Monday, July 16, 2012

5 Simple, Short, Inexpensive Healthy Hair Practices

You don't have to spend all day on your hair to achieve healthy hair. I know I use henna, rhassoul clay and some other special natural hair treatments that do take time to carryout, however, I do this, because I've always enjoyed a little pampering. If you're low on time, want to cut costs and grow healthy (natural) hair, here are my top 5 tips. These are based on my experiences, you could always adapt them to fit your needs. These are in no particular order of importance. These practices relate only to things you do to your hair, of course, a healthy diet and drinking enough water are crucial to one's physical health, hair included. These tips are especially helpful for short to medium length curly girls.

1. Keep your hair moisturized.
  • After washing your hair, be sure to use a leave-in and seal with an oil. Personally, I think olive oil is  healing and moisturizing. It is also very versatile, you can use it on your hair, face and body. It's readily available at your local grocery store, lasts for a long time and it's affordable. You don't need to buy every oil on the market, one or two good oils should do just fine. (Time: 5 - 15 minutes).
  • If you notice your hair is feeling dry, refresh it. Dilute a little leave-in with water and spritz or rub into your hair. Rub on a little olive oil and you're good to go. Diluting your leave-in gives you more slip and extends the use of your product. (Time: 5 - 15 minutes)
2. Protect and pay attention to your ends.
  • My ends are prone to dryness so I pay particular attention to them and make sure they stay well moisturized. Remember, the ends of your hair are the oldest part of your hair, thus it's important to protect them. This does not mean you have to always wear protective styles. However, keeping the ends moisturized and conditioned is essential.
  • After washing my hair, I apply a generous amount of conditioner or leave-in to my ends and coat them, I then put oil on top of this and sometimes a little grease. I only do this on my ends, otherwise it would be build-up city. Since I wash my hair once a week, during mid-week, if my ends start to get a little dry and straggly, I spritz them and add more conditioner and oil to my ends. (Time: 5 - 20 minutes)
  • Trim your ends using the search and destroy message, when necessary.
  • Try to wear your hair in twists, they are a great style for moisture retention. When I wear my hair in twists, I do so for 3 to 4 days and then wear a twist out 3 to 4 days. ( Time: up to 2 hours, depending on thickness and length. I realize this is a lengthier styling time, however, it will save you time during the week.)
3. Deep condition your hair once per week.
  • Low on time? Apply pure olive oil and a little conditioner (diluted, if you prefer) to dry hair, slap on 2 shower caps and a satin bonnet and go to sleep. Wash hair and style as the desired the next day. If I do this on a weekend, I twist my hair the next day. If I do this on a weekday, I wear a wash n go or wear a puff. You can always braid it up at night to stretch it for the following day. (Prep time: 5 - 20 minutes)
  • Don't want to DC while you're sleeping. Mix olive oil and conditioner, apply freshly washed hair while in the shower, place a hot towel on hair, cover with a plastic cap. Finish your normal shower routine, leaving the cap on about 10 minutes, and rinse out. It's a short DC, but still very effective. (Time: 10 - 15 minutes)
4. Protect your hair at night.
  • Satin bonnet or a satin pillow case. (Time: 0 - 30 seconds)
  • If you need maintain your style, but have shorter hair, try braids, twists, mini-puffs, mini-pineapples, or my favorite, mini-buns. I rub a little water on my ends, tuck them under my hair, secure with a satin scarf and wake up to soft moisturized hair, especially my ends. (5 - 20 minutes)
5. Make sure your scalp is healthy
  • Oil your scalp once or twice per week with a little oil. For a little treat, pour some of your preferred oil into a small applicator bottle, add in a couple of drops of essential oil such as tea tree or peppermint, put some oil on your finger tips and work it into your scalp. This keeps my scalp fresh and moisturized. Remember, hair grows from your scalp, so making sure it's healthy is very important to achieving healthy hair. (Time: 5 - 15 minutes)

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