Natural oils lend hair a healthy sheen and a pleasing texture -- without them, your hair loses its shine and takes on a dull, brittle or unhealthy look. To keep moisture locked in your lovely locks, you need only make a few simple tweaks to your regular hair care routine. No single tip works as a magic ticket to healthy hair, so experiment with multiple methods to get your hair back on track to shininess and manageability.
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Conditioning is key to shiny, supple hair. In addition to regular, post-shampoo conditioning with an ultrahydrating conditioner, apply a hydrating deep conditioner about once per week. Use a moisturizing or hydrating conditioner rather than a protein-packed strengthening conditioner unless your hair suffers from a brittle, easily breakable consistency. To soften hair that features an excess of protein or coloring products, turn to clarifying or anti-residue shampoo. Regardless of the type of shampoo you use, focus your application on the scalp rather than the hair itself; by targeting the scalp, you target sweat and oil residue -- a clean scalp keeps hair hydrated. If you've been washing daily, try cutting your shampooing sessions to once or twice weekly or skipping every other shampoo for an application of just conditioner.
Choose hair care products with natural ingredients. Elle magazine recommends palm oil, shea butter, aloe, guar bean and murumuru butter for moisturizing dry hair. After shampooing and towel-drying your hair, apply a lightweight leave-in conditioner, working from scalp to ends. Alternatively, hair oils -- which cater to damaged hair -- add sleekness and repair dryness. Look for ingredients such as avocado oil, grape seed oil, sweet almond oil and vitamin E for maximum moisture.
More Tips for Tresses
Visit your stylist as often as possible to trim off split ends, broken hairs and other damaged, dry tresses; this encourages younger, healthier hair to shine through. Loosen your day-to-day style from a constricting, tight ponytail to flowing waves or loose braids to prevent weak hair and potential breakage. Bolster your diet with hair-friendly foods such as walnuts, salmon, spinach and oysters, which contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. A healthy, well-balanced diet makes for healthier hair in general.
Prevention serves as the most effective method to protect your hair against dryness. Avoid using hair care products that contain harsh, moisture-stripping silicone or alcohol and blow-dry your hair only occasionally. When you must dry, apply a leave-in conditioner first to protect your locks. If possible, avoid heat styling devices such as curling irons and straighteners. Apply a spray-on UV protector if you plan to spend the day under the sun, in the pool or in the sea, as UV rays, chlorine and salt water can fade, dehydrate and damage hair.