Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hair Care Tips For Anyone

---Should I shampoo my hair daily?

Eric Fisher of Joico Laboratories, Inc. (a professional hair care line) doesn't recommend it. "Most people tend to overshampoo, stripping their hair of its natural oils, which keep hair healthy and shiny," he says.

If your scalp looks oily when you wake up, you should shampoo every day. (Once is enough, though; shampoo and conditioner labels only advise you to repeat the process so that you'll use them up faster.) Otherwise, your hair will probably look better and stay healthier if you skip every other day and let its natural oils accumulate.

Fisher recommends switching between different shampoos every six weeks or so to avoid product buildup, which can leave hair limp. Or just use a clarifying shampoo for a few days at a time every two months to remove the residue your products leave behind.

---What kind of conditioner should I use?

If you have normal or dry hair, use a standard rinse-out conditioner every time you shampoo. But if your locks tend to get greasy, you may want to condition them only a few times a week. For fine or thin hair, look for a conditioner that adds body and reduces tangles. If your hair is super-thick or curly, try a heavier leave-in conditioner.

Combination shampoo and conditioners may seem convenient and economical, but they aren't that great for your hair. It's tough to clean and condition at the same time; what most combos do well is make your hair easy to comb.

---What other hair care products should I use?

Shampoos and conditioners are just the basics. If you want to add volume or shine, you may want to look into other products, but don't overdo it. Too much "product" in your hair can make it brittle and more likely to break when you touch or comb it. Here's a list of the most popular ones and their benefits:

•Gel: Adds shine and helps sculpt hair; best on thick, curly hair; people with fine hair should use a spray gel, which doesn't drag hair down as much.
•Mousse: Can be used during or after blow-drying to give hair more body.
•Pomade: Adds texture, hold, and shine; not recommended for oily hair.
•Sculpting lotion: Gives hair definition, makes it stiff and crunchy; great for curly hair or short spiky styles.
•Silicone sprays: Adds polish and sheen.
•Spray: Holds hairstyles in place.
•Texturizer: Tames split ends and flyaway strands.
•Volumizer: Gives hair lift; makes it look less flat.

---Is it possible to brush my hair too much?

If your hair is fragile, excessive brushing isn't good. You know you have fragile hair if it's dry and doesn't reflect light. You can also take the "elasticity test:" Break off one strand and pull it between your fingers. Hair that can't stretch one third of its length without breaking is fragile. If you have healthy hair, brushing will distribute its oils, producing a natural sheen, but it won't make your hair grow faster. Don't brush your hair when it's wet.

Here are some of the different kinds of brushes:

•Natural/boar bristles: Give an even amount of attention to hair when blow-drying; almost impossible to get strands tangled in them.
•Nylon/plastic bristles: Best for controlling and detangling curly or long hair.
•Paddle-shaped: Ideal for long, one-length, or shoulder-length hair, because they cover a lot of space evenly.
•Round: When used for blow-drying, adds body -- like a hair curler -- to virtually any style, especially good for bob cuts.
•Vent-shaped: Good for those on the go; the holes in the base allow air to pass through to speed drying time; also adds volume to longer hair.
•Wire bristles: Save these for the pros; they snag hair much too easily.

If you prefer combs, choose from the two basic kinds: wide and narrow tooth. The further apart the teeth, the more texture and separation you'll create in hair. A narrow comb -- where the teeth are packed close together -- gives you a smooth look.

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