Building out your personal arsenal of hair care essentials is an ongoing project as you keep on learning more about your hair. With the literally thousands of haircare products that hit the market every year, there are some essential basics that you need to begin stocking up on as soon as possible. Here’s a list of some of those must-haves.
Curls: Since your hair is most susceptible to frizzy, dull hair, and split ends, you’ll want to use a good leave in conditioner to get rid of frizz and build hold with moisture. Leave in conditioners also make it easier to manage curls by smoothing out their curls. You can buy a leave in conditioner along with your curl defining shampoo, or you can take a trip to your local health food store and pick up a jar of quality leave-in conditioners.
Conditioner: Shampooing is also an important part of your hair care essentials arsenal, and there’s a wide array of options to choose from. Many people prefer to use styling products like gels and mousses in order to get the clean look they want, but you can also use all natural, chemical free shampoos that will help nourish, moisturize, and condition your locks. To get the best results, try using a shampoo and conditioner that specializes in curly and frizzy hair, since these types of products are designed to work with natural curl characteristics. For example, if you have extremely long curls, you’ll want a shampoo that has stronger chemicals to help unruly curls from tangling. On the other hand, if you have shorter curls, you can use a more mild shampoo to avoid stripping away natural body and shine that will make your curls look dull.
Color: Most people think that this is the same as shampoo and conditioner, but they are actually two separate items. You can’t use any basic shampoo or conditioner to color your hair, and vice versa. If you already have colored hair, it’s strongly recommended that you only use hair care essentials that are made for coloring hair. There are many different hair care products out there for coloring hair, so read all the labels carefully. You might also be concerned about causing chemical damage to your hair while attempting to color it, so ask a professional stylist for advice on which products to purchase.
Treatment: This is what will really transform your look, so it’s a good idea to know at least a little about every hair type. If you have fine hair, then it’s probably best to stick to styling products that are designed for fine hair, such as pomade, hair spray, or even shine spray. For soft hair types (also known as limp hair), there are plenty of hair care essentials designed to give a bouncy, open look. The key is to apply products that are designed for your particular hair type to minimize damage while still having tons of fun!
Grooming: One of the most important hair care essentials is scalp massage. Scalp massage is very important because it hydrates the scalp and helps with dandruff, itchiness, and buildup of dirt and oil. You can get scalp massage oils in a variety of different formats, including shampoos and conditioners. Dry scalp massage is good for people who have a lot of hair, because it prevents the hair from being damaged by the hot styling tools. For extremely dry scalp, you may want to consult with a dermatologist first. Any hair care essentials that contain alcohol should be avoided if you have extremely dry scalps, as they will only further dry and irritate your scalp.
Oils: These hair types require different styling products, such as leave-in conditioners and heat protectants. In general, stay away from petroleum based products, as they will only further dry out your hair and scalp. Natural oils work great for all hair types, and are among the best hair care essentials. You can get these oils from organic or inorganic sources, but be careful about the soaps and body gels that contain them. They will not work as well as the natural oils if they are processed or man-made.
Conditioner: One of the least favorite hair types oils is the alcohol-based conditioner. Alcohol is a drying agent, and will leave your hair shaft looking and feeling greasy. However, there are some alcohol-free conditioners available if you don’t mind the greasiness. Remember to always use a conditioner after shampooing your hair to retain moisture, especially if you shampoo every day. Your hair shaft will benefit from the moisturizing effect of your conditioner.