Hair Basics

shampooing hair

For most of us, our rules for hair care boil down to three simple steps -- rinse, lather, and repeat. It shouldn't come as a surprise that the more than 100,000 tiny hairs that call your scalp their home need much more specialized care than the daily shampoo (and as you'll find, a daily shampoo may be too much for some people!).

Depending on your hair type, there are many lifestyle choices that impact the shape, feel, and look of your hair. With so many environmental factors impacting hair, the odds often seem stacked against us in hair care.

Fortunately, you don't need to make a salon appointment or apply for a new credit card to practice proper hair care. All you need is to follow some simple tips to start seeing fuller, less-greasy, and brighter hair.

Best of all, most activities and lifestyle adjustments that result in healthy hair also help promote a healthy body.

Basic Hair Care Tips

Shampooing Tips

  1. If you use a great deal of products like styling gel, conditioners, and hair spray, try adding a tablespoon of baking soda to your shampoo at least once a week then follow the directions on the bottle. Baking soda will not harm your scalp and will help remove built-up product residue more efficiently than plain shampoo.

  2. If you color your hair, let the color set for at least two full days before shampooing again. When you wet your hair, you actually open up the cuticle. Waiting 48 hours before shampooing gives the hair color time to fully seal in your color.

  3. Failing to completely wet your hair before applying shampoo can actually cause more breakage to occur.

  4. Don't pour shampoo directly on your head. Pour a small amount (no bigger than a U.S. quarter) in your palm and rub the shampoo with both hands before applying. Don't lather your scalp for more than 30 seconds.

  5. Conditioner is only really necessary for long hair. For the best results, don't apply conditioner to the scalp, only your hair from the ears down.

Brushing and Drying

drying hair
  1. If you find yourself dealing with too much static electricity while brushing your hair, try wetting your comb or brush before brushing your hair.

  2. Before turning on your hair dryer, use a towel to dry your hair as much as possible. This will keep the heat from damaging your head and cut down on blow drying time.

  3. Hair that's too dry can actually receive natural oils from a brushing technique. Try bending over while brushing and moving the comb or brush back to front, stopping when you feel your scalp tingling -- then massage your scalp.

  4. A brush on wet hair can increase breakage. Use a comb to remove snarls.

  5. For longer hair, begin brushing near the end of the hair and work your way back to your scalp. This helps protect your hair from breakage during brushing and helps remove tangles comfortably.

  6. Don't forget to wash your combs and brushes as well -- they can be cleaned once a week using regular soap or shampoo.

  7. Keep your blow dryer moving. Keeping it in one spot for more than a few seconds can cause heat damage to hair.

Diet and Products

  1. Your diet has a huge impact on your hair health. Iron, calcium, and silica foods all help prevent or reduce hair loss. Protein and B vitamins promote fuller hair.

  2. Need to remove residue from your hair? Beer is actually a powerful removal agent. Combine 1 cup of warm water and 6 tablespoons of beer and rinse your hair with the mixture to clean any residue from other products or environmental factors.

  3. Flakes don't necessarily require dandruff shampoo. Another remedy is to use a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol to rub your scalp. Allow the alcohol to dry, then brush and rinse your hair thoroughly.

  4. Dry hair only gets worse when you use hair products containing alcohol. Products with alcohol are only suitable for those with greasy or oily hair.

natural hair care products

For most individuals caring for their hair is part of their daily lifestyle. Included in their daily hair care routine is washing, drying, and styling. In addition, many individuals treat their hair with special conditioners and hair care products on a less frequent basis to increase sheen, strengthen, reduce frizz, or lessen curls.

However, whatever your typical hair care routine is, it is quite evident that for most individuals, daily hair care is quite simple and part of their everyday lives.

This being said, most people do not need to spend an inordinate amount of their time on their daily hair care routine as most processes are fairly quick to perform.