When I was younger, I took my silky locks for granted. I never needed to blow dry my hair, and somehow it always remained smooth and straight. Somewhere along the line, and most certainly after my pregnancies, it adopted a very annoying frizziness that can only be tamed by two things: some tried and tested products, and a good blow dry.
In case you’re also a member of the frizz-fighting brigade, here are some of my tips for smooth hair that shines:
- Wash less often
How often you wash your hair should be based on how much oil your scalp produces. If your scalp is oily, you may need to wash it as often as once a day. But if you have chemically treated hair, your hair may be drier, so you should wash it less frequently. Every 2-3 days is ideal. As you get older, your scalp makes less oil, so that’s another reason to cut back on the shampoo. But if you see flakes, you may not be shampooing enough. This can lead to dandruff and other unsightly and uncomfortable scalp diseases.
- Concentrate shampoo on the scalp
When you do wash your hair, concentrate primarily on the scalp, rather than washing the entire length of your locks. Washing your head only creates flyaways that looks dull and feels coarse.
- Conditioner after every wash
Using a conditioner can significantly improve the look of damaged or weathered hair by increasing shine, decreasing static electricity, improving strength and offering some protection from harmful UV rays. Like good skin care, I do believe that quality shampoo and conditioner is worth the investment. I’m completely obsessed with the story and the science behind Living Proof products (www.livingproof.com), which you can find at Sephora.
- Choose a product formulated specifically for your hair type
I personally LOVE Living Proof’s No Frizz shampoo and conditioner. I travel with it to the gym, the pool, and on every vacation.
- Protect when swimming
This is a big one. I swim 2-3 times a week and it takes me just as long to prepare my hair for the swim as it does to actually splash the laps! I highly recommend you protect your hair from the damaging effects of chlorine by wetting and conditioning before swimming (I use a big glob of Living Proof’s Restore Mask Treatment). Then, wear a tight-fitting swim cap to let the mask condition while you swim. After swimming, replace lost moisture by shampooing and conditioning liberally with a moisturizing set of products.
- Nourish from the inside
Many supplements, including biotin and folic acid, are said to help grow and thicken hair. In studying these different supplements, the findings have been mixed. In one study, however, 120 healthy women had thicker hair and less hair loss after taking specific omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, and antioxidants. They took this combination for six months and the results were very convincing. You can also get these nutrients through certain foods, so serve up some Wild King salmon with kale and pomegranate salad for dinner tonight!
Of course, before taking any supplements for hair/skin/nail health, it’s best to check with your dermatologist. Schedule your next appointment with me and we can discuss a supplement regimen to complement your care routine.