Dry, brittle hair can happen to anyone.
Whether you went a little overboard on a bleach treatment, you have been soaking up the sun (and saltwater) recently, or you just have hair that naturally stays on the dry side -- there are easy everyday tips that you can use to get some health and hydration into your strands.
Below, we will cover some basic hydrating hair tips that work for anyone who wants to achieve a smooth, silky, and moisturized look.
1. Invest in a Silk Pillowcase
This may seem silly, and make you wonder what a bedding choice has to do with hair care.
But, when you consider that this is the material your hair will be in contact with for 8(ish) hours each night, it makes more sense.
Your usual cotton pillowcases can actually wick your natural oils and moisture out of your hair while you sleep, but silk or satin pillowcases don’t.
Silky pillowcases can help redistribute your natural scalp oils and help them slide down the strands to coat them more fully.
As a bonus, you may discover skin benefits and fewer face wrinkles overtime as a silky texture helps prevent creases from forming on your skin while you toss and turn.
2. Use a Boar Bristle Brush
You may tend to reach for your usual plastic hairbrush to detangle and style, but plastic brushes can leave hair full of static and do little to distribute your natural scalp oils.
Boar bristle brushes may sound weird and like something you may craft on a deserted island out of desperation. But, the spiny bristles can work wonders with enhancing shine and getting your hydrating scalp oils down the hair shaft.
3. Consider a Hair Oil
Hair oils as a final step in your styling routine can help boost shine and lock in moisture.
Depending on what works for your hair (and doesn’t break out your skin in the process), choose an oil and work it into the mid-lengths and ends of your hair as a last step to transform your look.
Coconut oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, almond oil, and olive oil are all go-to’s for applying to your hair. Experiment with a few to see which one you prefer the look and feel of, and which one will work best to boost luster and shine without looking oily.
4. Don’t Wash Your Hair Every Day
A good shower is a great way to destress and prepare for your day, but when you hop in, you may want to reconsider lathering up your hair every time.
Washing your hair is a must to remove dirt, oil, grime, and keep your scalp healthy, but washing too often can strip off your natural oils and dry your hair out even more.
Everyone is different, so find a wash schedule that suits you without making your hair feel like hay. In general, start with every other day and see how that works for you. If your hair is still looking, feeling, and smelling great on day 2, tack on another shampoo skipping day.
5. Have Regular Trims
This one may help more with the illusion of having more hydrated hair, but it can really help out if you struggle with dry, dead ends that bring down your whole look.
The raggedy split ends of your hair are often the most dried out and damaged part of your whole coiffure, so even if your new growth and mid-lengths are doing pretty well hydration-wise, those ends can ruin the whole look.
Even if you are hoping for long mermaid hair one day, do yourself a favor and opt for regular trims every 6-8 weeks to clean up the ends.
Taking off even one inch can do wonders for the overall healthy and hydrated look of your hair.
6. Get Your Omega-3s
Eating plenty of omega-3 fatty acids can give your hair a pretty and natural luster.
Your body doesn’t produce these, so you need to get them through foods like some fish and seafood, avocados, and certain nuts and seeds like chia and flax.
Don’t see yourself including these things into your diet on the regular? You can supplement your omega-3s in pill form.
7. Consider a Multivitamin or Hair Vitamin
Speaking of supplements, you may want to consider mixing in a multivitamin or hair, skin, and nail vitamin to get healthy, shiny, and hydrated new growth.
Healthy hair growth starts from within, and that means supplying your follicles with plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to do an awesome job.
Eating a variety of healthy proteins, and brightly colored fruits and vegetables is best for getting everything your body needs. But if you think your diet may be lacking some days, you can always add in a multivitamin to help cover all of the bases.
8. Reduce the Heat Styling and Coloring Your Hair
Heat styling, perming, bleaching, and coloring your hair can lead to lasting damage to the cuticle.
When the cuticle of the strand is damaged or opened up, it is more likely to lose protein and have trouble maintaining adequate moisture.
To help reduce long term hair damage, keep heat styling, harsh chemical treatments, bleaching, and coloring to a minimum.
And, if you are going to heat style, always apply a hair heat protectant to your hair first to mitigate the damage.
9. Cool down Your Showers
If you have learned anything about keeping moisture in your hair, you should know that stripping away your natural oils is a recipe for dry and crinkly strands.
Your natural oil is stripped more easily when it is in contact with hot water as compared to cooler water, so the temperature of your shower matters.
Even if you prefer scalding hot showers, do your hair a favor and crank it down a notch to help keep some of your natural oils in place.
Pro tip: A quick blast of cold water at the end of rinsing out your hair can also help close your hair cuticles and make for a shinier and sleeker look once it is dry.
10. Protect Your Strands from UV Rays
Everyone knows to slather the sunscreen on your face when heading out in the sun to protect your skin from sun damage. But, did you know that UV rays can harm your hair too?
Excess UV light from the sun can dry out your hair and leave it feeling brittle.
You may not always be able to keep your hair out of the light, but if you know you have a particularly sunny day coming up, you can go with a hat or scarf to shield your hair from the elements. You can also apply a hair protectant spray that can reduce the amount of UV damage, like a sunscreen for your hair.