Taking care of your hair doesn't have to mean spending thousands of dollars on salon treatments or products. A few simple changes to your usual haircare routine can normally do the trick. Here's how.
Choose the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair type
Fine, oily hair
Don't use creamy shampoos. Choose a gentle shampoo for frequent washing, preferably one that contains panthenol. This ingredient is supposed to penetrate each hair cuticle making each hair strand thicker. There's no need to wash your hair every day. Dry shampoos are ideal for this hair type. As for conditioners, choose something that is mild or don't condition after shampooing as this can make your hair go limp and even more oily.
Coarse and curly hair
You should choose moisturising and creamy shampoos and conditioners. Consider using a hot oil treatment once a week. There is no need to wash your hair every day. If your hair looks frizzy and is unmanageable, just rinse it with water, but finish off with a conditioner. You could also invest in a leave-in conditioner and then let your hair dry naturally if you can. This type of hair doesn't like the hairdryer.
Dry and damaged hair
Don't choose clear shampoos, these contain very little moisturising ingredients. Dry and damaged hair loves creamy and moisturising shampoos. Ultra-moisturising and leave-in conditioners are perfect for this hair type.
Deep condition every two weeks. It's best to avoid blow drying, since the heat can further damage and dehydrate your hair.
Coloured or permed hair
This type of hair needs love and attention, since the roots tend to be oily while the ends are dry. It's best to use a mild cleansing shampoo every day to cleanse the root and scalp area and then use an intense moisturising conditioner on the middle part of your hair through to the ends. If you have coloured hair, avoid products that contain silicone, as this strips the colour away.
Use the right styling tools and techniques to tame your mane
a Don't rub your hair vigorously when you're towel drying. This can cause severe damage to your hair.
b Don't brush your hair when it is still wet - it's much weaker then.
c Use a wide-toothed comb to work conditioner through your hair. Work from the ends upwards.
d If you have curly hair, use a wide-toothed comb or a pick.
e If you have straight hair, choose a brush that has smooth, ball-tipped and bendable bristles.
f Don't brush your hair too often or too vigorously. This can break your hair, especially if it is long.
How much do you know about hair? Test your knowledge with this haircare quiz.
1. What is the best way to protect shiny hair?
a Rinse with very hot water
b Rinse with lukewarm water
c Don't use conditioner
d Blow dry with a hot hairdryer
e Spray dull hair with hairspray
2. On average, how many hairs do we lose every day?
d 250 or more
3. On average, how much does a person's hair grow each month?
a 0.3cm to 0.6cm b 0.6cm to 1.2cm
c 1.2cm to 2.5cm
d 2.5cm to 5cm
4. What is a cradle cap?
a A greasy patch on a baby's scalp
b A trendy accessory
c A medicated shampoo
d An organic shampoo
5. What causes grey hair?
a Too much blow drying
b Bleaching your hair too often
c Hair cells that produce colour dying off
d Washing your hair too often
Answers: 1 b. 2 b. 3 b. 4 a. 5 c.