21 Hair Hacks For Your Healthiest Hair EVER!
When it comes to our skincare regimen, we invest our money to maintain our glow game, but the strange reality is that many of us forget to treat our scalp and our hair to the same amount of TLC. Most of us reach for any old shampoo and conditioner from the drugstore and subject our locks to daily heat styling.
PSA: It’s 2021 and it’s time to start taking care of your hair because let’s be real, on a good hair day we feel like we can conquer the world, and that energy’s we need RN.
So, we’ve curated 21 hair hacks from some of Hollywood’s most in-demand stylists. They’ve shared the haircare rituals that’ll take your routine to the next level and debunked some major haircare myths along the way. Get ready for your healthiest hair ever.
1. Never Go to Bed with Wet Hair
2. Stop Overwashing your Hair
Our go-to celeb hairstylist, Dom Seeley, is constantly telling us to wash our hair less. According to Dom, washing your hair too frequently can disrupt the natural biome of your scalp. He explains, “Hair sits at a pH balance of 4.5 to 5, which is the ideal pH balance for your scalp to thrive. When you dry shampoo or wash it every day, you’ll strip that protective layer off your hair, and your hair and scalp will go into panic mode.” This is especially important during the winter, when wet hair is exposed to cooler temperatures that can dehydrate the hair strands or lead to damage when styled.
Instead, wash your hair once or twice a week (unless you’re working up a serious sweat) and only use dry shampoo when necessary.
3. Sleep on a Silk Pillowcase
Ask any celeb hairstylist and we guarantee they’ll tell you to sleep on a silk pillowcase. Not only will it help preserve your chosen hairstyle, but it’ll also minimize frizz and prevent moisture loss.
Hairstylist, Irinel de León, whose clientele includes Hailey Baldwin, Kendall Jenner and Chrissy Teigen, explains why she’s obsessed: “Sleeping on silk pillowcases helps prolong whatever style you sleep in because unlike cotton, it doesn’t tug or pull on the hair strands at night. Cotton pillowcases also absorb the moisture from both your hair and skin, therefore making silk a hugely popular option for women looking to preserve both!”
It’s also beneficial to use silk hair ties as they’ll cause less tension and will prevent localized damage, which can lead to split ends. Our go-to scrunchies are the Kitch Satin Silk Scrunchies, $8, as they’re relatively affordable and available in a variety of colors and patterns.
4. Don’t Overload on Hair Products
When it comes to hair care, don’t assume that more products equal increased benefits, as it can actually lead to product build-up, which can disrupt your hair and scalp health. The built-up product can also make your scalp itchy when it starts mixing with oil and dirt.
Not only will your hair look better but it will feel better. “If you use minimal product, your hair won’t feel weighed down,” says celebrity stylist Justine Marjan, whose clientele includes Kristin Cavallari, Khloe Kardashian, and Ashley Graham. We’ve all seen those videos of build-up being scraped off the hair!
5. Get to Know Your Curl Type
If you’ve been blessed with curls, it’s important to get to know your curl type so you can use products formulated for your texture. While there’s a lot of discussion regarding curl texture, the most important thing to know is whether you have wavy, curly, coily or kinky hair. Ultimately, most people have multiple hair textures, however, try to decipher the majority and lead with that.
Here’s a brief overview of coily and kinky curls from celeb hairstylist Vernon Francois, who works with goddesses like Lupita, Solange and Willow Smith.
Coily (Type 3 hair): “Coily hair is one of the most versatile curl types,” explains Vernon. “It can be very fragile because it tends to have quite a thin external layer. When it comes to styling this hair type you should always pat hair dry with a microfiber towel or a cotton T-shirt to help prevent breakage. It’s also a good idea to sleep in a silk cap or on a silk pillow to help retain moisture in your hair strands.”
Kinky (Type 4 hair): According to Vernon, “Kinky hair is when each strand of hair is zig-zag shaped. It’s often quite dry because the natural oil, which is produced at your scalp, has an indirect journey to the ends.” This is why Vernon says it’s “Essential to look for sulfate-free shampoos and treat your hair to leave-ins.” He also recommends not using a hairbrush and opting for a wide-tooth comb to minimize damage.
6. Use a Microfiber Hair Towel
Possibly THE most common hair care mistake people make is wrapping their wet hair in a towel by twisting it and placing it on top of their head. When you wash your hair, the water, especially when hot, will cause the hair cuticle to open, leaving it vulnerable to frizz and damage. When the hair is then twisted into a towel, the friction will weaken your hair strands and permanently damage your hair.
Instead, Dom Seeley recommends gently squeezing your hair dry with an old cotton T-shirt or, even better, a microfiber towel like the Turbie Twist Microfiber Hair Towel Twin Pack, $13. Not only will microfiber towels reduce drying time but they’re gentle and will decrease the likelihood of breakage and frizz.
7. Always Read the Label of your Hair Products
Another pearl of wisdom from Dom Seeley? When buying hair care, go organic and always read the label. He says to watch out for harsh ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, a foaming agent that can dry your hair, and sodium chloride, which is used as a thickener. Dom says sodium chloride is essentially “table salt” and will only damage and dehydrate your locks.
To help decode your labels, Dom recommends an app named Think Dirty, which can scan the label and pinpoint the toxic ingredients in each product.
