How to Get Shiny Hair at Home
Having long, lustrous, silky hair is any woman’s dream.
Fortunately, it’s an achievable one. One of the biggest contributors is probably something you where expecting me to say, but it’s your diet.
We really can’t stress enough on how important your diet is when it comes to determining your hair health.
The health and outer appearance of your skin and hair are a reflection of what you take internally.
Instead of coating your hair with chemical-based products, focus on what you feed your body as well, whether your hair is naturally straight or curly – it will be shiny, smooth and tangle-free if you practice adequate eating habits.
Make sure your diet is rich in green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, sprouts, omega-3 rich foods such as oily fish and nuts and seeds, low-fat milk, dairy and lean protein. Drinking at least two liters of water is crucial for preventing dryness.
Moderation is key when it comes to healthy eating – have little of the unhealthy stuff (or none, if you possible) and more of foods you love that are healthy.
Remember that nutrition is not religion.
This is a video by Cassey Ho of Blogilates who talks about why getting too religious with diet is a bad idea. You need to enjoy your life, practice moderation and maintain a healthy diet all at the same time to ensure you are sane and happy.
P.S. I love her workouts and encourage you to try them – they will kill you!
Perhaps you already knew that a proper diet is key to healthy, silky and shiny hair but did you know that a workout sesh can do wonders on your mane too?
This may sound like a bunch of mumbo jumbo to you and hey, I would love to get on to the products and remedies for shiny, Rapunzel-like hair but no fancy product or nature’s remedy can replace the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
Let’s talk about how exercise works…
An intense cardio session involves a lot of sweating and panting, your heart racing, your adrenaline in an all-time high and a splurge of feel-good chemicals in your brain. Exercise is also an effective way of getting rid of toxins from your body and it has a direct impact on the sebum in your scalp. Sebum is the conditioning, oil-like substance secreted by the glands in your scalp that prevents your hair from falling and keeps it healthy.
The release of these toxins results in purer sebum that is more conditioning and effective in improving hair health.
Before and after every workout, it is important that you stretch sufficiently to relax tight muscles.
However, this also plays a role in keeping your hair healthy.
Stretching reduces the buildup of acid in your muscles, which keeps you active and vital. Improving your health and fitness in any way will improve your hair health too.
Furthermore, stretching also enhances blood flow and circulation in the scalp, providing the hair cells with more oxygen and nutrients.
Stress is a huge contributing factor for poor hair health and hair fall. However, exercise is stress’ enemy.
An active lifestyle reduces chances of stress and anxiety because exercise releases endorphins in the brain, a chemical that increases feeling of pleasure and happiness and reduces pain.
Backbends and inverted poses increase blood flow to the scalp. More blood means more nutrients and oxygen. Inverted poses can also increase your flexibility and reduce tension in your neck and back.
Tension often results from tight muscles which hinder proper blood flow.
Joining a bikram or hatha yoga class will definitely help you learn and understand yoga.
I absolutely love this video by Teshia Maher, which doesn’t only involve postures that relax and de-stress me, but she also teaches how to perform a camel pose beautifully. It’s a must try for any yoga enthusiast:
How you bathe and how much matters too
A hot water bath can be relaxing but it strips the natural moisture off your hair (and your skin too!). Therefore, try to bathe in a temperature that is as cool as possible but don’t go overboard with this either.
Don’t wash your hair every day as this removes the natural oils from your hair and causes further dryness.
Washing your hair only twice a week can help your hair retain its natural oils while keeping your hair silky and shiny. Using a clarifying shampoo can also help you remove excess product from your strands.
Another IMPORTANT tip is to watch out for the deposits left in your hair from hard water from your shower.
Don’t comb your hair frequently
In fact, stop touching it all the time.
Honestly, I had a habit of touching my hair all the time too until I figured how bad it was for my super long and fine hair.
It’s a habit that indicates nervousness or at least, gives another person the impression of you being nervous. Guys think you have a crush on them when you do it so it has got to stop. Hair touching is just as bad as nail biting or lip-licking and it’s just as hard to move over.
So try some of the tips from the article and let us know in the comments what works or has worked for you!
Touching, pulling, tugging and combing your hair too often can damage your hair, making it appear dull and dry. To prevent this, comb your hair twice or thrice a day and make sure you aren’t too harsh.
If you comb your hair right after bathing, start from the edges and work towards the top so that you don’t pull out any hair in the process.
Using a wide toothed comb right after your shower can not only help remove tangles in a safe manner, but can also aid in spreading natural oils throughout the hair and improve blood circulation in your scalp too.
Avoid using brushes and small combs on your hair – they are damaging and can cause excessive hair fall.
Use apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar may smell funky but it produces heavenly results when used on hair.
How you can use it is pretty easy. Just mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part water in a squeeze bottle, give it a good shake and use it as a conditioner/toner while bathing.
Leave the ACV concoction for ten minutes in your hair after shampooing and wash with water right after. You can eliminate the pungent odor of ACV by adding a cinnamon stick or any essential oil or spice of your choice to add a gorgeous and spicy aroma to your ACV hair rinse.
