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Liz Thompson
Liz Thompson

Bad Hair Month

If you'll be my star

Creative Commons License Photo credit: [nati]

'Tis the season to be jolly!  So, why does your hair so often act like Scrooge himself this time of year?  Drier climates and indoor heating do not help, but more frequent going out, thus more styling, could also be to blame. 

Our hair, though seemingly resilient and elastic, is fragile and should be handled with care.  Frequent washing, blow drying and styling with drying products and heated tools can take a massive toll on locks and leave you looking more glum than glam.

Adding more moisture to the hair can help to keep static and flyaways in check, but since the outside of the hair strand itself is actually made up of dead layers, this will not help in the long term.  Moisturizing the scalp and stimulating hair growth is what will make your hair shinier, more manageable and healthier. 

The best place to start is to shampoo less often and make sure the product you are using to cleanse your hair is safe and gentle.  Most conventional shampoos are made up of harsh detergents, petroleum-derived silicones and synthetic preservatives.  Other ingredients to avoid are sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, cocoamide diethanolamine (DEA) and ammonium laureth sulfate.

On to product usage.  If you are shampooing less frequently you won't be needing styling products as often either.  When you do use them be sure the product moisturizes and nourishes, as well as provides hold for your style.  Ever notice how products claiming they will add volume to fine, limp hair often do the exact opposite?  This is because most of these products are filled with silicones that simply coat the hair, weighing it down and leaving it greasy-looking and lifeless.  If you are conditioning hair with the proper product you shouldn’t need much more product for styling.

Now, about those heated styling tools.  Blow dryers, curling irons and the super popular flat iron create breakage and dry the hair.  These should be used infrequently and on the lowest heat setting that will work for your hair.  There are other styling options.  If you have wavy hair add a light styling aid and try scrunching or twisting damp hair and let air dry.  The set is also making a comeback, as sited in the latest issue of Vogue magazine.  Simply set almost dry hair on rollers and allow to dry fully.  This is said to produce a full, smooth style without the use of heat, though you can't do this version in a hurry.  If you must use your blow dryer or flat iron, do so on a limited basis and try to make it last another day or two (ponytails are an easy and stylish alternative).  The bonus to this plan is; precious minutes shed from your get-ready time most mornings and, even more importantly, healthier, more gorgeous locks.  You and your hair will be much happier.

Though nontoxic hair care has not come as far as safe organic skincare and body products in performance, there are those making great strides.  Listed below are some products to get you off to a good start:

John Masters Organics Zinc & Sage Shampoo – Super gentle cleansing, leaves hair soft and shiny.

John Masters Organics Citrus & Neroli Detangler – Can be used as a conditioner and a leave-in, leaving hair soft and manageable with light control.

Hamadi Shea Hair Cream - The best for controlling frizz and enhancing curls and wave.

Hamadi Shea Pomade  - For shorter styles, adds extra hold and texture.

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