Choosing a Hair Care and Styling Routine
Choosing a Hair Care and Styling Routine
We all have different hair, which obviously means that everyone will need to take care of their hair and style it differently. Taking good care of your hair will not just keep your hair looking fabulous, but also keep your scalp healthy. And, having a healthy scalp means your hair will be healthy, too.
With healthy hair, you can create all the hairstyles you want to try. But where to start? Well, before you even think about styling your hair, you’ll need to be in a good hair care routine.
If you’re not sure where to start with taking care of your hair, the first step is most likely washing it regularly. Get your hair completely wet, then use a small amount of shampoo (a squirt about the size of a quarter is good) and massage it into your scalp. Once your hair feels nice and clean, rinse out the shampoo.
If your hair is prone to looking dry, you can also use a conditioner. Be sure to only use it on your hair. Unlike shampoo, you should not use conditioner on your scalp, since it can dry out your scalp and even make it easier for your hair to quickly get oily. An easy way to condition your hair is to get a conditioning spray that you can use when you get out of the shower.
After you’ve rinsed off your hair, gently dry it with a towel. We’d recommend using a microfiber towel or a T-shirt. Towels are usually heavy and made of rough material that can damage hair—and wet hair is especially prone to damage. T-shirts and microfiber towels are usually more lightweight and do a great job of soaking up water. When the excess water is out of your hair, carefully comb out tangles with a wide-tooth comb. Don’t use a brush until your hair has had time to dry (remember, wet hair is very easily damaged). Once you’ve combed your hair, let it air dry if there’s time.
Obviously, washing your hair is pretty important. But how often should you do it? A recent trend has been the encouragement to only wash hair every other day or even only once a week. This is a good idea to keep in mind, as over-washing your hair can dry it out. However, the frequency with which you need to wash your hair depends more on what it’s like and what you do throughout your day. Usually, straight or thin hair gets oily very easily and needs washed more often, while curly or thick hair can go a few days between being washed. If you exercise a lot or use a lot of products in your hair, you’ll probably need to wash it more. It might take some time to figure out a good schedule for washing your hair, so have fun with it! Try new shampoos and conditioners, or test out a dry shampoo.
In addition to washing your hair, it’s also important to protect it. You might think the sun can only damage your skin, but it actually can impact your hair, too! We recommend wearing a hat when you go outside to prevent sun damage. Hair can also be damaged by chemicals like chlorine or even hair products. Be sure to wash your hair after swimming and thoroughly wash out any products you put in. And, if you can avoid it, don’t use gobs of product in your hair.
Some other ways to protect your hair are to use a protector spray on your hair if you use a hair dryer, curling wand, or flat iron often. And, while brushing your hair is important, it’s also possible to brush too much, causing split ends and frizziness. So, only brush until your hair has a nice shine.
One last great way to take care of your hair is to get it trimmed regularly—every six to eight weeks. This will help keep split ends to a minimum and gives you a chance to switch up how you style your hair.
So you’ve got some hair care strategies—now what about style?
Like hair care, hair style depends on your type of hair and what you’re doing throughout your day. You probably don’t want an elaborate hairstyle if you’re on your way to the gym, and if you have completely straight hair, a style with tight curls just might not work. But the key is experimenting! Try a few different styles to see what fits with your “get-ready routine” or works with your style.
Here are a few ideas:
If you want to add volume to straight, thin hair:
Try beach waves! There are a few simple ways you can do this. The first is to throw your hair in a ponytail. Then, divide your hair into sections and gently wrap each section around a curling wand. Once you’ve gotten to every section, carefully remove the ponytail.
Another way to quickly get beach waves is to first, use a sea salt spray on your hair. Next, divide half of your hair into two sections. Twist both of these sections, then, twist them together. Grab a hair straightener and, starting at the top of the twist, clamp down for about two seconds as you move down to the bottom of your hair. Do the same thing with the other half of your hair. Let your hair cool down completely before un-twisting it.
