Let the one who has never returned from a holiday with dry, dull hair, be the first to throw a stone! Excessive sunbathing, intense party-time styling every evening, salty seawater – all of these are absolute hair killers and if your mane condition wasn’t perfect to begin with, you may experience some serious loss of gloss after your vacay time. But worry not, we are here to help you with our 4 tips to bring your dried out hair back to life and its most shiny form!
Tip 1: Take a break from heat styling
Yes, the flat iron is a gift to mankind, the dryer is a blessing and the curler makes our world go round (not sorry for that pun), but too much heat styling can really dry your hair out. High temperature damages your hair cuticles, leading to frizz and breakage. If you notice your mane going flat and lifeless, skip the heat styling at least twice a week – if possible, give up on it at all for a while. Moreover, try to use your tools on a lower temperature setting and finish blow drying with cool air if your dryer allows for it. Make sure to also never brush your hair while it’s soaking wet – that’s when it’s at its most vulnerable!
Tip 2: Increase your intake of omegas
Most probably you’ve already heard about Omega-3-6-9 fatty acids, the crucial dietary fats that you need to keep in balance in order to be healthy. Most of us consume enough or even too much of Omega-6 and our bodies are able to produce Omega-9 themselves, however, the intake of Omega-3 tends to be too modest. This is a shame because Omega-3 is the healthiest fatty acid there is! It helps to reduce inflammation, contributes to the development and proper functioning of the brain, benefits the heart, immune and nervous systems, helps to manage cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and last, but not least – contribute to hair growth and its overall condition.
The best source of Omega-3 is oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies or sardines, as well as nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds. Another fantastic source of this healthy fatty acid is avocado – all influencers eating avocado toasts are definitely onto something! You can also start taking an Omega-3 supplement, but changing your eating habits should always be the first option.
Tip 3: Don’t shampoo every day
There is nothing pleasant about having your head oily as a frying pan, trust us, we get it. However, overwashing your scalp is not the healthiest option – unless, of course, there are indications that you need such a treatment daily. If you have very fine hair, suffer from oily dandruff, live in a very humid climate and/or sweat a lot, washing your hair daily may be a necessity. Even then, you should avoid shampoos that are overly harsh and stick to a gentle cleansing solution, using the deep cleansing ones every two to three washes.
And if you are not even that oily? Then going a few days without shampooing is actually a good idea! Our scalp produces its own natural oil called sebum, which provides moisture and a protective barrier for your skin and hair. Too much of it is not healthy, especially as it mixes with dirt and product residue, but a moderate amount keeps your scalp in good condition. Shampoo strips your skin and hair of this oil, leaving it clean but also without your natural barrier – which leads to your hair looking dull, dry and lifeless. So it’s crucial to find a balance between having too much sebum on your head and overwashing it. See for yourself how long can you go without shampooing your hair – it may be two days but it may be even a week! Everything depends on your skin and hair type.
Tip 4: Mind the ingredients of your hair care products
Unfortunately, not everything that one can find in shampoos and conditioners is actually good for your hair. Some ingredients find their way into products not because they are beneficial, but because they are cheap. A good example of this is sulfates – very cost-effective cleansing agents, very effective against excessive oils on the scalp. When used in moderation it may be helpful, especially for the very oily types, however, it is a very harsh chemical that can seriously dry out your scalp. If you notice that your hair is looking dull and there are a lot of breakages and split ends, even though you are not heat styling it excessively, check if your hair care consists of SLS and SLES, as they may be the culprit.
Mineral oils are also not-so-great-news. It may leave your hair looking glossy and shiny, as it covers it with a protective layer, but the moisture does not penetrate the fibre and won’t treat existing damage. So it helps the visual but does little to the actual condition.
Finally, be conscious of denatured alcohol and synthetic fragrances. Alcohol is harmless for your hair if used in moderate amounts, but too much of it can seriously dry your scalp. Check if your favourite shampoo has it listed as one of the first ingredients – if so, be careful with it. Synthetic fragrances are okay for most people, but if your skin is very sensitive, you can end up with redness, itching, hives or even a dermatitis flare. The pleasure of a nice fragrance may not be worth the sacrifice! It’s better to have beautiful, voluminous, glossy hair and then use your favourite perfume than to have it smell nice but be dull and sad. Just saying!