Women

New Year? New Hair!

Sabeeca Ali

Ladies, let’s face it: our hair scares us.

We’re constantly dyeing, styling, blow drying, straightening, curling, treating…our scalps have become a battlefield.  While some of us have figured out the perfect regiment, most of us are still struggling with the right strategy. Unfortunately, we don’t all have a team of hairdressers following us around à la the Kardashians.  To top it all off, it’s Holiday season and party, after party, after party can often leave our over-processed locks dry and lifeless.  That’s why I’m writing this article: as a “how-to” for beautiful, healthy hair for 2012.

This way, we can all pretend we have our personal Ken Paves sitting around waiting to brush our hair 100 times before we fall asleep. Sigh, a girl can dream.

Some tips before we get into the nitty gritty:

  1. Do not be afraid to mix it up as you can often get better results from a mix and match of brands, and using products that are more specific for your hair.
  2. Fine/Limp hair and Oily hair often behave the same way; both are caused by excess oils (from your scalp) and dirt that build up and weigh the hair down.
  3. Conditioning your hair is not an everyday routine.  Over-moisturizing your hair, no matter how dry it is, can lead to greasy roots.
  4. Expensive products do not mean better quality.  Sometimes, a product can work better for you regardless of the brand power.
  5. Getting a trim every 3 months is recommended for healthy hair.  Even if you are trying to grow it out, getting a trim can boost the hair growth, and will make your ends look thicker and prettier over-all.

Now to the diagnosis.

Fine/Limp Hair and Oily Hair

If you have fine or limp hair, you must adhere to the “Less is More” philosophy. Try a shampoo geared towards cleansing; ingredients such as tea-tree oil and lemon can help lift the dirt and oils that build up and make limp hair look greasy and flat.  My recommendation is the Paul Mitchell Lemon Sage line.  This is one of the products for which using the whole line does work wonders, and you do not need to find supplementary products. Using this line, shampoo every other day, condition your hair once a week.  For styling purposes, the Lemon Sage thickening spray can be used before blow-drying.  Use it slightly below the roots (about half an inch under) for best results, so that your roots are product free.  If Paul Mitchell is not the man for you, try Lush Handmade Cosmetics’ shampoo called BIG. With lemon infusion, lime infusion, and seaweed, it will leave your hair with an ultimate cleanliness, and the sea-salt will add volume.  An additional note on styling for this hair type is to stay away from cream based products. For styling, use a round brush to blow dry your hair, on a medium or low setting.  Too much heat causes hair follicles to lie straight, which can add to the flat appearance.  Using a flat-iron will also make your hair look limp and listless. Lastly, try using a powder based dry shampoo between washes.  Powder lifts oil build-up and refreshes your hair.  Try Lush Cosmetics’ new dry shampoo No Drought. Its citrus base, again, helps refresh hair.

Dry Hair

For those with dry hair, the range of products is truly infinite. For the shampoo and conditioner, most brands deliver in their moisturizing/hydration lines. For the shampoo and conditioner, try the L’Oreal Hair Expertise Re-Nutrition line.  Supplementary products and damage protection are far more essential in hair care for this hair type.  We’ll get to styling in a second, but another important product for dry hair is to give it a treatment at least once a month.  This can easily be done from the comfort of your home without spending too much. Use Marc Anthony Damage Repair Intensive Healing Treatment one or two times a week.  It is like rehab for your hair. It works wonders.  For styling, using a cream based product is best.  Got2Be’s Smooth Operator Lustre Lotion is great; it is not too greasy, and is great at taming fly-away hairs.  If you are going to blow-dry or flat-iron, make sure you give your hair a break; using these everyday can be detrimental for dry hair.  Blow-dry at the lowest setting.  It may take longer, but your hair will look better for it, and you can get in another glass of that great merlot while you get ready.

Combination Hair

This is hair purgatory: greasy roots, dry ends; both the problems, none of the glory.  What I find works best for combination hair is a combination of products!  Your hair regiment should be similar to the Limp/Oily hair category, but with one added bonus.  Try and condition your ends.  Usually, this means the last 3 inches of your hair.  This way, the dry parts of your hair will get the nourishment they need, without the rest of your hair being weighed down.  The best product for this is the Bumble & Bumble crème de coco conditioner.  It includes coconut oil and palm tree butter which is a vacation for dry hair.  It will help smooth your ends as well, so your hair looks healthier overall.  For product, use styling gels that are recommended for oily/fine hair.  However, with combination hair, styling can be tricky.  I like to use a pea-sized amount (slightly more if your hair is past your shoulders) and work it through my hair, avoiding the roots.  It nourishes using eucalyptus, and leaves your hair beautifully smooth.  Again, using a blow-drier is better than a flat-iron for this hair type.

Curly Hair

Two of my best friends have insane curls.  It’s beautiful, and everyone compliments them on it, but only us insiders know what a hassle it is to care for curly hair.  The one downside of having curly hair is that the best products can often get pricey.  However, look at it as an investment in your hair.  A lot of women play down the importance of their hair.  It can make or break a look.  So, if you are willing to splurge on that sexy little black dress, you can splurge so your hair is sexy as well.  One line seems to have found the Holy Grail of Curls: Morrocanoil (yes, its one word).  They have a full range of products, from shampoos to treatments.  I rarely do this, but I recommend trying anything and everything you need from this brand.  It is a lifesaver (as I’ve been told multiple times!).  Some favorite staples are the Hydrating Styling Cream, the Intense Curl Cream, Frizz Control, and the Original Morrocanoil Oil Treatment.  I guarantee your hair will be soft and beautiful, and your curls manageable.  The other option is Bumble & Bumble’s Curl Conscious line, which is also highly recommended.

There you have it, ladies.  Hair care in a nutshell.  Go forth, try these products, and don’t forget to write us with your feedback.  Remember, your hair is your crown, wear it well.