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Use the right conditioner. This makes all the difference. What you get is NOT always what you pay for. In other words, sometimes the best conditioners are super cheap. Yay! My favorites are Herbal Essences Coco Hydration and Tsubaki Damage Care (Japanese brand). It’s all about the moisture, and alternate! A pricier option I used to love when my hair was much more damaged was Enjoy Hair Mask. But note everyone has slightly different hair so you have to trial and error, just don’t discriminate based on price!
Pyrithione Zinc containing shampoo: this a type of dandruff shampoo, which I recommend despite not having dandruff. Pyrithione zinc works by keeping the population of malassezia (a normal yeast found on the scalp) down, which also makes the hair grow faster and reduces shedding of hair! Tea tree oil does the same thing. I opt for Head and Shoulders 2-in-1 because moisture is key to healthy hair.
Jojoba oil: this is the closest matching type of oil to your natural skin, and it does a great job of soaking into the hair without being too greasy. 5 minutes after washing hair, I apply about a quarter size to every 2 inches of hair starting at the bottom, up to about 3 inches away from the scalp. Never forget the jojoba oil, I simply cannot go without it. Make sure it doesn’t have any additives.
Use water temperature to your advantage: before applying conditioner, turn up the water heat (this opens the hair cuticle to absorb more moisture). Apply conditioner. Before washing out, turn the water to cold (or cool as you can handle) and wash out conditioner in cool water. This closes the cuticle to lock in the moisture. Tie hair up and finish showering.
Never apply heat: I know this is tough for some people especially depending on their hair type and if you like to blow dry or straighten your hair, but the fact is EVERY TIME you do this you create a wealth of new split ends and your hair starts to feel more like hay, and less like silk. Try some heatless styling techniques while your hair air dries, like clipping hair into a twisted loose bun (for spirals) or braiding it (for nice organized waves).
Scalp Massage: increasing blood flow to the scalp increases hair growth. We know this based on how Rogaine works (it opens up the blood vessels in the scalp). Scalp massage is a great feel-good way to increase blood flow in the scalp without the use of chemicals. Speaking of blood flow, exercise is also going to be helpful in this realm.
Forget all the other crap: leave-in conditioner, hair oils, “heat protecting” gels, if they contain lots of unrecognizable chemicals in the ingredient list, they also contain some drying ingredients like certain alcohols or fragrances and it’s no wonder why I always noticed MORE split ends after using them. Same goes for hair dye (this literally fries your hair), brazilian blowouts, and pretty much all the chemical treatments that they do at salons, unfortunately. They might make your hair look good in the short run but the chemicals strip the hair of its natural barriers and again you lose your natural silkiness.
If you’ve damaged your hair considerably already, it’s difficult to repair the hair, so regular trims, daily conditioning (try to keep shampoo to every other day), regular hair masks (in fact I used to use this as conditioner when my hair was really damaged), and avoiding further damage along with caring for the new hair properly will be key to maintaining a beautiful mane in the long run. Happy hair ventures!