We all desire soft, shiny and silky hair. However, several factors, such as hair grooming habits, poor hair care, illness, and poor nutrition, can make our hair look lackluster.
The major factors that make our hair look dull include; hair grooming habits, use of wrong or harsh hair products, age, use of hair dyes, poor nutrition, high mineral content in water, and illness.
There are basically two ways to attain soft shiny hair- the natural way and the chemical-induced way. The natural way (home remedies) is a long-term approach that would improve your hair structure in the years to come. The chemical-induced way is relatively instant but has more side effects and could lead to hair structural damage in the future.
Here are some good practices, to consider, if you want soft, shiny and silky hair;
- Always protect your hair from weather elements i.e. sun, wind, and rain. These elements could cause dirt buildup, hair drying and makes your hair susceptible to infections.
- Look closely at hair care products before purchasing them. Try to purchase products with natural or organic ingredients. Avoid products that are heavily-ladened with inorganic chemicals.
- Trim off split ends to prevent them from spreading all through the strand.
- Handle wet hair carefully to avoid hair breakage.
- Condition your hair regularly and use the right hair conditioner for your hair type.
- Use the same Line or Brand of shampoo and conditioners as such hair care products are designed to complement each other.
- Take it easy with the heat applications on your hair.
- Let your hair breathe from time to time.
- Eat healthily and drink plenty of water.
- Use satin pillow covers as they tend to cause less hair breakage.
- Pat your hair when you want to dry it. Do not rub it as rubbing increases chances of hair breakage.
- Avoid using too many hair products.
Below are 19 home remedies and natural treatments to attain, and maintain, a healthy-looking soft and shiny hair;
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil moisturizes your hair and reduces damage caused due to dryness. Just warm up some organic and unrefined coconut oil and massage your scalp and hair with it. Leave it for 30 minutes for the oil to get absorbed and rinse the hair with a mild shampoo. Doing this once or twice a week will provide a sheen to your hair.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar conditions your hair in a natural way and makes it shinier than ever. You don’t need chemical conditioners if you use it. Mix apple cider vinegar with equal amount of water and use it once a week to rinse your hair after a shower. It also helps in curing itchy scalp and dandruff naturally.
3. Cold Water Rinse
Always use cold water to rinse your hair. It may seem difficult during the winters but doing it will keep your hair frizz-free, shiny and healthy. If you don’t wish to shower in cold water, just bend over and use a jug to pour cold water just on your head. Hot water opens up the cuticle and makes hair dry and frizzy.
Eggs are a great source of protein and help in boosting hair health. Take one egg white and 1 tablespoon each of honey and olive oil. Mix well and apply it on the scalp and the entire length of the hair shaft. Use a shower cap to cover your hair for 30 minutes. Then, rinse with a mild shampoo and water. Honey and olive oil moisturizes the hair while eggs nourish them naturally.
5. Aloe Vera
The chemical composition of aloe vera is similar to that of keratin present in the hair. Due to this, it easily penetrates the hair shaft and nourishes it well. Extract fresh aloe vera gel and dilute it with water. Apply it to your hair and let it stand for 30 minutes. Wash off using an everyday shampoo.
6. Avoid Too Much Combing
Combing your hair twice every day is sufficient to keep it tangle free. Brushing it too many times will cause hair strain that will make hair frizzy. Avoid combing when the hair is wet as this is the time when it is prone to breakage. Always use a wide-toothed comb to reduce friction as well as damage to the hair.
Avocado acts as a natural moisturizer providing you soft, shiny and silky hair. Take a mashed ripe avocado and add two tablespoons of olive oil (extra virgin). Use it on damp hair and work your way from roots towards the end of the hair shaft. Let it stay for 30 minutes. Then, wash off with shampoo as usual.
Honey is great humectant (it retains moisture) that provides an excellent sheen to your hair. It retains the moisture in your hair making it silky and shiny. Take 2 cups of warm water and add 2 tablespoons of honey to it. Mix well and put this solution in a clean spray bottle. Spray it directly on your hair and near the roots and massage for a few minutes. Let it stand for another 15 minutes. Then, wash with warm water.
Gelatin is composed of hydrolyzed proteins which boost hair health in a natural way. Add 1 tablespoon of it in 1 cup of warm water and mix well. Also, add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 3-5 drops of lavender essential oil. Apply it to your scalp and hair. Rinse it with lukewarm water after 10 minutes.
Yogurt helps in keeping the scalp clean while deep conditioning your hair. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of yogurt make it an excellent ingredient for reducing scalp issues. Scoop out some plain unsweetened yogurt and apply it all over your scalp and hair. Let your hair enjoy the rich and nourishing texture for 30 minutes and rinse well with a mild shampoo. Apply a conditioner.
11. Trim Your Hair
Trimming your hair regularly keeps the hair healthy and shiny. Split ends tend to make the hair dry and frizzy. If not trimmed regularly, these split ends will travel up the hair shaft causing severe damage.
12. Avoid Heating Tools
Heating tools cause irreversible damage to the hair shaft. It dries out the hair and makes them prone to damage. These tools may provide an instant styling solution but will strip off the natural oil of the hair making it appear dull. Avoid curling irons, heat straighteners and blow dryers as much as possible.
Mayonnaise helps in deep conditioning your hair and provides a long lasting shine to it. It acts as a powerful antioxidant due to the presence of L-cysteine and reduces hair damage. Mix one cup of mayonnaise with 2 teaspoons of mashed avocado to make a fluffy paste. Apply it to your hair and leave it for one hour for a deep nourishing effect. Rinse with a mild shampoo as usual.
14. Choose The Right Shampoo
Choosing the right shampoo plays an important role in keeping your hair soft, shiny and silky. Know your hair type before choosing your shampoo and buy the one that is best suitable for oily, dry or damaged hair. Opt for a smooth and shine variant to add additional shine to your hair. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3002407/)
15. Ensure Right Conditioning
Never forget to condition your hair with a good quality herbal product or remedy. Since shampoo may strip off the natural oils of the hair that provides shine, a conditioner becomes important to reduce the dullness. Extract the juice of a lemon and mix it with a mug of water. Use this solution to rinse your hair. Thus, conditioning the hair and making it soft and shiny.
Beer may not be good for your health but it definitely helps in conditioning and adding shine to your hair in no time. Rinse your hair with beer after usual shampooing. Let it sit for five minutes and rinse off to see the difference.
17. Hot Oil Treatment
Take 2-3 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil and warm it. Massage your scalp with it and wrap a warm towel around your head. This will help the oil to penetrate deep into the hair shaft. Leave it for 15-20 minutes and wash off with a shampoo.
A banana pack provides extreme nourishment making your hair soft, shiny and silky. Mash a ripe banana and add 2-3 teaspoons of yogurt to it. Mix well and apply it to your hair. Leave it for 40-45 minutes before rinsing off with a shampoo.
19. Eat A Healthy Diet
There is nothing like eating a healthy diet when you want healthy hair. A diet rich in proteins, vitamins, and carbohydrates is beneficial for the hair. Include leafy greens, citrus fruits, carrots, wheat grains and avocado in your daily diet to attain beautiful hair.
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