This amazing post was created by Brittany Linton, a holistic nutritionist in training, and social media marketing professional in the natural, whole foods industry! We encourage you to check out here website here and follow her on Instagram and Twitter!
I know this may sound incredibly peculiar – and perhaps borderline egocentric – but my hair is, and has always been, one of my favorite physical attributes… Not joking! I’ve developed quite the penchant for haircare and have managed to occupy myself with many a DIY haircare recipes over the past few years, ranging from wildly successful to complete miserable failures (think warm mayonnaise on a hot, summers’ day… blech)! Despite a few mishaps here and there, I like to consider myself a bit of a connoisseur in this niche, “hairy” little department, so to speak!
Why do I subject my hair to such a tedious rigmarole of homemade concoctions? For one, as much as I LOVE to indulge in these nourishing at-home spa-like experiments, I simultaneously treat my hair, well for lack of a better word, like crap quite frankly.
At least I used to…
Straighteners, curling irons, blow-dryers, chemical treatments, hair dye… THE ABSOLUTE, LITERAL WORKS! Anyone else? I can’t be the ONLY one! How often do you guys blow-dry or straighten your hair? For many of us, utilizing some of these hair tools has become such an integral and non-negotiable component of our daily morning routine – so it’s incredibly important to understand the potential impact that everyday use can have on our hair and how we can help overcome them!
First off, let me explain what these hair styling tools can potentially do to our hair because let’s face it the heat emitted from both blow-dryers and straighteners can definitely take its toll! Each of our hair strands are covered with a protective layer of proteins that are called cuticles, which are essentially responsible for both the strength of our hair and the control of water content of our hair fibers! Heat has an extremely negative impact on our cuticles, causing them to break down and lose moisture which can lead to rough, dull and brittle hair. No thank-you!
So where does this leave us styling wise?! Fear not there are definitely a few options to consider:
3 Important Styling Tips
1. Cut Back On Your Blow-Outs
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Give your hair a much-needed break and try scaling down on your blow-dry/hair straightening routine! I know this may seem like a bit of an unrealistic or daunting task, but truth be told it is definitely do-able! I am actually quite a fan of the more “au naturel,” air-dry route because I prefer how my hair dries naturally – plus we should all count ourselves extremely lucky because that whole wavy, undone/beachy look is totally in the right now! 😛
To achieve a more undone, yet polished, hairstyle WITHOUT utilizing any heated hair tools simply allow your hair to air-dry.
** Optional: You can add a DIY salt spray (which is literally 1 tablespoon of sea salt and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil mixed in a spray bottle with warm water) while your hair is still damp to give it that extra oomph. I am typically just air-dry my hair, leave it in very loose braids (as to not damage the hair) and let all of the magic happen overnight while I’m sleeping!
Try NOT to blow-dry your hair at least a couple of times a week!!
2. Treat Yourself To A DIY Hair Mask
DIY hair masks are a really excellent, cost effective way to help rejuvenate and give life to dull or damaged hair! Plus, it makes for a totally fun, lazy afternoon on the weekends.
I like to treat myself to a homemade hair mask at LEAST once a month, if not more – two times would be ideal! Coconut oil, avocado, honey or coconut milk are some of my personal favorite ingredients to use because they’re all packed with tons of nutrients that have a beautiful nourishing effect on our hair.
When it comes to the actual recipe itself, in my humble opinion, the simpler, the better!!!! I usually take either coconut oil OR 1/2 a mashed avocado and apply it to my hair from top to bottom, letting it sit for at least a half an hour before rinsing out!
*** Hot Tip: When applying the coconut oil mask, I typically cover my hair with a shower cap!
Because of their rich, fatty acid content, coconut oil and avocado masks are particularly great for repairing damaged hair, and restoring all of that lost moisture resulting from hot temperatures!
Here’s another great hair mask to give a try – Pumpkin Hair Conditioner!
3. Use A Protective Spray For When You DO Blow-Dry or Straighten Your Hair
This one’s a biggie! It’s incredibly necessary to protect our hair when we’re subjecting it to so much heat; an integral, but almost entirely forgotten step!
Protective sprays are an excellent way to do this. There’s just one problem. There are a TON of conventional, overpriced and chemical-laden heat protective sprays out there on the market… it can be hard to sift through it all and pick out a quality, effective spray!
Below are three ingredients to absolutely AVOID in your heat protectant sprays:
This often acts as a base for your quintessential heat protectant spray; allowing ingredients for a medium to be dissolved in. The down-side? Alcohol has a drying effect on your hair! Leaving it feeling dry and straw-like! Stay away, and stick to oil-based heat protectant sprays in the future.
Similar to alcohol, fragrances ALSO tend to dry out our hair! Not to mention, aside from the actual scent, there really isn’t much use for fragrances in our beauty products like at all. These fragrances can at times even cause a bit of a sensory overload leading to headaches and sensitivities, so be sure to invest in products that are fragrance-free OR naturally scented using essential oils!
This is what gives your hair that beautiful, glossy shine!! BUT it’s not necessarily the shine that you want or is “healthy” for your hair. Silicone essentially gives off the illusion of shiny hair because it acts as an almost plastic sealant AKA an entirely fake shine! Although this sealant produces a beautiful shine, in actuality it prevents moisture and air from moving in and out of our hair follicles – which makes hair limp, lifeless and weighed down. Uhmmm… I’ll take the real shine thanks very much! Keep it healthy, keep it hydrated!
One surefire way to ensure that you’re utilizing a non-toxic, quality product is to simply make it yourself; this way you have complete control over what ingredients go into your spray. Like I’ve mentioned before, coconut oil is essentially the gold standard when it comes to hair care! This particular oil contains penetrative properties, allowing the nutrients to reach the hair shaft, and moisturizing it in the process. It also helps to create a healthy scalp!! Healthy Scalp = Healthy Hair!
When making your DIY heat protectant spray, try adding coconut oil – similar to the recipe used here!
Moral of The Story
Blow-drying and straightening hair is still well within the realm of our “beauty routine” possibilities… just ensure that you’re taking the proper precautions to keep your hair healthy!
Will you be giving any of these natural hair care tips a try?!
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