Hair Care

How To Look After Your Hair

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How do you care for your hair? What hair products are right for you? If you don’t know, you’re not alone. A recent hair care survey by Impulse Research found many women make hair mistakes. As with your body and your skin, having beautiful hair takes work. Hair needs good nutrition, minimal stress and of course, great grooming habits.

Here are tips to help you get the most from your hair:

Long hair care
Fifty-three percent of women surveyed have longer than shoulder-length hair and 55 percent have had the same style for more than 12 months. To keep your hair looking great and feeling healthy, or if you’re looking for a new style, remember these tips:

  • Regis Salons stylists recommend a quarter-inch trim every five weeks to prevent damage caused by split ends.
  • Cutting layers into long hair gives it shape and manageability. Adding fringe creates softness and definition while providing more styling options.
  • Highlights and lowlights create texture and dimension without cutting layers.

Heat on your hair
Even though 75 percent of women use heat styling tools such as curling irons and blow-dryers, only 16 percent use thermal protection products regularly. Thermal protection products, such as Regis designLINE Get It Pressed Flat Iron Spray, prevent hair from heat damage.
Sixty-five percent said that they use a blow-dryer daily. Here are a few things to look for in a blow-dryer:

  • Try not to use styling products such as curling irons and hot rollers often. If you use a hair dryer, set it to the coolest setting possible and do not concentrate the heat on one area of the scalp for a long period of time. A cooler setting or “cold shot” on blow-dryers is used to set a style once hair is dry.
  • Ionic blow-dryers reduce drying time to eliminate frizz and add body.
  • Some Stylists recommend adding a diffuser to enhance curls and create volume and texture.

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Choosing the right product
The right product can add volume, hold, shine or curls. A stylist at a product-focused salon such as Trade Secret can help you identify your hair type and find the products it needs. Here are some guidelines:

  • The heavier and coarser your hair, the heavier your product needs to be. Gel is great for supporting heavy hair and pomade and wax separate and define your style.
  • If you have fine- or medium-textured hair, choose a lightweight product. Mousse provides definition and support and is a lighter styling solution than gel or pomade.
  • Hairspray comes in a variety of strengths, from flexible to firm holds, and works with any hairstyle.
  • Shine and smoothing serums add sheen to hair while controlling frizz. They come in a variety of weights so there’s a formula for all hair types.

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Final hair reminders & tips

Repeated bleaching, dyeing, perming and straightening causes hair to become dull and lose its luster. There are a few things you can do on a regular basis that will improve the overall health and appearance of your hair, as well as a few things you can avoid.  Here are some tips to prevent damage and keep your hair looking beautiful year-round:

