As 2013 draws to a close, it’s time to make a few New Year’s beauty resolutions. Hopefully you learned some lessons this year, and now you can apply your wisdom toward better habits, starting with your hair. If you’ve always wanted healthier, softer and shinier strands, there are certain tools and tactics that can help.
Follow these tips and you’ll bring out the best in your tresses:
- Be gentle – Don’t rub at your locks too vigorously when shampooing or drying your hair – they’re in their most vulnerable state when wet. When you step out of the shower, squeeze excess water out by blotting with a towel. Not only will you experience less breakage, but you’ll also see reduced frizz.
- Shampoo sparingly – Lathering up too often strips your strands of their essential oils, which will leave them dried out. Gwyneth Paltrow’s stylist Peter Gray told The Daily Express that he recommends only shampooing once a week if possible, but if your hair is especially oily, opt for twice or three times at most. A dry shampoo is a lifesaver for those times when your locks start to look greasy in between showers, as these powders can soak up any excess grime and leave your hair smelling cleaner. Also, you can always simply dampen your hair with a spray bottle of water to refresh your hairstyle.
- Blowdry with caution – Instead of immediately reaching for a hairdryer after stepping out of the shower, give your tresses a chance to air dry. Kristina Barricelli, a celebrity hairstylist and a co-owner of the Gemini 14 Salon, in New York City, explained to Real Simple magazine that not only do you add on extra minutes to the process by blowdrying soaked hair, but you also put your strands at a higher risk of breakage because they’re in a weakened state when wet. So try to wait until it’s about 80 percent dry before you start blasting it with heat. Also, be sure to apply a heat protectant product prior to styling.
- Take your vitamins – You are what you eat, and so is your hair. Make sure you’re getting enough omega-3 fatty acids so your strands have a healthy shine. If you aren’t eating natural sources like salmon, mackerel, walnuts and avocado, consider taking a supplement. Dr. Roopal Kundu, MD and Associate Professor of Dermatology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, advised in The Huffington Post taking vitamin D, fish oil and a general multivitamin with the daily recommended value of iron. Additionally, she noted that biotin is an ideal supplement for strengthening the hair so it’s less prone to breakage.