In an ideal world, my naturally wavy, thick hair would be silky and smooth just like that of the model’s in every shampoo and serum ad. But, we all know this world is far from ideal. Silky hair doesn’t just happen. You have to put some effort into it. Here are my easy, tried and tested silky hair tips that will have your hair looking silky smooth and glossy in no time.
- The first silky hair tip is to choose the right products. Remember shampoo is for your scalp and conditioner is for your hair. If you have an oily scalp, choose a balancing shampoo that will cut the sebum. But most balancing shampoos tend to leave the lengths dry. To make up for it pick a rich, hydrating conditioner. Similarly, if you have a dry scalp, pick a hydrating shampoo and a conditioner for normal hair.
- Here’s something most women do when washing their hair: pile it on top of their heads and wash it in a bunch. This is the worst thing you can do! Doing this not only disturbs the cuticle it also promotes knots and knots lead to breakage. The best way to wash your hair is to let it hang down the back of your head like it normally would and rinse out your shampoo and conditioner. You will have fewer knots, less breakage and your cuticles will remain closed leading to smooth hair.
- Remember to rinse in cool water. Hot water opens the cuticles giving hair an uneven surface. As a result, light bounces off unevenly and it makes your hair look dull. Cool water on the other hand closes the cuticle flat and you’ve got shiny, smooth hair. If you can’t stand cool water the entire rinse at least make sure your last rinse is with cool water.
- Dry your hair with a t-shirt. Towel drying your hair disrupts and opens the cuticles, giving your hair a fuzzy texture. This reduces shine and makes your hair look frizzy. Instead, wrap your hair in an old cotton t-shirt which will absorb the water without lifting your cuticles.
- Oil your hair before you wash it. I used to do this as a child and stopped for some years in between and now I’m back to doing it. I find my hair is much softer and more manageable after I’ve oiled it. Use a light organic oil like the Kama Ayurveda Organic Sweet Almond Oil and make sure each strand is coated in oil. Leave it on for an hour or two before you wash. For a deep conditioning treatment, soak a towel in hot water, squeeze excess water and wrap it around your oiled hair. The steam will open the hair cuticle so the oil is absorbed better. Wash as usual after.
- Don’t skip conditioner. Ever. Your fight against frizz really starts in the shower. Conditioning helps hydrate the hair. Hydrated hair is less likely to frizz as water from the air is less likely to enter the cuticles. But this alone will not cut the frizz. Which brings me to my next point. (Aside: Remember conditioner is used only on the lengths, never on the roots, where it can weigh hair down making it flat.)
- Salt water and chlorinated water can wreak havoc with your strands drying them out and making them frizzy. Rinse your hair as soon as you get out of the sea or pool with fresh water. Even better, work in some L’Oréal Elseve Extraordinary Oil into lengths to prevent damage before you get into the water. You get smaller versions that are easy to throw into your beach or pool bag.
- Protect your hair. If you style your hair with heat regularly (think a curling tong, straightening iron, blow dyer) make sure you use a heat protectant. Or pick a leave in product that doubles up as a heat protectant. The Kevin Murphy Smooth Again leave in treatment helps cut the frizz, keeps hair smooth and provides heat protection till up to 220 degrees.
- If you use a lot of styling products like gels, hair spray or curl enhancing creams, it’s best to use a clarifying shampoo once a week. This will help remove the build up from your hair and scalp. Keeping your scalp clean will help your hair grow better as the pores aren’t blocked. You can even use apple cider vinegar.
- Use a silk pillow cover. Or one that has a bit of slip to it. Not only do cotton covers absorb moisture from the hair, they also increase friction that could lead to breakage. If you can’t get a silk, a silk-satin mix works as well. Just make sure it doesn’t cause static.
And there you have it. My top 10 tips for healthy shiny hair.