The Smart Girl's Guide to Better Hair
We've all been in that 2 a.m. click hole, scouring every Pinterest hair board for the styles and tresses we lust after. Each Pin is prettier than the last, from stunning, iridescent color to head-turning curled, braided, and pinned-back styles. But as much as you may think these next-level locks are gravely out of reach, know this: they're not.
Top stylists and hair experts shared with us their must-follow commandments for amazing hair, all of which we can easily commit to in our everyday lives. Abiding by these rules will yield the best hair of your life (so long as you don't commit any sins and turn against them). Ready to have an incredible head of hair? Keep scrolling!
1. Thou Shalt Not Wear Tight Ponytails
Says Macadamia Professional Global Artist, Anna Lyles, "To keep hair healthy, avoid tight ponytails when working out and instead use braids. This will reduce the pull at the follicle."
2. Thou Shalt Not Frequently Use Heat Tools
Lyles says you should only use heat tools (curling irons, flatirons, blow-dryers, etc.) twice a week. "The key is to find unique ways to make your style last," she explains. Try these styles that look way better on next-day (or third day) hair.
3. Thou Shalt Eat "Hair Food"
Fig + Yarrow founder Brandy Monique swears by eating her way to shinier, stronger hair. "Broths are so beneficial for hair health and growth. They're full of protein, calcium, and glycosaminoglycans, and they're pretty much a beauty tonic everyone could use more of." She recommends focusing on quality products like broths from Western Daughters.
She also swears by raw, soaked oats (which have silica, a building block of hair); tangerines (vitamin B12); eggs and spinach (biotin); amla berries (ayurvedic food for glowing skin); spirulina, dark chocolate, oysters, cashews, and buckwheat (all high in copper, which helps to curb graying).
4. Thou Shalt Not Wash Thy Hair Frequently
As we've been told time and time again, you shouldn't wash your hair every day because doing so strips your hair and scalp of natural oils, drying it out. Instead, Monique says that when you do wash, you should concentrate the shampoo only where needed, like the scalp. She also recommends using apple cider vinegar to strip the hair of excess product before shampooing.
5. Thou Shalt Use an End Protector
Are you in-between haircuts but notice some split ends? Jennifer Matos, a stylist at Rita Hazan Salon has a remedy for that. "If your hair is color-treated or you're just not quite ready for your hair cut, use Rita Hazan Triple Threat Split End Remedy ($30). It's amazing for sealing and protecting split ends from more or new damage caused by the blow-dryer or hot tools."
6. Thou Shalt Use a Proper Brush
Says Matos, "Don't use a thermal or ceramic brush as an everyday smoothing brush because it could dry out or even damage your hair more. Boar bristle brushes like Ibiza brushes are great."
7. Thou Shalt Not Skip Conditioner
Global Creative Director of Living Proof, Michael Shaun Corby says that even if women with fine hair feel like conditioner will weigh their hair down, it's a crucial step. "Fine hair is actually more prone to breakage from tangles. If you're nervous about heavy conditioners, try Living Proof Full Conditioner ($25)—it weightlessly conditions, but still offers great slip for detangling."
8. Thou Shalt Always Use Heat Protectant
Says Corby, "Think about it—you wouldn't put your hand on a flatiron! I like a few sprays of Restore Instant Protection ($26) before I pick up a hot tool."
9. Thou Shalt Not Use Products With Silicone
"A lot of women like silicones because they coat the hair and give it a smooth feeling, but they can really do a number on the health of your hair," Corby says. "Many silicone products are quite heavy. They attract dirt and weigh your hair down, and they make you feel like you need to wash your hair more often. That leads to more frequent heat styling, too, so you can imagine the number that does on the health of your hair. Try switching to silicone-free products."
10. Thou Shalt Use Deep Conditioner Once a Week
"Use a deep conditioner or a bond rebuilder such as Olaplex at least once a week to keep your hair healthy and shiny. I love to use a deep conditioner in the shower with the Beachwaver Co. Power Paddle Brush ($25) because it helps to distribute the product evenly throughout the hair," says celebrity hairstylist Sarah Potempa.
Follow @byrdiebeauty on Instagram for more hair inspo and beauty tips.