We all have those friends with perfect, shampoo commercial hair. It bounces, it has body, and even their worst hair day looks like your best hair day. While it appears effortless (and we definitely envy them) they usually just have a few excellent hair habits that we can learn from. Below are the 11 habits of women with great, healthy hair that you can take up as your own.
1. Use the best products for your hair: “First and foremost, maintaining your hair’s strength and length begins with your hair care routine,” says celebrity hair stylist Valery Joseph, who owns and operates four salons, including the B3 Barney’s Blowbar. “In order to keep your hair healthy and strong, be sure to look for sulfate-free products with smart keratins and special oils. It is especially important to get yourself into a strength building hair care routine for the upcoming summer months,” Joseph says.
2. Make hair masks a ritual: “Applying a weekly hair mask to rehydrate and soften tired, over processed hair is a trick I’ve been using for years (it’s also why I developed our Mudslide Mask),” says Alli Webb, Founder of Drybar.
3. Get wet — before getting in the pool: Swimming pools can damage hair, including turning it green! “One of the best things you can do to protect your hair when swimming is to get your hair wet before you go into the pool. Imagine a sponge when it is bone dry. It can soak up a lot more water than if it was already dampened, so we are applying the same concept to your hair,” says Jill Marcordes, Executive Director of Cosmetology & Nail Technology at Tricoci University of Beauty Culture.
4. Stretch those blowouts: “It’s great for your hair to go a few days between washes. Opt for a hat on the fourth day after a blowout to give your locks a break,” says Webb.
5. Use hair serums: Shine serums are specially formulated to give frizzy or unruly hair a sleek sheen. “Hair serums moisturize your hair with a light concentration of oils. It’s important not to use too much serum, because it can weigh your hair down,” says Erica Sanchez, owner of Vanity Salon in Boca Raton.
6. Set your heat tools to the lowest effective setting: Alright, it isn’t exactly a newsflash that your blow dryer, curling iron, and flat irons are big culprits in causing damage to your hair. And yet, everyone still uses them almost daily! “Be mindful of how often you use these tools and to minimize damage, spritz hair with a heat protectant spray. Also, try to use the lowest effectibe heat setting possible for your flat iron and your curling iron,” says Marlene Montanez of Latest-Hairstyles.com.
7. Avoid bleach: Bleach is bad for hair. There’s no real way around it. The process involves stripping your hair of its color, which can cause plenty of damage if not done correctly. “Instead of bleaching, try a semi-permanent dye which isn’t as aggressive on tender tresses. You can also try incorporating bleached clip-in hair extensions for a highlighted look without having to dye your actual hair,” says Montanez.
8. Use a leave-in conditioner: Regular conditioners are great, but if you really want to pump up the shine and moisture, leave-in conditioners are the way to go. “Cocktail them with your hair serum before you blow dry,” suggests Sanchez.
9. Wash with cool water: Hot water can dry out your hair and leave it dull. Instead, after shampooing and conditioning, rinse with cool water. “This closes the hair cuticle and locks in the moisture,” says Sanchez.
10. Blow dry your hair the right way: As you’re blow drying your hair, direct the dryer’s nozzle down the hair shaft as you hold each section of hair with a round brush. Follow pressing the cool button on your blow dryer. The cool air has a similar affect as the cool rinse after washing your hair, sealing the cuticle and locking in moisture.
11. Get a glossing treatment: If you really want a shine kick, get an in-salon glossing treatment. “These are often performed after a hair-coloring treatment, but you can get one without having a color process done. A glossing is temporary, lasting about four to six shampoos,” says Sanchez.