Just got that fabulous new perm that you can't wait to show off to all your friends? Thinking it would be perfect if only it were blonde? Before you take that next step, consider whether you're treating your hair properly.
A good shampoo and conditioner can make a world of difference. In fact, they may mean the difference between dry hair that has been over-styled and chemically damaged, and healthy hair.
Many people have naturally dry hair, which means that they need to use conditioners that add moisture to their hair. Always be careful when using hair care, products, though, and beware of skin sensitivities and allergies.
Most hair experts recommend conditioning the hair before chemical treatments. Some products used to change hair color also contain conditioning agents. Even people with normal hair should consider using chemical treatments that condition as well as color, straighten, or curl. Don't overdo the conditioner though; this results in a greasy look.
Many people with oily hair struggle to keep their hair from looking greasy. One way to accomplish this is to use a clarifying shampoo, which removes the residue from styling products.
You are what you eat
Diet is another important part of hair health. Protein provides the building blocks for healthy hair, and minerals like copper, iron, and zinc are also necessary. Both the B complex vitamins and vitamin A help to make the hair and scalp healthier too.
Stay Healthy - and keep your hair healthy
Different health conditions, including pregnancy, age-related changes, and hormone balance affect hair growth and hair health. Weather and stress can also be very damaging to a person's hair.
Regular trims and cuts help to maintain healthy hair. In fact, experts recommend that persons with long hair should get their hair cut at least every eight weeks, while those with short hair should get a trim or cut every four weeks or so.
Comb and Style
Use styling products from hair experts such as Redken, Aveda, and Tigi for hair care and maintenance. These products add body, volume, and shine, and make the hair more manageable. Gel can be used for shaping and styling hair, or for a "wet" appearance. Hair mousse is a product used for adding body as well as styling.
Styling lotion may be a better option, though for persons with normal hair; it's more lightweight and doesn't cause normal hair to look greasy. Use hair wax for extreme styling. This can only be removed by washing with hot water, though, so use it sparingly. Set the style and keep it in place all day long with hairspray.
People with extra-curly hair often use straightening balm to tone down frizz or loosen curls. Curl enhancers are designed to maximize body and curl. Curls too tight? Relax them and soften the look with texturizer, or apply a little pomade to reduce frizz.
Hair curling tools
Planning a special date or trying a new hair style? Use hair curlers, or choose curling irons of different sizes to achieve those perfect ringlets. Use curlers overnight to set hair, and unroll them in the morning. Heated rollers are made by Conair, Clairol, or Vidal Sassoon, and many other hair-care companies.
For quicker curls, try curling irons made by Revlon, Chi, or Braun. Grip the plastic handle and roll hair onto a heated metal rod. Curls are ready in seconds.
Professional hair care equipment
Buy salon furniture for home use, and set up a salon at home, or just enjoy knowing that you have the best hair care equipment possible. Buy quality scissors or professional facial machines, or invest in a shampoo chair or styling chair for the ultimate in home salon therapy.
Many salons sell used lights, nail tables, or other equipment for low prices when they are ready to upgrade. Buy secondhand and save some money for spray bottles or other hair care essentials.
Straightening things out
Tired of curls and frizz? Get shampoos or conditioners that will help to straighten hair and make it frizz-free. Use balms and gels that will help style and tame curly hair. Read the label to find products that can be used alone or with a hair dryer or flat iron.
Straighten hair with a blow dryer or use a hair dryer instead. The difference? Hair dryers usually have only a few basic settings and are usually travel-sized or full-sized.
In comparison, blow dryers have a number of different settings as well as cold-air buttons. These appliances are manufactured by Conair, Chi,Babyliss, and other well-known names in hair care. Many are lightweight and ergonomically designed.
Another alternative preferred by many people with dry or damaged hair is an ionic blow dryer. These produce less heat in comparison to conventional blow dryers but dry hair more quickly, so that hair isn't damaged as badly.
To straighten hair using a blow dryer, start by towel-drying the hair and waiting a short time. Then, use heat-activated products to protect hair from thermal damage. Brush hair out in sections using a round brush, keeping the dryer pointed downward. Use cool hair for smoothing the hair after it is dry.
Sometimes it's necessary to use other tools for straightening, like flat irons. These are made by Conair, Revlon, Chi, and many other salons. These straightening tools have two arms with metal or ceramic plates at either end. Once these are heated and applied to the hair, the heat straightens the hair.
Usually flat irons with ceramic plates are less damaging to the hair and more effective as well. Some models also feature settings for both damp and dry hair. People whose hair is very thick or curly, or dry and fragile, may want to invest a little extra and buy a quality flat iron instead of a less expensive model.
Before applying the flat iron, it's best to use a straightening balm that is also designed to protect hair from heat damage. Hair should only be straightened when it is clean; heated hair oils or dirt will cause additional hair damage.
Daily use is not recommended, because frequent application of heat to the hair will damage it quickly. Keep the ceramic or metal plates clean by wiping with rubbing alcohol and a damp cloth. This will prevent hair damage from heated styling product residue as well as dirt and hair oil.
If hair loss is becoming a problem, consider a treatment like Rogaine, which is designed to help people with hair loss problems regenerate their hair. Another option is scalp treatments or cleansers, made by manufacturers such as Nioxin. Don't want to fight the battle chemically? Use a hair extension or even a weave to hide balding areas or thinning hair.
If you're fortunate enough to have hair that's easy to care for, take good care of it and enjoy. If your hair becomes fragile or damaged, take good care of it - hair treatments can be expensive and may not work very well. Otherwise, your friends may start advising you that it's time to buy a rug - and not for your floor!