When I was a kid, almost everyone complimented me on my hair. Thick, healthy, and shiny, it would be years before I started ruining it with hair dye, too many long bar nights, and improper maintenance. That's precisely why I now rely on tiny daily hair tips to get my strands back to their childhood glory days. Personally, I'm constantly striving for School Picture Day 1995.
Improving and maintaining your hair doesn't have to be all about long visits to the salon and expensive products. Sometimes, even the smallest changes to your routine can drastically benefit your follicular excellence. I implement each and every one of these tips in my day-to-day haircare, and since I've started doing so, I've notice that my mane is shinier, more responsive to styling, and maintains a sheen than never looks oily.
If you find yourself stuck in a dull hair rut, why not try some of these tips? They won't cost you much, won't add too much time to your daily routine, and if they work, your hair will look better than ever. While I'm all for experimenting with expensive products and spa days, sometimes when it comes to improving your mane, it's all about the little things.
1. Don't Shampoo In A Rush
In the morning, it might feel like the only choice you have is to slap some shampoo in your hair, mash it around real quick, and rinse it as fast as you can so you're not late for work. That kind of slapdash routine is unavoidable in this life. But on the whole, I find it's better to take my time with shampooing, massaging my head for at least three to five minutes in the process. If you're anything like me, your scalp will feel cleaner and you'll step out of the shower feeling a lot more relaxed than when you went in.
2. Add A Drop Of Oil To Your Conditioner
I have super dry hair, and during the winter things get pretty dire, particularly at the end of my strands. To combat this, I add a drop or two of avocado oil to my conditioner. It's not quite as rich as say, a coconut oil, so it moisturizes my hair without leaving that pesky slick residue.
3. Don't Use A Towel To Dry Your Hair
The coarseness, texture, and material of a traditional towel can be really damaging to your strands, so drying your hair with a towel regularly can speed up split ends and ruin your locks more than you realize. Instead, I recommend using a white, cotton T-shirt to dry your hair, blotting and squeezing it until all of the excess moisture has been absorbed.
4. Invest In A Wet Brush
The Wet Hair Brush, $8.98, amazon.com
Hands down, this is one of the best purchases I've ever made. The wet brush can be used in the shower, just out of the shower, and when your hair is dry. The bristles don't do damage to wet hair like a traditional brush does, and it means you can get rid of all those combs and random brushes: This is the one brush to rule them all.
5. Don't Get Your Hair Wet Every Day
I used to be somewhat militant about washing my hair every day, hyper-sensitive to any strands that could be perceived as greasy. What I didn't realize, though, was that I was actually making my hair greasy by washing it so often. Daily shampoo can sometimes strip your hair and scalp of its natural oils, causing your scalp to overcompensate and produce even more of the greasy stuff.
6. Take Time To Find The Perfect Dry Shampoo
Batiste Dry Shampoo, $8.62, amazon.com
On that same note, not washing your hair every day likely means that you have to find a way to keep it looking great in-between. Finding the right dry shampoo for your hair is key. I have thin hair but a lot of it, and Batiste Dry Shampoos are the only ones that work for me. However, brands like Klorane and Bumble & Bumble have formulas that get rave reviews, so it's definitely a matter of trial and error to find the right one for you.
7. Avoid Heat Styling On The Regular
Admit it: You know this fact to be true. But like me, you don't really listen. You still heat style your hair way too much, because sometimes it feels like if heat styling is wrong, you don't want to be right. However, heat styling is incredibly damaging, so it's best to keep it to a minimum. Beachy waves, natural hair, and top knots for life.
8. Use Less Product
I'm not sure if it's normal to want to glob things onto my skin, body, and hair, or if I'm just an excessive person. However, while you'll never be able to stop me from using half a bottle of lotion for my thighs alone, I've learned that with hair products, it's best to practice restraint. Too much product can weigh your hair down and cause serious buildup. My rule of thumb? Use whatever it says on the bottle, and maybe even a little bit less.
9. Switch To Silk
Mulberry Silk Pillowcase for Hair, $20.90, amazon.com
You'll feel like a fancy queen, and your hair won't get ripped apart as you sleep. The silk pillowcase keeps things smooth and static-free, which means it's of particular interest to those with curly hair.
10. Care For Your Scalp
Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel, $11.98, amazon.com
Because why should your strands get all the love? Your scalp is ostensibly the place where your hair is born into the world, so it's important to treat it like the loving birth mother that it is. To keep my scalp healthy and build-up free, I use a cotton round to treat it with witch hazel, particularly around my hairline, crown, and around my ears. From my experiences, witch hazel won't dry out your hair in any meaningful way, and your scalp will stay clear of buildup and pimples.
11. Spoil Yourself With A Head Massage
Ask your stylist to give you one at the salon, or ask your partner to give you one at home. While there's no real evidence that a head massage will make your hair grow faster or look better, experts believe that head massages can increase calmness and well-being, according to Glamour. For me, head massages are an integral part of my hair routine, if only because they mentally prepare me for all the ups and downs that come with styling a massive mane. Try it out for yourself and see how much more chill you feel about contending with your hair in the morning.
These hair tips make a huge difference for me on a day-to-day basis. Now go forth and strut your strands with confidence because girl, those locks are looking great.
Want more beauty tips? Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle's YouTube page for more hacks and tricks!
Images: Fotolia (7); Courtesy Brands