We all have bad hair days. Some of us more often than others, but the causes are almost always the same. If your hair isn’t behaving properly, it is probably a matter of genetic predisposition and environmental damage. There are five typical reasons our hair causes us to despair, and we’ve got expert advice for fixing each of them, making bad hair days a thing of the past. If your hair is prone to split ends, dull color, flyaways, dryness, or thinness, help is on the way.
Bad Hair Day Cause #1 – Split Ends
There are lots of causes of split ends, but the biggest offender is over processing. Our favorite heat reliant tools, like blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons, all cause split ends when they’re overused and most of us put our hair through these rigors on a daily basis. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so limiting your exposure to these things as much as possible will help keep your ends in the best possible condition. Other than that, the best way to deal with split ends is to make sure you’re not going too long in between trims. Depending on the condition of your hair and how quickly it grows, you need to plan on getting to the salon at least every six to eight weeks to keep your ends in great condition. At home, treat your hair to a weekly conditioning session. Apply coconut oil from mid-shaft to the tips of your hair and leave it on for an hour. Follow up with shampoo and conditioner, and your hair will be sleek, soft, and less prone to splitting.
Bad Hair Day Cause #2 – Split Ends Dull Color
Ironically, the number one cause of dull looking hair color is overdyeing. Less frequent dye jobs and switching from permanent to semi-permanent colors can help restore vibrancy. At home, make sure that you’re only using hydrating, sulfate free shampoos. Every two weeks, treat your hair to some yogurt. Slather clean hair in a thick, plain yogurt. Leave it on for an hour, then wash and condition normally.
Bad Hair Day Cause #3 – Flyaways
If you’re prone to flyaway hair, over washing it could be contributing to the problem. You should only wash your hair every other day at the most, and less often if you can get comfortable with infrequent shampooing. We hear so much about fighting greasy, oily hair that sometimes it is easy to forget that our hair does actually need some of its natural oils. Without them, you get dry, static-prone hair that results in flyways. Make sure that your shampoos and conditioners are moisture-rich. Once a week, you can do a half hour hair mask treatment that will help in the battle against flyaways. Simply whip one egg yolk into some olive oil and coat your hair with it. After thirty minutes, wash and condition as usual.
Bad Hair Day Cause #4 – Dry hair
Some people are born with hair that is more prone to dryness, but we all do a lot of things to our hair on a daily basis that exacerbate the situation. If you’re shampooing daily, using heat styling tools on a regular basis, or chemically processing your hair, you’re drying it out. You probably already know about these culprits and are choosing to use them anyway, but there’s one more cause that you might have overlooked. Are you aware that your diet can be a cause?
If you’ve got dry hair, make sure you’re taking a high quality multi-vitamin each day. You should also check your water consumption, as dehydration affects both skin and hair, so make sure you’re getting plenty. Your hair is comprised entirely of protein, so you’ll also want to make sure that your diet has enough iron and protein rich foods to support healthy hair growth. While you’re addressing any underlying dietary issues, there’s also a very simply home conditioning treatment that will help the surface problem. Shea butter works wonders on dry hair. Just make sure you’ve got the real deal. Shea butter lotions may contain very little in the way of actual shea butter, and might even have drying ingredients like alcohol and artificial fragrances. These will do more harm than good. Apply a quarter sized amount of pure shea butter to your hair. Start at mid-shaft and work it all the way down to the ends. Leave it on for at least fifteen minutes, then wash it out with a gentle, hydrating shampoo. Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner, and your hair will feel softer and healthier than ever before.
Bad Hair Day Cause #5 – Thin Hair
Combat thin hair with a great cut. The right shape and texture will boost volume and leave your hair looking thicker and healthier. At home, use volumizing shampoo and conditioner, and follow up by applying a volumizing mousse to wet hair.
Pixies, bobs, and other mega short hairstyles have made a comeback, but if you love your long locks, don’t worry. Long hair isn’t trendy, it’s timeless, and when it is well maintained and healthy, it never goes out of style. This guide removes the mystery and shows you how to keep your tresses growing and looking gorgeous.
There are three key areas you need to zero in on when it comes to caring for your long hair. Home care of your hair is at the top of the list, because it is the one area that affects your hair every single day, all year long. The next consideration is how often you go to the salon, and what you have done to your hair while you’re there. Then, there are seasonal concerns. Summer is fabulous, but unless you take special precautions, it isn’t all fun and games for your hair. Let’s break it down into a simple care plan that will make keeping your long hair in excellent condition a breeze.
