Hey Everyone! I Wrote this thread for a hair group that I was in a while back. I wrote it for teens about 13-17 so forgive me if I sound a bit off ^_^
Anyways, I thought maybe i could post it here for all 3FCers who love their hair (or at least trying to lol)
Top ten BEST and WORST things you can do for your hair.
M'kay this is just a list I threw together from all the information I gathered from years of hair care and my other hair forums. This can be used by males and females, long or short hair. If you want supper healthy hair, this list may be for you. But remember, no two people are alike, some of these things may not work for you.
10. Bad Brushing Technique.
Ever grab a brush and rip it though your hair before dashing out the door? *slaps hand* Bad!
The easiest way to stop a lot of hair damage before it starts is changing the way you brush your hair. First thing you should remember is to never start from the top and run the brush down. This only pushes the knots and snags into other knots and creates a big mess that you’ll try and rip though. The best thing to do is part your hair in half, one part over each shoulder and start brushing from the bottom and slowly work your way higher. If you hit a knot or tangle, do not rip though it. Find the knot and then with your fingers, slowly pull it apart. It’s a pain in the butt but it’s worth it to keep your hair healthy.
9. Bad Washing Technique
Okay,….does this sound like what you do? You’re about to shampoo your hair. So you squeeze about a handful of shampoo on your hand and plop it on top of your head and then gather the rest of your hair and pile it on your head and start scrubbing and washing away.
Sound familiar? If so…*slaps hand again* bad! This is doing way more damage than it should, not to mention that it is a big waste of Shampoo. For most people a tablespoon of shampoo is enough, sometimes much less. Lather it in your hand and then apply it to your hair. Do not touch the length of your hair. Only the top part of your head (the crown) and the back of your head needs to be washed. (Unless you just got in a mud fight or work in a coal mine) Shampoo is harsh; it is made to strip off not only dirt, but any oils in your hair. The oils come from your scalp so naturally the hair on your head looks (and is) more greasy than the length of your hair. (Which may feel like dead grass because of it’s lack of oils)
You should let your hair fall naturally down your back in the shower and do not touch it while you are shampooing. I know it’s a habit to reach back and gather the hair to the top of your head, but you must resist! Just wash the hair on your head. Trust me, the shampoo will remove any dirt while you rinse it off.
Also, if you shampoo and you have that classic Mohawk style pile of bubbles on your head, then you are using too much shampoo. Massage the scalp while you are Shampooing, not only does this ensure that the shampoo is getting down to your scalp, it brings blood to the area (like getting any other part of the body massaged.) this is healthy for the hair follicle and hair will actually grow better. (for some, it grows faster, for others healthier…ect)
8. Combing Wet Hair
Is a big no, no!
Many of you probably already know that wet hair is a bit longer than when it is dry. This is because it’s stretched out. Stretched out hair means it is much weaker than if it was dry. If you have fine/weak hair, this is where you get a lot of that snapping of hairs when you are brushing/combing wet hair. For people with coarse/super wavy/curly hair, combing while the hair is wet is sometimes the only way they can comb it. If you have this kind of hair, it’s okay to comb your hair while it’s wet...if…(notice the if)… you have lots of slip. What is slip you say? …well, the best time to comb your hair wet, is when you are in the shower. Use a shower comb, they are big and fat, the teeth are about a half inch apart and are also big and fat. They are mostly made of slightly textured plastic. Smooth shiny plastic will not let the hair slip though the comb as well as the other. And the best thing to do is use lots of conditioner when you comb in the shower. This is where you get most slip. Without slip, you will be doing more damage than good.
To brush outside the shower, use a good leave in conditioner with your wide tooth comb.
7. Not Washing Enough
Your scalp is just like any other skin on your body, if you don’t keep it clean bad stuff will happen. Dirt, oils, and other junk will eventually clog of the hair follicle and the hair will start to fall out and prevent new hair from growing back. How often should you wash your hair? Well that’s different for everyone. Which brings me to the next on this list.
