Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tips to Tame Your Tresses

November 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

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No matter the season, unmanageable hair is always unwelcome. Now that the weather is colder, hair often becomes drier and starts flying in every direction. You can opt for a very short haircut, hide flyaways under a hat, or you can change up your grooming and styling routine so your tresses look their best.

A visit to a good stylist is always in order to snip away split ends and discuss salon solutions. Once you’re on your own, avoid daily shampooing. Allowing the scalp to build up oils is an effortless way to make hair less brittle and prone to misbehave. Use a butane-free dry shampoo product or a talc-free baby powder to reduce oiliness in between washings (if you have dark hair, adding a bit of cocoa powder reduces the lightness of the mix and smells divine).

When you do wash your hair, avoid hot water and overworking your hair. You don’t always have to repeat after you rinse, either — experiment with lathering up just once to see if it makes any difference in how your hair looks and behaves, or how long you can go between washings. In the coldest months, I sometimes rinse my hair in lukewarm water and then condition it, skipping shampoo completely.

Select low-PH, alcohol- and sulfate-free shampoos. Look for ingredients that moisturize like jojoba, avocado, or argan oil, and ones that act as humectants. You can also create your own shampoos from recipes found online, but ones that call for drops of five essential oils and six different foods can get quite pricey, especially if they go bad in a few days.

nervous pretty young woman looking at the ends of her hairbeautiful smiling young woman showing thumbs upDon’t skip conditioning your hair. The same guidelines apply as when shopping for shampoos — use the most natural products designed for the specific issues you experience. My grandmother swore by mayonnaise as a conditioner while I’m a fan of coconut oil — it conditions to a glossy sheen and washes out easily; a jar costs under $10.00 and lasts for months. Natural recipes also abound featuring olive oil, honey, egg yolks, yogurt, avocado, and other foodstuffs for dry hair, but beware: what goes on must wash off, so the oiler or goopier the concoction, the bigger the risk that you’ll create greasy, limp hair. Commercial products without lists of unrecognizable, unpronounceable ingredients are sometimes better choices if recommended by a stylist.

Combs build up less static in hair than brushes, so take the time to comb gently rather than vigorously brush. Use a paper towel or an old cotton tee shirt to dry your hair instead of a towel — rubbing vigorously with terry cloth gets strands all revved up and ready to stand on end! Blow dry hair at a lower temperature setting, don’t fry strands with a flattening or curling iron, and apply a shot of hairspray if you need it (avoid spraying it near your face as it can clog pores and cloud contacts).

Some DIY’ers recommend rubbing an unscented dryer sheet over the hair as a sure-fire static reducer. I’m not enamored of the chemicals used in most sheets, so if this approach appeals, shop for a natural, chemical-free one. My hair stylist says that after she moisturizes her hands, she lightly pats her hair. A final tip: one day, before an important meeting, I used the teensiest bit of clear lip gloss to make a flyaway lock behave. It worked!

By Lita Smith-Mines

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