Basic Hair Care Guide
When to Wash
Let’s talk about washing. How often are you washing your hair? If it’s every day, I’m going to ask you to go to every other day. If you’re washing it every other day, I’m going to ask you to go three days.
I wash my hair maybe two times a week. I promise you’d never know! You want to minimize the amount of times you wash your hair, and here’s why: The natural oils in your hair are hydrating and can beneﬁt your hair more than any product. The problem with these oils is that they can also make our hair look, feel, and smell dirty. Lucky for us we can coax our scalp into producing less oil. It’s all about supply and demand. The more you wash your hair and strip your hair of those natural oils, the more oil your scalp will produce. The less you wash your hair, the less oil your scalp will produce. You’ve got to train it. Don’t go straight from washing every day to only once a week, that really will be gross! Gradually work up to it. In addition to healthier hair, you’ll also have more time in the morning to try these gorgeous styles you’re about to see!
Invest in some dry shampoo. It looks like a can of hair spray but behaves completely differently. When sprayed on your roots, dry shampoo absorbs excess oil. It’s a quick and easy way to get clean and fresh smelling hair without washing. Dry shampoo will get you through one more day, or three more days if you’re like me! Not only does dry shampoo freshen dirty hair, but it will also thicken your ﬂyaways by weighing them down, and it will add texture and body to lifeless hair. If you have ﬁne or clean hair that you are trying to style, mist some dry shampoo all over and it will add texture and grip. This is great for creating the styles in this book, most of which were created with second, third, or fourth day hair. Hey, don’t judge! Working with clean hair can be hard to do— your hair just styles better when it’s dirty. I didn’t make the rules! And by the way. Don’t forget to know more about How to Shampoo Your Hair Correctly
Shampoo and Conditioner
Okay, so far you know when to wash and what to do on the days in between. So when you ﬁnally do wash that dirty hair, does it matter what products you use? I’m going to go ahead and say yes on this one! If you’re serious about having healthy hair, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get a quality shampoo and conditioner, but you do need to know your ingredients. You want a shampoo and conditioner that is sulfate and paraben free.
Sulfates are the ingredients in shampoo that cause it to lather.
Lathering shampoo does the scrubbing for you. It strips your hair of all the products you’ve been using but all of your hair’s natural oils, too. The price you pay for an easy wash is damaged hair. When you start using a sulfate free shampoo, you’re going to need to use a little elbow grease to clean your hair. Massage your roots and gently detangle your hair with your ﬁngers. Your hard work will deﬁnitely pay off.
If you color your hair, you want a shampoo and conditioner that also prevents your color from swirling down the drain.
It makes no sense to spend a fortune on coloring your hair at a salon only to use hair care products that strip the color at home. If you’re blonde and need to brighten up or cool down the brassy golds, use a purple shampoo and/or conditioner. Using a purple product will breathe life back into your hair by distributing purple pigment that neutralizes the brassy, yellow tones. And by the way. Don’t forget to know more about How to Choose the Best Products for Your Hair.
What causes them? How can you avoid them? Most split ends are caused by heat.
One of the reasons I recommend washing only a couple times a week is because the more you wash your hair, the more you’re forced to use heat. The blow dryer, the straightener, the curling iron—the things that make our hair look the most gorgeous are also the things that cause the most damage. The heat from these tools weakens and destroys vital proteins in your hair as well as depletes your hair’s natural oils. By washing your hair less, you’re able to skip out on blowing it dry. And by learning new hairstyles, you’re able to avoid straightening or curling it every day.
Other ways we get those nasty split ends include excessive combing and handling, poor diet, and believe it or not towel drying. Our hair is most vulnerable when wet, so take care when brushing and drying it. Instead of ﬂipping your hair upside down and going to town on it with a towel, gently pat it dry or squeeze the water out of your hair.
Before subjecting your strands to high temperatures from irons and dryers, make sure to use a thermal protecting serum, spray, mousse, or cream.
Thermal products will not only shield your hair from the damaging effects of heat styling, but most products also have added UV inhibitors that prevent colors from fading and frizz caused by the harmful effects of the sun. Most thermal products will also strengthen and hydrate your hair while adding shine and gloss. Win-win!
How often should you be trimming your hair?
I am not a hairdresser, so take my recommendations with a grain of salt. I would advise you to speak with your hair stylist about this and be very speciﬁc about your goals. I have been blessed to have some amazing hair stylists who took care of my hair, who offered me some of the best advice, and whom I trusted. With that said, I’ve also had a couple terrible stylists who ruined my hair. It’s okay to doubt your stylist! Do your research and know what you want. Don’t be afraid to talk and share your vision.
Knowing how often to cut your hair has a lot to do with your goals and the chemical processes you put your hair through on a regular basis.
If your hair is long, to keep it looking healthy trim it every 12 to 15 weeks. Long hair is susceptible to breakage, and over time it can start looking stringy and thin. Getting regular trims will keep your long hair looking strong and healthy. For those with short or medium length hair who are trying to grow it out, the same rules generally apply. Regular trims at 12 to 15 week intervals are important in keeping your hair healthy and split ends managed.
If your stylist tells you to come in for a trim in 6 weeks . . . well, use your best judgment. If in 6 weeks your hair feels great, skip the trim and wait a little longer.