- DO NOT blindly purchase any product even on recommendation without gaining enough knowledge about your hair. This is only going to empty your pockets unless you learn what your hair actually needs “because not all hair is same”.
- Know your hair type.
Diameter – Even though you can say your hair is big/flat/crazy just by looking at your hair in the mirror, it’s the diameter of your hair that’s super important for picking out the right products. Test if your hair is fine, medium, or coarse by doing a strand test.
- If you take a single hair in between your fingers and you don’t feel anything, then you have fine hair.
- If you can feel the hair, then it’s medium.
- If you feel a strong, thick strand, then you are coarse.
Determining both your diameter AND density will help narrow down the types of product you should use. Someone with dense, coarse hair will need smoothing products. While someone with less dense but still coarse hair will need a Volumising product. Just because the diameter of your hair is fine doesn’t mean you can’t have a thick head of hair — and vice versa. So, get to know the density of your hair by standing in front of a mirror, grab a handful of hair at the side of your head and notice the space around that ‘clump.’ Can you easily see your scalp? Your hair is likely thin. No scalp visible? Probably thick. If you’re in the middle, you likely have hair of medium density.
The amount of elasticity your hair has indicates how healthy it is, plus how easy it’ll be to style the way you want. To begin to slowly stretch the hair. If it breaks almost immediately, your elasticity is low, but if it stretches to 50 percent of its original length, your hair has high elasticity.
Compare your hair texture with the below to understand where exactly do you fit in.
- Understand your hair porosity.
- Educate yourself with the Curly Girl method.
CG method was introduced to an international, multi-ethnic audience by hairstylist Lorraine Massey in her bestselling book, Curly Girl: The Handbook. Following are the so called rules under this method:
- Say no to shampoo or use a sulphate free shampoo because it strips your hair of its natural oil called sebum. (Avoid products with ingredients like Sodium lauryl sulphate, Sodium laureth, Ammonium laureth or lauryl sulfate, Ammonium or Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium cocoyl sarcosinate etc)
- Use Silicone free conditioner and stylers since silicones buildup on hair and ruin the natural curl pattern. (Avoid products with ingredients ending with cone, col, nol, xane etc.)
- Unplug the dryer and use a diffuser instead.
- Not using a brush instead use a wide tooth comb to avoid frizz and breakage.
- Trim your hair to get rid of the damage or split ends.
- Co-wash or Conditioner wash to clean your scalp and hair as a second option to a shampoo.
- Apply products to your hair. Do it while it is soaking wet. Smooth or rake the product into your hair by sections. A common method is to begin with a leave-in cream or conditioner to decrease frizz and then follow with a gel for hold and definition. Using your normal conditioner as a leave-in is fine too. Scrunch in an upward motion with hands.
- Ditch your towel and scrunch your hair with a cotton t-shirt, paper towels, or a micro-fiber towel to remove excess water/moisture.
- Decrease the drying time of your hair by plop Plopping means spreading an old t-shirt or micro-fiber towel onto a flat surface. Bend over at the waist and position your hair in the middle of the cloth. With your head touching the cloth, drape the back section of cloth over your head. Twist the sides until they form “sausage rolls” and clip or tie them at the base of your neck. After 15-30 minutes remove the t-shirt and air dry/diffuse.
- Do not touch your hair while it is 100% dry or it will mess up and frizz.
- Give your hair time to adjust. It takes 2-4 weeks for your hair to adjust or even more. It may even look worse at first. Hair is a long-term project and it may take a couple weeks for it to regain its health after being stripped of moisture for years by harsh chemical and sulphate shampoo.
- Finally Clarify with a sulfate shampoo or clarifying shampoo before beginning. This will cleanse your hair of any silicones–ingredients in some hair products you would have using that are not water soluble.