Having healthy, smooth and shiny hair is every woman’s wish. Whether long, short or medium, straight or curly, having hair that is smooth and silky always gives a good feel.But very few people possess naturally smooth and silky hair.
Most women have got dull, dry and damaged hair, which is often the result of excessive use of harmful hair care products, over-exposure to sunlight, regular use of hair dyes, serums, high amount of mineral and chlorine in water, and exposure to heating tools such as blow dryers and straighteners. Other factors may include age, nutritional deficiencies, stress and not using a good shampoo/conditioner.
1. Add aspirin to your shampoo.
It may sound weird, but this trick is totally effective for nixing dandruff, which causes your hair to look dry and dull. The salicylic acid in aspirin helps break down dead skin cells and product buildup on your scalp, says Alexis Wolfer, blogger at The Beauty Bean and author of The Recipe for Radiance: Discover Beauty’s Best-Kept Secrets in Your Kitchen. Two to four times per month (any more often will strip the natural oils in your hair) crush two pills, add to a dollop of your regular shampoo before sudsing up and style as usual for a flake-free, shiny ‘do.
2. Embrace oil.
Consume it any way you like—eat it, use it as a conditioning mask, or dab it on sparingly for instant shine. Oils of all kinds infuse your hair with instant moisture, prevent and conceal split ends, and improve the strength and smoothness of your strands over time. Coconut oil alone works great as a mask, says blogger Julie Ralston of The Natural Junkie. “Rub it onto your scalp and through the ends of your hair, leaving the mask on overnight (or at least for a few hours) before washing out.” Ralston also recommends using lightweight kinds like argan, olive, or almond oil to condition the ends without weighing it down as you style.
3. DIY your shine serum.
Skip products with ingredient labels you can’t pronounce and make Wolfer’s cuticle-strengthening, all-natural shine serum. Not only does the simple concoction use stuff you probably already have in your kitchen—meaning it’s safe and chemical-free—it’s also cheaper than any product you’d buy in the beauty aisle.
- Combine ½-cup sweet almond oil (to fight frizz and give UV protection), ¼-cup avocado oil (which helps heal breakage in your hair’s cuticle), and ¼-cup of olive oil (to improve elasticity).
- Pour mixture into a clean spray bottle and apply sparingly from mid-shaft to ends of wet or dry hair.
- For a deeper leave-in treatment, apply generously before bed, and shampoo out in the morning.
4. Style with a light touch.
When your hair’s looking lackluster, it’s tempting to grab a shine spray or serum and douse every strand heavily. But be careful not to overdo it, says Wolfer. “Keep heavy conditioners and oil-based styling products away from your scalp—two inches, minimum,” she says. “And always apply products with your hands, so you have better control.” If your favorite product is a spray-on, spritz two or three times onto your hands, rub them together briskly, and then comb fingers gently through your hair. Avoid your roots and focus on the ends, which tend to split and dry out fastest.
5. Eat the right foods.
Healthy, shiny hair starts from the inside out, so give yourself a head start by loading up on the nutrients that will get your strands glossy. To help repair hair damage, dig into healthy fats like eggs (yolks included), avocados, coconut oil, and olive oil, says Wolfer. To strengthen strands, it’s key to get enough protein and minerals like iron and B12.
6. Make a moisturizing mask.
Give your strands a glossy boost with Wolfer’s mask made of superfoods that work wonders on your hair and body.
- Mix two room-temperature eggs, two tablespoons of coconut oil, and two tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl.
- Beat ingredients together and massage the mixture thoroughly and evenly into dry hair. (To minimize mess, stand in the tub and paint it onto hair with a pastry brush.)
- Cover your head with a shower cap for 10 minutes, then wash out.
7. Avoid products with sulfates.
By now you know it’s bad to wash your hair every day, but the damage bears repeating: Using shampoo too often makes hair dry, brittle, dull, and tough to style because it strips out natural oils. So don’t over-wash (about three times a week is the goal, give or take depending on how oily your scalp is), and when you do use shampoo and conditioner, use a brand without sulfates, which are often listed under names like sodium laurel or sodium laureth sulfate. “Sulfates are effective detergents that instantly lather up a lot—and Americans love their bubbles,” says Mathilde Thomas, co-founder of the iconic beauty company Caudalie, in her upcoming book The French Beauty Solution: Time-Tested Secrets to Look and Feel Beautiful Inside Out.”But sulfates are also the kind of detergents with which you wash your dishes or your car. They might foam up on command, but they are also harsh and drying.” Not good for hair health or shine.
8. Tame frizz with dryer sheets.
The same way they nix static cling with your clothes, dryer sheets can tame frizz and flyaways so your hair looks sleek and glossy, according to beauty blogger Sarah Howard of BeautyBanter.com. The sheets are usually made with waxes and anti-static agents that coat your hair with a thin layer of lubrication, reducing friction and static charge buildup. Try gently running one over dry hair to tame unruly strands and get a smooth, shiny look.
9. Do a vinegar rinse.
In spite of its icky smell, vinegar can do wonders for your hair. The super-acidic liquid helps balance natural pH levels, break down any residue or buildup, smooth tangles, and close your hair’s cuticle (making it more light-reflective). It is, in Thomas’s words, the most shared secret among her French friends for getting shiny hair. “The smell doesn’t linger and it costs pennies,” she says. Try mixing one part apple cider vinegar to one part water, rinsing your hair with the mixture after shampooing. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing with water—no conditioner needed!