What’s the Best Lesson You Ever Learned about Caring for Your Hair?

Published in: Beauty Tips, Hair

No more heat styling

Mine was learning (the hard way) not to use a blow dryer every day.

At one point I had hair crispier than a bucket of the Colonel’s Kentucky Fried. It was awful!

These days, I air dry and limit blow drying to once a week. Now my hair feels healthier, for sure.

A couple other things that work for me…

  1. I stopped shampooing every day. Now, I’ll shampoo two to three times per week, depending on how often I exercise. The rest of the time I’ll follow #2.
  2. I’ll use a conditioner in place of my regular shampoo a few times per week. My hair feels better when I treat it with kid gloves. I’ll actually wash with the conditioner, rubbing it into my scalp and through my hair the same way I’d use shampoo.

How about you? What’s the best lesson you ever learned about caring for your hair?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

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  1. Heidi says:

    I learned to not fight with my god-given features and to accept my natural texture (hello, wavy!). In the past, I used to iron and blow dry my hair every. single. day. I had some serious straight hair complex and refused to wear my hair loose and wavy because I thought too highly of straight locks.

    Now, I almost always air dry my hair and stay farrrrr away from heat. My hair is at its healthiest and I intend to keep it that way. :)

  2. Disisshuey says:

    I use to loop my scrunchy around my hair lots of times because I was afraid that it would slip out. But after that, when I went to take it off, my scalp would hurt like hell. So I stopped doing that because I learned it really stressed your head out and you could end up with headaches from that. So it turns out you should only loop it around 2 times….

  3. gwendifierce says:

    still haven’t learned anything. lol. i have super oily roots and the rest is frizzy & dry. half-up do’s are my friend. ;)

  4. Christina says:

    It’s (thankfully!) not a recent lesson, but the best thing I ever learned about caring for my curly hair was to NOT brush it!

    A wide-toothed comb while wet? Great. Brush while dry? No!

    Christina´s last blog post..Casey Goes Home

  5. Citrine says:

    I used to always stick with normal drugstore shampoo I thought they are all the same but now (I still got them from drugstore) I switched to those sodium laureth sulfate free ones and just realized that it was because of the SLS why my hair always got so itchy at the end of the day…

    And now I can get away of not using conditioner (too lazy) and my hair doesn’t tangle up afterward.

    Citrine´s last blog post..Tinted Lip Balm Comparison

  6. xtina says:

    Not to use too much conditioner!

  7. Redhead says:

    1. I learned NEVER to fight my natural corkscrew curls with the straightener. It takes two hours to dry and then straighten, then another half hour to mak esure it STAYS straight for more than 5 minutes. Having said that, that last procedure does work..it stays straight for 30 minutes, which IS longer than 5! ;)
    2. If other girls with trendy, flat, boring hair tell you your hair would be SO much prettier straight, DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM. I went on for years trying everything to get my hair straight and smooth, and it never worked. Now, I love my curls and I get compliments on my hair ALL the time!
    3. Red hair is rare. Keep it, and never dye it – the occasional few-and-far-between little bit of highlights are OK, but never do more than few streaks or you will RUIN your hair. I have red corkscrews and I will never change them.
    4. Simply changing your part to the side makes such a difference! A while ago, I had a boring middle part and my hair was one symmetrical length. Then I got side bangs and parted my hair to the side, and MAN, what a difference it made! I thought I wouldn’t do this because it would only show off my tall forehead, but *boy*, was I wrong!

  8. Christa says:

    Not to wash every day. I have better hair in my 30′s (when it’s supposed to be getting more dry) than I did in my 20′s.

    Oh, and we’re totally overlooking perms right? Because that’s the original hair sin.

  9. Redhead says:

    Christina, I TOTALLY agree with you on the “Do not brush curls while dry” rule! I have SUPER tight corkscrew curls, but since my hair is so thick, long and abundant, I tend not to use a less sturdy comb. I use a large, plastic-bristled paddle brush while my hair is fully wet after dispersing some Garnier Sleek and Shine Leave-in Conditioning Cream – this stuff works MIRACLES! It turns dry, undefined, frizzy curls into smooth, shiny, moisturized, defined BEAUTIFUL curls.

  10. lexi says:

    the basics – don’t wash your hair everyday, use a wide tooth comb to get tangles out and distribute product evenly when hair is wet…don’t split the split ends in your hair no matter how tempted and bored you are!

