Beauty Tip(s): Lovely Locks

My hair is one of the last things left on my body that I actually like.  (Fingers crossed for another year without greys!)  Every time I go to get it cut, I get compliments on how healthy it is.  This isn’t luck or genetics.  I have a carefully orchestrated plan when it comes to taking care of my hair.  Here are some miscellaneous tips to helping your hair look its best…

Ditch the “2-in-1” Products:  If you use shampoo & conditioner combo products, you’re not helping your hair very much.  Think about it – you’re putting conditioner in your hair at the same time you’re supposedly washing it.  If you really don’t have an extra 30 seconds in your day for conditioning, you might want to assess your time management skills…

Give It a Rest:  Despite what the shampoo companies want you to think, you don’t have to wash your hair EVERY day.  If you have a day where you’re not going anywhere, do you really need awesome-looking hair?  If you’re horrified at the thought of someone (maybe) seeing you with greasy-ish hair, use a little dry shampoo.  At the very least, skip the hair dryer and/or flat iron and/or curling iron.

Handle with Care:  Only color your hair as often as you need to.  The same goes for any form of chemical treatment.  When you do color/chemically treat, make it up to your hair by using sulfate-free shampoo (and going easy on the heat styling!)

Try Switching Shampoos/Conditioners Regularly:  If you find that your hair is kind of “blah” or has a lot of build-up after using a product for a while, try alternating with other products you know you love.  Your hair probably has different needs at different times of the year, so switch to something with more moisturizers when the air is dry or when you spend a lot of time in the sun.

Leave-In Conditioner:  OK, it’s called that because it stays in your hair – where it belongs.  Regular conditioner gets washed down the drain.  Leave in conditioner continues to do its job, and saves water.  However, these products can be tricky.  If you use too much, your hair could look really bad.  While you’re getting the hang of it, you should keep a bottle of dry shampoo handy, to help de-grease your hair.

Buy the Right Stuff:  If you have color-treated hair, get shampoo/conditioner that’s made for it.  Your color will last longer and look better.  If you have frizzy hair, look for products that de-frizz.  Shampoo and conditioner are not “one size fits all” products.

Banish Build-Up:  Use a solution of half vinegar (I hear apple cider vinegar is great) and half water to rinse out gunky hair build-up.  (It works for the same reason using it on your coffee maker does.)  You can also just add some vinegar to your shampoo for a “clarifying” effect.  However, if you have dryness-prone hair, you might want to go with an oil treatment.

Trim Regularly:  Getting rid of damage and split ends makes your hair look SO much better.  Even if you’re trying to grow your hair out, do you really want long-but-frizzed-out hair?  Find a stylist you trust who knows what “just trim the ends” means.  If budget is an issue, try a discount chain.  I love Sensational Hair salons.  I’ve had 3 different stylists at the same location and they’ve all done exactly what I wanted them to do.  At only $13 a cut, I don’t feel bad about going every few months.  You might have good luck with going to a local beauty school or beauty school chain, like Aveda Institutes (which I love).

Know Your Hair:  The most important thing is to know what your hair needs.  Pay attention to warning signs like breakage or a dry, itchy scalp.  The most expensive hair products in the world won’t work for you if they’re made for a totally different hair type.

Product Recommendations:

In Summary: Your hair is one of the few things in life you can control. (OK, maybe not EVERY day!) You can decide its color, length, and style. It’s one of the main ways you can express yourself. Make sure you take care of it so it can help you look and feel your best.

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