Many of us would love to have luscious locks of hair that feel silky smooth to the touch. Unfortunately, many of us also struggle with dry, damaged, and frizzy hair. It seems like no matter how many times we venture down the hair aisle at the drugstore, nothing works.
Something’s got to give, right? The truth is, having smooth hair is about more than just what type of shampoo, conditioner, and other serums you’re using. If you’ve tried everything for smooth hair to no avail, here are eight tips that may bring results.
1. Rinse with Cold Water
You might love the feeling of a scorching hot shower. Your hair doesn’t. Hot water feels nice, but it can dry your hair out big time. Hot water dries out the scalp, which in turn strips your hair of its natural oils. Those oils are needed to strengthen strands of hair together. For this reason, when washing your hair, it’s best to rinse with cold or lukewarm water.
Cold water isn’t just better because it isn’t hot water. It also has benefits of its own. Cold water moisturizes the hair and keeps your scalp hydrated. Additionally, cold water closes pores, which prevents dirt, excess oil, or other foreign substances from penetrating the scalp.
2. Don’t Overwash Your Hair
Washing your hair every day can be a lot of work. The good news is that it’s actually better if you don’t wash your hair every day. You should wait it out as long as possible in between washes. Why is shampooing every day a bad thing? It has to do with those natural oils again, the same ones that hydrate the scalp and protect your hair.
If you’re not already doing so, try getting into the habit of only washing your hair two to three times a week. If you struggle with oily hair, use a dry shampoo. If you’re someone who colors your hair, overwashing will strip the color faster.
3. Switch to Silk Pillowcases
When thinking of ways to get softer hair, pillowcases probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, you lay your head down on your pillow every night when you sleep. Your hair spends a good amount of time in full contact with your pillow. You should care about the quality of the fabric on your pillows as much as the hair products you use.
When it comes to cotton versus silk, silk is definitely the more attractive option. Friction caused by a cotton pillowcase can lead to tangles and breakage. Silk pillowcases create less friction and offer a gentle surface for your hair to rest on. They also help your hair retain moisture from products and natural oils.
4. Use Minimal Hair Color/Dye
To have smoother hair, you don’t have to stop dying your hair completely. At the same time, you don’t want to overdo it. Instead of going to the salon every couple of months, try limiting visits to every six months or longer if you can.
To stretch your time between salon visits, use a shampoo and conditioner that keeps your hair color vibrant. For example, try purple shampoo for blonde hair or green shampoo for brunettes who want to neutralize their red tones. Or you can just use a shampoo specifically for color-treated hair. You can also ask your stylist for a color treatment that looks more natural, such as balayage.
5. Limit Heat Styling
From blow drying to flat ironing to curling, heated styling tools can cause a great deal of damage to your hair. When you use heated tools, you risk breaking and damaging your hair. Heat styling tools strip the hair of natural moisture, causing it to be more prone to breakage. Heat also removes natural proteins and breaks hydrogen bonds.
Still, most of us love the way our hair looks styled. But there are ways to cut back on heat use if you get creative. First, try to wash your hair at a time of day when you know you’ll have time for it to air dry. Not blow drying will be a huge help. Also, choose hair products that tame your natural hair so you can be more confident with the natural look every so often.
6. Use Hair Masks Regularly
You’re probably already using a shampoo and conditioner that works well for your hair. That’s great! But incorporating a hair mask into your routine can make your hair look and feel even better. A hair mask is essentially a deep conditioning treatment. It works much the same way as a conditioner but gives your hair “an extra boost.” A hair mask will leave hair shiny, smooth, healthy, and soft.
Hair masks usually contain natural ingredients, and you can even make your own at home. Common ingredients include ingredients such as bananas, avocado oil, honey, coconut oil, and olive oil. The way to apply a mask depends entirely on the type of mask you’re using. Typically, you apply them to damp, towel-dried hair. They can be left on for 20 minutes or a few hours.
7. Consider Hair Treatments
If your hair is so damaged that you’re all done trying new products, consider a professional hair treatment. An in-salon hair treatment might be pricey, but it might be worth it if your hair is seriously damaged.
Keratin treatments, sometimes called Brazilian blowouts, are intended to fix damaged hair and make your locks smoother. They restore the protein in your hair and can make your hair look straighter for a period of up to six months. They also tame frizz and add shine. These treatments can be great for dry, damaged hair. Talk to your hairstylist before doing either.
8. Make Changes to Your Diet
Believe it or not, a healthy diet can make your hair strong, shiny, and soft to the touch. It can also prevent you from losing hair. If your current diet doesn’t give you the appropriate nutrients, it could seriously be affecting the health of your hair.
For example, essential fatty acids such as Omega-3s from fish provide proteins and nutrients to hair follicles. They play a key role in the health of not only your hair, but skin and nails as well. For hair growth, incorporate foods high in biotin, such as eggs, spinach, and almonds.
If smooth hair is your goal, hundreds of dollars spent on products isn’t necessarily the answer. Don’t overcomplicate things. Small changes such as switching to a silk pillowcase or rinsing with cold water can make a huge difference. Once you find hair products and a routine that works for you, you’ll have the gorgeous tresses you aspire to.