  11. sarahPUFFY! says:

    I don’t use shampoo at all. The only time I use shampoo when when I relax my hair (every 2 months). Once or twice a week, I massage a deep conditioner into my hair, leave it in overnight, and I’ll wash it out when I wake up in the morning. I let my hair air dry, then I blow dry it to get any kinks out. If I have something special coming up, like a choir performance or an interview, I’ll straighten it. Otherwise, I don’t touch it at all. I throw on my hat and go on about my merry way. Once, I didn’t touch it for so long, that my hair became totally virgin all over again. THAT was a trip.

    sarahPUFFY!´s last blog post..Her Best Kept Secret – MAC Flammable Paint

  12. Kate & Zena says:

    Lessons I’ve Learned About Caring for My Hair:

    1. It’s pointless to shampoo every other day. I have genetically oily, fine hair so not shampooing every day is not an option. Nobody likes hair that looks like an OPEC oil reserve. I use Aussie’s line nearly exclusively as it’s the only line that hasn’t caused my hair to fall out or damage it from daily use.

    2. Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo is a fine haired girl’s best friend. That stuff gets rid of build-up like nothing else.

    3. Only if I feel like fighting my hair tooth and nail should I curl it. I’ve tried it all and the curl still comes out within the hour. I even have a ceramic curling iron. I typically try to do it for Christmas and concerts but it takes lots of product it’s not even worth it it seems.

    4. Teasing, Backcombing, whatever you call it, it’s not good for my hair.

    5. Coloring my hair is just not meant for me. Even permanent color comes out in three months as I use an anti-residue and cleanse-and-mend shampoos. It costs a lot of money too. So, it’s time to throw in the towel and stay my natural dark brunette hair.

    6. The best thing I’ve learned is not using heat products all the time. Even if I just hair-dry my hair twice in a week, my hair just doesn’t look as shiny and look as healthy as it usually does when I air-dry it. I basically put a brush through it when I wake up and maybe put it up but not always.

  13. Stacie says:

    I’m with Christina–I only use a wide tooth comb to detangle my hair after I wash it. Other than that, no brushing! All it does is separate the curls and create a mass of frizz! I had to learn this on my own–when I was growing up, my mom always brushed my hair, and then we would try to find products to reduce the frizz. None of my friends had curly hair, so no help there. The crazy thing? My mom’s hair is curly, but it’s a different texture than mine, I guess, since she manages to brush her hair without getting frizz!

  14. For my type of hair, the less I wash it, the healthier it is. When I do wash it, I use Nuetrogena T-Sal Shampoo (It has salicyclic acid in it to get rid of build up, and I use it because I have a sensitive scalp that itches with any other regular shampoos with perfumes, etc) just on the scalp, and use a salon conditioner for damaged hair (it’s the most moisturizing) on the rest of my hair (avoiding the scalp) and let it sit for a few minutes.

    And once you dye it, it’s very hard to get back to your natural hair color. Even if it’s just highlights close to your natural color, you’ll still have visible roots after a month and will need to go back in/do them yourself if you want to get rid of them. I’m a natural dirty blonde, dyed it dark brunette, and am gradually highlighting it. but now because of the highlights my roots are darker and it actually looks like i’m a natural brunette. It’s a weird long process and it kind of feels like you can never stop!

    Little Thoughts, Lovely Things´s last blog post..Makeup: NYX Round Lipsticks

  15. Kailey says:

    never blowdry without Fredric Fekkai hair glossing cream in.
    It totally makes my hair soft and smooth vs dry and brittle.
    Oh, and wash your hair everyday, even if you only get a wee bit of oil in your hair.
    Oil buildup is just dayum ugly.

  16. Lauren says:

    I learned to stop touching my hair once it dried, so I didn’t mess up the structure of the curl.

    I’ve also learned to just accept my curls and not heat-style as much. Air drying is best.

    I also know now that I shouldn’t go to bed with my hair wet, because it ends up all over the place and it just isn’t attractive. :)

    And, when I do want to straighten it, it looks the best when I blowdry it beforehand with a round brush, for the most volume.

  17. lesley says:

    This might sound kind of weird, but my hair stylist once told me not to wash out all the conditioner from my hair, why? Because conditioner has a lot of the same ingredients that many hair styling products contain and by leaving some of your conditioner in your hair you help with its manageability. It has worked for me, long or short hair, most especially since I started using the Creme de Coco Shampoo and Conditioner :)

  18. Glosslizard says:

    I learned that putting my hair up in a top-knot/high pony-tail while air-drying overnight gives me tons o’ volume! Unfortunately, I think it may also be giving me a bit of breakage around the front roots, so I may have to start blow-drying from time to time to keep healthy! Weird, eh?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Glosslizard,

      Hmm, what do you use to put your hair up? I know it sounds dorky, but sometimes I use an old school scrunchie. It looks AWFUL but it works and doesn’t cause breakage.

  19. I color my hair every 7-9 weeks so I use a color protecting shampoo and conditioner and stay away form the cheap and crappy stuff. I spend way too much on color to have it stripped away from bad shampoo!

