Wash, dry, style. For some, caring for your hair is a breeze. And really not as essential as it is to others. To others, it is either extremely necessary and possibly even a pain to deal with it. I’d like to say I fall in between.
Gone are the days when I can spend as much time as I need to bathe, wash and style my hair. I’m even lucky if I get a chance to blow dry my hair some days before rushing out the door. But what makes it difficult for me is that if I don’t style it, my hair ends up looking like a big ol’ mess. This is courtesy of years of hair colouring and using the wrong products. Yes, what you put and use on your hair matters significantly to your hairs overall health.
I’ve got coarse and damaged ends and my hair has this very odd straight-wave that sometimes looks like a brushed out 80’s crimp if I sleep with damp hair. This is the repercussions of processed hair. Also, because my hair is naturally fine, my roots get oily really fast.
But you don’t have to stop those pretty summer balayage’s and highlights because you’re scared you’ll ruin your hair even more. It’s really all about how you care and maintain your hair.
For those that find hair styling burdensome because of the condition of your hair, I’ve got some great hair tips and tricks that may just help you LOVE your hair again and have it ready for Spring.
Hair Tips and Tools
Feed Your Hair
Your haircare starts from the inside-out. What you eat, your diet, and health can contribute to your hairs overall condition. Thinning, dull or weak strands can be due to genetics, age, hormones, nutrient deficiencies, toxicity, medications and autoimmunity — changing the diet can, in many cases, be helpful.
Dull Hair: Salmon
Those delicious omega 3’s feed the oil gland around hair follicles, helping lubricate hair for added luster. Flaxseeds are also an excellent source of fatty acids.
Flaky Hair: Pumpkin Seeds
Zinc is a mineral which may help prevent scalp dryness.
1/2 cup of Pumpkin Seeds supplies 19% of your daily requirement of zinc. Incorporate other zinc-rich foods like fortified cereals, pork, yogurt, and cashews, to help you reach the 8 mg you need each day.
Thinning Hair: Chicken
Proteins are the building blocks of hair.
Vegetarians can reach for quinoa (8 grams of protein per cooked cup), chickpeas (15 grams of protein per cooked cup), or lentils (18 grams of protein per cooked cup) instead.
If your hair is seriously thinning, you may need to check your iron.
There’s a difference between slightly thinning strands and noticeable, I-can-see-my-scalp hair loss, and the latter can be caused by iron deficiency.
Have your doctor check your iron levels and ask how much of the mineral she recommends (in general, women younger than 50 should aim for 18 mg of iron per day, while those 50+ need just 8 mg). Clams and oysters are among the highest food sources of the mineral, but beans are probably a more realistic everyday option. One cup of white beans packs nearly 8 mg of iron.
Hair Breakage: Strawberries
Your body needs vitamin C to help create protein, and your body’s ability to make enough of that hair-and muscle-builder is key for strong, unbreakable strands.
Strawberries are chock full of vitamin C, with one cup packing 113% of your recommended daily allowance (vitamin C is fine to get in excess, as you’ll pee out what you don’t need). You can also reach for other top C sources like peppers, guavas, and citrus fruits.
Use The Right Hair Products For Your Hair
From your shampoo and conditioner to your styling products, the hair products you use is critical to your hair health.
1) Use hair products that cater to your specific hair type
Far too often I’ve spoken with friends that end up using whatever their spouse or boyfriend is using or whatever was on sale to share amongst the family. Big fat NO.
Hair products are categorized for each hair type for a reason.
A favourite I’ve discovered recently (and newly launched early this month) that is great for seriously damaged hair is the GLISS™ Ultimate Repair™ Shampoo & Conditioner.
GLISS™ Ultimate Repair™: A high-performance formula with 3x liquid keratin* to precisely repair extreme damage up to 10 layers deep and replace lost keratin, providing up to 90% stronger**, shinier hair that is soft and easy to comb. Available: Shampoo, Conditioner, and Express Repair Conditioner. They also have 4 other formulas dependent on your hair needs.