Long Hair Home Care
Consider your hair type and texture, as well as any processing you’ve had done, when you choose your shampoo and conditioning regime. If your hair is normal to oily, a daily scrub is a good thing. However, those with very dry hair should give their hair a break and wash it every other day, and always make sure you’re using a moisture-rich fortification formula. Your dry hair will also appreciate some extra TLC in the form of a once a week hair mask. If your hair is color treated, make sure you’re only using color-safe products to prevent fading and damage. To strengthen hair, look for a shampoo that lists keratin as one of the main ingredients. This powerful protein is what your hair is made of, so keratin shampoos will give it a powerful boost against breakage.
Head to the Salon
Another important component to caring for your long hair is making regular trips to the salon. There’s an unfortunate myth that if you’re growing your hair, trims will slow down the process. In truth, getting a trim every six to eight weeks will get rid of split ends that lead to breakage, so your hair will not only look healthier, it will get longer faster. Waiting too long in between trims could result in your stylist needing to cut your hair much shorter in order to get rid of damage and keep it looking healthy.
Another thing to consider when trying to keep your long hair looking its best is whether or not to color your hair, and if you do, deciding which types to use. The least damaging hair colors are semi-permanents that wash out in about four to six weeks, and permanent process coloring that uses a single color. Highlights are the most damaging, because your hair has to go through a multi-step process that involves stripping your hair of its color and then putting blonde highlights back in.
Seeing Your Long Hair Safely Through the Summer
Summer fun typically means lots of time outside in the sun, trips to the pool, and if you’re lucky, playing in the ocean. All of this sun, chlorine, and salt exposure can destroy long hair in a hurry if you don’t take the appropriate measures to protect it. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to minimize the damage without missing out on the fun and staying inside all season. First of all, if you’re going to spend any amount of time in the sun, protect your hair in the same manner you protect your skin. UV rays fade hair of its color, as well as drying out your hair and causing frizz and breakage. Spray it with a hair specific UV shield, and your hair will thank you. Before heading to the beach or pool, give hair a protective boost by using a hair mask like Oribe’s Signature Moisture mask. To protect your hair from the perils of swimming, always wet your hair with fresh tap water or bottled water before you dive in. Your pre-saturated hair won’t be able to absorb nearly as much of the damaging chlorinated water. Whether you’re exposed to chlorine or salt, always wash or rinse your hair as soon as possible after swimming to minimize exposure and subsequent damage.
With regular maintenance, you can enjoy long, luscious locks all year ‘round. The keys to ensuring that your long hair looks like a million bucks are using the right products to help strengthen and protect your hair, avoiding damaging substances as much as possible, and making regular trips to the salon for trims. If you’re having trouble with your hair despite your best efforts, ask your stylist for advice. Oftentimes, it’s the products you’re using, or improper use of styling tools. With professional advice, you’ll be able to reverse the trend and get your hair on track for fabulous growth.
We all have bad hair habits, but do you even know which crimes against your hair you’re committing on a daily basis? While you’re probably aware that some of your habits are less than stellar for your hair’s health, there are probably many others that are so small and subtle, you aren’t even aware that they’re an issue. We’ve rounded up the top six offenders that may be slowly destroying your hair.
Bad Hair Habit #1 Tying Your Hair in the Same Place
Elastic hair ties are like tiny miracles on bad hair days, but regular use can cause problems unless you’re switching up the placement. When your bun, top knot, or pony is exactly the same day after day, the elastic rubs and pulls at hair, causing stress damage that can lead to breakage and rough texture. You don’t have to ditch them, switch things up so the same small area of hair isn’t under constant strain.
Bad Hair Habit #2 Too Much Shampoo
When it comes to shampoo, most women seem to believe that more is better. In fact, almost all of us use far too much. Over shampooing your hair can lead to excessive dryness, and if you’re prone to oiliness, it will actually encourage your scalp to produce even more in order to make up for what you are stripping away. Not only that, but if you color your hair, you’ll fade your color faster. If you have short to medium length hair, you probably only need a dime to nickel sized amount. If your hair is very long and think, use no more than a quarter sized dab. Wash twice. It might seem ridiculous to wash your hair twice after you’ve just been told to minimize the amount of shampoo you use, but in the long run, this process actually cuts down on the amount of washing your hair receives. The first wash will remove excessive oil, dirt, and product residue. The second wash cleans and preps your hair to be able to go longer in between shampoos, which can greatly reduce the amount of exposure your hair has to both shampoo and the dryness that can result from too much time spent in hot water. After the second shampoo, use a small towel to gently remove excess water from your hair before you apply conditioner. This will ensure that your conditioner doesn’t get watered down, so your hair will receive the full effect of its benefits.