6. Over Washing
Yes, you can over wash your hair. Unless you get your hair filthy everyday, there is no reason to wash it everyday. I only wash my hair every 3 days, and I only shampoo my hair once a week. The idea with this is, the less you handle your hair, the less chance you have of damaging it. Also because the key ingredient for soft smooth hair is the natural oils that coats the hair. Too much oil and your hair will look greasy, not enough oil and your hair will be dry and brittle. Dry hair is prone to split ends and feeling like dry grass.
If you shower everyday, put your hair up to keep it from getting wet. On wash days, use only conditioner on your hair (Long or short, all hair needs to be conditioned if it is to be healthy) Conditioner will remove some of the oil and any dirt. It won’t strip your hair like shampoo so the hair will remain soft and moisturized. Many “hair people” have stopped using shampoo completely for this very reason.
If and when you shampoo is different for everyone. If you decided to stop shampooing as much, remember, It takes 4-6 weeks (on average) for the scalp to regulate itself and stop over producing oils that it loses from being striped. So your hair may become greasy while it is getting use to not being shampooed as much.
5. Product Pandemonium
OMG did you try that new Shampoo that just came out?! Did you hear about the new hot oil treatment? As a girl with hip length hair, (and as many hair fanatics are) finding a new product is hard to pass by without buying it. If you buy a bunch of new things for your hair, this might be the pattern you see. You buy… you try… it works great…for two or three days… then it suddenly seems to stop working… you stash it away in the dark cabinet to gather dust in the shampoo graveyard, or you give it away or toss it… or better yet, use it for your pets (big no, no for many pets FYI)
I’ve been guilty of this many times before I learned better. If you are trying out something new, you need to remember the 2 week rule… use it for at least two weeks before you decided if it is a keeper or a toss. It takes a while for your hair to get use to the new stuff you’re putting on it. And if you constantly go from one new product to the next then you’re not going to find anything that will seem to work. And you’ll only be stressing out your hair and scalp to boot.
So unless your hair starts falling out or something like that,
don’t stop using it until the 2 weeks are up.
4. Over Oiling
Hot oil treatments and just oil treatments in general are nice and everything but there is a thing as over oiling your hair. Over oiling will actually make your hair feel even drier… (So dry that the only term I can think of is…crunchy.. your hair will feel crunchy) it will look dry, feel dry or/ and look way too greasy and limp. How much oil should you use on your hair then? Well that depends on you and how much hair you have. I have hip length hair, and I use maybe about half a teaspoon worth of oil every other day. I only use it on the bottom half of my hair. (Where my natural oils often can’t reach it.)
3. Whip in the Wind
Okay, I know I know, it’s hard to not let your beautiful soft, shiny hair float freely (especially after all the hard work you put into getting it that way.) But trust me. Ever see a flag that has been out on the flag pole after a large storm or a bunch of wind. The flag gets shredded from flapping in the wind and being exposed to the elements. Hair that is down and exposed to sunlight, extreme heat or cold, and pollutions will weaken it. Letting it blow in the wind is a sure fire way to not only get uber tangles, but split ends as well. This does not mean you have to tie your hair back all the time, but use your better judgment when it comes to letting your hair down.
No that’s not a typo, if you use a blow-dryer or anything that uses heat on your hair, you are basically frying it. Water boils at 120 degrees F. Many bow-dryers go much higher than that. The water in your hair will boil, the hair can also burn.
This is what blow-dryer damage looks like. http://www.pg.com/science/haircare/h..._twh_69_04.jpg
Not pretty is it. If you MUST blow-dry your hair… use the coolest setting possible and don’t leave the dryer in one spot too long. I am totally against curling irons, as they heat up the hair even more than a blow-dryer and the hair touches the hot metal. Flat irons are iffy, I use to use one until I thought my soft wavy hair looked a lot better than my straight, frizzy, damaged hair.