*compared to other GLISSTM hair repair lines **with shampoo and conditioner
GLISS™ products are available at Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores across Canada at $9.99 SRP.
For those with Colour-Treated hair, sometimes it’s difficult finding a specific hair formula that really takes care of your hair and maintains your hair colour.
I’ve also been using the new line of colour enhancing conditioners, CHI Ionic Color Illuminate and the CHI Rose Hip Oil Color Nuture collection, a nourishing colour maintenance system.
Available in 6 different shades, the new CHI Ionic Color Illuminate collection includes Dark Chocolate, Coffee Bean, Red Auburn, Mahogany Red, Golden Blonde and Platinum Blonde. Colour treated hair is extended in between salon visits and instantly enhanced after one use. Products can also be blended together to create custom shades.
Protect all types of colour treated hair with the new CHI Rose Hip Oil Color Nurture line, which includes Protecting Shampoo, Protecting Conditioner, Repair & Sine Leave-In Tonic, Dry UV Protecting Oil, Dry Shampoo and Recovery Treatment. Safe to use on all hair types, the products will not leave hair feeling weighed down or heavy. The scientifically-formulated products along with its effervescent fragrance of lychee and raspberry combined with musk and sandalwood, revives colour and reinvigorates every strand.
CHI products cans be purchased at select hair salons across Canada as well as online at: modernbeauty.com, and loxabeauty.com.
2) For Really Oily Hair: Make sure you keep the conditioner away from your roots! Also ensure you wash your hair every other day so not to disrupt your hairs natural balance. Believe it or not, over washing your hair will actually lead to more oil to compensate for oils stripped away. Use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove the residue and try to find shampoos that are sulfate-free.
3) Rub it good! When conditioning, rub the conditioner into your hair ends with your palms to really saturate it (this was a tip from a hairdresser friend of mine!) and leave on for 2-3 minutes (the longer, the better).
4) Swap your shampoo and conditioner every week.
Your scalp can become “immune” to a shampoo through overuse. Shampoos, by design, cleanse dead cells and sebum from the scalp’s surface but products also come with their own byproduct. Eventually, your new shampoo & conditioner you love will not be as effective on your hair. They basically passed the honeymoon phase.
It’s recommended that you rotate your shampoo roughly once every four to five days. By doing so, any buildup of shampoo or conditioner byproducts can be removed to restore the natural softness and luster to the hair shafts.
Also, the types of shampoo you use in rotation should correlate with the weather, particularly if your area experiences an extreme change in temperature from season to season.
5) Snip your strands every 3-4 months.
This is a MUST for everyone. Hair naturally begins to split around 3 months. To prevent any permanent damage from these naturally occurring split ends, you should schedule a trim with your stylist every quarter. Scheduling a trim every 3-4 months or 12-16 weeks will help to keep your hair healthy and strong. And will also help it grow faster!
6) Blow Dry Less
I know this can be difficult for some that are super dependent on their cherished blowdryer but using less heat and allowing our hair to air dry (if you have the time) is best. I suggest you shower and wash your hair in the evenings versus the morning so it has time to dry.
7) Natural Home Remedies
If you’re looking for a natural home remedy for limp and lifeless hair, try this one: Combine 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 3 egg whites, then rub the mix into your hair. Keep your hair covered for about a half hour using plastic wrap or a shower cap, then shampoo and rinse.
8) For Fine & Oily Hair – stock up on a good dry shampoo!
I feel like I will need a completely separate post dedicated to my love for dry shampoo. It’s a necessity in my hairstyling arsenal, especially with my very fine, oily hair and my busy schedule.
In between washes, use dry shampoo to refresh and pumps up the volume your hair. For volume, make sure you choose a dry shampoo that specifies added volume.