Bad Hair Habit #3 Playing Rough
If towel drying your hair looks like an act of aggression, it’s time to find a new outlet for your stress. Roughing up your hair causes all kinds of damage. Handle your hair with the same sort of gentleness that you would use with your favorite hand-wash only delicates. Just wrap the towel around your head and allow it to absorb excess water, or give it a gentle pat and squeeze.
Bad Hair Habit #4 Out of the Shower and Into a Towel Turban
Most of us wrap our hair up in a towel, turban-style, the minute we’re done showering. We keep our hair wrapped up while we dress and do our makeup, then take it down to style. The only problem with this is that as our hair dries out, it gets harder to distribute hair product evenly. There’s an easy solution, though. Just smooth in product as soon as you’re done showering, then wrap it up in a towel and proceed as usual.
Bad Hair Habit #5 The Upside Down Dangling Blow Dry
You’re probably in shock about this one! Even your stylist may have told you to blow dry your hair upside down to get a volume boost. Everyone does it. And yes, it really does add volume, but it also has the unwanted side effect of adding frizz. If you want to give your hair a body boost while blow drying without contending with frizz, go vertical. Stand up straight, and use a big brush to gently pull hair up and away from the scalp while you blow it dry. This will give you plenty of volume at the crown of your head, which is exactly where you want it, and it is much easier on your hair.
Bad Hair Habit #6 Brushing Is Reserved for Styling Time
If the only time your hair comes in contact with your brush is during styling, you’re probably under brushing. Brushing out your hair before you hop in the shower will remove tangles and smooth the surface, priming it for the best possible cleaning. While you’re at it, take the brush into the shower with you. When you apply conditioner, brush it through for even distribution, which will ensure that every strand gets the coverage it needs.
No matter where your summer plans are taking you, there is a celebrity beach hair look that is right for the occasion. Get perfectly tousled tresses that will see you through everything from camping trips to a night on the town. Dance the Night Away
A new twist on an 80’s throwback. Section off a thick piece of hair on one side of your face to create a dramatic curtain bang. Pull the rest into a low-slung pony at the nape of your neck. Voila! Instant dance party style. Wedded Bliss
Is an outdoor wedding in your future? Create a sweetly updated victory roll. Use a curling iron to create this easygoing classic that is always elegant. Turn Up the Heat and Your Next Cookout
When you want something slightly sexy, but super casual, try an oversized headband braid. The best thing about this style is that it looks as fantastic messy as it does sleek and tidy. Do it up any which way for a practical style for your next barbecue. Dinner on the Town
Usually, summer styles are super casual. A little bit beachy, a little bit messy, and always easy. This look fits the bill for those times when you want easy, but messy just won’t do. Keep your hair sleek, shiny, and free of summertime frizz by using a combination of dry oil, leave-in conditioner, or heat protectant spray, then top it off with an anti-humidity hairspray.
It’s five o’clock somewhere, but whatever time you’ve scheduled your cocktail date, a sexy French twist is just right. Let a few of the shorter wisps fall out for just the right amount of no-fuss, no-muss softness. Happy Camper
If you’re the type of girl who prefers hiking, fishing, and sleeping under the stars, this is the perfect style for your adventures. While you’re still in civilization, put your hair in a milkmaid braid. Make it nice and tight, and you can sleep on it at least once, possibly twice. It will look even cuter the next day! Like Riding a Bike
If your favorite set of wheels is human-powered, a low ponytail is your hair’s best friend. Spiff it up with a cute clip or hair accessory while keeping it simple. Picnic Blanket
Spending the day on a picnic blanket in the park? Get ready for your romantic rendezvous by arranging wet hair into several braids of different sizes. Sleep on it or let it dry for a few hours, then unwind the braids for beautiful waves. Poolside
Get the wet look by combing coconut oil through your hair, and pulling it back with a headband. Bonus? The oil will protect your hair from chlorine damage. Tourist
Better than a boring top knot, you can still keep your cool by keeping hair off your next. It’s perfect for sunny summer days spent exploring new places. Your BFF is the Bachelorette
So of course you planned a wild weekend for her! You’ll be too busy having fun for complicated hairstyles. Try the twice teased pony for ease and a great look. Tease the crown for volume, then smooth hair back into a low-slung pony. Once it is secured, tease the pony for a little bit of poof. It’s that easy. Road Trippin’
Hit the open road and don’t give your hair a second thought. A French braid that gets wind-blown during your travels will look just as fantastic at a roadside tourist trap in New Mexico as it will in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
Most of us damage our hair on a daily basis without even realizing that we’re wreaking havoc on our tresses. Much of what we do in the name of beautification in the short term can have long term effects that are anything but lovely. Are you inadvertently damaging your hair with your flat ironing routine?