If you back brush… you may as well just take some scissors and cut off your hair. Back brushing was popular back when big hair was in style and you took your brush and brushed your hair towards your scalp to get the big poofy, full body look . This is also called “teasing.” Basically you are brushing against the direction your hair is growing. See, this is a perfectly healthy hair. http://www.pg.com/science/haircare/h...6/image008.jpg
See all the little scales? They are laying perfectly flat.(these flat scales is what makes hair soft and smooth and shiny.) Everyday damage will lift those scales and back- brushing will just rip up the scales. http://www.4alterna.com/graphics/hairStrand2.jpg
(causing the hair to look dull dry, frizzy and anything but smooth) http://www.pg.com/science/haircare/h..._twh_72_03.jpg
So whatever you do to your hair.. never ever…ever back brush.
10. Toss the Brush
Do you have one of those brushes with the plastic bristles and the plastic beads at the end of each bristle? If you do….go get it…I’ll wait……..got it? good… now throw it away! These plastic brushes shred the hair. I had the most nasty frizzy hair every… Like Hermione from Harry Potter (book not the movie) 3 weeks after tossing my brush, my hair was 100% better, and it gets better all the time. Brushing causes majority of the damage your hair gets. If you must use a brush, use it as little as you can.
9. Grab a Good Comb
The best thing to use for your hair is a seamless comb. Most plastic combs are made in a mold and it leaves a seam where the two halves of the mold come together. This leaves a raised, rough seam, and it’s this seam that strips off the scales from your hair. Seamless combs are hand made from a sold piece of plastic or wood. But Seamless hand made combs can be expensive, and can cost anything from $10 to $100 depending on quality and materials. But the investment is well worth it.
If you can’t fork over that kind of money, or can’t find a place to buy them (*Cough internet Cough*) you can take a regular plastic comb, and file down the seams with a nail file, when the seams are smoothed down, take a bit of clear nail polish and go over the seams to make sure it’s extra smooth. Many of the big fat shower combs are nearly seamless and are the best thing to use if you don’t want to do anything to your comb… and they are only $3, so heck.
8. Braid and Bun it
No, you won’t look like an old lady -_- the idea behind keeping your hair in a braid or even better, a bun, is to keep it away from damage. The hair can’t catch on anything or snag on the school chairs (I’ve always hated that, lost countless hairs due to those stupid chairs at school) Buns are also good when you are moisturizing your hair, especially the ends, because you can tuck the ends into the center of the bun where the moisture will stay in the hair a lot longer. The best thing about braids and buns is…no tangles! Using hair sticks in the bun is a very fancy yet classic look that will look great at a party, school, or housework. ^_^ hair is up and out of the way, key for minimizing damage.
7. Oil is your Friend
Last thing a person wants is greasy hair, but the natural oils in your hair is the best thing for it. It moisturizes dry hair, de-frizzes the frizzes, and gives enough shine to blind someone. The next best thing is adding oils to your hair, such as Olive, Almond, Coconut, Avocado and Jojoba oil. Any good pure oil will work. A little goes a long way so don’t over do it, or you’ll be trying to wash oil out of your hair for days. What is often done is the oil is put in the hair at the end of the day and the person sleeps, letting the oil soak in over night. (A good hair cap/night cap is great for this because not only does it keep hair from getting full of knots at night, it keep your pillows from getting oil on them) in the morning you wash.
Not every oil will work for every hair. Some people don’t use olive oil because it’s hard to wash out despite it’s moisturizing qualities. I love Olive and coconut saved my hair many times. But I don’t use jojoba because it makes my hair crunchy. Experiment and find the one that you like best… and don’t forget the 2 week rule.
