Many women wonder why their hair is not thick, healthy and shiny. The answer may be a combination of unexpected things. In an interview with renowned hair stylist Skaught Gibson and owner of Josephine Skaught Hairdressing Salon in Las Vegas, he said, “There are many ways that we are damaging our hair everyday without even knowing.” Here are his tips on getting and maintaining lustrous locks:
1. Wash only 2-3 times per week
Skaught states, “The first thing that most people are doing wrong is washing too often. Shampoos are great for removing dirt and product from your hair, but they are also removing everything good, like natural oils that the scalp produces to keep hair moisturized and healthy.”
2. Avoid heat
Gibson goes on to say that, “Washing every day leads to using products and blow drying every day, which breaks down the cuticle. If the cuticle is damaged from over-styling, the inner core is exposed which causes dryness, a lack of luster, and static.”
3. Shampoo only on the scalp
Gibson cautions, “Always remember to use shampoo in the scalp area only, and use conditioner through the middle and the ends.” Running shampoo down to the ends on the hair is unnecessary and can dry your locks out too much.
4. Rinse with cool water
“Rinsing your hair with cool water makes a big difference as well. Hot water opens the cuticle, causing it to look rough and dry, while cool water closes the cuticle down causing it to look shiny and smooth,” he advises.
5. Use dry shampoo for a quick pick me up
Skaught recommends, “If you feel like you get too oily too quickly there are some great hair powders and dry shampoos that are perfect for extending your blow-dry and keeping you feeling fresh and clean. We like our cleansers to lather and feel like they’re really doing something. Foaming detergents in shampoos are terrible for our scalp and hair, causing it to dry out and become brittle. Although it would be much better for our hair to be “washed” with one of the new non-foaming, detergent-free cleansers, I think that too many of us will have a hard time making the switch.” Give dry shampoo a try and see how it changes the consistency of your hair.
6. Brush sparingly
Gibson told us, “Over-brushing, especially with cheap brushes can also take its toll. Over-brushing causes too much consistent friction for the hair to handle, resulting in broken hair and split ends.” Brushing can also pull on the hair fibers and lead to weaker strands that are more likely to break off and appear dry and lackluster.
7. Let your hair down
Skaught says, “Ponytails and braids can also be quite damaging. When pulled into these styles too tightly on a daily basis, permanent damage can occur.”
8. Wait until your hair is dry to style
Gibson recommends waiting until the hair is completely dry to style. “Braiding or putting your hair in a ponytail while it’s wet is one of the easiest ways to damage your hair because it’s so much more fragile when it’s wet. It’s best to create these styles on dry hair and keep them as loose as possible,” he says.
9. Go natural
The easiest way to heal your hair is to avoid chemicals and coloring. Here’s what Skaught had to say: “Some of the more obvious ways we are damaging our hair is with chemical services and coloring. Over-processing hair can easily cause it to be brittle and dry instead of luxurious and shiny. If you aren’t trying to cover grey hair it is always best to go with a ‘deposit only’ or semi permanent color, as it is not as harsh and much less damaging.” Here’s what he recommends: “When coloring hair, avoid over-using bleach (most of the time less is more). Using deposit only or semi permanent color instead of permanent color will add conditioning agents and shine instead of taking it away.”
10. Look to your pantry
Gibson says that there are many all-natural ingredients that can work wonders on our hair. “There are all kinds of things hanging out right in our very own kitchens that we can use as different treatments in our hair. Styling products can build up in our hair leaving it dull and dehydrated, and our daily shampoo isn’t always able to extract that on its own. Dairy products like yogurt and sour cream are able to reverse that damage and restore hair to a beautiful and shiny state. The lactic acid in the dairy gently strips away dirt and product while the fat from the milk moisturizes. A sour cream or yogurt mask can be used up to twice a month. Gently massage about 1/2 cup of either one into your hair, let sit for 20 minutes, and rinse with cool water.”
11. Use beer
No, not to drink. Skaught recommends them for your tresses. “Flat beer is great for plumping up tresses and adding volume and shine because of the abundance of yeast. Let beer sit out at room temperature for a few hours to deplete carbonation. Wash hair as normal and use the beer as a conditioner for about 15 minutes, followed by a cool rinse,” he says.
12. Avoid hot tools
The effects of overheating our hair can be extremely damaging. “Cut down the use of hot tools such as blowdryers and flat irons. When you are using these tools set them to lower heat settings and make sure you are using a pre-styling product that has heat protection,” he encourages.
If you’re concerned about your hair health. Go see a professional for an individual consultation. Make sure you are getting a trim or cut regularly to avoid split ends and to keep the hair bouncy and healthy. Do you have any tips you’d like to share that help keep your hair healthy and smooth? Please comment below.