Mistake 1 – Ironing Out Volume
We all love the smooth finish of freshly flat ironed hair, but unless you’re taking special measures to boost volume, you’re probably leaving your hair flat and limp in the process. If you’ve got big hair to begin with, this might not be an issue, but for the rest of us, it can leave us looking like drowned rats.
You can remedy this problem by priming your hair for flat ironing with a texturizing cream. Follow up with a shine serum and a volumizing spray to replace the body you’ve just flat ironed out. You’ll have the best of both worlds, with hair that is sleek and shiny, yet full and bouncy.
Mistake 2 – Heat Setting Mishaps
Not all hair types require the same intensity of heat to get results. The higher the heat, the more damaging it is for your hair, so you should always use the lowest setting that works for your hair’s thickness and texture.
The best remedy for overheating your hair is to invest in a professional quality flat iron with high quality heat controls. Talk to your stylist and ask them for recommendations for the best setting for your hair type. If you have naturally curly hair, chances are high that you’ll be able to get away with a lower setting than your straight haired best friend.
Mistake 3 – Straightening Wet Hair
Unfortunately, misinformation about flat ironing wet hair abounds, and even some well-meaning but undereducated stylists tell their clients that it is fine to straighten hair that is still damp. Even slightly damp hair will incur more damage than fully dry hair. When you hear your hair sizzling, that bubbling steam is flaking off your cuticle and cracking the hair shaft, which leads to breakage and rougher hair texture.
The solution to this problem is simply a matter of time. Don’t skimp on blow drying time, and if you’ve got to hurry out the door before your hair is fully dry, it is better to forego the flat iron entirely. The damage caused by straightening wet hair is irreversible, and the only real solution is to get regular cuts until all of the ruined hair has been chopped off.
Mistake 4 – Not Using Heat Protecting Product
Using a flat iron without using a heat protecting product is the equivalent of taking a baking sheet out of the oven without putting on oven mitts. The intense heat produced by your flat iron requires barrier protection. You might not feel the burn directly, but without it, you are damaging your hair in much the same manner that touching a hot stove will damage your skin.
The solution is simple. Buy heat protectant sprays or serums, and use them every single time you straighten your hair! These products will seal your hair’s cuticle and create a silky smooth finish. If you’re not sure which product to choose from the hundreds on the market, try Matrix Thermo Glide Express Blowout Crème. Another way to pamper your heat stressed hair is to use a weekly deep conditioning hair mask to keep it hydrated and able to withstand abuse.
Mistake 5 – Daily Use
Your hair needs recovery time in between flat ironing sessions. The bottom line is that the more often you straighten your hair, the more damaging the cumulative effects will be. Only you can decide how often you’re willing to bypass the flat iron, but minimizing use will go a long way towards keeping your hair healthy and strong.
One of the best solutions for this dilemma is to forego daily washing. Sleep with hair pulled into a loose bun, and simply touch up the next day, rather than repeating the whole flat ironing process over again. The same goes for nights on the town. Instead of shampooing and flat ironing your entire ‘do again, just mist it with a heat protectant spray and go over the top layer of hair. It’s also worth asking your salon if they offer professional smoothing treatments. This won’t make your hair totally straight, but it will cut down on the amount of flat ironing you have to do in order to achieve the look you want.
You don’t have to ditch flat ironing entirely in order to keep your hair healthy. It’s more a matter of intelligent use. Do what you can to protect your hair during the process, and give it a break as often as possible. Your hair will thank you.
Caring for your hair means knowing how different chemicals, products, and environment factors affect it. In the summertime, and in some climates all year, one of the most common hair damaging chemicals we come in contact with is chlorine. If you spend a lot of time at the pool, you’re surely no stranger to the havoc chlorine wreaks on your hair.
Understanding how chlorine does its dirty work on your tresses is the first step towards preventing damage. Knowledge is power, so we’re going to explain to you what happens to your hair when it comes in contact with chlorinated water, as well as the steps you can take to prevent damage without giving up swimming.
