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Want beautiful-looking hair? Whether your tresses are long and curly or short and straight, keeping your hair healthy and shiny is not as difficult as you might think. Although your hair care regime will depend largely on your hair type, there are some general tips everyone can follow for a healthy, shiny mane.
Trim your hair regularly to avoid split ends (short hair should be cut every 6 weeks, long hair every 8 to 12 weeks).
Use real bristle brushes. Throw away combs with missing teeth.
Go easy on relaxers, perms, and colors. When done in excess, these processes can cause dry brittle ends.
Always use conditioner in hair longer than 4 inches.
Choose hair care products that match your hair type.
Different Hair Types and Proper Care
A little oil or grease in your hair is normal, in fact you need it to keep your tresses in good condition. But too much can make your hair look dirty and limp. If both your hair and scalp are greasy, make sure you are not using a shampoo or conditioner that is too heavy for your hair. If only your scalp is greasy, try using a shampoo for oily hair and a conditioner for dry hair for balance.
Other tips for controlling greasy hair include:
Cleaning your hair every other day. You may be tempted to wash your hair frequently, but the oil glands on your scalp are actually stimulated by massage so the more you wash your hair, the greasier your scalp becomes.
Using the flat of your fingers to shampoo your hair for a more gentle cleaning action.
Too many coloring jobs or perms can weaken your hair structure and cause damage, as can excessive exposure to heat from hairdryers, curling irons, heated rollers and other electric styling tools. Being out in the sun or swimming in a chlorinated pool can also deplete hair of its life. To restore your hair to its natural splendor, try following these techniques:
Use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners designed for dry, damaged hair.
Cut down on the use of hairdryers, curling irons, etc.
Change your appliances regularly as the internal thermostats that regulate heat eventually break down.
When hitting the beach or going for a swim, use a leave-in product to protect your hair.
Treat your hair with a deep conditioner once a week.
Thin hair doesn't have to look lifeless. Follow these simple techniques to create the illusion of having thick hair:
Get a blunt or one-length haircut to make hair look fuller and thicker at the ends.
Don't grow your hair too long. The longer it gets the more stringy it appears.
Apply conditioner to the lengths and ends of your hair, not the roots. This will prevent your hair from becoming weighted down. Although you may be tempted to skip on the conditioner, using it will actually help prevent the split ends and breakage that can make fine hair look thinner.
Many people with thick hair complain of having an itchy, flaky scalp. This is usually caused by insufficient rinsing after cleaning your hair: the shampoo soap leaves a residue which is sealed onto the scalp by the conditioner, causing dryness and irritation. Make sure you rinse your hair longer after shampooing to avoid this problem. Other tips for making thick hair look its healthiest include:
Keep your hair either short or long - short haircuts keep thick hair under control, while the weight of long hair holds it down. Mid-length cuts on thick hair tend to make the hair stick out at the ends.
Cut your hair in layer to relieve some of the bulk. Don't cut short layers or pieces too short or they will add extra volume.
If you color your hair, opt for semi-permanent colors which don't have the same thickening effect as permanent colors and bleach.
One of the biggest problems with curly hair is its lack of shine. Unlike straight hair, which tends to have a natural sheen, curly hair has an uneven surface that does not reflect light very well. That means the curlier or wavier your hair is, the duller it appears. To remedy this problem, try these simple tricks:
Wash your hair with moisturizing shampoos and conditioners to help seal and smooth the surface of your hair (this allows it to reflect more light).
Use a wide-tooth comb in the shower to help distribute conditioner more evenly.
Use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove product build up, which makes hair appear dull.
Rinse your hair with cold water to seal the surface, which helps hair reflect light better.
Consider a special in-salon "gloss finish" treatment for extra shine.
After washing, gently pat your hair dry with a thick, absorbent towel.
Unfortunately straight hair lies flat against the scalp where it can accumulate grease, leading to a dull, stringy appearance. To avoid this, use a deep-cleaning shampoo every day and a clarifying gel treatment once a week to prevent oil buildup.