6. Kitchen Products
Sometimes the best stuff for your hair is the things you can make right in your own home. Oil treatments, conditioners, smoothing creams for frizz. Oils, eggs, honey, mayonnaise teas, aloe, oatmeal…all kids of goodies. Search for good recipes and give it a try, it’s much cheaper and much more natural than products at the store. But it’s always a good idea to try them when you have a few days of free time, just incase your hair hates something and goes crazy. ^_^ (Note to self: never mix Honey and Olive oil ever again)
5. Know your Hair Type
Do you have fine hair… or coarse hair? Is it curly? Or just wavy? Or is it straight as a pin? Knowing your hair type will save you a lot of pain latter on. People with fine hair should be extra super careful with there hair and should never brush their hair when it is wet. People with coarser, for stronger hair, can get away with a bit more but need to work harder to make the hair soft and smooth. Here is a simple chart.
Is straight hair, which has doesn’t have any type of wave of curl pattern.
A relatively unusual type, wavy hair tends to be coarse, with a definite "S" pattern to it. There are three Type 2 subtypes:
A – fine /thin,
C - thick and coarse.
Type 2A is very easy to handle, blowing out into a straighter style or taking on curlier looks with relative ease.
Types 2B and 2C are a little more resistant to styling and have a tendency to frizz.
When this type of hair is wet, it appears to be pretty straight. As it dries, the hair goes back to its curly state. When curly hair is wet, is usually straightens out. As it dries, it absorbs the water and contracts to its curliest state. Humidity tends to make this type of curly hair even curlier, or even frizzier. Type 3 hair has a lot of body and is easily styled in its natural state, or it can be easily straightened with a blow-dryer into a smoother style. Healthy Type 3 hair is shiny, with soft, smooth curls and strong elasticity. The curls are well-defined and springy. Andre defines two subtypes of curly hair.
First, there is type 3A hair which is very loosely curled and usually very shiny with big curls. The shorter the hair is, the straighter it gets. The longer the hair is the more defined the curl.
Then, there is type 3B hair which has a medium amount of curl to tight corkscrews. It's not unusual to see a mixture of these types existing on the same head. Curly hair usually consists of a combination of textures, with the crown being the curliest part.
Lastly there is a type 3C, is hair type that is not in Andre Walker’s book, but many people suggest that it should be. This type of hair can be described as tight curls in corkscrews. The curls can be either kinky, or very tightly curled, with lots and lots of strands densely packed together.
According to Andre Walker, if your hair falls into the Type 4 category, then it is kinky, or very tightly curled. Generally, Type 4 hair is very wiry, very tightly coiled and very fragile. Similar to Type 3 hair, Type 4 hair appears to be coarse, but it is actually quite fine, with lots and lots of these strands densely packed together. Type 4 hair that is healthy won't shine, but it will have sheen. It will be soft to the touch and will pass the strand test with ease. It will feel more silky than it will look shiny. Oprah is a Type 4. Type 4 hairs looks tough and durable, but looks can be deceiving. If you have Type 4 hair, you already know that it is the most fragile hair around.
There are two subtypes of Type 4 hair: Type 4A, tightly coiled hair that, when stretched, has an "S" pattern, much like curly hair; and
Type 4B, which has a "Z" pattern, less of a defined curl pattern (instead of curling or coiling, the hair bends in sharp angles like the letter "Z"). Type 4A tends to have more moisture than Type 4B, which will have a wiry texture.
Okay, hair fanatics raise your hands. Dusting is something only for those who are commented to their hair. It is time consuming and lots of work, but the effort is well worth it all. Dusting is for those who wish to maintain current hair length or grow it as long as possible. What is dusting? Well it’s basically cutting off split ends one at a time.
Now before you skip right over this…just read it.
It’s called dusting because when you are finished, it should only look like specks of dust on the floor, (or where ever you cut your hair) As you are only cutting off the tiny split end.
What you need is a good pair of hair scissors. These scissors are use for cutting hair only, and they are about $5 at Wal-Mart. Using any old everyday scissors will only damage the hair you are cutting. http://www.pg.com/science/haircare/h..._twh_70_02.jpg
Take your hair and look at the ends, really look...close. If you have dark hair, you might want to have something light behind the hair, and for those with light hair, have something dark behind the hair. When you see a split end or a white dot, or any damage like a tiny knot or bend, cut it off.
