When the coronavirus pandemic hit America and states started to shut down, people were worried about many things, and their hair was the last thing on their minds. Six months in, people are still going without haircuts or getting their hair done.
When you can’t visit the salon regularly, what can you do to keep up the health and look of your hair at home? We’re here to talk about healthy hair habits and what you can do to keep up your routine.
What you use in your hair is important. The first step to having happy and healthy hair is avoiding products with certain chemicals that will end up hurting your hair more than helping it. When shopping for shampoos, conditioners, and styling products, some chemicals to avoid are sulfates, synthetic fragrances, and silicones.
Sulfates, a classic shampoo ingredient, are, according to lovehair.com, “cost-effective cleansing agents, [that] are extremely effective at dissolving oil, leaving your scalp and hair with that squeaky clean feeling.” But don’t be fooled, sulfates are also very aggressive chemicals that dry out your hair and “strips away all your hair and scalp of its natural oils. Overtime, your hair will weaken, and end up looking dull, and become very prone to damage, breakage, and split ends”.
Silicones and synthetic fragrances also don’t have a great reputation when it comes to hair care. Synthetic fragrances are one of the most common allergens and often are the root cause of a lot of allergic reactions. When fragrance is added to a product, the label isn’t required to state what’s in the fragrance, so proceed with caution, especially if you have a sensitive scalp. Silicones are known to weigh your hair down and seal it, protecting it but also avoiding any other moisture, therefore drying your hair out and decreasing your hair’s natural oils over time.
Do this as a last resort! It may be a daunting task, but learning how to trim your own hair is a skill that can be important to have! For people with long hair, there’s an old hairstylist trick that many people use to get rid of their split ends. You take a chunk of hair and twist it tightly; once it’s twisted you take your fingers and run it up the end of the twist, exposing all the short split-end hairs. You can easily see what needs to be trimmed and can take scissors and cut them one by one. This may be a tedious project for those with a lot of hair, but if a salon or haircut is inaccessible, it might come in handy for some.
For people with shorter hair that need more of a serious cut, Youtube has a plethora of videos that can help you learn how to cut your hair in a simple style. As long as you have an electric shaver, you can give yourself a half-decent cut with help from the Internet. We suggest you try this a few times before venturing out in public!
Often an overlooked step, hydrating and conditioning your hair is just as important of a step as shampooing. Finding and using the right conditioner is the first step, but finding the right products to keep your hair soft, healthy, and hydrated after the shower is the real problem.
Unless your hair is super long, a small quarter-size drop of conditioner (or less) will serve you well. It’s recommended to leave your conditioner on for a full minute before washing it out, so your hair has time to soak in the moisture.
Hair masks, a new trend, are also a really quick and easy way to bring moisture back to your hair if you can’t get to the salon for a deep conditioning treatment or a hair cut to keep your hair from weighing itself down. It’s ideal to use a hair mask once a week, but it won’t destroy your hair to use it more or less. If you use hot tools on your hair often, it might be a good idea to use them at least once a week.
Being at home has been a change of pace for everyone, but keeping up your beauty routine at home can be easy once you know what your hair needs to be happy, hydrated, and healthy.