Were all guilty of hurting our hair - going overboard by shampooing too often, using harsh color, and over-styling can leave you with dull, limp locks. Never fear, though - these quick-fixes are surefire ways to revive a younger-looking mane.
Opt for low-impact tools and techniques
Combing and brushing are necessities, of course, but they can also injure hair if not done purposefully.
- Combing is ideal for when hair is wet and at its most fragile and prone to breakage. Avoid tugging the comb; instead, smooth out knots, starting at the ends and working up in sections.
- Though the 100-strokes-a-night rule is ubiquitous, brushing that much is too hard on hair at any age - it not only pulls hairs out of their follicles, but it can weaken individual strands. Plus, anything beyond minimal brushing can create too much friction for hair thats turned wiry.
- Brush your hair only to style it, and, whenever possible, consider using a wide-tooth comb instead. Try a boar bristleblend brush for detangling and getting your hair into place, and stop there.
Protect hair from heat
While we dont expect you to completely give up on blow-dryers and flat irons, try to go easy on the hot tools. Not only does heat dry out hair, but it also picks away at its proteinsanother cause of rough hair texture. If your hair isnt frizz-prone, let it air-dry till its slightly damp and then, once youve spritzed on a heat-protection spray, use a blow-dryer and a big, round brush to smooth out your style. If air-drying increases your frizz, blow-dry straightaway, but avoid washing and styling every day.
Boost hair lift and volume
Rollers and curling irons are often the go-to tools for making hair fuller, but they can also create an overly styled, matronly look, says New York City salon owner Eva Scrivo. Youll get a chicer aesthetic if you use a blow-dryer or flat iron.
The exception: If your hair is curly or wavy, air-dry it then use a small curling iron to define and enhance its natural shape. If youve never quite mastered blow-drying, dont feel badstylists go to school to learn how to do it! One way to hone your skills is to consult a pro: schedule an appointment and have her teach you how to do it by actually putting the brush in your hands. Its a worthwhile investment.
Scrivos general blow-drying rule for adding volume: Dont pull your hair down with a brush as you dry it. Instead, use the brush to raise your roots toward the ceiling so you get more lift at the crown.
If your hair is particularly fine (and thus more easily damaged), a root-lifting product or mousse can give your lank locks volume. And its a lot easier on hair than another common volumizing trick: back-combing.
Coax curls and waves
If your face is angular, soften the edges by wearing gentle waves or curls around your face. If a fuller, round face is your issue, do the oppositea sleek, straight look is an easy way to instantly counteract heaviness.
For shapely ringlets without product-induced stickiness, Ron King of the Eponymous Salon in Austin recommends a combination of conditioner and gel. Squirt a little of each product onto a paper towel, fold the sheet so they blend together, then scrunch wet hair with the product side. Squeezing the paper towel into your hair keeps the curls clumped together, says King. Using bare hands can end up unfurling the curls. Once hair dries, gently break up the curls so theyre not too stiff, and finish with a dab of silicone serum on any frayed ends.
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