My favourite dry shampoo that I keep coming back to over and over again is Batiste Original and Batiste XXL Volume ($9, Shoppers Drug Mart or Walmart Canada). Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle is a close second at a slightly higher price point ($20, Shoppers Drug Mart).
The above mentioned CHI Rose Hip Oil Color Nuture line also carries a Dry Shampoo specifically for coloured hair ($19.95, LoxaBeauty.com)
Style It Consciously (and Canadian!)
If you’re like me and blowdrying or heat-styling is essential to not looking like a hot mess, make sure you have the right tools.
I rely heavily on my hair straightener more then anything else because it not only tames the beast but I can do what I need (either straighten, wave or curl) with one tool and it also smoothes my hair, making it look healthier and shinier.
The words you’re looking for when purchasing a good hair straightener is ceramic, titanium and tourmaline.
Flat irons/hair straighteners that have plates made of tourmaline ceramic are the current gold standard of straightening irons. Tourmaline ceramic flat irons/hair straightener elevate standard ceramic plates – already a good material for hair straightener plates – by infusing the ceramic plates with the semi-precious mineral, tourmaline. The tourmaline is first crushed into a fine powder then baked into the ceramic plates during the manufacturing process.
But why is tourmaline so special when it comes to hair straightener heating plates? Tourmaline is a crystal-born silicate material that aids in the smoothing process by generating 20 times more moisture-locking ions than any other type of hair straightener plate. Tourmaline generates the extra negative ions needed to counteract the positive ions found in dry and damaged hair. The result? Smoother, silkier hair that is resistant to frizz and flyaway strands. Plus, this specialized ion field technology seals in the hair’s natural oils, thus protecting delicate strands from repeated heat exposure.
Tourmaline ceramic plates also generate infrared heat, which removes static and leaves behind silky, shiny hair. Tourmaline ceramic plates also help close the hair follicle upon contact, thus minimizing heat damage to tender tresses, particularly important if you are regularly using a hair straightener to style your hair. With a tourmaline ceramic plate, you are actually sealing in moisture with every pass of the hair straightener, thus giving your hair a little bit more TLC and warding off frizz even longer. Tourmaline ceramic plates are also exceptionally smooth which generates less tension as they pass over the hair. This means your hair is less susceptible to snagging or snapping during hair straightener use.
Tourmaline ceramic flat irons/hair straighteners are excellent for:
- Thin to coarse hair types
- Normal to damaged hair
- Regular use
Flat irons/hair straighteners that utilize titanium for the plate material are another excellent hair straightener option. Titanium is a lustrous metallic element found in igneous rocks and renowned for its strength, durability, low weight and super heat conductivity. Titanium flat irons/hair straightener allow for faster heat transfer, which means even more immediate and superior results, no matter the hair’s condition.
But titanium flat irons/hair straighteners are not just about speed. They are also some of the most durable straighteners on the market. They are very scratch resistant and exceptionally durable especially under high heat. Titanium also offers very even heat distribution, meaning more overall straightening surface and fewer passes over your hair.
Like its tourmaline relative, titanium relies on infrared heat and negative ion technology to enhance your hair’s hydration and shine. Infrared heat seals in your hair’s natural oils and moisture, resulting in shiny, smooth, healthy locks. The negative ion technology gives your hair more hydration, eliminates frizz, enhances shine and improves your hair’s overall appearance. A titanium flat iron/hair straightener can actually make your hair feel more hydrated, softer and healthier.
Titanium flat irons/hair straightener are the top choice for professional hair stylists, since titanium offers some of the best results on all hair types. However, caution should be exercised when used at home, since titanium plates can reach extremely high temperatures. When choosing a titanium flat iron, be sure and insist on one that is micro-chip controlled to provide constant, even and controllable heat.
Titanium flat irons are excellent for:
- Thick to coarse hair types
- Normal hair
- Professional or experienced use
The classic flat iron/hair straightener plate material is ceramic. In fact, most decent hair straighteners you will find on the market today utilize ceramic plates. The solid combination of proven performance and moderate cost make ceramic flat irons/hair straighteners an excellent value for the money.