The Composition of Hair
Amino acids form proteins called keratin, and keratin forms each strand of hair on your head. Minerals bond to the external surface of the keratin comprising your hair shafts.
Your hair follicles produce an oil known as sebum, which gives the hair of protective coating. Sebum is responsible for your hair’s flexibility and shine. If your hair is lackluster and breaks easily, you probably don’t produce enough sebum. If you produce too much, you probably battle with oily hair. With the right amount, your hair has a healthy sheen and is strong and healthy.
Your hair’s color is genetically determined. All hair, regardless of color, contains two melanin variants. Your particular shade is determined by the content of these variants.
As you can see, every single strand of hair on your head is the products of several complex biological processes.
Chlorine Destroys More Than Germs
Hypochlorus acid, commonly known as chlorine might be public enemy #1 when it comes to hair, but it also serves a very important purpose. It kills viruses and bacteria on contact, making swimming pools and hot tubs safe for the public. Once or twice a year, there’s a news story about someone catching e-coli or some other nefarious illness from an improperly chlorinated swimming pool, so we know that without its use, our health would be in peril every time we took a swim.
That being said, chlorine isn’t just deadly to germs, its murder on your hair. As soon as chlorine makes contact with organic matter, it starts a chemical reaction. Since hair is organic matter, the minute you submerge your head in a pool, the process of hair damage begins.
When chlorine makes contact with your hair, the direct chemical reactions begin to change its physical properties. It reacts with by the protein comprising your hair shaft and the minerals that are bonded to its surface. It doesn’t just break your hair down, it actually changes the electrical charge, too.
What this means for your hair is that it is affected on every level, including color pigmentation, the integrity of the protein, and breakdown of oils. Your hair color can fade, and sometimes it is affected in even worse ways, such as taking on a green hue if you have blonde hair. The stripping away of oils leaves your hair looking dry and dull. The attack on both keratin and sebum causes split ends and breakage, and makes your hair more susceptible to damage caused by styling and coloring.
When chlorine and keratin meet, it causes the chlorine to form water soluble chemicals that break down the bonds between the keratin fibers that make up a hair shaft. When the chlorine makes its way in between those fibers, it crystallizes there, and those crystals cause split ends.
Meanwhile, chlorine is also forming salt crystallizations that affect your hair’s cuticle. A hair cuticle is the outer layer of hard cells that form in the shape of scales that are undetectable to the naked eye, but can be viewed under a high powered microscope. In healthy hair, those scales lay flat, and your hair’s surface looks sleek and smooth. But when these salt crystals form, they wedge themselves between the scales, pushing them upwards. This makes your hair look rough and dull, and it weakens the structure, making it unable to withstand stress without breaking.
You Don’t Have to Give Up Swimming to Keep Your Hair Healthy
By now you’re probably convinced that chlorine is horrible for your hair, and you might be ready to swear off swimming forever. Luckily, such drastic measures aren’t necessary. You can enjoy regular swims and still keep your hair in tip-top shape.
Here’s what you need to do:
Make sure you’re using a high quality shampoo and conditioner. This is always important, but it’s doubly so if you swim in chlorinated water. Shampoos formulated specifically for swimmers, such as Ultra Swim, and Malibu brand shampoos like Swimmer’s Shampoo and 2000 UN Doo Goo are particularly good choices.
Before you go swimming, shampoo your hair and rinse it thoroughly before applying conditioner. Slather on a thick coating of conditioner, and instead of rinsing it out, cover it with a swim cap. Take two or three cans of seltzer water to the pool with you, and as soon as you’re done swimming, rinse the conditioner out of your hair with them. This process stops chlorine damage before it begins, and your hair will look like you skipped the pool all summer!
Whether your preferred hair color is a rich and earthy brown, a vibrant shade of red, or a knock ‘em dead platinum blonde, there’s one hair coloring outcome everyone can agree on. If you’ve invested the time and money in getting the perfect dye job, of course you want to make it last as long as possible. Few things are more disappointing than getting a color you love, only to have it look faded and lifeless within days. There are several typical mistakes women make that shorten the lifespan of their color, and most of those mistakes are things we do in the course of our regular routines. By learning what to do (and what not to do), you’ll keep your color looking fresh and vibrant until it’s time to head to the salon for a touchup.
1. Keep Your Hair Healthy – There is a direct correlation between your hair’s health and how long your dye job lasts. Daily wear and tear takes a bigger toll on your hair than anything else. Washing it too often, seasonal exposure to chlorine, salt, and sun, as well as over processing, brushing, blow drying, flat ironing, and curling can all result in weakened hair. By minimizing your exposure to harsh and damaging elements and babying your hair, you’ll give your color the best possible base for longevity and vibrancy.