I usually just add a cinnamon stick to my ACV squeeze bottle – easy and works like a charm!
Prepare an all-natural hair pack
Mix one ripe banana with one avocado and create a paste with a spoon. Add a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil and massage into your hair until each strand is effectively coated with the mask.
Leave the mask for 30 minutes and rinse out with warm water followed by cool water. You can use banana or avocado in this mask individually as well – see what works best for you.
Avocado, banana and coconut oil add shine and luster to your hair, while preventing split ends and damage caused by pollution and styling treatments.
I’ve noticed that adding honey to my banana-avocado mask makes it even more amazing but it’s essential that you see what works for you and stick to it.
Additional tip: I don’t see a lot of people complaining about this but when I use a hair mask with banana, I usually find some banana pieces in my hair even after washing and shampooing. Instead of pulling on them while your hair is wet and susceptible to fall, allow your hair to dry first. The banana bits will be dry as well by this time and much easier to remove with a wide toothed-comb.
This is an age-old remedy that is still used today for all the good reasons. Mix two eggs with one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of coconut oil and apply it all over your hair.
Leave it for thirty minutes and wash with your regular shampoo and conditioner. Egg masks can be a tad bit stinky so add an essential oil of your choice to eliminate the smell.
Egg and yogurt mask
This is a stunning natural and cheap protein treatment for your hair. Mix two tablespoons of yogurt with two eggs until you have a smooth paste.
Apply on your hair and leave it for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash it off with your regular shampoo and conditioner.
This is perhaps our favorite treatment for achieving silky, smooth hair. Mix an essential oil of your choice, such as lavender oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, argan oil or almond oil and massage it into your scalp till your roots.
Some might debate over the usage of oils as it may cause greasiness and increase your likelihood to wash your hair frequently.
On the contrary, applying oil to your hair prevents your scalp from producing excess oil.
When you strip your hair off its natural oils using harsh and chemical-plagued shampoos and hair treatments, you compel it to produce more oil, thereby, making your hair look greasy and limp too quickly.
The solution: add more oil.
An oil massage will trick your scalp into thinking that it doesn’t need to produce more oils and help it retain its natural oils at the same time.
(A quick hint: add a little oil to your shampoo too.)
Moreover, a gentle oil massage can enhance blood circulation in your scalp and enhance the texture of your hair at the same time.
Oils such as coconut oil are deep-penetrating and produce positive results much quicker than chemical treatments that just coat the hair and give it a false shiny appearance.
Leave the oil for one hour after massaging and wash with your regular organic/natural shampoo and conditioner.
Steer clear of harsh products
Avoid using products with too many chemicals, especially those that consist of sodium lauryl sulphate and ammonium laureth sulphate. Frequent use of harsh products can cause hair fall, hair thinning, dullness and damage to hair.
The solution: use products consisting primarily of natural ingredients that nourish the hair and give it the right amount of TLC it deserves… and use some more apple cider vinegar.
Use the right shampoo and conditioner
And make sure they are for your hair type. For dry hair, you should use hydrating or moisturizing shampoo and conditioner and for fine hair, you should use a volumizing shampoo.
Avoid taking suggestions from family and friends and even bloggers over what shampoo and conditioner is best because everybody’s hair is different but the best place to start is by picking a shampoo that suits your hair type.
Conditioning your hair each time you wash will replace the oils you wash away. However, if you are prone to greasiness, apply conditioner to the tips only.
Something to remember: Do not wash your hair with shampoo every day. I understand it’s tempting; who doesn’t love the smell of shampoo?
But washing your hair every day dries your hair out and deprives it of its natural oils. I have hip length hair and I wash my hair only thrice a week and yes, my hair is prone to greasiness too but practicing healthy hair tips and not using hair products too frequently has reversed the effect.
If you have to use a blow dryer or a flat or curling iron, it is essential that you use a heat protection product. Heat protection products minimize damage from heat and claim to repair the damage that’s done.
However, improving hair health also involves going as natural as possible, therefore, if you want to reduce the number of products you use on your hair, you should avoid heating tools as much as possible.
I use the TRESemme – Instant Heat Tamer Spray.
I’m not a huge fan of heat styling but when I really have to iron my hair, I use this. I’ve heard several good reviews on this product and well, I like it.
It isn’t sticky or greasy, it has a pleasant scent and I think it does its job at “taming heat”.
This is what one of the reviewers at Makeup Alley has to say: “I love love love this product!!! I have damaged hair and I felt like this spray repaired it! It leaves my hair shiny, soft, and smelling great!! And it’s definitely affordable!”
I’m not a huge advocate of hair dyes even though I understand how much fun it is to switch up colors once in a while. However, the best tip I’ve gotten so far regarding coloring is that you should always go a shade darker if you want shiny and silky looking hair.
Golden tip: Never, ever use bleach for anything! It is harmful, super drying and super damaging.
Therefore, if you’re reading this blog post, which I’m sure you are in the quest for sexy, silky hair, I would advise you to stay away from bleach. Period.