    I have been told a lot about not washing my hair every day, but the fact is, I use a lot of product and it’s fine so it’s just tooo greasy to not wash every day. I blow dry and flat iron every day also but my hair is super healthy and shiny! I am really lucky to have strong hair because I sure have put it through the wringer the last 20 years! :)

    Vampy Varnish´s last blog post..Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Polish

  20. ines says:

    1. get regular trims.
    2. don’t shampoo every day – shampoo if hair starts looking icky or if scalp itches. usually about 2-4 times a week, depending on weather and activity.
    3. if it’s the summer and i just absolutely HAVE to wash it, i skip the shampoo, rinse with water and use a lighter conditioner every day so it’s not weighed down.
    4. once a week, i comb monoi oil through my strands, braid, and wash it out in the morning at the END of my shower. grapeseed and coconut oils work too.
    5. avoid heat stylers. i prefer to let it air dry with a pea sized lump of frederic fekkai glossing creme combed through it. if it’s TOO frizzy, i add a drop of john frieda frizz ease.

  21. Christina says:

    Lauren, it’s funny that you say you don’t go to bed with wet hair… because for my curly hair, that’s the BEST! If I do that, I have frizz-free ringlets down my back, versus [air-drying] during the day, which produces too much volume and a halo of frizzies.

    Part of it is probably just natural differences in hair, but I wonder if local climate could be part of it, too…? I live in the South, where humidity is definitely an issue.

    Christina´s last blog post..Casey Goes Home

    • Karen says:

      Hi Christina,

      My hair does well when I go to sleep with it kinda wet, too. It seems to have more body and the curls look more pronounced.

  22. Karen B says:

    Use a good shampoo and conditioner (especially with coloured hair, it makes such a big difference!).
    I try to let it air-dry as much as possible and don’t fight those few curls I have at the front. They’re cute (I have finally convinced myself… hehe)

  23. Kelley says:

    1. Don’t blow dry more than once or twice a week.
    2. Leave in conditioners can be your best friend or they can make your hair terribly limp. Use them wisely!!
    3. Don’t shampoo every day – or every other day if your hair doesn’t need it.
    4. And last but not least, my favorite tip, that I learned on Makeup and Beauty Blog, is to “wash” using conditioner – this has made such a difference in my hair when it is really dry and crunchy.

    Thanks for an awesome blog (that I visit at least twice a day!) and for such great tips and tricks.

  24. mukho says:

    To love it as it is, and not go lusting after curls and straighteners :)

  25. Liliana says:

    ALWAYS,ALWAYS USE HEAT PROTECTING PRODUCTS FOR YOU HAIR BEFORE FLAT IRONING IT

  26. Dao says:

    The lesson I learn about hair almost has nothing to do with it: eat properly! In 9th grade, I got sick and loss a whole lot of hair and in order for it to grow back, I needed biotin and other vitamins (vit. K and H, if I remember correctly!) Took me 3 months to get my hair back and I’m glad for it.

    Dao´s last blog post..Some Coupon Codes for Ya!

  27. Alexandria says:

    Best hair tip of all time is wrapping my hair at night in a silk scarf. I haven’t had a trim since November and my ends are still perfect. I take down the scarf in the morning, and my hair is just as gorgeous as before I put it up. It has totally cut my hair styling time in half.

  28. Sammie says:

    When I finish washing my hair, I blast it with a jet of ice cold water =)

  29. Sammie says:

    Oh, whoops. I forgot to say why: it makes hair shinier!

  30. Kelley says:

    Hey Karen. Lately I’ve been using the Loreal line for color treated hair that is available at CVS. It is called Moisture Therapy I think, or something along those lines, and has a scent reminiscent of Aveda’s rosemary/mint shampoo and conditioner. I noticed that my hair color was fading really fast when I was using Ojon products – love what they did to my hair before I started coloring it, but hated what they did to my hair after I started coloring it!!! So far so good with the Loreal line! Which reminds me, I must recolor soon! And again, love love LOVE your new haircut!!!

  31. Bethany says:

    Great thread. My hairstylist/therapist (LOL!) has a DVD all about teaching women how to blow dry their hair. It was sooooooooo helpful. Some tips I got from it were 1) Don’t wrap your hair in a towel when you get out of the shower (that is, if you are going to blow-dry your hair). She says the cotton absorbs all of the moisture causes the hair to remember “frizz.” 2) Here’s something I never knew before… you can re-blow dry DRY hair. You don’t have to wet it. I learned so much and finally know what the heck I’m doing w/ my hair (ya think I woulda figured it out after 38 years, eh?). oh, and what the heck the COLD SHOT is for on the blow dryer. She also showed me about Moroccan Oil. That stuff is DA BOMB!
    ~~B.

