As far as beauty goals go, being the proud owner of a mane of glossy hair is up there with having a flawless complexion – pretty much the holy grail.
From slathering on coconut oil to brushing the right way, we've rounded up the most effective healthy hair hacks ever...
For shiny hair
Try coconut oil
Coconut oil has taken the beauty world by storm over the last few years, and given its ability to boost the health of your hair and skin, it’s no surprise. Packed full of vitamins and minerals, coconut oil penetrates each strand of hair to moisturise it from within. And because it’s a lightweight oil, you can even use it on greasy hair to boost shine and leave it feeling softer and smoother. Either slather it on like a mask and leave for a few minutes, or for very dry hair, leave it on overnight and rinse off in the morning.
Yep, giving your hair a final rinse with cold water is said to help flatten the rough edges of the hair shaft, leaving your hair smoother and able to better reflect light - i.e shinier. A cold blast can also help to soothe itchy scalps, so next time you’re in the shower, take a deep breath and turn on the cold tap.
Raid the kitchen cupboard
Plenty of the ingredients in your kitchen cupboard can be used to boost your hair’s health naturally. Avocado and honey are great for mixing up to make a moisturising mask, while rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar can help to treat itchy scalps and boost shine.
DIY scalp massage
Massaging your scalp will stimulate circulation in the hair follicles, helping more shine-boosting nutrients to find their way to your hair. Try doing it when you shampoo, or for an especially indulgent DIY hair treatment use a hair oil, and focus on the sides of your head as well as the top to encourage more growth all over.
for strong hair
Swap your pillowcase
To reduce hair breakage while you sleep, swap rough textured pillow cases for smoother ones made from silk or satin. They’ll create less friction between your tresses meaning less breakage, and can also help to reduce frizz.
Avoid hair tension
Pulling your hair too tight when styling can lead to broken strands and tension at the roots, which if repeated on a daily basis, can result in bald patches and slow growth. If your ponytail, bun or plait is pulling uncomfortably, loosen it a little rather than toughing it out all day.
Brushing your hair can cause considerable hair damage if you’re too rough. The best technique is to start at the ends, brushing out tangles as gently as possible, then work your way further up. If you have long hair, hold each section at the mid-lengths while you brush, to avoid any pulling at the roots. If your hair is wet, use a comb rather than a brush and be extra careful, as wet hair is more easily damaged.
For thick, conditioned hair
Most hair experts agree that over washing is bad for your hair, as it strips away natural oils and goodness. If you wash your hair every day, try dropping down to just two or three times a week. Though your hair might feel greasy at first, it’ll soon adapt to the new regime and you’ll be surprised at how many days you can leave between washes.
Most damage to hair is done via heat styling with hair dryers, straightening irons, curling tongs and wands, which can all dry out your locks and leave hair looking lifeless or prone to breakage. Try to minimise the damage by using heat-protecting sprays before you style, and keep your tools at a low or medium setting. If possible, let your hair air-dry before finishing with a hairdryer.
Shampoo and condition right
If your hair often feels heavy and lank or not quite clean enough, it might be that you’re applying your shampoo and conditioner in the wrong places. Hair experts advise keeping shampoo to your scalp and roots only - when you rinse it out that’ll clear any dirt build-up in the lengths - and then using conditioner just on your ends (plus the mid-lengths if you have long hair) where strands tend to get dry.
Moisturise with a mask
Replenishing your hair with a weekly hair mask is the best way to keep it hydrated and looking healthy. Use an intensive hair treatment after shampooing and leave it on while you relax in the bath, or for super-dry or weak hair, leave the mask on overnight and rinse out in the morning. Following a hair mask with a rinse-out conditioner will help to seal in the added hydration.
Hold back on products
Overloading your hair with products can leave it drier, duller and heavier. Try looking for multi-tasking hair products like heat protectors that also prep your hair for styling, or lighter serums.
Looking to try out some new hair care? See the latest from our health and beauty range here