Chances are, if you are a female you can benefit from this info. All of us are guilty at one time or another of using too much shampoo or conditioner and wasting our money, or tearing through our hair when it’s wet and causing breakage. The small efforts you make at home can dramatically affect the condition of your hair. Salon quality shampoo and conditioner are certainly worth the extra cost when it comes to the health of your hair, but it’s still important to maximize their value by following a good at-home regimen.

1. Brush or pick your hair BEFORE you get in the shower. If you start out with tangle-free locks, you’ll have a much better chance of having a lot fewer later… This also helps to break up the oils at your scalp, which is the REAL reason you are shampooing.

2. Try to shampoo every two to three days. Most of us do not have the oil production at our scalps to really warrant daily cleansing. This doesn’t mean that you can’t rinse through it and massage your scalp thoroughly to break up the oils. A happy side effect of cutting out some shampoos is that your haircolor lasts longer because it’s not being washed out as often.

3. Use your shampoo and conditioner sparingly. Really think about it… how small is an individual hair? How much product do you think it realistically needs? Shampoo doesn’t need to reach the lathering point to clean your hair. REMEMBER: Cleanse Your Scalp, Condition Your Ends. If you use a lot of styling products, or if you use any oily products designed to control frizz, you should include a purifying shampoo every one or two weeks. And if you have highly processed hair, like heavily-highlighted or permed, it’s a very good idea to follow a purifying shampoo with either a moisture mask or a protein mask (see recipes below).

TIP: Keep a pick (and a detangling product if you have thick or long or curly hair) in the shower. The pick is a few bucks and makes a big difference in how much conditioner you perceive that you need. Use a quarter of the amount that you usually use. Pick through, starting at the ends and working up the hair to your scalp. If you run across any tangles, DON’T TEAR THROUGH THEM! Hair is only about a third as strong when it’s wet and you could easily cause breakage and split ends.

4. Be gentle when towel-drying. Gather your hair into the towel and give it a good squeeze. If you rub your hair vigorously with a towel, you not only cause knots in the hair, you rough up its outer layer, the cuticle, which is composed of little layers that resemble fish scales. A cuticle that lies flat is soft and reflects light. A cuticle that is raised up allows hair to tangle on itself, moisture to escape and color to fade. It also doesn’t have a reflective surface, so it appears dull instead of shiny.

Many of us are searching for that miracle product that will allow us to have beautiful, healthy-looking hair. Some products out there are truly amazing in their ability to repair and recondition, but a lot can be done at home by just changing your mind-set and technique. This will add more good hair days to your year, and who wouldn’t want more of those?

RESCUE MASKS FOR DRY, DAMAGED HAIR

Yogurt Hair Mask For Fine Hair
Separate an egg and beat the white until it’s foamy. Mix with 6 tablespoons of natural yogurt. Massage into the hair and leave for 15 – 30 minutes. Wash out with a very mild shampoo and tepid water.

Banana Smoothie Mask For Normal Hair
Mix 1 mashed banana, 1 full egg, 3 tablespoons of honey, 3 tablespoons of milk and 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Make sure it’s well combined and then apply to hair. Leave for 15 – 30 minutes and wash out with a mild shampoo.

Olive Oil Hair Mask For Coarse, Wiry Hair
Whisk up 5 tablespoons of olive oil – it doesn’t matter which sort – with 2 full eggs. Massage thoroughly into your hair and then cover it with plastic wrap or a shower hat. Your body heat will help the oil to penetrate. Leave for a minimum of 30 minutes and then shampoo out, rinsing well.