I shudder a little when I think back to high school when I would shower at night, blow-dry my already thin, fine hair, then get up early to straighten or curl it before heading off to first period. This was also simutaneous with my color treatments, including red dye, highlights and lowlights every three months. When I now peer in the mirror, a little disappointed over the result of my careful air-drying of my naturally colored hair which I have been sporting for the past three years, I often wonder if my sad locks are the result of my poor habits early on.
However, I don’t really think those days caused my non-ideal hair today – instead, my hair stylist, Rachel, insists that my brown hair is not damaged at all, instead, it’s just naturally thin and fine and it’s just the luck of the draw that some can do color treatments every six weeks and heat styling everyday without any impact. Rachel herself straightens her color-treated hair everyday, and it’s still so thick that she shaves off the underbelly of it just to make it more manageable. It’s still so thick that you would never wonder if anything was different.
After years spent anguishing over my unfortunate luck, I went to Rachel again to get some easy at-home treatments to help thicken up my head. Although I will never have obscenely long-flowing locks like Rachel or exotic actresses in magazines, I have seen significant impacts. Here’s what I did.
1. I use a hair mask about once a week. On Saturday mornings when I wake up, I make a mixture of two raw eggs and two tablespoons of olive oil and mix them together in a bowl. Then, I pour it over my hair in the bathtub, grabbing the remaining bits that pool into the tub and re-scrub them into my head. After working it in, I tie my hair up and let it dry for 30 minutes before washing it out with normal shampoo/conditioner. Although I’ll admit that I don’t smell great for the day (maybe I would be better off doing this on Sundays…) after it’s done, my hair is incredibly soft, smooth and rejuvenated.
2. I rinse my hair with cool water, always. Hot water causes your hair follicles to open while cool water causes them to close, protecting them from damage. So when you’re done showering, it’s always a good idea to rinse with cool water – it doesn’t have to be freezing, just cool enough. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, take a whole shower with cool water – it’s better for your skin, too.
3. I sleep with my hair tied in a loose braid. When you’re rolling around in your sleep, your hair crunches under you, damaging it. If you loosely tie your hair in a braid, it will keep the ends together – safely – and protect them from damage.
4. I sleep on a satin pillowcase. Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase is rougher on your hair while sleeping on satin or silk is much softer on it and will make it prone to less damage while you sleep.
5. I always use a heat protectant spray before styling. When my hair is completely dry (NEVER straighten or curl your hair when it is still wet and prone to damage) I spray it with Tresemme Creations Heat Tamer Spray and then it dry again (will only take about five minutes) before using any type of hot styling tool. Also, once I’m done styling, I use Chi Silk Infusion on the ends to prevent them from frizzing out.
6. I only use heat styling once a week. Technically, someone who has non-color-treated hair can safely use heat styling three times a week, while someone with color-treated hair can do so once a week, however I try to limit myself to one heat style per week.
7. I take extra supplements of Biotin and B12 everyday. These vitamins have proteins in them which will promote healthy growth of your hair and nails. I take pills of these everyday (in addition to a multivitamin).
9. I take Silicon droplets everyday. Every morning, I take fifteen drops of JarroSil Activated Silicon in a small glass of juice (usually you can’t even taste it). Like a protein, this also promotes healthy hair and nail growth.
10. I use organic shampoos. Organic shampoos are free of many chemicals that weigh hair down. I use Organix Shampoo and Conditioners – which I also really like because there are an endless amount of types (in which I plan to try every single one).
11. I use Moroccan oil after air-drying my hair each morning. Since my hair is fairly thin and straight, my hair is nearly dried after about an hour and a half. At this point, I take a pearl-sized amount of oil (I like Organix) and sift it through the ends of my hair to prevent frizzing.
12. I massage my head throughout the day. At random points, I’ll massage my scalp with my fingertips, which promotes hair growth. It also feels awesome.
13. I switch my part everyday. By switching your part, you are exposing and healing different hair follicles.
Now I feel sort of crazy.