of coconut oil to dry ends after using hot tools. This will add a shine and replace your professional oils.
“Lauric acid, capric acid, and vitamin E (all present in coconut oil) help restructure hair, increase hair’s strength by preventing protein loss, and vastly improve shine.” –Kendra Aarhus
The quality of shampoo and conditioner you use on a regular basis will reflect in your hair over time. Using a harsh shampoo loaded with chemicals, stripping away your hairs natural oils will leave your hair feeling dry and brittle. Growing up I used what we could afford, Suave. When I attended cosmetology school I learned the importance of a good quality shampoo. Lately I have been learning about the importance of organic. Not just high priced items with an organic label but really checking the ingredients and figuring out what I want to put in my hair. For the last few weeks I have been using Tea Tree shampoo and coconut oil instead of conditioner.
I wash my hair about 3 times a week with Tea Tree shampoo which is paraben free, vegan, and color safe. It is not organic but most of the ingredients are plant extracts and cleaning agents which my scalp needs after 3 days of no washing. I then apply coconut oil from scalp to ends and leave on for as long as possible. Sometimes that’s 10 minutes and sometimes I get out of the shower for about an hour. When I wash it out I use the Tea Tree shampoo again to get the oil off of the surface of my hair but rest assured knowing that the oil is actually inside of the hair.
Get it here – Paul Mitchell Tea Tree
Get it here – Spectrum Coconut Oil
Brush Brush Brush
The brush you use plays a big part in the elasticity of your hair. Brushing your hair when wet can cause your fragile hair to stretch and break resulting in more frizz and fly-aways. Use a wet brush to comb your hair when wet to prevent unwanted pulling. This brush has the most flexible bristles on the market, making it the only brush you should ever use when combing wet hair. If you do not want to invest (it’s seriously only 8 bucks) then make sure to take extra care of your hair when it is wet by towel drying as much as possible and never using a regular brush to detangle, always use a wide tooth comb.
Update Your Tools
Having outdated tools can be very damaging to your hair. The blow-dryer you grabbed because it was on sale 5 years ago may be why your experiencing so much damage. Your stylist will likely recommend a $100+ blow-dryer that promises a world of difference. Listen to her/him! I spent my whole life using my mom’s $30 Revlon blow-dryer and always had unruly dry hair. It wasn’t until I started beauty school that I got a $200 blow-dryer that changed my hair’s life! I quickly realized that my coarse, frizzy hair had great potential to become silky and bouncy!
Your hot tools (ie: straightener, curling iron) may also be in need of an update. Using a straighter with metal plates may be causing extreme breakage. When looking for a new straightener, go for one with ceramic plates, they are much more gentle because ceramic will not pull on the hair. Also keep in mind that you need a straightener to get up to at least 400°F. Anything below that will not be hot enough to smooth out your hair in a quick amount of time. As a result, your hair will be exposed to extreme heat for a longer period of time causing your cuticle to be open longer. In short, get a hot iron with ceramic plates.
I am a Paul Mitchell girl so here is a link to the tools I use at home and in the salon – Paul Mitchell Pro Tools
Prevent Heat Damage
Not protecting your hair from heat is like not wearing sunscreen to the beach on a sunny day. You will likely get burned and damage your skin. Use a product that will coat the hair to prevent heat damage from all your blowouts and styles. I use Hot Off The Press to keep my strands protected. Don’t use heat without some sort of protection!
Get a Haircut
The most obvious way to snip out split ends is to literally, snip them out. Healthy hair that goes through the everyday wear and tear should get trimmed every 6-8 weeks. You should always have a hair appointment scheduled with your stylist no matter what. There’s nothing more frustrating for me as a stylist than a client calling demanding a haircut ASAP when the next time I have available is 2 weeks from now. I can’t tell you how many times a client has “threatened” to go to Supercuts if I don’t get them in within a week. Honestly, go. You’ll be back when you need your bad haircut fixed.
Before you leave your stylist, BOOK YOUR NEXT APPOINTMENT. Don’t plan your week then try to schedule an appointment, schedule your appointment then plan your week.
You are able to help your hair up to a certain point. If you color your hair or use hot tools you should receive a professional conditioning treatment often. Remember, the tips listed above are to help you maintain healthy hair between visits to your stylist, not to replace your stylist.
If you have really dry, over-processed hair, you probably color your hair often. Ask your stylist if a gloss or stain will work for you. If you use a gloss or stain it will only coat your hair with a color tone rather than permanently change the color of your hair resulting in less damage. If you have lots of grey that you get covered, this may not work for you.
Give your hair a break. There are many styles that you can rock that don’t involve a hot tool. Wash your hair the night before and let it air dry. In the morning you hair may be big and crazy [as mine would]. Just go with it! Add some coconut oil to tame the frizz and work that God-given hair! Or maybe you hair is limp and lifeless. Add some dry shampoo to give it some ‘umph’ and maybe add a braid or clip to manage the hair framing your face. Or maybe your hair is too unruly to wear naturally. There are so many simple updo’s you can try. Anything to give your hair a break will prolong the life of your last haircut.
For those wanting to grow out a relaxer or perm, here is an excellent article that I know you will find useful!
Healthy hair begins and ends with you. The choices you make in your day to day life will reflect in the health of you hair, skin, and nails. Drinking lots of water will keep your skin and scalp hydrated so hair can grow out long and strong. Protect your hair from the sun by wearing a hat outdoors. Keep those ends trimmed and take advantage of all the things that God has given us such as oils and plants. Healthy hair is beautiful!