Beginners Guide to Hair Care
Let’s talk about hair care! Nope, this won’t be a full rundown of chemical reactions and expensive treatments at the salon. This will be a list of our favorite hair care tips that beginners will love too. Forget expensive products – there’s no need to break the bank! You can get gorgeous hair with a few simple tips and tricks. At Souffle Beauty, we keep our hair care simple and easy. Starting with...
Shampoo and Conditioner
These two may very well be the most famous duo in all beauty and hair care. You see them everywhere! Sometimes you even see them combined in a single product. But why do we “need” two products to simply wash our hair?
Shampoo contains molecules called surfactants. These surfactants are responsible for catching all the grime, dirt, and product build-up from your hair and scalp so that they can easily be rinsed out with water. After washing with shampoo, you now have squeaky clean hair. But that’s the thing. Ideally, hair shouldn’t be “squeaky”. This is where conditioners come in.
Conditioners soften the hair, moisturize, and nourish it. Instead of surfactants, conditioners contain ingredients that smoothen out the hair follicles. As hair gets damaged through various encounters with cleansers, styling, and other environmental factors, the follicles become a mess – think of a busted-up rope. What conditioners do is that they moisturize the hair so that the fibers settle into their usual shape. The hair looks and feels healthier instantly.
So do you really need both?
Well, the need for these two simply lies in your lifestyle and your hair and scalp situation. Just think of it this way, the dirt and oil build-up that happens in your hair really depends on how much oil your scalp produces and how much debris gets stuck in between the surfaces of your scalp and hair depending on the texture of your hair strands. It is just impossible to have the same solution for everybody.
However, it all boils down to what makes your hair and scalp feel best after using. For cleansing, our simple tip would be to wash your hair with cleansers when you’ve been sweating after a workout or a hot humid day. As we sweat, our pores release oil and this can attract more dust, bacteria, and dirt to get stuck in your hair. When it comes to conditioners, there’s really no harm in moisturizing. In general, finer hair and hair that’s more prone to greasiness need less conditioning.
One more thing you can try are hair conditioning cleansers. These contain more nourishing ingredients versus surfactants. It will be a gentler product that can get your hair and scalp feeling fresh and clean but with added moisture compared to simply shampooing alone.
After your usual shampoo with or without conditioner, do remember to rinse properly after as leaving in some of the products can get your scalp reacting pretty badly. This isn’t just bad for your scalp, even the skin closest to the area like your shoulders, neck, and face can get a bad reaction from this.
There is also such a thing as scalp acne and this also happens when the pores on your scalp get clogged. And yes, those pores will get clogged if you don’t rinse out your products properly. Remember, your scalp’s health has a lot to do with your hair’s health.
How often should I wash?
Not everyone needs to wash their hair daily and some can’t really go a day without washing. Again, this really depends on your hair type and lifestyle. Since fine hair tends to get oily, it may need a little more washing especially if you do activities that make you sweat or if you live in a hot and humid environment. Dry hair can add more days without washing. Some people won’t really need shampooing and are best suited to simply use conditioners or conditioning cleansers. Get a feel of your hair and scalp. Too much of anything can get you bad results, too.
Use a clarifying shampoo a few times a month
Speaking of too much, sometimes it suddenly feels like your products, even your shampoo and conditioner, aren’t doing anything for your hair anymore. This may be caused by product buildup in your hair and scalp. Clarifying shampoo can rejuvenate your hair back into its former glory! Use it like regular shampoo once or twice a month and you’re good to go!
Skip the sulfates (depending on your hair)
Remember that little thing with surfactants? Sulfates are basically surfactants but they’re one of the harshest types. Our scalp produces oils we need as its own form of defense against damage. Sulfates can get too harsh and strip our hair of the necessary oils that keep it shiny and vibrant. Especially for dyed hair, this can be a disaster. Be gentle on your crowning glory and opt for sulfate-free products when washing.
Apply a hair mask
Our hair goes through a lot even with the simplest things we do like tying our hair, brushing or combing, and even towel drying. You can give your hair a little more TLC by trying out a simple hair mask at home. Hair masks add a little more love compared to conditioners. They send more moisture and contain more nutrients versus conditioners.
The salon isn’t a requirement. Grab a good hair mask and follow the instructions on the labels. One more tip on this is to actually trust the label. Manufacturers add labels because this is the most effective way to use the product after they have tested it.
Minimizing hair loss
Don’t panic, we all lose a bit of hair each and every day. But, to help minimize hair loss, try to avoid too much combing, tossing, and twirling on your hair. Our hair follicles are fragile and the tugging and pulling that happens when you fiddle with your hair can actually damage your hair follicles causing your hair to fall off.
Recovering from hair loss
Combing and brushing can make your hair look nice and soft and it smoothens out those pesky tangles. So it’s hard to stay away from them just to prevent hair loss. To manage hair loss, try applying some castor oil on your scalp to promote hair growth and strengthen hair follicles. You can use it as a hair mask before taking a shower. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and then rinse it out in the shower. You can also apply castor oil on your eyebrows and lids to get brows and lashes on fleek!
Heat is not your friend
It is the archenemy of our hair. Yes, hot baths are relaxing and styling with blowers and heat wands can get you feeling pretty and confident but our hair suffers from these. They make hair brittle and prone to breakage. Stop using hot water to wash your hair. Cooler showers can even help your hair prevent frizz and they seal in your hair follicles. If you need to blow dry, it’s best to go for a cold setting instead of hot. It is also best to avoid going out under the sun without a hat or an umbrella. The heat from the sun damages not only your hair but your scalp and skin.
Make your hair your best friend by putting in a little TLC. Try your best to get the gentlest products for your hair and don’t battle it out when you’re styling your hair. You don’t have to spend much but be conscious about what you’re exposing your hair and scalp to. Trust us, your hair will thank you later!