The average woman has an average of 12 inches of hair, according to the American Association of Dermatologists. For more than a century, women have been using a variety of products to keep their strands looking and feeling their best.
Here are eight tips for hair maintenance that busy moms can use without the fuss of salon appointments:
- A proper shampoo is the single most important step to great hair, according to salon professionals. In addition to making the hair and scalp feel clean and manageable, the right shampoo should also lather up to promote hair growth.
“I know how many products there are out there that don’t really do the job,” says Dr. Michael Gennaro, a physician and medical director of a dermatology practice in Boston. “It’s just as important to find the shampoo that works for you as it is to find the right conditioner.”
Gennaro recommends looking for an organic shampoo that contains sulfate-free ingredients such as aloe vera or wheat protein.
Some women who suffer from dry hair may need a moisturizer, such as a gel or cream, that is applied to damp hair to promote moisture.
When it comes to styling products, try using a gel or mousse instead of a conditioner, says Gennaro. In addition to creating more manageable hair, the gel or mousse can be used as a hair styling product.
- A weekly deep conditioning treatment is a great way to keep hair healthy and soft, according to salon pros. Deep conditioning treatments are often recommended for women with long hair, says Gennaro. They help to keep hair moisturized, and the hair also looks smoother and shinier.
A hot wash, a cold wash, a weekly deep condition and a weekly mask are all recommended to keep hair healthy.
“A weekly deep condition, a hot wash and a weekly mask is my motto,” says Gennaro.
The mask should contain both moisturizers and some kind of antioxidant such as vitamin C, vitamin E or beta-carotene, he says.
- It’s important to use a shampoo that’s specific for your hair type, says Gennaro. For instance, curly hair and curly wavy hair need a different shampoo than straight hair.
It’s also important to use a shampoo that suits the texture of your hair. If you have fine or fragile hair, a thicker shampoo is often needed. If you have thick hair, a lighter-weight shampoo is best, according to Gennaro.
- One of the easiest ways to treat damaged hair is to use a deep-conditioning mask. These treatments may be left on for up to an hour, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
The mask contains keratin, a protein that binds to the surface of the hair and repairs it.
“I like a deep-conditioning mask that contains keratin,” says Gennaro. “I use it three or four times a year.”
Keratin masks are also great for those who are going through a major hair loss or shedding season, says Gennaro.
He recommends using an enzyme shampoo that is designed for damaged hair, as well.
- Hair coloring is another way to achieve healthy-looking hair. Women who have hair that is dark and needs a good dose of color have many options for hair coloring.
For women who color their hair regularly, a weekly hair mask can help improve the color and texture of the hair, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Other than a weekly mask, there are a number of different products that are available.
The most popular type of hair color these days is the spray-on type, which is also known as the “no-mess hair color,” says Gennaro. These types of colors are available for every hair type.
The other type of color is the cream-based hair color, which is popular with women who have fine hair, according to Gennaro.
For those with darker hair, a classic three-step process is typically recommended. The first step includes the shampoo, followed by the bleach and then the final step is the conditioner.
Gennaro recommends using a protein-enriched shampoo to prevent color fading.
- A trim every six to eight weeks is a must for anyone who wants to maintain a healthy-looking head of hair, according to salon pros.
The first step in a trim is removing any split ends, says Gennaro. These tend to occur at the ends of the hair. The other step is taking out any split ends that are coming in from the root.
“Split ends are a big problem,” says Gennaro. “If you have long hair, get your trim at least every six weeks.”
Trimming also helps keep hair healthier and longer. It helps to prevent hair from becoming flat and brittle.
- One of the easiest ways to add extra volume to your hair is with a good hair pomade, according to salon pros. The pomade helps the hair to retain moisture, as well as make it look shinier.
Pomades are usually applied to wet hair before the hair is combed into a style, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Gennaro also likes using pomades on the ends of the hair because they hold the style better and also reduce frizz.
- One of the most popular hair styles in the United States is the pixie haircut.
The pixie is a close haircut that is also known as the “bob.” It is very popular for many women who want a little extra volume in their hair.
“It has become one of the fastest growing hair trends,” says Gennaro.
The main difference between a pixie haircut and a short haircut is the length. Piers are shorter than a short haircut, according to salon pros.
It’s important to remember that the hair styles may also depend on the length of the client’s hair. Longer hair requires a different style.
Tips for getting the right cut
It’s important to go to a professional when it comes to getting a pixie cut or any other type of haircut.
“I always recommend going to a reputable salon,” says Gennaro. “Make sure that the salon has the proper licenses, such as a cosmetologist license.”
The length of the cut should also be a consideration. Most women want their pixie cut to be around four inches, says Gennaro.
The pixie style should be close to the neck so that it’s easy to see in photos. The length of the style should also vary with the length of the client’s hair, says Gennaro.
For example, a woman who has a pixie haircut with a bob-length style on top and longer hair at the bottom may have a better result if her bob is closer to the neck.
If a woman with long hair has her pixie cut on the chin, the ends of the style should be closer to her shoulders to make the style look longer and more stylish, says Gennaro.
It’s important to remember that the final cut depends on the look the client is trying to achieve, says Gennaro.
A cut that is too short or too long may not look as flattering as the client intended.
“There are a lot of different types of hair cuts that women want,” says Gennaro. “It’s important for the client to have a hairstyle that they’re happy with.”