Take Care of Your Hair!

  • Posted on April 10, 2013 at 7:13 pm

I have had long hair my entire life. At its longest, it was about two inches above my waist. People have told me it’s my mane, my identity, and how they know it’s me in a crowd. In elementary school, my hair would hang down over the back of my chair, and the boy behind me would push his desk up against my hair, to trap me. The cliché everyone spouted—especially my parents—was that he was doing that because he liked me. I still don’t get that.

So, I’ve always tried to take the best care possible of my hair. Here are a bunch of tips I’ve learned over the years to ensure healthy tresses.

Woman with smooth hair. High quality image.

Not So Much

Avoid washing your hair every day. This strips your locks of their natural oils. Unless you suffer from very oily hair, most dermatologists agree that it’s best to shampoo every other day. For particularly dry, frizzy, or treated hair, you can wash it every third day.

 Warm, Not Hot

Use the warm setting on your blow dryer, rather than hot. Even though it might take you a little longer to dry your hair, the lighter setting is less likely to cause heat damage. Hair care expert Raymond Bolton says, “You can avoid damage by keeping the dryer moving, not allowing the heat to dwell on any one location.”

Sage Brush Advice

Raymond has this to say about brushing wet hair: Avoid using natural bristle brushes on wet hair. Water softens hair and natural bristles are sharp enough to slice hair lengthwise, increasing breakage and split ends. Instead, use a plastic paddle brush with ball-tipped pins.

Get a Little Air

Unless your hair is just too unmanageable or freaky looking without blow-drying, consider air-drying your hair. It will boast a much smoother finish when allowed to dry naturally. The next best option is to air dry it for five to fifteen minutes before grabbing the blow dryer. This cuts down tremendously on drying time, which is better for your hair.

Keep it at a Distance

If you are a blow dryer addict (like I am), hold the dryer at least two inches from your hair. Again, this will lessen the damage. Never place the blow dryer directly on your hair.

Treat Your Tresses

You didn’t actually think I was going to blog about hair care without praising the virtues of my favorite hair treatments, did you? My favorite overnight treatments for my hair are Alterna’s Caviar Overnight Hair Rescue ($38.00 at Alterna Hair Care), and Fekkai’s Protein Rx Anti-breakage Treatment Mask ($30 at Fekkai).

Apply Alterna’s hair treatment to dry hair, and leave it on overnight. It will not leave any residue on your pillow, and it washes out in the morning, revealing soft hair. It is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. Fekkai’s creamy white concoction is drenched in soy and milk proteins and leaves my hair incredibly silky. Use this on damp hair for 10 to 15 minutes.

Ojon also makes a hair mask called Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment. This can be used on dry hair for 20 minutes, or overnight for deeper conditioning. It boasts a strong nutty scent and only liquefies when rubbed between the hands. It’s $33 at Ojon. I place a towel on my pillow when I use this one, because it will rub off on linens.

Trying to return damaged hair to health? Raymond suggests getting a polymeric treatment from your hairdresser. This refined process strengthens hair up to six weeks per treatment.

Today’s Tip

Everyone’s hair is different, so you can adjust these steps for your particular needs. Also, try mixing in some of these hair treatments with your regular shampoo or conditioner. I find that they add a little shine boost when used as a quick add-on treatment.

You can reach Raymond Bolton at Raymond Bolton Hair Design LLC

4 Comments on Take Care of Your Hair!

  1. Jacqui Robertson says:

    I was wondering what you think of products like Wen? I think it’s supposedly NOT a shampoo but only a conditioner or something like that. My sister used to tout its praises until her hair started falling out.

    • Valerie says:

      Hi Jacqui,

      I have never used Wen, although I might try it at some point. I understand that he (Chaz Dean) sells a non-lathering product, which, some say, is better for your hair than one that lathers, as it does not strip your hair of its natural oils, and it is simply gentler on the strands. This is what the company claims: “WEN® Cleansing Conditioner is a revolutionary new concept in hair care. A 5-in-1 formula, this one product takes the place of your shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler and leave-in conditioner.”

      I am so sorry to hear that your sister’s hair fell out upon using Wen. If anyone from Wen is reading this, I welcome your comments. I would also love to hear from anyone who’s used Wen.

      -Val The Spa Gal

  2. Johanna says:

    So I try to go every other day for washing my hair. Mostly when I know I won’t be in public. Do you have any product suggestions for those of us that “feel” greasy and gross vs. actually looking so?

    • Valerie says:

      Hi Johanna,

      I have two suggestions for you. One is to buy a “dry shampoo,” such as Oscar Blandi’s “Dry Shampoo Spray” ($23) or their powder ($21) at http://www.OscarBlandi.com. I’m a fan of Oscar Blandi hair products, but you can also find less expensive ones such as Batiste Dry Shampoo ($7.99) at http://www.Ulta.com. Dry shampoos are easy and quick fix-ups for when you don’t want to wash your hair, but it’s starting to feel yucky.

      The other option is to use a shampoo for oily hair. The stronger ones will allow your hair to go that extra day without feeling greasy. Nearly every hair care company makes them. I love Ojon products and recommend their Detoxifying Shampoo ($24) at http://www.Ojon.com. Look for shampoos that say “clarifying,” as these tend to rid the hair of product build-up and get rid of excess sebum, which causes oily hair.

      Good luck!

      -Val The Spa Gal

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