Do the Right ThingTaking care of our hair is not a "one size fits all" approach. I'm someone who loves to change up my look. While I'll admit that I don't change it drastically, I'm known to rotate a few different hairstyles and textures from time to time. Wearing your hair in different hairstyles and textures is fun and exciting, but it's important to remember haircare comes first. Much like skincare and makeup, a beautiful hairstyle is achieved and enhanced with healthy hair. The best way to maintain the health of your hair is by finding the best hair treatment for your hair type and texture and then remaining consistent. Hair treatments are like shoes. So many options, but you can only choose on treatment that best suits your goals. The best way to determine which hair treatment is best for you is first to consider your current hair type and identify your hair goals. Are you trying to grow out a bad haircut? Maybe you're starting over to return to your natural hair texture. Or are you trying to rock a beautiful new hair color with as little damage as possible? We're all on a unique hair journey, but the good news is that there is a hair treatment suitable for every hair issue and type.
Treatments for Naturally Straight HairStraight hair is considered hair that is the easiest to maintain. That assumption could not be further from the truth. All hair comes with its own set of challenges, and naturally, straight hair is no exception. Most women with straight hair still need to help of a little heat to add volume and tame fly-away hair. What you don't realize is that even if your hair is naturally straight, you can still suffer from heat damage. Heat damage occurs when your hair has endured either too much heat or heat at the wrong temperate.
Diagnosis: Heat DamageSo, how do you know if your hair has heat damage? If you've noticed that your ends are suddenly straggly or split or if you've seen breakage and the inability for your hair to maintain a hairstyle, you're likely dealing with heat damaged hair. Unfortunately, heat damage is permanent is only repaired by cutting off the damaged strands all at once or by gradually trimming off the damaged hair. Either way, the only way to address hair that has been damaged by heat is with a sharp pair of shears. The good news is that there are treatments and products on the market that can adequately address your heat damage.
The Remedy: Keratin TreatmentsAside from a trim, your next best option to combat heat damage is by pumping up your protein treatments (Check out this article: protein treatment for hair). Heat breaks down the protein bonds in our hair which results in heat damage. Keratin is a type of protein that is in our hair that can also be applied to help fight existing and future damage.
Keratin Complex Infusion Therapy Infusion Keratin ReplenisherThis leave-in product is great for replenishing and balancing your hairs moisture while also infusing it with keratin to help reduce frizz and protect from the damaging use of heat. This leave-in retails for around $40 at Ulta Beauty Store.
OGX Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo and ConditionerIf you're on a budget but still want amazing results, try this shampoo and conditioner by OGX to give your hair a boost of keratin. This shampoo and conditioner duo have a blend of hydrolyzed keratin and coca nut oils that will leave your hair softer and stronger without breaking the bank. This product retails for less than ten $10 at Ulta Beauty Stores.
Treatments for Chemically Relaxed HairWearing natural hair has become so popular that many of us have forgotten that there are women who still choose to relax their hair chemically. I remember when my hair was relaxed, I believed that just because my hair had shine and body that it was healthy and didn't need any additional treatments. I was wrong. A professional stylist is gifted and trained to make your hair look good despite its current state. However, chemically treating your hair does not automatically make it damaged. Chemical treatments are a damaging process, but with the right products and regimen, you can keep your hair beautiful and healthy.
The Diagnosis: Dull HairThe process of chemically relaxing your hair requires the cuticles on your hair shaft to open. And for the relaxing product to deposit and permanently alter the texture of your hair so that the hair shaft lays straight when wet and dry. The cuticles of our hair are what contributes to our shine and luster. You need to incorporate a treatment that will infuse nutrients back into your hair shaft so that each strand shines on its own.
The Remedy: Hot Oil TreatmentsFor many of us, hot oil treatments are nostalgic and bring back memories of getting our hair styled as children. The heat during the treatment opens the cuticle of your hair to allow the oils to penetrate and work their magic. Oils carry essential elements that can penetrate our hair shaft and infuse nourishment and the vitamins our hair needs to thrive in between chemical relaxers.