2. Use a Sulphate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner – Avoid washing your hair for at least the first 24-48 hours after coloring to minimize disruption of color adherence. Once you resume shampooing, be sure that you are only using sulphate-free shampoos and conditioners that are specifically formulated for your color. This will help moderate the amount of color that is stripped from your hair, and it will put back some of the color you do lose during washes. Another protective measure is to use cold water to rinse your hair, because this will help seal in your color by keeping your hair’s cuticles closed.
3. Don’t Skimp on Color Protectant Products – After every wash, use a color protecting serum. Be sure to work it in thoroughly from the roots to the tips of your hair. This product coats the hair and protects it from the ravages of heat and humidity. You can also try color protecting creams like L’Oreal Tecni Art Hairmix Supreme Smooth Cream for added hydration and strengthening while you style. Whenever you use any type of heated styling tool, make sure you’re using a heat protectant, too. Overuse of heated styling tools without protectant will fade your color practically overnight, but heat protectants will act as a barrier to minimize damage.
4.Protein Power – Your hair is made up of a protein called keratin. You’re your hair has been damaged through chemicals from dye, relaxers, and heat styling, you’ll lose color through the porous cuticle. A hard protein treatment will serve as a fill-in for the weakened protein comprising your damaged hair. These protein treatments lock the cuticle, helping your color to stay in place by providing a solid base for it to adhere to. Ask your salon about the types of protein treatments they offer, and consider getting one a few days before your coloring appointment. Priming your hair this way will ensure the best possible color and the longest lasting results. You can supplement salon protein treatments at home by using moisturizing shampoos and conditioners containing keratin.
5. Unless You’re Covering Grey, Opt for Semi-Permanent Colors – Grey hair is notoriously stubborn, so you might have to opt for a permanent color to cover it up. If you’re not contending with grey, consider staying away from the permanent dyes. Semi-permanent hair colors lift and deposit color on your hair, and the impact fades naturally over time, giving a less harsh look when your color starts to go away, which can be a relief when you’re dealing with the time period between great looking color and your next dye job appointment. Permanent colors are much harder on hair, damaging tresses more quickly and easily. Another thing to consider is the added versatility of semi-permanent colors, which allow you to jump from shade to shade with ease. If you use a permanent color, your limits are going to be severely limited for the foreseeable future. The one potential drawback to consider when deciding about whether or not to use semi-permanent dye is that red shades tend to fade much faster.
6. Your Color is Meant to Fade – While of course you want to extend the life of your color, it won’t last forever, no matter what you do. Keep in mind that your color is meant to fade over time. The reason for this is that when your roots begin to grow out, your fading color will help ease that awkward transition between two dramatically different colors.
We do a lot to keep our hair looking its best, but sometimes the very things we do to make it look good are the things that lead to serious damage. All of the brushing, blow drying, straightening, curling, and coloring we put our hair through on a regular basis can lead to over processed hair in a hurry. Hair that tangles easily, looks frizzy, has a rough texture, and lacks shine or movement can all be the result of too much processing, both of the salon variety and at home.
If you’ve over processed your hair, there’s no quick way to restore it to perfect health. Unfortunately, once the damage is done, the only way it will ever be fully healthy again is when all of the damage has been cut off and only the healthy, unprocessed hair remains. That being said, there are a lot of things you can do to speed up the process and keep your hair looking and feeling great while you prevent future damage.
Cut the Damage Off
Ask your stylist to assess how far up your head the damage runs. Typically, damage starts at the tips and progresses upwards over time when the problem has been neglected. Once you’ve got a professional opinion about where your hair makes the switch from damaged to healthy, you can decide how far you’re willing to go in chopping it off. At a minimum, you need to lop of an inch or two during the initial cut, with more being better if the damage goes further up than that. If you’re feeling brave, or you’re simply desperate to get rid of severe damage, a dramatically short haircut can over a stylish and chic quick fix. After the initial cut, get religious about going in for trims every six weeks. Regular trims will help get rid of early damage before it has a chance to spread, keeping your hair healthy.