Ceramic plates offer a variety of benefits that make them superior to the cheaper, aluminum options still found on the market today. Ceramic flat irons/hair straighteners glide through the hair without pulling or tugging, meaning less damage from snags or breakage. Ceramic heats up quickly and evenly, meaning fewer passes to achieve smooth, silky results.
While ceramic plates won’t give you the superior results of either a tourmaline ceramic or titanium plate, ceramic still offers an excellent value for many flat iron consumers, especially those who don’t use a flat iron/hair straightener very often or don’t demand a lot from their straightening tool.
Ceramic flat irons/hair straighteners are excellent for:
- Thin to thick hair type
- Normal to moderately damaged hair
- Regular use
I’ve had all types of hair tools throughout my life and only a few years ago did I switch exclusively to tourmaline and titanium as I found they work best with my hair.
Recently I gave two new titanium ceramic hair straighteners a try and if you couldn’t think it was possible to fall in love with two of the (almost) same things at once, these will prove your wrong.
Award-winning Canadian Hairstylist, Palma N’Sheluvzit, owner of the Hair Spot salon in Toronto and proud winner of two Contessa Awards in 2012 and 2016 – the most prestigious trophy in the Canadian hairstyling industry – has created the Luxe Sublime Hair Straightener, a professional flat iron to offer consumers the tools she loves to use to create prize-worthy hairstyles.
The technologically advanced one-inch Palma N’Sheluvzit Luxe Sublime Hair Straightener features:
- Made with nano titanium ceramic plates
- Has a super-quick digital control that provides precise, constant heat for perfectly straight hair with just one pass of the styler.
- The casing is a beautiful black matte, stamped with Palma’s unique logo.
This is a super stylish looking hair tool; the black matte is all the rage right now but most importantly, this gets my hair super straight to super curly in a jiffy. Plus, my hair is left looking nice and shiny for days!
For some great hair trips & tricks, Palma appeared on CityLine where she offers tips and tricks on the use of professional flat irons like hers here: http://www.cityline.ca/video/the-right-way-to-flat-iron-your-hair/.
Luxe Sublime Hair Straightener from Palma N’Sheluvzit retails for $150 and is available through Palma’s store http://store.palmansheluvzit.com on her website http://www.palmansheluvzit.com and at select retailers in Toronto and New York.
A long-time and trusted brand name in the industry, BioSilk, has recently launched it’s first ever line of BioSilk Professional Tools including the BioSilk 1″ Titanium Hair Styling Iron.
I remember using BioSilk since my high school years when I completely damaged my hair thanks to bleaching, perms and using the clothing iron method to straighten my hair (Yikes! Who else fell victim to this imbecility?)
Combining the power of ceramic and titanium, the BioSilk 1″ Titanium Hair Styling Iron heats quickly and evenly while retaining even heat distribution while providing a superior glide in fewer passes for faster styling time.
The BioSilk 1″ Titanium Hair Styling Iron features:
- 1″ Titanium Plates
- Max temperature of up to 410 degrees farenheit
- LED digital temperature display (which I found pretty cool; image below)
- 1-Hour Auto shut-off (a great feature just in case you forgot – and that’s happened to me more times then I’d like to admit)
- Included with the purchase of any BioSilk Professional Tool is the newly re-branded BioSilk Hot Thermal Protectant Mist which offers ultimate heat protection
The BioSilk 1″ Titanium Hair Styling Iron retails for $129.95 and can be purchased at select hair salons across Canada as well as online at: modernbeauty.com, and loxabeauty.com.
What hair issues plague you? Do you have any hair tips that you swear by? Let me know in the comments below!
Disclosure: Some products mentioned were provided for review purposes; however, all opinions expressed are entirely those of the author.