If you want to straighten thick, curly hair:
First, grab your favorite hair protecting product and apply it to your hair. Take the top half of your hair (maybe the top two thirds if you have very thick hair) and put it up in a clip or scrunchie so it’s out of the way. Then, use a flat iron to straighten out each curl on the underside of your hair. Once you’ve finished straightening the bottom half of your hair, take out the clip or scrunchie and work through the top half.
If you want to add length and volume:
Unfortunately, there’s no way to magically make your hair grow longer or thicker, but you can try a hair extension. You’ll be able to choose from a great range of colors and lengths.
You can also get a few different kinds of hair extensions—some you can put in yourself, and some require a visit to a hairstylist who can install them for you.
Clip-in extensions are easy to put in on your own. Just clip up the top half of your hair and slide the clips into the bottom part of your hair. Most clip-in extensions come in sets, so after putting in the first extension, you’ll let a bit of your hair down and put the remaining ones in wherever you feel your hair could use the volume.
Some important things to remember about clip-in hair extensions:
- Once they are in, you can style them just like you would with your own hair!
- You should take care of them the same way you’d take care of your own hair
- Remember to brush them before and after each use with a soft bristle brush. This will ensure the hair is smooth and tangle free
- You should wash the extensions every 15-20 wears, or when the hair feels like product has started to build up. Use a gentle shampoo and lots of conditioner, being sure to rinse thoroughly and lay flat to dry
- Deep condition the extensions every week or every other week
- Store extensions flat in a safe, dry area
Tape-in extensions and weave-in extensions are considered semi-permanent, and you’ll need to go to a stylist to get them installed. Tape-in extensions take 45 minutes to an hour to install and are pretty easy to maintain, though you may need to be careful with using conditioners as they can loosen the tape. Usually, people with very thick hair use weave-in extensions. They can take a few hours to install because they are literally woven into your hair. If you aren’t used to thick hair, the weight of weave-in extensions can feel heavy and uncomfortable. However, this type of extension is the most long-lasting and you won’t have to worry about it sliding out.
Some important things to remember about semi-permanent extensions:
- Take care of them the same way you’d take care of your own hair
- Like clip-in extensions, you can also style semi-permanent extensions just like you would your own hair!
Regardless of how you decide to style your hair, you’ll probably need a tool (or two, or three) to get the hairdo you want.
One of the most important things is a good hair brush. They usually are curved with rounded plastic bristles and are great for flipping hair under or out. For example, if you have bangs, you would wrap damp hair around the brush and use a hair dryer to blow it dry. If you get extensions, you might want to get a hair brush specifically designed to reduce frizz and gently tug out tangles.
You’ll also need a good heat protecting spray. This is another very important thing to have because it’s kind of like sunscreen for your hair—it will keep your hair from getting damaged by hot air from a hair dryer or by straighteners or curling tools.
The first tool everyone should have is a great hair dryer. If you are in a rush and don’t have time to break out a straightener or curler, a hair dryer is great for adding some extra volume. A good dryer will have different heat and speed options, and should also come with a concentrator (to streamline the airflow) and a diffuser (to spread out the airflow—the diffuser is great if you have curly hair).
If you are primarily looking for a way to straighten your hair, you might need a flat iron. We recommend hair straighteners made with titanium plates as they are lightweight, durable, and glide smoothly over your hair. The great thing about flat irons is that they can be used to curl hair, too, so you get a very versatile hairstyling tool.
If you have very straight hair and no need for a straightener, you’re probably looking for a curling wand or curling iron. What’s the difference? Curling irons have clamps that will hold your hair in place after it’s wrapped around the wand, creating tighter curls. Curling wands don’t have clamps and are usually used to create looser curls. Both curling wands and curling irons come in different widths. Wider wands create bigger, looser curls, while thinner wands create more corkscrew-type curls. Some curling wands feature “bubbles”along the length—these types are perfect for creating those beach curls we talked about earlier. You can even get a curling tool with several interchangeable options, so you don’t have to style your hair with the same types of curls every day.
Your hair care and styling routine will be as unique as you are, but we hope this helps you get started on developing that routine!