  32. penelope says:

    i learned the same thing as you keren. never use heat on your hair everyday…all it does is damage it

  33. Advah says:

    For those with curly hair:

    Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch, and when you think you’re done, scrunch some more.

    I tried the “no poo”/Curly Girl method but my hair apparently likes a bit of dryness, so now I’m back to washing my hair with SLS-free shampoo (although I use half shampoo-half conditioner) every 3 days. Burt’s Bees shampoos are great!

    What matters isn’t so much the styling products, but how you apply them – scrunch on dripping damp hair, then scrunch with an old t-shirt instead of using a towel to dry it a bit. Once your hair’s completely dry, if it’s a bit crunchy, just rub the tiniest amount of jojoba/coconut oil or even shea butter between your hands, and scrunch the crunch out. I wish I’d figured that out years ago!

  34. Advah says:

    Christina,

    If the dew point where you live is high (check the dew point, not the humidity), try applying some KY jelly (yep, the personal lub.). Use the plain, water-based kind and apply it to damp hair. If you use gel, put it afterwards since KY will get rid of the frizz but won’t hold the curls.

    Anything glycerin-based will work well in *dry* weather.

  35. Sal says:

    Two tips that have stayed with me through the years:
    - quick rinse hair in COLD water right at the end of a shower before getting out
    - when hair is 70% dry, a few drops of babyoil evenly spread through the ‘ponytail’ bit of hair- kinda the same place you’d apply conditioner.
    no blowdrying- never got split ends and my hair was past my bum :)

  36. bembet says:

    coconut oil!my folks are so into it.i remember my late grandmother using it on her long,long hair.i use virgin coco oil now.i take 2 tablespoons a day and i put just a bit on my hair every night.the best!also i stopped coloring my hair and embraced my natural midnight black hair.

  37. Michele says:

    My hair is very, very very curly. so that means I have every curly hair product ever made. Do they all work? Nah. But.I have learned not to use too much. A lil dab il do ya. And also, mixing a non- frizz serum with some mousse really does the trick. And one more thing, let my hair air dry a little first, then apply products. For a special night like a wedding, I get a blow dry. Sometimes people don’t even know who I am:)
    Michele

  38. Michele says:

    i use cocoanut oil in the summer too!
    Michele

  39. Leeng says:

    1. Regular trims (6-8 wks) keep my hair looking healthy;
    2. Not using hair color all over my hair. I cover any gray by only coloring twirled sections of my hair that contain gray. My natural color is a very dark black with chocolate highlights and I use a very dark chocolate brown (no red but some gold) to color my grays resulting in very natural looking and very subtle highlights;
    3. Deep conditioning once a month – either virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil.
    4. Going to bed with wet hair and using a very absorbent towel on my pillow allows me to eliminate the blowdryer from my hair routine. In the morning, my hair is dry and it takes me only 1/2 hour to flat iron (my hair is naturally wavy with some frizz).
    5. The Karen technique of washing with conditioner is a great tip and has really improved the look and feel of my hair.

  40. Susan S. says:

    Good stuff. Washing with conditioner? Hmmm. I’ll try it. I’m curious about the DVD Bethany’s stylist created. Sounds like something I’ve been dying for… Especially since my stylist refused to just move in and fix my hair every morning.

  41. Bethany says:

    Hey Susan, I just saw your post from last month. My stylist’s DVD is on Amazon. It’s called Now You Know How to Blowdry Your Hair. Her name is Kimberly Clo and she is a total blow dry guru! (I know how you feel about wishing the stylist would just move in with you! LOL! If only Kimberly wasn’t allergic to cats! haha.) She also has a website: http://www.NowYouKnowHow.com. I also bought an Olivia Garden oval brush from there which is great. I’m just so proud of her. She says on her forum if you have any hair questions just ask her. (Of course, I just ask when I’m in her chair.) Good luck Susan!

  42. Michele says:

    Yeh! Ditto On reply # 48 I am still doing the same ol’ thing. Not too much shampooing. cononut oil. love that stuff. Not too much product. don’t over do it. don’t shampoo every day. For curly hair your natural oils need to come through and shine. Presently I amusing the ‘oreal Everpure Line. I am not totally in love, yet. They are, on my fierst response, a little drying.And curly girls do not need that>
    Happy Wednesday!
    Michele

  43. fitness girl says:

    I thought hair ironing my hair can make my hair a little bit straighter,,but im wrong it become dry and frizzy.The worst now is i have dandruff lol,,,so depress how to take care of my hair i tried many shampoo.

  44. antonella says:

    castor oil before you go to bed.morning after washoff.split ends meds

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