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Hair Care Routine

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Here are some basic things you can do to keep your hair healthy and looking good.

Develop a Hair Care Routine that fits your lifestyle, that you can stick to everyday.

1.  It is important to get your hair cut every 6 to 8 weeks.  Even if you are growing it long, you still need have the ends trimmed.

2.  Eat Healthy.  Maintaining a healty diet is essential to healthy hair.  As a side benefit, not only will you be gorgeous but healthy too.

3.  Preventing Damage.  Hair is 'dead', and we cannot permanently repair any damage that happens to it.  You only get one chance with your hair!  This is why it is so important to treat your hair properly, so as to prevent damage.  You need to choose the correct shampoo and conditioner for your hair type.
How are you to decide which is your hair type?

Your hair is normal if:
  • it is neither greasy nor dry
  • it has not been permed or color-treated
  • it holds its style well
  • it looks good and healthy most of the time
If your hair matches any of these criteria, you should choose a shampoo and conditioner that are designed for normal hair.
Your hair is fine or greasy (or perhaps both) if:
  • It tends to be limp
  • it looks flat and lacks volume
  • it is difficult to manage because it does not hold a style
  • it soon gets greasy again after shampooing
If you have hair of this kind, you will almost certainly have had problems with it.  You will know all about the way in which greasy hair clings to itself and to your scalp, how the excess oil weighs the hair down and spoils your style, and how dust sticks to the grease so that your hair seems to be dirty only a day or two after it has been washed.  You know that your hair's condition is due simply to your sebaceous glands being particularly active.  But you can help it to improve.

Remember, sebum produced by your scalp does not spread itself over your hair by magic, or out of spite!  It is spread by direct contact of the hair with your scalp. And something as simple as passing your fingers through your hair speeds up the transfer of the grease.  So, after you have styled your hair, avoid fingering it or running your fingers through it.  You can thus slow down the rate at which sebum collects on your hair, and it will not get greasy again quite so soon.

You should also wash your hair with a good cleansing shampoo specially designed for greasy hair, and use a special conditioner for greasy hair.  This will improve thefeel of hair that is greasy at the roots and dry at the tips, as well as protecting the hair from damage.
Your hair is dry if:
  • it looks dull
  • it feels dry or rough
  • it tangles easily
  • it has been treated chemically (permed, bleached or colored)
  • it is liable to split ends
  • it is dry and frizzy.
If your hair matches any of these criteria, you should choose a shampoo and conditioner that are designed for dry hair.

All these are just guidelines to help you choose the shampoo that is right for you.

People with hair and scalp problems like dandruff should choose shampoos that are specifically designed to treat their particular condition.

Washing your Hair

Some people like to wash their hair every day or even more often, and choose a 'frequent use' shampoo.  Most of today's shampoos are suitable for using as often as you could wish. This means that frequent users can choose products of the right type for their hair, and know that they can shampoo as often as they like.

 How often to wash?  There is no right answer.  How often you wash is a personal decision.  It depends on your on your work, your activities and your lifestyle.  It is not how often you wash your hair, but how you wash it, that causes the damage.  Hair is most fragile when it is wet.  Vigorous scrubing, improper combing, blow drying, will cause the hair to break.

 Everyone needs to wash their hair!  But perhaps because everyone does it so regularly and so often, it is easy to forget how much damage you can do to your hair just in the simple shampooing and drying that has to be done over and over again.  Here are some step-by-step guidelines for preventing unnecessary damage to your hair and keeping it healthy and shining.

How Not To Wash Your Hair..

..piling it up..on top of your head ... and over-vigorous rubbing ....leads to a mass of tangles!

About the right amount of shampoo for long or medium-length hair
Always rinse your hair under running water

... and keep on rinsing until it is absolutely clean
Washing your hair

1. Let your hair hang naturally while you wash it, either standing in the shower or with your head leaning over the bath.

2. Rinse your hair throughly with warm water to prepare it for shampooing.

3. Pour some shampoo into the palm of your hand. You will have to judge how much shampoo to use - you need enough to create a lather which will cover all of your hair.

4. Lather up the shampoo in your hand, and then apply it to your hair.  Starting from the scalp, work the shampoo into your hair by gentle but thorough massage with your fingertips.  Remember to keep your hair hanging naturally.

5. Rinse, letting the water run through your hair whilst you caress it downwards with your fingers.  Be careful not to rub your wet hair too fiercely, as it is at this stage that hair is very easily damaged by friction.

Conditioning your hair

1. Make sure that you have rinsed all the shampoo from your hair..

2. Pour some conditioner into the palm of your hand

3. Apply the conditioner to your hair and work it in gently but thoroughly with your fingertips - it must be spread evenly over your hair. Leave it to work for a minute or two.

4. Rinse off the conditioner, again allowing the water to run through your hair whilst you caress it gently downwards.  Again, be careful not to rub your wet hair. hair is very easily damaged by friction.

Drying hair correctly: again, don't pile it up, and don't rub it!
Gentle use of a wide-toothed comb prevents tangling and damage
More gentle combing: correctly washed and conditioned hair does not tangle
Almost done

Drying your hair

1. Using a clean, dry towel, carefully pat your hair dry.

2. While your hair is still damp, gently loosen out any tangles using a brush or a wide-toothed comb. Comb in downward strokes, starting near the tips and working your way upward towards the roots. This will help to keep the hair from splitting and breaking.

3. Apply a styling product such as a mousse or gel if you like, but don't use too much.

4. If possible, allow your hair to dry naturally.

Sometimes it may be impossible for you to find time to allow your hair to dry naturally, and you have to use a hair dryer.  If so, here are some tips about using a dryer:

5. Only use the dryer on damp, towel-dried hair. Don't blow-dry hair when it is dripping wet!

6. Use the dryer cautiously, on the lowest speed and the lowest heat setting.

7. Keep the dryer moving constantly over your whole head. Don't concentrate the heat in one spot, as this can dry out the moisture from your hair and even damage it permanently.

8. Always switch off the dryer before your hair is completely dry.

What we all aim for: smooth, healthy-looking hair that shines radiantly

End Notes, Credits and Resources

Images and portions of aticle reprinted from:
The World of Hair an on-line reference by Dr. John Gray, provided by the P&G Hair Care Research Center

Pantene Expert Styling Advice