Coconut OilYou've probably already heard of all the fantastic benefits that coconut oil provides to our skin, hair, and food! I won't spend time telling you what you already know, but I will share some of the top benefits coconut oil has on our hair and why it needs to be the main ingredient in your next hot oil treatment. The coconut oils incredible feature is its ability to be both a moisturizing oil and a protein treatment. With this oil, you'll get a double dose of strength and moisture. Secondly, coconut oil is the oil that keeps on giving. That means that you probably won't need to use it on a weekly basis, as it's a heavier oil and its benefits will last on your hair longer than other oils.
Almond OilI love coconut oil, but it's just too heavy for my fine hair, so I opt to use almond oil instead. Almond oil has many of the same benefits as coconut oil, but it's also great for adding shine to dull hair and helping your hair retain moisture long term. Almond oil has Vitamin E which is a great protector from the sun and other harmful environmental elements. If you spend much of your time with your hair exposed to the outdoor elements, you'll want to add this oil to your next hot oil treatment. To learn more about different oils, you can use in your hot oil treatments, read The Essential Oils Your Hair Needs to Stay Healthy.
Treatments for Textured HairIf I were Forrest Gump, I'd say that textured hair is like a box of chocolates, "You never know what you're gonna get." There are so many categories (and sub-categories) of textured hair that it will make your head spin! The biggest misconception about textured hair is that it's difficult to manage. I had this same assumption when I transition from relaxed back to my naturally kinky coily hair. I soon learned that just like straight hair, textured hair also comes with its own set of issues and concerns. Thankfully, with the popularity of wearing textured hair, there is a hair treatment on the market to address each one.
Naturally Textured HairIf your hair is naturally textured that means that you haven't applied any chemical to it to alter it. It's hard to get bored with your natural hair because there are so many different styles that you can wear to achieve different looks. However, if you've noticed that your curls have fallen limp and your hair has become harder to detangle, then it's probably time to consider a hair treatment to ease your process. Let's break down each hair texture category and examine common hair issues and the best treatment for each.
Treatments Wavy HairWavy hair is the love child of straight hair and curly hair. This texture is stunning and straightens easily. However, your waves can become frizzy, and your ends will look wiry and unkempt. There was once a time when finding the best treatment to address wavy hair concerns was nearly impossible because the texture was not straight nor curly. The best treatment for wavy hair is a product that can infuse moisture an tame your waves without weighing down your hair.
The Diagnosis: The Double AgentIt's not easy living a double life, and those with wavy hair can surely attest to this. Some days your hair wants to be on the straighter side, and other days it wants to stand out from the crowd. Things like humidity and drying heat tools don't help your hairs' inability to identify itself consistently.
The Remedy: Lightweight Nourishing TreatmentsThe last thing you want to do with wavy hair is forced it to choose. The beauty of this texture is that you can quickly go from straight to textured with minimal effort. The secret is finding a lightweight product that can roll with the punches right along with you.
Living Proof Restore Mask TreatmentThis treatment is a lightweight mask that is potent enough to nourish your hair but light enough not to defy too much gravity. Since it's a treatment, it's not for daily use. To live your best hair life, replace your usual conditioner with the Living Proof Restore Mask up to twice a week and allow it to sit for about five minutes before rinsing. You can find this mask at Sephora for about $13.
Kiehl's Magic Elixir Hair Restructuring Concentrate with Rosemary Leaf and AvocadoThe only thing complicated about this treatment is its name. Don't let appearances fool you, this oil-based elixir works wonders on fine, thin hair and can surely get down into the nook and crannies of your texture without weighing it down. This product needs to be used once or twice a week before you shampoo. The ingredient list is packed with powerful players like Avocado oil to infuse some protein back into your hair and Safflower oil to hydrate and add shine to your locks. You can order this treatment directly from the Kiehl's website (www.kiehls.com) for $20.
Treatments for Curly HairThere are few textures more exciting than curly hair! Curly hair is a lively texture that offers a wide range of versatility. The biggest misconception surrounding curly hair is that you can "wash n' go!" Don't mistake the hair styling pet name for a detailed, and often, lengthy process. Many curly girls know that to achieve perfect ringlets, you need a few holy grail products, a flawless technique, and reliable treatment.