8. Find the Right Brush for Your Hair Type
Detangling your tresses with the wrong tool can lead to a myriad of hair concerns, from frizzy hair to dandruff, and even excess hair fall.
For fine hair: Opt for a soft brush with boar bristles like the Denman 100% Boar Bristle, $21, to smooth your tresses without tugging. It also simultaneously helps to disperse your natural oils throughout your hair, adding shine.
For thick hair: a nylon brush like the Harry Josh Detangling Brush, $19, is best as the flexible bristles will detangle your hair without adding any unwanted volume.
For kinky, curly or coily hair: A wide-tooth comb like the Cricket Ultra Smooth Detangler Comb, $6, is ideal as it won’t pull the hair strands or disrupt your curl pattern. For more deets, check out our hair brushing guide.
9. Don’t Neglect Your Scalp
Ultimately, if you have an unhealthy scalp, your locks will likely suffer. Without scalp care, product build-up, dead skin and excess oil will combine and wreak havoc, leading to greasy, brittle locks. The best way to promote a healthy scalp is with a scrub, which you should do one to two times a month. By massaging a scalp scrub into your scalp, it will promote healthy blood flow and deliver a surge of oxygen while exfoliating your scalp and combatting any buildup. Check out our fave scalp scrubs here.
10. Don’t Forget to Care for Your Braids
While a protective hairstyle will “protect” your curls to a certain extent, you still need to treat it with oils and other hydrating products. Irinel De Leon explains, “Keeping your protective style moisturized is very important, as well as in between washes. To keep your locks hydrated, mist your favorite conditioner diluted with water onto your strands and scalp.”
She adds, “If you’ve got your hair in box braids or any kind of tight braids as a protective style, you should still be cleaning your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo. Use the pads of your fingertips to ensure even distribution and avoid disruption of your protective style, then follow with a conditioner.”
Posts You'll Love:
11. Use Toner on Colored Hair
London Colorist and Founder of Whair.co.uk, Tommy Drury recommends toning colored hair in between appointments to keep the color fresh. He says, “There’s always an option for in-salon treatments to boost your color. This may involve short toning services in between your usual color appointments (perfect for maintaining bold colors, pastel-reflects, or those going through corrective work).”
If a salon appointment is out of the question RN, Tommy says, “At home, hair color can be maintained with pigmented-conditioners and temporary colors.” If you’re blonde, we’d suggest using a purple shampoo to cancel out any unwanted brassy tones, check out our fave purple shampoo DIY here.
12. Massage your Scalp Regularly
One of our fave hair care rituals to promote a happy and healthy scalp is scalp massage. Not only is it completely free and incredibly soothing but it can also encourage new hair growth and rebalance your scalp. Irinel confirms, “Regular scalp massages with oils are great for stimulation and hair growth.” Check out how to give yourself a scalp massage here.
13. Stop Putting Oil on Wet Hair
According to the Curl Doctor, Shai Amiel, AKA one of Hollywood’s hottest hairstylists says, “This is the most common mistake I see people do. Obviously, a greasy product or oil would make your curls appear shiny.” However, he asks, “Is it shiny or only greasy? I’d rather achieve a true shine by hydrating the curls properly until the cuticle layer is closed to reflect the light off your hair, giving it true shine. Not a greasy shine. You should never apply oil to wet hair. If you think it’s a good option for your hair, pour oil and water into a cup. They don’t mix.”
14. Use a Diffuser to Dry Curls or Air-Dry
Celebrity hairstylist, Hos Hounkpatin, whose celeb clientele includes the likes of Winnie Harlow, Joan Smalls, and Ashley Graham, insists the best way to dry curls is with a diffuser or by air-drying. “I routinely diffuse the hair in low heat pressure, or I opt to air dry,” explains Hos. Always remember to cup the diffuser upwards towards the scalp and hold for 10 to 20 seconds to reduce frizz. Also, it’s best not to dry your hair completely to help maintain the health of the curl.
15. Brush Gently
Avoid starting your hair-brushing routine from the top of your hair, as this can pull and tug your knots, causing tension and damage from the mid-section of the hair, thereby increasing the likelihood of brittle ends and frizzy locks. To minimize damage, always start brushing from the ends of your hair, then begin to move upwards, starting from slightly higher up the hair shaft each time. Finish by going all the way through your hair from scalp to tip.
16. Double Shampoo for a Thorough Cleanse
According to Dom Seeley, just as you’d double cleanse your face, you should also double cleanse your scalp. To remove excess oils and product buildup, Dom recommends shampooing twice, then following with an ultra restorative conditioner.
He loves the Color Wow Color Security Shampoo, $23, and Conditioner, $24. He says, “It’s a total game-changer as it’s one of the only shampoos that works for everyone, regardless of your hair type, texture, or color. It gives your hair a reset in the gentlest way while removing any residue from your locks.” He then follows with the conditioner, adding “There are two types, one for fine to normal hair and another for thick hair.”
For more mindblowing tips from Dom, check out this YouTube video:
17. Brush your Hair Before you Shower and When you Condition
To minimize breakage during washing, detangle your hair when it’s dry before you shower. Dom then advises brushing through your locks with a wide-tooth comb when conditioning. Trust us, when you start brushing your hair pre-shower, you’ll be amazed at how much easier the washing process is and how much less hair comes out.