Haircare 101: The Dos & Don’ts Of Building Better Haircare Habits
Curating a haircare regimen is no easy feat when practically everything at the haircare aisle promises luscious Beyoncé-like locks *screams in confusion*. As always, we understand. The tricky part is that haircare – like skincare – isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are so many things to keep in mind (like your hair type, its ability to absorb moisture, and the right tools) that are necessary to build a routine that’s just right for you. We’ve listed the most important things to consider so your hair never feels ignored again.
DO Know Your Hair Type
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Grab a mirror, get up close and personal with your strands, and jot down what you see – S-shaped waves, tight coils, or zig-zag strands? Deciphering your hair pattern(s) allows you to find products formulated *exactly* for your hair texture – why waste $$$ on something that isn’t for you? Ultimately, strands identify with either one or multiple curl types: straight (type 1), wavy (type 2), curly (type 3), and coily (type 4) – try to decipher the majority of your hair pattern and lead with that.
DO Replace Your Hairbrush Regularly
It’s really easy for your hairbrush to turn into a bacteria-infested, dirt-diluted, and dust-packed tool if you’re not cleaning it regularly. It sounds dramatic, but let us explain: your hairbrush picks up alllll the itty-bitty of scalp debris, lingering hair product, and excess hair when you brush it through your strands. These bits build up with every brush-through and cling onto the bristles for dear life – not something we wanna hear.
Make it a habit to clean your hairbrush every two weeks or every month – remove any loose hair, then soak the brush in a mixture of hot water and a clarifying shampoo for approx. four minutes and give it a good ol’ scrub. Rinse it well and leave it to airdry. If you notice any missing bristles or harsh spikes, it’s time to say goodbye to keep your hair from getting caught or causing breakage. Psst, check out our hair brushing guide if you’re unsure what hair brush you should use.
DO a Weekly HAIRcial
Who said #SelfCareSundays were reserved for skincare – don’t your locks deserve some pampering too? And no, we’re not talking about regular washdays. A full-on HAIRcial starts off with a scalp mask or detox to nix any buildup, followed by a deep condition to hydrate thirsty locks and boost shine, finished with some oils, and perhaps an overnight mask if the strands are begging for it. We know it feels like a lot, but you only have to do it once a month… Make sure to check out our complete HAIRcial guide for fire recommendations first.
DO Consider Your Hair’s Porosity Type
Picture this: you slap on a new hair oil, hoping it restores your hair to its healthiest, happiest state, but nothing happens. While this can be frustrating, it’s a common mistake that happens when we don’t account for our hair porosity, AKA how well it absorbs things like moisture, water, and haircare products. Knowing this can help you navigate allll the different haircare formulas out there so you *always* get your money’s worth. None of that use-once-and-toss drama!
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If you’re unsure of hair’s porosity type, drop a single strand of (naturally shed) hair into a glass of water and examine how much moisture it absorbs:
1. If the strand floats at the top: Low porosity! The outermost layer of your stands (cuticles) is tightly bound, so it’s hard to soak up moisture. Prioritize products that absorb quickly without a heavy feel – lightweight oils, water-based products, and protein-free treatments – and you’re golden. Indulge in a weekly scalp detox to clarify your scalp from any previous buildup – more on that later!
2. If the strand floats in the middle: Medium/normal porosity! Congratulations – your haircare routine’s working! Keep at it but use strengthening treatments weekly to maintain your hair status.
3. If the strand sinks: High porosity! This means the cuticle of your hair is open, so your strands easily absorb (and lose) moisture. Look for rich butters and leave-in oils that lock moisture down for good.
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DON’T Overload On Haircare Products
If you’re thisssss close to splurging over new products because you’re panicking about your hair, this one is for you. We’ve all had whomp-whomp moments with our hair, so we understand how hard it is to stop trying different serums and oils… Not to mention those promising DIY hair masks that promise to banish every sign of distress. But the truth is, adopting the whole “less is more” approach is one method that really works.
Hear us out! When you slap on oil after oil, cream after cream, and mask after mask, you’re suffocating your scalp with products. More product does not equal increased benefit – if anything, the excess build-up disrupts your scalp’s peace, causing itchiness and product buildup all over. Keep your routine simple and if your hair needs more, remember to do a full detox regularly to keep your scalp and strands healthy.
DON’T Forget About Your Scalp
Fun fact: your scalp is an extension of your skin, so you should give it the “skin” care it deserves. Your scalp is the root (pun intended) cause of common concerns like dandruff, hair breakage, excessive grime, and buildup. Ensure to unwind and treat your scalp with a spiky scalp-massaging tool regularly, as these boost blood circulation and hair growth, and – let’s be real – feel so f*cking good. Don’t forget about scalp-balancing serums, masks, and scalp SPFs which are trés important because your scalp’s *always* exposed to the sun.
DON’T Forget To Do a Weekly Scalp Detox
Think of all the icky itty-bitty particles on your scalp, RN *gulp*. The (yucky) truth is that gunk (even excess buildup of natural oils) creates a coating on your scalp, which blocks your haircare products from absorbing into your strands. In short, they’re bad news, and we want them out.
Enter: clarifying shampoos. These cleansing exfoliators give your scalp a deep all-over cleanse, so it feels (and looks) cleaner, fresher and healthier while allowing your haircare products to penetrate better. We forever stand by Hello Klean’s vegan Clarifying Scalp Soak, $25, that detoxifies with a powerful trio of apple cider vinegar, hydrating fermented rice water, and strengthening sweet almond oil. And btw, it works for all hair types. Read why it’s earned a permanent spot in our weekly #SelfCare routines here.
Speaking of scalps, here’s how to keep your scalp healthy all-year-round.