When asked to define yourself, does your answer include your culture, your alma mater, your career, your relationship status, your travels and maybe even your zodiac sign? Often left out, there is one glaring classification that absolutely determines your daily routine, not to mention a considerable portion of your monthly budget: your hair type. As any girl who’s woken up with the frizzies and barely 15 minutes to spare can attest, only those who truly know their hair type can turn disastrous into dazzling and walk out the door looking like a million bucks. Here’s the best care for your hair’s shape, condition, texture and color.
Is your hair straight, wavy or curly? Take that head of yours to a professional who specializes in cutting your hair shape. Layers are key. So straight hair doesn’t fall flat, rely on layers to add volume and promote movement. Layers bring out the bounce in wavy hair and can help to softly frame the face. And layers reduce the bulk and increase the manageability of curly hair.
Most importantly, your chosen stylist should sculpt your hair to complement your lifestyle, so make sure to communicate your hair needs. Do you wear your straight hair up at work, but want cascading tresses for play? As a new mom, do you prefer your wavy locks be a wash-and-go style that looks chic? Are you fond of incorporating accessories in your close-cropped curly hair? Your stylist should know before taking scissors to your strands.
Now that you have the correct cut, time to assess the condition of your hair. Does your hair get stringy easily, especially at the roots? You probably have oily hair, caused by the overproduction of sebum on your scalp. Sometimes washing your hair too often will encourage oil production. First, try shampooing less frequently. If greasiness persists, try an oil controlling shampoo, but only on the scalp. The middle and ends will benefit from your natural oils, making your strands shiny and smooth.
Does your hair feel parched? Are you plagued by split ends and breakage? Your hair is likely damaged - a common condition due to the use of drying products, heat styling tools, chemical treatments and even excessive combing and brushing. If you only use one product on your hair, make it a daily conditioner. It will nourish weakened strands, and restore their glossy sheen. Finish your shower with a refreshing cool rinse. It will help seal the outermost layer of your hair shaft, locking moisture in. Separate snarls with a leave-in detangler lotion and a wide-tooth comb, and then let your hair air dry. If you must use a hair dryer or flat iron, make sure your tools have tourmaline technology, which significantly speed styling time. By pampering your hair, you can restore its strength and luster.
When stressed, fine hair turns flyaway and coarse hair goes haywire. To control your mischievous mane in a pinch, use products that are designed for your hair’s texture. For fine hair, use a weightless mousse to style, a shine serum to add polish, and a lightweight spray to hold. Weightier products like gels, pomades, waxes and organic oils are better suited for coarse hair. Products that are appropriate for medium-textured hair fall somewhere in between: leave-in conditioners to soothe, crème serums to combat frizz and texture hair spray to thicken and lift.
Your color should dictate your shampoo, conditioner and styling products. Why? Because color-enhancing products are specially formulated to intensify your hue - whether your color is natural, created with bleaches or dyes, or highlighted. Brighten blonde and neutralize brassiness. Keep red vivacious. Amplify the rich tones of brunette. Make black glisten and grays sparkle. For an extra layer of shine, rinse your hair with a clear glaze or gloss. And to maintain your color, shield your hair from the elements. Don a fabulous hat or playful scarf. Or apply a spray that hydrates and provides protection from UV rays, and at the same time keeps your color from fading or discoloring.