The Diagnosis: FrizzTo achieve the perfect curls, you've got to be a master at fighting frizz. Any curly girl will tell you that frizzy is the culprit of a bad hair day. Some women have come to accept that frizz is a way of life. And while we can't eliminate all frizz, there are some great hair treatments on the market to help manage what Mother Nature gave us.
The Remedy: Control TreatmentsWhen we think of curly hair, we often think of hair that is wild and free. However, to achieve the carefree look, it's typically necessary to perform a treatment that helps keep those spirals in check.
DiffuserSure, a diffuser is a hair tool, but when your hair can take upon a life of its own, a diffuser becomes a style saving treatment. What makes diffusers so impressive is that they dry your curls without disturbing their natural shape. What makes drying with a diffuser more like a hair treatment is that your curls can last up to two weeks if dried properly. It's important to remember that a diffuser is a heat tool, so it's essential that you use a heat protectant and the correct heat setting for your hair. A favorite diffuser is a DevaFuser Diffuser found at Ulta for $50.
Protein TreatmentOur hair is made up of protein, and over time those proteins are broken down by styling, heat, and other harmful products we use. While all hair needs a boost of protein, curly hair requires regular protein treatments to keep those curls popping. Try Ouidad Deep Treatment Curl Restoration Therapy. This treatment only needs to be applied once or twice a month. For best results, wear a heat cap or sit under a hooded dryer to activate the amino acids and essential oils like Black Currant and Jojoba Seed Oil.
Treatments for Coily HairWelcome to my neck of the woods! The wonderful world of coily hair. Much like wavy hair, coily hair is a hybrid of curly and kinky hair. While there are many different types of coils, a typical coily pattern is for the strand to be frizzy toward the roots and form a small spiral – or coil at midshaft until the ends of the hair. One thing us coily girls have in common is a need for moisture!
The Diagnosis: Moisture TreatmentsBecause coily hair is tight, it's difficult for moisture to penetrate the density of our hair as well as travel down the hair shaft. Another reason why coily hair types have a hard time retaining moisture is that kinkier hair types typically have low or high or low hair porosity. Your hairs porosity depends on if the cuticles of your hair stay closed (low) or stay open (high). To learn more about hair porosity, read my article, 7 Big Styling Mistakes for Breakage-Prone Hair.
The Remedy: Moisturizing TreatmentsDryness is a big issue for this hair texture, and while there are products that offer temporary hydration, it's imperative that we moisturize our hair from the inside out. It seems as if there are a plethora of moisturizing products on the market to address dry hair issues. However, those of us who suffer from dryness know that there are only a select few that deliver on their promises. An effective moisturizing treatment will keep your hair soft and manageable for the days to come.
Hair SteamingSteaming is a great way not to increase how well your hair retains moisture. Hair steaming is a treatment that uses steam to open the hair follicles so that moisture and nutrients absorb better into your hair shaft. Steaming is great for all hair types but works exceptionally well for coily hair because of how difficult it is for our hair texture to retain moisture. Keep in mind that steaming your hair is not a hit-it-and-quit-it treatment. When you begin consistently steaming your hair, you will notice that the overall condition of your hair will improve. Professional grade hair steamers are not a cheap buy. If you can't find a salon near you that offers the treatment, then you can pick up a similar version from Walmart for about $65.
Deep ConditionersIt may sound like I'm repeating myself but hair steaming and deep conditioning are not the same treatments. The two can be used in conjunction however it's crucial for coily-haired girls never to skip a deep conditioner. Deep conditioners deeply penetrate the hair shaft and deposit essential nutrients that help repair and fortify the hair. A great deep conditioner for coily hair is the Ouidad Curl Immersion Triple Treat Deep Conditioner. This conditioner has magical ingredients such as coconut, grapeseed, and avocado oils. You can purchase this conditioner for less than $40 at Ulta Beauty Stores.
