A list of hints and tips to keep your hair in tip top condition.
- Treat it like the finest antique lace. Don't rub at it super hard with a towel, just pat and squeeze. Don't overdo heat, look into wrapping your hair up in a t-shirt or a scarf and leaving it to dry like that. If you pin it into place first that will help it to dry as you like it. Also look up headband curls for lovely overnight curls with no heat. (See photo on right)
- Dilute shampoos. You should always have to hand a condiment style squeezy bottle with a nozzle, this makes application to the scalp much easier and more directed at the roots. I usually add around 1/4 of a teaspoon of liquid shampoo with a splash of water (maybe 50ml) shake, and spread evenly through the scalp while massaging to stimulate all the blood vessels. This makes stronger shampoos less aggressive, and also means that you save loads of money! Even the gentler ones spread much more easily through the hair this way and is another way of combatting how hard water doesn't create such a lather. Don't just put it in and rinse straight away...let it be there for a few minutes and be mindful about how you are massaging your scalp. You don't need to do a second shampoo usually, unless very greasy or dirty.
- If you are lucky enough to have a bathtub, make the most of it! "Mermaid rinse" is
the current lingo referring to submerging your head in the water to rinse something out of your hair. It is my favourite way to wash my hair too...I like to massage any kinds of pastes of sugar scrubs into my scalp then rinse and massage my scalp whilst underwater! Also the best way to get henna out of your hair too.
4. Always do a final cooler rinse on your hair, preferably with a splash of apple cider vinegar (always remember to dilute your vinegar 1tsp/1tbsp to 1 cup of water!!) This helps to seal cuticle, restores the correct PH level of the hair and brings shine to the hair as hair is naturally very slightly acidic. Hence why fermented things such a rice water are also so great for your hair too!
5. Comb gently, and avoid combing when wet if your hair is difficult to comb when wet (it is usually because it is porous). When trying to comb out knots, start from the ends of the hair and gradually come upwards. Use flaxseed gel to detangle if you need. Wooden wider combs are better for wet brushing too. If you have curly hair, combing when totally wet is the best option and obviously not brushing at all once its dry.
6. Saturate hair with soft water before you let it absorb any hard water. In the salon we have spring water which we mix with shampoos and herbal tonics, and I always try to make sure that the hairs are wetted by this water first, as it means less hard water will penetrate the hairs. The same thing applies if you go swimming, wetting it first means it will absorb less of the chlorinated water. I would advise you to do this if you swim regularly too. You can use bottled water, rain water, distilled, or filtered...up to you. Surprisingly you don't need that much water to saturate your whole head. Again squeezy bottle comes in useful, or slowly tip using a jug. 1 cup should wet most peoples heads.
7. Use Teas and herbs! Add them to your wash routine. You can rinse it through your hair before washing, or between washes to extend the time between washing. Use them to dilute your shampoo if you want. Green tea, Sage, rosemary, nettle, dandelion, hibiscus...many of them have amazing hair benefits. Fresh feeling too! The caffeinated ones add an extra level of scalp stimulation, coffee rinses and coffee granule scalp rubs are great too for people worrying about hair loss. Keep the teabag or a little of the tea and rub it over your face before you throw it away! Just to get those nutrients into your skin too 🙂
8. Keep your rice water, leave in a jar for a few days to ferment. I dilute mine just like cider vinegar and rinse every other wash. It leaves a starchy integrity in the hair and feels like it strengthens it. Any aquafaba (bean water) from tinned chickpeas and beans etc can be used too as a rinse to add protein to hair. If you are not vegan, an egg once a month is a fantastic regular protein boost. Of course we encourage eggs from happy places.
Here is a great article about why fermented rice water is so amazing for hair and skin!