Slow Down On Styling
Did you know that it isn’t actually ideal to wash your hair every day? Hygiene is important, but we’ve become so obsessed that we tend to go overboard, damaging our hair in the process. Two to three times a week is plenty, and it is critical in the prevention of further damage to over processed hair. You can use dry shampoo on the days in between washes if you’re prone to greasiness. You’ll also need to limit blow drying your hair to once a week on low. Minimize or completely avoid heated styling tools. It might be hard to break the heat styling habit, but the more you can adhere to this, the quicker you’ll have your hair in tip-top shape again. Think of it this way, you’re lucky in the sense that updos are so popular right now. They’re the perfect antidote for over processed hair that’s going through recovery. Start experimenting with chignons, French tucks, messy buns, and all manner of bohemian braided styles.
Let a Professional Treat the Problem
Find out if your stylist does professional hair treatments for over processed hair, and if not, get a recommendation for someone who does. They tend to be pricy, but these treatments are different than any type you can do at home, and it shows in the results. Three to four times a year, you’ll have a salon treatment that typically involves a spray on conditioner that penetrates the hair follicle and repairs your hair at the root. This causes your hair to grow out stronger and healthier, stopping breakage while adding shine, volume, and better movement.
Use a Hair Mask
At least once or twice a month, do a home hair mask treatment to help repair surface damage. This heavy duty conditioning will smooth out frizz and help protect your hair from future damage. It will also strengthen hair, giving it extra resiliency from breakage caused by brittle, over processed hair. Go for an ultra-moisturizing mask that contains keratin to help strengthen the hair shaft.
Always Use a Heat Protectant Spray
Under ideal circumstances, you should stop using heat styling tools altogether when you’re letting your hair recover from over processing. But let’s be realistic, you’re probably going to flat iron or curl your hair from time to time. When you do, be sure to set your tools on the coolest/lowest setting, and always use a heat protectant spray. The spray acts as a barrier to heat damage, preventing frizz and dryness. Heat protectant spray minimizes damage, but it doesn’t prevent it entirely, so even with the spray, try to minimize how often you turn to your flat iron for a quick fix.
Babying your over processed hair takes time and patience, but in the end, it will restore your locks to their formerly healthy and lustrous state. As you begin to see the rewards of your efforts, you’ll be glad you did it.
How many times have you hit the snooze alarm, only to find yourself in a frantic rush to get out the door without looking like a hot mess? Or what about running late because your hair wouldn’t cooperate? We’ve all been there!
It’s always a good idea to have a few simple hairstyles to turn to on those panic inducing mornings when you know you’ve got to look great, but you’re short on time. You don’t have to spend hours doing your hair in order to look pulled together. Here are a handful of easy to execute hairstyles that will only take a few minutes when you’re in a hurry.
Summertime is the perfect season to rock the laid-back loveliness of braids. In this updated version, your hair will look soft, feminine, and free spirited. It’s perfect for a day at the beach, but can transition easily into a casual night on the town.
Here’s how to get the look:
- From the top of your head to the tops of your ears, divide your hair into two even sections, which will be individually braided
- Clip one section up and out of the way
- Braid the other section, working from the front of your head, guiding the braid towards the back of your head, and secure the end with a small, clear elastic band
- Repeat the process on the other side
- Now that you have two even braids, twist them together into a bun or knot at the back of your head and hold them in place with hairpins
This leaves the under-layer of your hair down, which is softer and more casual than pulling all of your hair up. The result is a fabulous summer hairdo that won’t make you late.
The Sleek and Modern Pony
The days of ponytails being reserved strictly for working out and days spent lounging around at home in your pajamas are over! The new pony is nearly as effortless, but a few simple changes of taken it from slovenly to sleek.
