6 Golden Rules of Hair Care

Hollie Shirley / Hair & Skincare Editor

Make every day a great hair day with these simple tips

no matter the texture, colour or style, we all want hair that looks as though we stepped out of the salon every day, with minimal upkeep and fuss, right?

But if your hectic schedule won’t allow a bi-weekly blow-dry and you’d prefer an extra twenty minutes in bed each morning instead of washing, stying and preening, only to have it swept away in the wind/rain/commute, we are here to help. Read on for our 6 key hair rules to live by for healthier, happier and more manageable tresses.

So long bad hair days.


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Rethink the way you wash your hair

Mintel reports that 33% of women who have changed their washing habits in the last 12 months list worry about damage as the top reason, so how often should you be shampooing?

Well, in this situation, less is more.

Over-washing can be damaging for your hair, especially if it is bleached, coloured, has been chemically treated or is naturally very dry or porous. When you wash your hair every day it strips away the natural oils and proteins that you need to keep your hair and scalp healthy, so try to limit hair washing to three times a week.

Remember, dry shampoo is your friend

If you’re prone to greasy hair, then use a little dry shampoo in between washes to soak up excess oil, and extend the time between your washes. However, try and avoid becoming too reliant on dry shampoo as it can cause build-up on the scalp and clog hair follicles, which can impede hair growth. If you really struggle to avoid frequent washing then remember that certain styles work better – and look better – on hair that isn’t freshly washed. Braids, bedhead buns and twisted topknots are all great looks for those in-between wash days.

Always use protection

Hair can be damaged by both UV and heated tools, like straighters, tongs and even your trusty hairdryer, so it’s important to give your hair as much protection as possible if you are a fan of heat styling.

When you blow-dry your hair at home always use a heat protector every time you blow-dry, straighten and curl to condition from the inside out and shield against damage from straighteners and colour-zapping rays.

And when it comes to drying technique, be sure not to hold the hairdryer too close to your lengths, to prevent split, fluffy ends. When you get your hair blow-dried at the salon, ask your stylist to show you how they blow dry your hair and pay attention to the type of brush and the direction of the nozzle.

Become a blow-dry pro

A good blow-dry should last at least a couple of days depending on your hair type, and there are several products that will help prolong the life of your style. Wrapping your hair in a silk wrap will help keep your hair smooth and prevent frizz and tangles. You can also bypass hot tools by multitasking your hairstyle. Styling doesn’t always have to involve a hot tool. If you give yourself a blowout on Monday, rock it out on Tuesday and on Wednesday, switch it up with up do’s and low maintenance styles. Making your style last a few days will really help prevent damage.”

The perfect at-home blow-out is not as tricky as it sounds and if you invest in a few good tools it’ll make it even easier.

 Remember the good tools rule

Think of your hair like your skin – what you put on it will affect it. Investing in good quality products and tools will keep hair looking and feeling healthy and strong.

As a rule, you should have a round brush for blow-drying, a Mason Pearson brush for styling and a tail comb to move hair around.

Good brushes are worth investing in and although might have a heftier price tag than others if they’re looked after they will last forever. Keep your brushes clean and free of dead hair, oil and product build-up by washing them in a mixture of baking soda and warm water once a month.

When it comes to hot tools. investing in quality products that will last the test of time and protect your hair from damage will be worth it in the long run. Look out for ionic and one pass technology to limit the amount of contact with your hair.


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Condition the right way

A good conditioner is also crucial when it comes to any hair type but particularly thick, curly tresses.

For curly, highly textured hair, always deep condition. No two-minute conditioners while you shave your legs in the shower here. Deep conditioning involves using a conditioner that will add moisture and strength back to hair. Let it sit by covering the hair with a plastic cap and applying heat from the outside like a hairdryer.

To make sure your hair really absorbs the conditioner, towel-dry hair after shampooing. Excess water will mean the conditioner won’t be able to penetrate the hair shaft and deliver the necessary moisture to keep hair looking healthy and shiny.  If you’re short on time, at least squeeze out excess water.

Conditioner only needs to go on the mid-lengths and ends of your hair. Try not to put the conditioner on the roots as it will cause your scalp to get greasy faster.”

It’s also a good idea to think ahead and anticipate situations where your hair might dry out.

While you exercise, you perspire, which means that your hair gets damp with sweat that can actually make it dry. Before you hit the gym (especially during the summer, but this works year-round too) wet your hair and add in some conditioner from the mid-lengths to the ends, and braid your hair.  Rinse out the conditioner post-workout and you’ll be left with shiny, hydrated hair.


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Ace your brushing technique

No-one wants a matted mess for a mane, so brushing is always necessary, but don’t tear through your locks mindlessly. Being too aggressive will only cause damage, and no-one wants to contend with fluffy, split ends.

So what’s the best technique?

Brushing from the roots causes damage – always brush from the bottom and work up to remove tangles from the lengths of your hair. Aggressively tugging at your hair from the roots will cause breakage.

And the tools you use should change when your hair is wet to avoid snapping and static.

When your hair is soaking wet, it is weaker, fragile and more susceptible to breakage. Save your brush for when your hair is dry and invest in a wide-tooth comb for wet hair. The teeth are designed to glide through wet hair – especially if coarse, wavy or curly – much more easily than a brush will, and there’ll be much less damage to contend with when it’s dry.

Hollie Shirley
Hair & Skincare Editor

Hollie Shirley is SILKUP’s hair and skincare editor. She’s obsessed with all things hair care and results-driven skincare, that is kind to the environment and your wallet. She has a weakness for limited edition eyeshadows and is always testing out the newest and greatest deep conditioners. Hollie has a passion for hair and is studying Trichology, working towards becoming a Member of the Association of Registered Trichologists.