I have to admit I’m somewhat particular about my hair (yes, even after having kids). While it might stay up in a messy bun most days because I’m chasing around my two year olds, I like the flexibility of making sure it’s taken care of so – if I’m lucky enough to get a night out with girlfriends or my husband, or if I end up needing to go into a business meeting or appointment – I can look less like an electrocuted cat and more like the version of myself I was before my hair care and styling time was drastically cut.
Obviously, I don’t have the time or energy to do a ton of extras and sometimes I’m not perfect about following the suggestions listed below, but I still try. With the winter months approaching, the dry air majorly changes things for me. Hello, static. Goodbye excess oil.
We all have our own self-care related things we hold onto from before motherhood that are important to us, and this is one of mine. Of course, it’s perfectly fine if hair isn’t your thing. However, if it is, I rounded up a few quick tips from the owner of the salon I go to to help get through the winter months with healthy hair.
- Get regular trims.
Does anyone else panic when they read that 8 weeks is too long to go between trims? This is something I’ve always struggled with, especially after becoming a mom, but as I’ve gotten more into a routine and taken the advice given to me, I’ve realized my trims take very little time and actually keep my hair healthier in the long run. Instead of waiting until I need a color touch up or have raging split ends, a trip into the salon to get the gross ends off before they’re terrible is exactly what I need.
- Your shampoo and conditioner should be based on your hair type.
Are you oily or dry? Is your hair colored? Fine or course?
I thought buying the “nicer” quality product was enough of an upgrade to keep my hair looking good, but I honestly didn’t notice much of a difference. Total noob mistake, obviously, because I didn’t realize hair care has gotten so advanced that each hair type likely has a specialized hair care line for your own unique needs (as I type this, there’s a stylist laughing at me. I expect this “new” is really only new to me).
Not sure on your hair type? You know someone who could help you:
- Use a leave in treatment every time you wash.
This one is new to me. I have fine blonde hair and try to avoid a lot of product for fear that I’ll look oily the next day. However, Toni Peanick of The Color Room in Wentzville assured me this will do more good for my hair than bad. First, in the dry weather of winter it’s particularly important to keep your hair moisturized, especially if you’re like me and the second you put on a Sherpa you instantly look like you touched the static ball at The Magic House.
Of course, your treatment requirements might be different than mine, as leave in treatments are also specific to your hair type. However, they all promote healthy hair with anti-breakage.
- Don’t use excessive heat.
Fine hair cannot handle any high temperatures over 390 degrees. If you’re like me, you thought the higher the heat the quicker the styling, but what I found out is I’m actually not cutting time and am really just burning my hair.
If you can avoid using high heat tools, try to do most of your styling with a brush and blow dryer. The less time you spend with hot hair tools, the better.
- Salon conditioning treatments are the best.
Think of your trips to the salon as a check-up for your hair. If you need a conditioning treatment, your stylist can choose one with your specific needs in mind because they are – again – not one size fits all.
Lastly, and this was the mindset shift that actually helped me swallow implementing some of these things for myself, because – honestly – I don’t have a lot of extra time and my husband instantly starts sweating thinking about money when I want a new-to-him service for myself:
Think of your trips to the salon like a trip to see the experts in their field. You know that when you go see the dentist, you’re getting a much better cleaning than what you can do for yourself at home. Waiting extra time between trims or treatments, for example, actually does more damage than good by letting your hair grow weaker or more damaged between visits. Then, when you see a stylist, they have more they need to repair and cannot actually help you begin improving your hair but, instead, get you back to status quo.
So, using good product at home but not seeing a stylist isn’t quite effective, and doing the opposite – seeing a great stylist but using terrible product at home – doesn’t help you either. That’s like going to see the dentist for a checkup but then never brushing or flossing your teeth.
If you like keeping your hair healthy like I do, consider which of these five tips you can implement today. I am trying out the at home leave-in conditioner now and have seen even better results. I’ll keep you posted on if it helps me keep out the static, too.
*The author is a caucasian woman and we acknowledge that many of the tips in this article do not apply to different types of hair. We welcome any writing submissions about hair care for all kinds of hair types in the future.