When one thinks of healthy hair, the ideal image that comes to mind is shiny, bouncy, long flowing tresses. While many women desire to achieve length as a sign of healthy hair, they never take into consideration the many factors that go into the proper maintenance of hair. Some basic steps to care for any hair type are to keep the scalp clean (cleanse), keep the hair moisturized and strong (leave-in conditioners), and keep the ends trimmed. You will also want to make sure to use a heat protectant when applying any type of heat to the hair, and deep condition your hair at least twice a month. Although these are the basics, not every hair type requires the same regimen. Here are a few key tips for each hair type on how to achieve the healthiest of hair.
Hair type 1: Straight- thin with no wave or curl
Type 1 hair is considered the easiest to maintain. If you have naturally straight hair, it is very important that you keep your hair clean so that it is not weighed down by your sebum (oil naturally produced by the scalp). It is often said to shampoo your hair everyday to combat oiliness, but shampooing your hair actually causes your scalp to produce more sebum, which causes your hair to constantly feel and look greasy. Using a cleansing conditioner instead could help deter that greasiness because since the conditioner keeps the hair and scalp moisturized, your sebum glands aren’t going to over-produce oil to compensate for the moisture that was stripped. You will also want to use products like spritzes and conditioners that are very light weight to moisturize the hair without weighing it down.
Hair type 2: Wavy- not curly, yet not straight.
Caring for type 2 hair is pretty much similar to caring for type 1 hair, except for the fact that women with wavy hair textures should stay away from products that contain alcohol because alcohol will dry the hair out and cause frizz and flyaways. Although, if you are met with frizz and flyaways, it’s best to combat them with serums and light oils.
Hair type 3: Loose curls.
Type 3 hair is very different from type 1 or 2. Type 3 hair is very prone to frizz and can be very dry since the sebum cannot completely make its way down the hair shaft due to the curly nature of the hair. When caring for type 3 hair, you must be delicate and use moisturizing products and styling products that will keep frizz at bay. When detangling, make sure the hair is wet and saturated with conditioner, and remember to start at the ends of the hair and work your way up in order to steer away from any unnecessary breakage. Air drying is preferred, but if you’re pressed for time the hair can be diffused on a low setting. Keeping this hair moisturized is the most important step, so make sure to use a leave-in conditioner about 3x a week (depending on the dryness of your hair) and stay away from very thick products to keep from weighing the hair down. To further protect the hair from frizz, wear a satin bonnet or sleep on a satin pillowcase
Type 4: Kinky-coarse, tightly curled.
This hair type is the driest due to the fact that sebum cannot make its way down the hair shaft. While the maintenance of it is similar to type 3, there are some other things to take into consideration when dealing with type 4 hair. This hair type is considered the most fragile due to the fact that the individual hair strands have so many bends and twists, so delicate handling must be done in order to ensure that the hair does not break. Keeping this hair as moisturized as possible is the primary key to its health, so do not skimp on the leave-in conditioners and moisturizers. Moisturize the hair daily and seal with an oil so that the moisture doesn’t immediately evaporate from the hair. Also, make sure to deep condition every time the hair is washed although deep conditioning on a weekly basis is preferential.
Having healthy, pretty hair is every girl’s dream, and by following these simple tips you too can have the hair you’ve always desired.