Treatments for Kinky HairKinky hair is the texture that can often be confusing. On the first impression, kinky hair looks as if it's coarse and unruly. But in reality, this texture of hair is delicate and very fragile. Kinky hair is viewed as cloudy and lacking a defined curl or wave pattern. Those with kinky hair might also have some of the same concerns as those with coily hair. Kinky-haired beauties can also identify with wavy hair in that it can be difficult to tame. However, unlike both of those textures, kinky hair has a level of fragility that can lead to some severe breakage if not treated correctly.
The Diagnosis: FragilityThose with kinky hair must be mindful of the hair tools they use as this hair type is extremely fragile and will succumb to breakage. For those who have kinky hair, there are threats everywhere. Combs, brushes, sleeping without a satin cap, and even using the wrong hair products will all lead to split ends and unwanted breakage throughout your hair. That's why isn't so important to treat kinky hair to keep it soft and flexible.
The Remedy: Elasticity TreatmentsElasticity is what keeps our hair from breaking under pressure. If your hair is lacking flexibility, then you likely suffer from snapping and breaking when applying heat or even doing something as harmless as pulling your hair into a ponytail. Fortunately, there are products and treatments on store shelves that can provide us with what our DNA didn't give us. Read my article, "Is it Too Late to Improve Your Hair Elasticity" to learn more about how to care for your fragile hair.
Ouidad Curl Recovery Melt-Down Extreme Repair MaskThere is a reason why I repeat Ouidad products in this article – they work! While I don't have kinky hair, this is one of my favorite elasticity treatments since beginning my natural hair journey. What's better is that I've seen women of all races with all different hair textures use this one product and everyone's hair came out gorgeous! The key to getting excellent results from this product is to follow the directions for use very carefully. You can grab a jar from Sephora Stores for around $40.
Aphogee Curlific Texture TreatmentIf you seek an affordable alternative that will give you surprising results, then try out this texture treatment by Aphogee. This product is equipped with Pumpkin oil and Shea butter and ready to protect your hair from splitting and breakage while improving your elasticity. Grab a jar from your local Walmart for less than $8.
Treatments for Color-Treated HairWhat's more exciting than rocking a fresh new hair color? Hair color brings out a whole other part of your personality and often helps you transition through the seasons. But, despite your hair texture, hair color can run its toll on the health of your hair. Hair coloring is achieved by chemically lifting the cuticles of your hair shaft then depositing the color into the shaft of your hair. Hair bleaching adds another step by lifting your natural hair color before you can deposit your desired hue. All this processing will wear your hair down.
The Diagnosis: Over-Processed HairEven if your color has been done by a professional, it's still a rigorous process that requires a little TLC to bounce. Like relaxed hair, hair that has been chemically processed can become thin, break, and thin out over time. It's vital that all of your chemical treatments are done by a licensed professional. You want to avoid any adverse effects as well as address any immediate concerns that could come up from using the chemical. Once your color is done by a professional, there are things you can do at home to take care of your hair in between touchups.
The Remedy: Intensive Strengthening TreatmentsIf you want your hair to thrive under your color, then you'll need to incorporate a strengthening treatment into your weekly regimen. Your hair may be healthy underneath your color but keep in mind that your hair is more susceptible to damage. Try one of these treatments to keep your locks in tip-top shape.
Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3If you spend any amount of time on Instagram, then you have probably heard of the hype surrounding this treatment. Olaplex is precisely what your hair needs to sustain its strength. This treatment works on all hair types and can be used up to three times per week. Use it before you condition, and you'll start to see results immediately. You can purchase a bottle from Sephora Stores for under $30.
Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring TreatmentThis treatment contains quinoa protein to deliver a strengthening treatment to keep your colored hair popping! Use the product after shampooing only twice weekly to allow the ingredients to work on any weak spots and reinforce them back to health. This product is one of my staple products because its plant-based and a little goes a long way. You can purchase it directly from the Aveda website (www.aveda.com) for $39.
Your Personal BestTo have a head full of healthy and beautiful hair, you'll need a great regimen complete with cleansers, conditioners, leave-in products and the best treatments for your hair type. It's best to take the time and assess the current condition of your hair and then compare that to where you would like the health of your hair to be. Make sure that you're checking back to the PLE blog often for more hair care tips and tricks. Leave a comment below and share what your favorite hair treatment.
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