  • Brush your hair:  Yep, the good old fashioned hundred strokes.  This stimulates blood supply to the scalp, removes dead skin cells from the scalp before they can get infected, and distributes sebum over the hair shaft for moisturizing and protection.  Bend over from the waist and hang limply while doing some of the brushing.  Use a natural bristle brush or other gentle brush.  Be careful and don’t hurry.  Better to go slow and only get 30 strokes in, than go fast and risk breaking or pulling out your hair.  Get into the habit of brushing your hair thoroughly before washing it.
  • Massage your scalp:  Before you stop to groom and brush your hair during the day, make a point of doing a quick scalp massage first.  Slip your fingers into your hair, and using just the pads of your fingers, massage in small circular motions over your scalp.  Using your finger pads will keep you from breaking your hair, scratching your scalp and messing up your style too much.  Then restyle, re-spray (if you use it) and go…
  • Break Day:  Get into the habit of giving your hair a break once a week.  It is not necessary to wash your hair every day (unless you are a teenager, have a dirty job or work up a real sweat every day).  If you’re over the age of 20 and do not have any rashes or infections (like dandruff), give your hair a break for a whole day. Pick a day where you normally do not go out, or just do housework and run errands. Do not wash with shampoo and do not heat your hair.  If you just feel too grubby and must do something, after brushing your hair thoroughly to distribute the sebum, simply wet your hair, apply a little daily conditioner to the ends, rinse well, and then pull back into a “wet look” ponytail or bun.  Give your hair a break from shampooing once a week, and whenever possible, from blow-drying and heat styling.
  • Conditioning Treatments:  Unless you have very fine, limp hair, get into the habit of applying a deep conditioning treatment to your hair once a week. Deep conditioners are not the same as daily conditioners and homemade preparations work really well. Coconut oil is especially good for hair conditioning.  Brush your hair, wash it lightly, and then towel dry. Apply your deep conditioner and then wrap your head in a heated towel to open the hair cuticle and allow the conditioner to soak in.  Leave for 10 minutes to half an hour.  Then rinse thoroughly in warm water to remove the conditioner residue that remains, then cool water to close the hair cuticle.  Rinsing your hair in cool water can be a little uncomfortable, but it can do amazing things for the appearance of your hair. It closes the hair cuticle close to the shaft, which increases shine and manageability, and helps to keep hair strong.  A mixture of cool water and lemon juice is even better for shine and strength (a half of a teaspoon of lemon juice in two quarts of cool water is sufficient).
  • Daily Conditioner:  Get into the habit of applying a daily conditioner to hair ends every time you shampoo.  This will reduce slit ends, discolouration when colouring, damage when heat styling and reduce the need for frequent trims.  Use a product designed for thermal styling if you frequently blow-dry, use a curling iron or hot rollers. Cold weather in particular can disrupt the moisture balance of the scalp, so make sure to use conditioner in the winter months.
  • Haircuts:  Get into the habit of getting your hair trimmed when it needs to be.  Again, this reduces split ends and keeps excess weight off your hair (which can cause breakage).  About once every 8 weeks is right for shoulder length or longer hair, once every 6 weeks for shorter styles.
  • Give your hair the spa treatment. When it comes to restorative, indulgent beauty masques, why should your skin have all the fun? Give your locks a luxurious therapeutic spa treatment with a hair masque that is perfect for tresses in distress as well as healthy hair that just needs an occasional pick-me-up.  For example, chamomile for colour-treated hair, jojoba to revitalize damaged hair, aloe vera to moisturize normal to dry hair, and herbal a hydrating masque for all hair types. For the best results, leave the hair masque on for two to five minutes after shampooing.
  • Protect your hair from the sun. Just like your skin, your hair can become sun-damaged. Wear a hat or apply a conditioner that contains sunscreen to block out damaging ultraviolet rays.
  • Tie your hair up:  Yep, that’s right – if you have long hair and want to keep it that way – put your hair up when possible.  I’m not suggesting you look like a Librarian every day but one of the reasons that women grew such long beautiful hair back in the “old days” is because they wore it up all the time.  The weight of your hair can stimulate the start of the telogen phase.  When hair is weighed down and very long, it stops growing and falls out, or simply breaks off.  Putting your hair up frequently will keep that weight off the root of the hair.  You can pin it up gently with bobby when running errands, doing housework, cooking dinner, gardening, messing around on your computer, watching TV, etc.  Now, this depends on your hair style and hair length.  If you have a short hairstyle, this step is not only unnecessary – it’s impossible.  However, if you have shoulder length or longer hair, and want it to be as thick and healthy looking as possible, make it a point to put it up and keep the weight off your scalp.  The other upside is that it will help keep the hair out of dinner!

How to Wash Your Hair
Believe it or not, there is a right way to wash your hair. Treat it like the finest silk!  If you’ve ever made the mistake of running a pair of expensive silk hose through your washing machine, you’ll know what I mean.

Here a few tips for avoid causing any excess damage to your hair while washing it:

  1. Let your hair hang naturally when you wash it. Either standing in the shower or with your head leaning over the bath, or in a shampoo sink. NEVER – NEVER – NEVER – pile it up on your head to wash.
  2. Wet your hair with warm water (not hot) to prepare it for shampooing. Keep the pressure on the showerhead gentle enough to avoid excess water pressure on your hair.
  3. Pour shampoo into the palm of your hand.
  4. Work the shampoo into a lather in your hand and apply to your scalp. Work the shampoo into your scalp all over your head by massaging with your fingertips (not your fingernails). Move fingers from one area of your head to the other by lifting the fingers and then placing them elsewhere on your head.  Do NOT drag them through your hair.  Remember, hair is the most vulnerable to damage and breakage when it is wet.  If your hair is particularly dirty or oily, you can work the shampoo through to the ends.  If your hair is very dry or processed, you may just want to wash your scalp and let the shampoo pick up any dirt or oil on the ends as it’s rinsed out.
  5. Rinse hair thoroughly with lukewarm water. Ensure that you allow it to hang naturally. You may spread it out gently with your fingertips if it’s long and needs extra help getting out the shampoo.
  6. If you chose to use a rinse-out conditioner, this is the time. Unlike shampooing, apply conditioners to the ends of your hair, and if your hair is generally dry, apply the remainder on your hands gently to the roots. Repeat the rinse.
  7. Towel dry gently. The new hair towel wraps are excellent, keep hair in place and aren’t heavy like a towel wrap so there’s less risk of breakage to your hair.
  8. Once hair is towel-dried you can apply a leave-in conditioner.
  9. ALWAYS comb wet hair with a wide-tooth comb– NEVER brush wet hair.
  10. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER sleep on wet hair – it is vulnerable when wet and can break easily as you turn on your pillow. Even if it doesn’t break, it roughs up the cuticle and makes it look dull.
  11. Air dry hair whenever possible.

With just a little care and attention, you can have the lush and lovely locks you deserve.

Treat your hair like the finest silk and it will reward you with shine, body and brilliance!

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