Tell me your biggest hair challenge. Don't be shy, as a professional stylist, I've heard it all. I wish my hair was straight. I wish it was curly. I wish it was fuller, stronger, longer. I wish it was healthy. Why can't I get it to do what I want it to? I'm no good at styling. How about you? If you could have anything in regard to your hair, what would it be?
One of the biggest misconceptions I find in my clients is that they believe they have to be really good at styling in order to get their hair to look great. Yes, you read that right, I said misconceptions. It doesn't take a great innate styling ability to make your hair look great. All it takes is healthy hair.
Healthy hair is malleable. You can get healthy hair to do almost anything. Healthy hair has natural volume, shine, & manageability. It's strong & holds curl or a style easily. Healthy hair feels amazing, looks brilliant, & easily does what you want it to. Healthy hair does not mean virgin, or un processed hair. Healthy hair is hair that is free of heavy chemicals, and products designed to cover up or mask your hair fiber & finish.
Many, perhaps most, product lines out there have silicone, resins & waxes in them as well as heavy oils, or conditioning agents that coat your hair and suffocate it & your scalp. These types of substances require harsh cleansers to strip away the additives, & they strip away your hairs natural essential oils right along with the gunk. Silicone is used to add softness & shine to hair. Unfortunately this is just on the surface, & not the hair itself. What is happening is an impenetrable layer is coating the outside of your hair & with every use that layer is building up & causing damage underneath, damage you can't see, but can feel in the texture, & performance of your hair. (The picture below shows build up being scraped off)
There are products that utilize natural botanicals that are formulated in a manner that allow for easy cleansing & removal of the product. You'll find them in salons that are proactive in their approach to hair dressing. Salons that are specializing in a natural approach to hair care & beauty. Nature has given us everything we need to live, & now, finally, science is being used to bring out the best in nature to help us thrive. As a consumer, it is important that you be proactive & know what you are putting into your hair & on your body. What you want to look for is clinical studies, accreditations, & staff that is trained on product features & benefits. I encourage you to be your own best advocate & educate yourself.
Styling your hair is not magical or even difficult. You can use many tools to create a style. It isn't necessary to invest in overly expensive tools when you are ensuring your hair is healthy & your hair product is free of damaging, hazardous ingredients. Healthy hair will dry faster, so any hair dryer that moves air will do. Use the medium or cool setting to blow it dry. Styling tools are getting hotter & hotter because of the layers of build up on hair these days. You do not need a 400 degree iron to curl or straighten your hair when it is in its natural healthy state. Ceramic plates, titanium, tourmaline, Jade, all these new, expensive, materials are being used to help cut through the build up & while attempting to reduce or mitigate damage from the high heat appliances.
When you are heat styling your hair, what is most important is keeping the appliance in constant motion. Flat iron your hair in 2 or 3 passes that move quickly, instead of one painfully slow pull. What would happen if you place your clothes iron on high, and let it sit on your silk blouse for 5, 6, 10 seconds? You'd have a damaged blouse, right? Hair & silk only differ by 1 amino acid (protein). The building blocks are essentially the same in the two materials. When you keep your styling tools in motion, your hair will thank you for it.
It is essential to shampoo your hair. Shampooing & conditioning are cleansing your strands & adding humectants, or moisture, back into your hair. By being conscientious about your products, you do not need to use harsh, abrasive cleansers on your hair. There are many naturally occurring compounds that emulsify dirt & oils, lifting them away from your scalp & hair strands, & water draws them to itself for easy removal of the dirt & debris. Many products have additives in them that are not water soluble, or are even water repelling, requiring the harsher chemicals to remove them. This in turn dries your hair out, changes the appearance of your hair structure, leaves damage in their wake, making your hair much harder to manage & style. The result can be dry dull, frizzy, lifeless strands that are reluctant to do anything you want them to, & break or split.
You see the simple act of washing your hair can be causing the issues you are having with the health & appearance of your hair. It's up to you to be sure you are using quality products that aren't contributing to your hair challenges.
When you take care of your hair using safe, effective, pure products, you will find that your hair challenges lessen, & often resolve themselves. Healthy Hair is a beautiful thing, & it is easier to have than you might think.
DeVerne Augustus is a professional stylist & industry educator located in Spokane WA. He's been in the industry for more than 15 years, and his mission is to re educate the industry & clients on better, safer, more effective ways to have the hair of your dreams.
--Make every hair flip Fabulous. Healthy hair is the new sexy!