Caring for your hair can be difficult when you are unsure of the needs for your luscious locks. These needs vary for everyone and how you care for your hair depends on your hair type.
Heroic Hair stylist Kelsie Wearmouth and PCI Academy Ames Cosmetology student Liz Drost have the best tips and tricks to keep your hair looking healthy.
First, it starts with finding out your hair type.
“Starting at one is straight hair, two is wavy, three is curly, four is coily. Within those numbers there are several variations of curl patterns,” said Wearmouth.
Once you have your hair type, then comes the dilemma on how often to shampoo and cleanse your hair. It is actually encouraged to not wash your hair everyday; but if not everyday, then how often should you?
Once again, it depends on your hair type.
“I suggest every two to three days for finer hair types and every four to seven days of shampooing with curly hair,” said Wearmouth.
You should also be washing in a lukewarm or cold temperature to prevent breakage. Colder water also traps moisture.
Wearmouth says that while washing in cold water is not ideal, “It's the best for your hair. It smooths down the hair cuticle, leaving it more moisturized and less frizzy. Think of your hair like a fine fabric. If you're washing it in really hot water, what does that do to the fabric? Makes it less luxurious and makes it wear out faster.”
Washing your hair everyday causes your locks to “wear out faster," and it also leads to breakage.
“Using certain products and not using them correctly when washing your hair everyday can cause your hair to dry out, split and break,” said Drost.
Protect your hair from the start by washing correctly and with the right products. Wearmouth suggests using sulfate free products and deep conditioning once a week. She also recommends the brand 7Seven Haircare.
“They're a line filled with quality ingredients that really do....work. They're not filled with glycerine, sulfates, alcohol, or water in any of their shampoo/conditioners or products.”
After you nail down your washing routine, it's time to tackle how you dry your hair. Drying your hair correctly is crucial for reducing frizz and locking in moisture, especially for curly hair types.
Regardless of the way your hair falls: straight, wavy or curly, the recommended method of drying is to air dry. Even the best heat protectants cannot prevent the damage from blow drying at a high heat.
“Towel dry the hair, spray in a leave-in conditioner before you comb your hair, and from there you can apply other products based on your hair’s needs and air dry," Wearmouth suggests.
If you are in a pinch and need to blow dry, Drost says to use a heat protectant throughout your hair and also Argan oil on your ends to help prevent heat damage and breakage.
The best tips for styling your hair is to use products that remedy your hair concerns. For straight hair, Wearmouth says the most common issue she hears is volume.
“I think the only way to get volume in fine, straight hair is to blow dry or round brush the hair with products that are meant to add volume, like Boost from 7seven. Layers help too, but adding heat works the best," Wearmouth said. Don’t forget to also use a heat protectant if you use this method.
For curly hair types the biggest concern is keeping moisture trapped in. Wearmouth recommends a leave-in conditioner to anyone who struggles with this. Lighter leave-ins are best for people with finer hair and heavier ones are for more coarse/curly textures.
Keeping your hair trimmed is also an important factor in keeping your hair in good shape.
“To keep your hair healthy, it all starts with good products and regular trims every four to six weeks,” said Drost. She also mentions that “having your hair up is another way of causing breakage and split ends.”
Be mindful and purposeful when caring for your hair. It is extremely important to treat it with care if you want it to stay healthy. Making a few simple changes can make a world of difference that you never would have known possible.