Here’s how to get the look:
- Spritz hair generously with a heat styling spray, paying special attention to your hairline
- Brush your hair backwards while blow drying to ensure that your hairline is as smooth and sleek as possible
- When you’ve blown your hair completely dry, use a soft bristle brush to smooth it back into a pony
- You can prevent an unwanted bump from forming by leaning your head backwards while you brush and secure your hair with an elastic
- At the bottom of the pony, on one side only, tease out a 1-inch section and spray it with hairspray to add a boost of texture and to give your hair grip
- Take a strand of hair from the section that isn’t teased and bring it up and around the base of the pony to cover up the elastic
- Underneath the base of the pony, secure this hair with two crisscrossed hairpins
- If you want to soften the look, leave a few strands of your hair loose in the front
The Timeless French Tuck
The timeless sophistication of a French Tuck makes you look poised and pulled together, but believe it or not, this style can be created in no time flat!Here’s how to get the look:
- Gather all of your hair into a loose pony
- Rather than pulling it tightly to your head, place the elastic you use to secure the pony about 3 or 4 inches down from your scalp
- Roll the pony up and tuck it entirely over, so that it hides the elastic
- This will give your hair the shape of a roll that lands at the nape of your neck and runs the width of your head from ear to ear
- Use hairpins and hairspray to ensure that your tuck stays tucked all day
The Super Sexy Messy Chignon
The messy chignon allows you to create a super sexy style with minimal effort. The best part? This style works best with unwashed hair, so if you don’t have time to shower, this is your go-to! Get the look in about five minutes:Here’s how to get the look:
- Pull your hair into a pony that is just a little bit off-center
- Separate the pony into two or three sections
- Tease each section with a comb
- Wrap each section in the opposite direction as the last to create a messy bun
- Secure with hairpins as you work
- Pull out a few pieces of hair to create a wispy frame for your face
Look Like a Mermaid with a Fishtail BraidThe super-fast fishtail looks like a lot of work, but isn’t. Here’s how to get the look:
- Part your hair at the center or side of your head
- Divide into two even sections
- Pull a strand from the left side of your head over the left section of hair and under the right section
- Repeat the process, beginning with a strand from the right side of your hair
- Continue alternating this pattern until you’ve reached the bottom of the braid
- Secure the braid with a clear elastic
With several new styles in your repertoire, busy mornings just got a lot easier!
Highlights are one of the hottest hair trends out there, but only when they’re done right. To make sure you’re getting the perfect highlights for your skin tone and preferences, talk to a stylist who has made the latest highlighting trends their specialty. They’ll be able to walk you through the multitude of looks that can be achieved with different highlighting products and techniques.
Fun in the Sun Natural Looking Highlights
One of the most popular options in highlights right now are those of the natural variety. These warm, golden-hued highlights have replaced the ashy tones that were many women’s preference for so long. This beachy blonde highlight is reminiscent of the gradient coloring of children’s hair after they’ve spent a summer playing outside. It looks much more natural and subtle than the root to tip highlights that used to be the norm. If you want to look like you got your highlights on the beach, rather than at the salon, tell your colorist that this is the look you’re hoping to achieve, and they should be able to tell you the best way of achieving it.
Every Kind of Ombre
Ombre highlighting opens up a world of options for women of every age and style preference. If you’re not familiar with the term, it simply means different shades of the same color that fade one into the next. It is so popular right now, you’ve no doubt seen it on everything from throw pillows to clothing, as well as in hair. In its most dramatic form, ombre hair coloring looks a lot like dip-dyeing. The dip-dyed look is an excellent option for those who like to experiment with over the top looks, but don’t rule out ombre if you prefer something more understated! Ombre can also be soft and oh so subtle. In fact, it is so subtle that you’ve probably seen it countless times without realizing what it was. It’s all about technique. In the subtler versions, ombre looks more like strong shadowing. Check out Kim Kardashian or Scarlett Johansson’s hair for examples of what this type of ombre highlighting looks like.
Short Hair and Highlights
Highlights look fantastic on hair of any length, but they can have a special effect on shorter styles. When you add highlights to a short ‘do, they can add height and dimension, making a powerful impact. If your hair is short, consider doing an all-over color, then getting highlights that add contrast and interest. If you’ve got the right skin tone, reddish highlights from the ginger family can be a refreshing and beautiful twist on the old standby highlights.
Consider a Rinse or Glaze
Did you know that highlights can do more for your hair than simply adding in lighter pieces? Ask your colorist about the rinses and glazes they use, and what they love about them. The most recent generations of rinses and glazes can add a high gloss shine to your hair, making it look healthier and stronger, along with playing up warm tones. And who doesn’t want hair that looks strong, shiny, and healthy?
Colorists Go Freestyle
A trending technique in highlights is freehand application. The freehand technique consists of backcombing highlights into hair to achieve the ombre look mentioned above. One of the best things about this technique is that the results are always unique, ensuring that you’ll never have a cookie cutter look. Not only will they vary depending upon how your stylist goes about applying them, they will also look considerably different on people with different hair textures and densities. If you have uber-straight hair, it will beautifully showcase the most subtle and diffused ombres. If you have curly hair, you can play it up and go for boldly color blocked styles if that’s your preference.
Don’t Forget to Touch It Up!
You don’t have to touch up highlights nearly as often as you do regular dye jobs, which is great news for both your schedule and your budget! In order to keep your highlights looking their best, you’ll want to head to the salon after a few months for some root work. Having subtle highlights added to the roots can help downplay the contrast between light and dark as your hair grows out, keeping you look soft and natural.