- Wash your Hair Less
- Know The Structure Of Your Hair
- Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize All Layers Of Your Hair
- Comb And Brush Well (Preferably With Wood, Like A Princess)
- Style your Hair Without Heat
This is true for almost everyone. Shampoo strips the natural oils from your hair along with the dirt. Most people can wash twice per week and many can wash once per week. I’ve gone one step further and use cleansing conditioner rather than shampoo (called co-washing). It has no detergent, so doesn’t strip your oils, leaving your hair clean and still moisturized to the core. For deeper insights on the why, check out: “How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?”
Each individual hair strand has 3 layers: The medulla is the inside helical (like DNA) strand, that is the strength of the hair. The cortex is the “meat” or thickness of the hair. And, the cuticle which looks like overlapping roof tile is the protective outer layer.
Most important to hair’s appearance is that outer cuticle, which you want to lay down smoothly for shine and protection. That means don’t rough it up by toweling vigorously. I used to have short hair that I wanted to look a bit spiky, so I would towel it vigorously after washing to get it to stand up and look full. I didn’t realize I was making my “roof tiles” stand up, making my hair look dull instead of shiny and allowing the moisture in the cortex to evaporate making it dry.
The cuticle contains Hydrogen in its cellular structure. By applying a light mist of water (H2O) (like with our fine-mist Eco “Magic” Mister) during the styling process, you actually break the hydrogen bond on your hair strands then reset it in curled form as it dries! Also, since the light mist lands only on the outer layer (cuticle) it doesn’t get inside the strand, swelling it and causing frizz. For more on this simple but critical revelation for styling even the most stubborn of hair types: “Hair Mist Refresher Eco-Spray Bottle: Ditch Single-Use Plastics & Chemicals.”
Moisture is the most critical aspect of hair. Similar to your skin, dry hair looks bad, feels dry and the inner parts of the hair strand get damaged. Each of the 3 layers of your hair strand like a different moisture: the inner medulla like oils, the cortex likes water based (creamy) moisturizer, which also serves to seal the oil in the center; and the cuticle likes both but also likes to be sealed so that it’s roof shingles lay down smoothly; looking good and also protecting the center of the hair strand (see founder Kirs Akin’s video and blog article about the science and details on our blog post, “Moisturizing All 3 Layers of Your Hair: The Medulla, Cortex and Cuticle.”
Also scrunch just a bit of argon oil into the ends every once in a while. This keeps the ends of the hair strand from fraying, and seals in moisture as well as softening the look. And get regular trims, it keeps the hair looking good and refreshes the ends. Even a quarter inch off is OK 😊
Don’t brush hair on the first day after washing (comb it instead) because it doesn’t have enough oils to protect the hair from the bristles. But after day one, brushing with a good brush is fantastic, spreading the natural oils from the scalp through to the ends. The best is a boar bristle brush with longer nylon or wood bristles. This allows the brush to get all the way through your hair to the scalp, while the boar bristles spread the oils evenly down the shaft (and the massage feels wonderful).
A wooden comb is fabulous because it is carbon based like our scalp and hair, so feels good. Wood also has a negative ionic charge, just like the hair, so it lays the cuticle down, reducing flyaways and sealing and protecting the core. Also, comb, don’t brush when hair is wet as it is 30% weaker when wet and brushes tend to break the hair. We also went in-depth about the science behind this in our most popular article, “Wood Comb Benefits: 10 Reasons Wood over Plastic is Healthier.”
Skip the heat whenever possible: Heat damages hair by sucking the moisture out, burning the cuticle and permanently damaging the structural integrity of the hair. A heatless solution like CharlieCurls includes the right moisture, the right calming technique, and the best no-heat styler.
Finally, for an insiders peek at where sustainable hair practices and brands are headed for having the healthiest and planet-saving hair products, check out our recent article from a clean beauty event we attended from CEW, “Sustainable Hair Care Industry Trends and Eco-Insights.”