Sick of seeing celebrities toss around their thick tresses, while you feel hopeless about your dry and lifeless hair? Contrary to popular belief, expensive serums and fussy hair extensions aren’t your only hope for thicker and stronger locks. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that can make all the difference.
Adding another couple of minutes to your lightning-fast showers could be the only change you need to achieve lustrous locks. We have a few tips below on how you can make the most out of your daily showers to help you grow thicker hair.
#1. Go sulfate free
Don’t get distracted by colorful packaging or irresistible scents, when it comes to shampoo it’s the ingredients list that makes all the difference.
Watch out for shampoos that include ingredients with the word sulfate, such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Sulfates, are what cause that sudsy effect in your shampoo. It’s fun and it gives you the feeling that your hair is “clean” but truth is – it doesn’t benefit your hair at all.
In fact it tends to strip your hair of not just dirt, but also it’s natural oils, which makes hair more prone to be dry and frizzy. Salon professionals also recommend sulfate-free shampoo for those with colored or chemically processed hair since sulfates tend to strip away color fast. Try picking up a clarifying shampoo instead, and see the difference it makes.
#2. Skip a couple of showers
We’re not kidding, washing hair every couple of days is something a lot of hair gurus swear by. You know how you get sexy shiny bed head just before you hit the shower in the morning? That’s your scalp distributing it’s natural oils down the hair shaft.
The more you shower, the less oils make it to the ends of your hair, where it’s usually most in need of moisture. Constant exposure to hot water also weakens the hair cuticles, making it dry and prone to breakage.
If you’re iffy, studies show that there’s no tangible benefit to shampooing hair everyday. An exercise fanatic? A quick splash of water on hair is enough to get rid of the smell of sweat. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, you can also opt to use a cleansing conditioner or pat on some dry shampoo. Trust us, your hair will thank you.
#3. Embrace the scalp massage
Aside from keeping you zen, scalp massages also help jumpstart your blood circulation which would bring nutrients all the way up your hair follicles.
Since the base of the hair follicle is connected to a web of capillaries, the more efficient your blood flow is, the more nutrients your hair follicle receives. Nutrient-rich hair is the key to thick healthy hair strands.
Another bonus of the scalp massage? It helps you get rid of the excess gross, oily buildup on your scalp. A combination of hairstyling products, smog and sebum can create a plaque on hair that block hair follicles from growing long enough to poke out of the epidermis.
Scalp massages are a relaxing, easy way to get rid of that unnecessary hair block. Find out how to do a scalp massage for hair growth!
#4. No ifs, no buts: Always condition your hair
This step is just as crucial as cleansing. Infusing moisture to your hair is key for growing a strong and healthy mane. When you shower, your hair cuticles open up, allowing conditioners to infuse nutrients, essential oils, and other humectants into the cuticles and coat it with a barrier that protects it from external elements.
Hair strands infused with moisture also help fast track hair repair. Want to grow hair that’s free of split ends? Don’t scrimp on conditioner.
#5. Treat hair with utmost care – especially when wet!
Do you look forward to vigorously rubbing your hair after every shower? Quit that habit now! The cationic particles in your conditioner have gotten rid of the negative charge that causes frizzy hair and now your hair cuticles are lying flat, and are coated with a sebum-like substance that protects it from further damage.
Sound’s good right? Now, if you towel dry your hair by rubbing it like clothing for laundry, you’re starting up the friction again, this will charge up your hair (static = frizz!), which then causes cuticles to open up, and give the appearance of a frizzy cloud of hair.
Don’t think of running a hairbrush on wet hair either – wet hair is more prone to breakage from the brush bristles. Instead, try squeezing your hair dry and combing with a wide-toothed comp to sort out any tangles. This process is far kinder to your locks, and always wait for your hair to dry before breaking out the hair irons.
#6. Cheat a little – on your hair care brands!
Still using the same conditioner that your mom used to buy you 10 years ago? Add in some variety to your shower caddy. Rotating 2-3 brands of shampoo and conditioner helps your hair absorb the maximum benefits that the ingredient list (of each brand) provides.
Using the same shampoo and conditioner duo for years could mean that your hair composition has already been altered by your favorite brand, and it’s now time to switch up to something more effective, something your hair hasn’t grown “immune” to yet.
You should also rotate shampoos based on the season or other weather conditions. For example, your everyday conditioner might not be the best bet during a week-long beach trip wherein hair needs more moisture and protection.