Many people feel that the more the dust, the more split ends they see, this is because you are now more aware of what you are looking for, so don’t freak out. I only spend about 5-10 minutes every day dusting. Sometimes I will only find a dozen splits.. sometimes I’ll find so many that I won’t get them all. The point is to not get every single split end, but just cut them when you see them. Look over your hair in half inch parts so you don’t get over whelmed.
Going to a trim from a beauty salon is a bad idea if you are trying to grow your hair long. Because they cut off about 2-3 inches off the bottom of your hair (that’s about 6-9 months worth of hair growth!) and the sad thing is, the bottom isn’t always where the splits are. Oh, and that old saying that trimming your ends makes your hair grow out... is a MYTH!!!Hair grows from the scalp, not the ends, so how does trimming them make the hair grow?
3. Less Shampoo!
As I talked about above, you shouldn’t shampoo your hair very often. Conditioner only washes and water only washes are very popular with long haired people. A CWC or a conditioner, Wash (shampoo), Conditioner wash is the kind of wash I often do on shampoo days so I don’t strip off a lot of moisture. Conditioner only washes are for those who are committed to get supper soft healthy hair. There is a period of a few weeks where you will be tested. Your hair may look pretty bad until the scalp is able to regulate itself, but the results are beautiful.
2. Boar Bristle Brushing
The saying “100 brush strokes a day” was meant for this kind of brush. This should be the only real brush you have. A brush mostly made of wood with natural (or fake!) boar bristles. This brush is not meant for detangling. This brush is used for spreading your natural oils from the top of your head to the length of your hair where it is needed. Any damaged scales will be smoothed down, making your hair shiny and softer feeling. The act of brushing also removes ecess dirt, and smells from your hair, meaning you have to wash your hair less. I brush my hair every night before bedtime with this brush, I can’t imagine what I would do without it.
The best thing you can ever do for your hair is give it a good cleaning about once a month. Healthy hair won’t mean anything if it is dirty. Build up of dirt, oils, conditioners and shampoo residues, gels, hairsprays and pollution will dull your hair. A good clarifying will remove all this from your hair giving you a fresh start with bright, shinny supper soft hair.
The best thing for this is an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse.
All you need is apple cider vinegar and a regular old bottle (like a bottled water bottle) Fill the bottle with about 1-2 tablespoons of the vinegar and then fill the bottle with water. Take the bottle with you in the shower and shower as normal. Use the rinse just before you get out of the shower. Pour the mixture over your hair, making sure it gets down to your scalp and runs though the length of your hair; let it sit for 10 seconds and the rinse it out. Make sure you rinse it out well or you will smell like vinegar.
Then let your hair air dry completely
Don't do this more than once a month, if you use alot of junk on your hair, such as hairspray and gels, then you may try this twice a month. If you use vinegar on your hair more often than that, it'll just eat at your hair and make it nasty. Just once a month is perfectly fine.
Also, some people find Apple cidar too harsh for their hair. Trial and Error is the only way you can find the right amount of Apple cidar Vinegar and water, or if a whole new product must be found.
Don’t use hair ties or barrettes that have that little metal band in them. Don’t use rubber bands either, unless they were made just for hair use, and even then be iffy about them.
The average hair folicle grows about 20 hairs before it dies and stops growing hairs. If you find hairs in your brush or on the floor and it has that little white bit of skin at one end... you just sheded a hair. If there is no bit of white skin... then it's breakage.
If it's below freezing outside, never go outside with wet hair. the water on and in your hair will freeze and the hair will snap off.
it's bad to go outside in the cold with wet hair anyways.
Sometimes the best comb is your fingers. Fingercombing is best for your hair, for it causes the least amount of damage.
When you wash your hair, imagin your washing a very,very old wedding dress with lace. You're not going to scrub 100 year old lace are you?