Bad hair days are a bummer; that's a beauty truth. But they are no joke: According to a Redbook poll, 74% of women say a bad hair day makes them feel less confident. So, when your hair is in good shape, it undoubtedly looks better, and the chances of that happening are far less likely— or at least less frequent.
The challenge is your strands are constantly prone to hair damage: dullness, thinning, dryness, breakage, frizz, and more.
With all these potential stresses, it's no surprise that having healthy hair requires effort to keep it looking lush. And while there isn't a secret shortcut to healthier hair, taking time to keep your hair strong and healthy is worth the commitment. With small tweaks to your routine, maintaining great hair can be effortless.
1. Brush your hair before you shower.
No matter what your hair texture is, taking 60 seconds to detangle strands will keep them strong. "When your hair is wet it is more vulnerable to breakage,".so always brush knots out of your hair when it's dry. One added benefit: brushing dry hair distributes the natural oils from your scalp down to the ends of your hair. Another plus: post-shower it's already smooth and ready to style!
2. Condition correctly — and with care.
Unless your hair is long Rapunzel-like), a nickel-size drop of conditioner is plenty for most textures and lengths. Apply your conditioner first to the mid-shaft and ends of your hair; then work your way up to the scalp. It's important to make sure your scalp gets hydration as well. Leave it on for a full minute before washing it out. If you are a dry shampoo addict (no judgement!), this is especially important to prevent a dry scalp.
3. Take time for hair masks.
To keep strands hydrated and smooth, use a moisturizing hair mask or deep conditioner at least once a week, and more frequently if you use hot tools regularly. Our Go-to is the Unnique KBS hair mask or the Repair mask, they leave the hair feeling soft and shiny without weighing hair down.
4. Eat a balanced diet.
You already know that you are what you eat. Your hair is mostly made up of protein, so eating a balanced diet of protein rich food is important,. Add these items to your grocery list:
Other good sources of hair food: berries, spinach, and avocados, along with anything else rich in vitamins C and E which will help boost collagen production, resulting in stronger strands.
5. Take a deep breath.
Repeat after us: breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. The little things make a big difference. "Your hair is an outgrowth of your body; if you are stressed, your skin will be stressed and that includes your scalp." Now, keep calm and read on.
6. Turn down the temp of your shower.
As soothing as a steamy show may feel, taking a super hot shower on a daily basis can irritate you scalp and possibly weaken your hair as it grows out. Keep the temperature on the warm side and at the end of the shower, do a quick cold-water rinse to seal the cuticles shut, boost shine, and maintain healthy hair.
7. Shield strands from the sun.
UV rays don't only cause damage to your skin, and the same goes for pollution. When you style your hair, apply a leave-in to protect your strands. We recommend our Unnique After Care Leave In , which guards against an array of environmental factors.
8. Sleep on silk.
Make the most of your beauty sleep: swap out your cotton pillowcase for a silk alternative. It protects the cuticle of your hair by reducing the amount of friction between your hair and the fabric.
Another secret to reduce stress on strands: "Sleep with your hair in a loose topknot—secured with a silk scrunchie— or try a low loose braid if you have thick or textured hair to give you more control of your strands during the night.
9. Get a trim.
You need regular haircuts to ensure that your strands stay healthy and don't break off at the ends. If you don't want to loose a lot of length, ask your stylist for a "dusting," so only the tips are snipped, which gets rid of damaged ends, but maintains the length. We recommend going every two months and if you have a short or defined cut, you will likely need to go in sooner.
10. Style smarter.
To minimize damage from heat styling, "invest in professional hot tools that have ionic technology, which will infuse moisture into your hair as you style," she says. Also, opt for a curling iron or straightener that is solid ceramic, rather than only having a ceramic coating: This will distribute heat onto your hair evenly, locking in your style quickly so you don't need to reapply the iron continuously to get your desired look.
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