Your hair will never quite be full of life and beautiful shine without deep hydration. A dried-out hair shaft is prone to splitting, oiliness and a generally tired look. So what’s the cause of unruly, messy-looking hair? Not using enough nourishing hair products, or using them incorrectly – whether it’s conditioners, hair masks, hair balms or other nourishing hair care products.
Did you know that simple shampooing doesn’t do much for your hair? Sure, the ingredients will clean your hair and remove oil, dead skin cells and any build-up of styling products or dirt that might have accumulated – but water makes your hair slightly expand and wet hair is far more prone to mechanical as well as heat-based damage.
To heal the damaged hair shaft, you need to offer your hair some protective and beautifying care in the form of nourishing products. It’s the only way to keep it hydrated, strong, more resilient and perfectly prepared for styling.
> Rinse-out conditioner – This type of product should be used after every shampooing because its formula will make your hair smoother and create a certain protective shield that keeps your hair bouncier. Conditioner often comes with detangling ingredients – a good example would be the Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser´s conditioner with 6 rare cold-pressed oils.
> Leave-in conditioner – You’d be wrong to assume that you can replace classic conditioner with a leave-in spray. This kind of product should be more appropriately called “leave-in treatment” because it’s something extra, a 3rd step in your hair-care routine. You can reach for it after using your rinse-out conditioner or hair mask. Apply it evenly through wet or dry hair to give your tresses something more – from heat protection during blow-drying to frizz prevention, curl promotion, or hydration like with the Moroccanoil Hydration or the Schwarzkopf Professional BC Bonacure Hyaluronic Moisture Kick.
> Hair balm – Do you often get hair balm and hair conditioner mixed up? There really is a difference. Conditioner tends to have a much lighter formula and affects the surface of the hair shaft, while a balm penetrates deeper and targets problems such as dryness or damage.
> Hair treatment or hair mask – Damaged and dehydrated hair cannot regenerate itself, you need to help it by using hair treatments (or hair masks). Their ingredients penetrate the hair shaft even deeper than a conditioner or a balm and repair its damaged core. Pick the right hair mask depending on what your hair currently needs.
If your hair craves moisture, find a treatment for dry and damaged hair such as the Goldwell Dualsenses Rich Repair, Alfaparf Milano Semi di Lino Reconstruction Reparative or Wella Professionals Invigo Nutri-Enrich. You can also address the premature ageing of your hair (for instance, with the Kérastase Chronologiste Masque Intense Régénérant revitalising mask) or correct orange undertones in blonde hair with the powerful ingredients of the deeply regenerating Kérastase Blond Absolu Masque Cicaextreme mask.
> Hair oils – Hair oil has become a hit especially in recent years. It only takes a few drops to deeply hydrate your tresses, smooth them down, nourish them and make them shine. Oils can even prevent static electricity and protect your hair from sunlight. They’re amazing for wavy, frizzy and unruly hair, because they restore hair softness and gloss.
> Deep treatments – These have deeply regenerating effects similar to hair masks, but they usually contain heat-activated ingredients. To make them really work for you, apply the product, then wrap your hair in plastic film and a towel. Just like normal hair treatments they shouldn’t be used too often – once a week will do.
> How to Use a Hair Conditioner?
Start by squeezing excess water out of your hair because if your hair is too wet, the conditioner might slide right off. Apply a small, hazelnut-sized amount about 2 to 3cm away from your roots, brush through your hair with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb for an even distribution (a finer comb might damage wet hair), and then rinse out. The recommended time to leave it on for is usually printed on the product and tends to be quite short. A conditioner will work virtually instantly, so there’s no need to leave it on for longer. Since it doesn’t weigh your hair down, you can use it every day.
> How to Use a Hair Balm?
A hair balm has a richer texture than a conditioner and you can even use it to nourish your scalp. However, don’t reach for it more than twice a week, otherwise it might weigh your hair down. Hair balms should be usually left on for about 5 minutes.
> How to Use a Hair Mask?
Hair masks have a very thick and creamy texture and they’re mostly applied down the length of your hair. Read the instructions to find out how long you can leave the product on and if you need to follow it up with a conditioner. Some brands make hair masks that only nourish the hair shaft without closing its texture – but it’s not the case every time, so always follow the instructions. Hair masks definitely shouldn’t be used every day because it might result in heavy, weighed-down hair just like when you overuse a hair balm.
> How to Use a Hair Oil?
You can use hair oils at any time, on both dry and wet hair. Just be careful about the amount you’re using – it might make your hair, well... oily. A few drops is all you need. If your hair is quite fine, apply the oil down the length and to the tips, while wavy and severely damaged hair can be oiled from root to tip.
> Rinse-out conditioner should be used every time you wash your hair.
> Leave-in conditioner does not replace a rinse-out one.
> Hair balm is different from conditioner, it penetrates deeper and addresses specific problems.
> Hair mask regenerates the damaged hair core and shouldn’t be used more than once a week.
> You only need a small amount of hair oil, otherwise your hair will get too greasy.
> Use heat to activate the ingredients of a deep hair treatment.
What nourishing hair care do you like to use? Do you have your faves or do you prefer to experiment? Have you discovered a product that’s an absolute must-have? Share it with us!