Do you feel that your hair is a strong part of your identity? 72.8% of women do, according to a study by All Things Hair. With International Women’s Day coming up on 8 March, we’ve put all things hair-related under the spotlight, looking at how you can get the most out of your hair and which ingredients might suit you best.
Know your hair
If you want your hair to look its best, you need to spend some time getting to know your tresses’ quirks. Is your hair naturally oily or dry? Does it break easily? Do you suffer from a dry, itching scalp or dandruff? You need to incorporate all of this and more into your haircare plans if you want to make the most of the locks you’ve got.
Let’s look at the example of curly hair. If you have curly hair, you’re much more likely to find that your hair is dry and prone to breakage than you would if you had straight hair. That’s because oils that the scalp produces don’t find it as easy to travel down curly hairs as they do down straight ones.
The same is true if you have afro hair – the ends of your hair will likely be prone to dryness, so you’ll need to guard against the threat of breakage and split ends.
Conversely, if you have straight hair, you’re more likely to have to deal with issues relating to oiliness. Interestingly, this applies even if your hair is naturally curly and you straighten it, because the oil that the scalp produces shows up more readily when the hair lies straight.
Plan your products
Getting the best out of your hair is all about using the right products. This means choosing an everyday shampoo and conditioner that are suited to your hair type, from its curliness to its colour. There are so many products out there to choose from that you can have plenty of fun finding out which ones work best for you.
As well as your everyday products, your hair will benefit from various additional treatments. A weekly hair mask, which nourishes, moisturises and repairs everyday damage can do much to improve the hair’s overall condition, as can the right choice of leave-in conditioner.
If it’s strength you lack, then a pre-shampoo treatment oil can help to repair damage and build the hair up from the inside out.
You’ll also need a selection of products based on your individual styling routine. Do you let your need to define your curls, volumize and/or protect against heat damage? Shape your choice of product to your particular needs and routine and you’ll be able to maximise your hair’s strength, shine and overall appearance.
Invest in ingredients
How do you prefer to wear your hair? The All Things Hair team found that 77.6% of women report always wearing their hair natural, while 10.6% only do so on the weekend. 8.8% of women wear their hair natural just a couple of times a month, while 3% never do.
Whatever your personal preference and approach, the vast range of haircare products that is available to you means it’s worth understanding certain key ingredients and the benefits that they deliver. Let’s run through a few of the most commonly used ones now, to show what they can do for you.
If you need to moisturise, you have some excellent options before you. Shea can work wonders in terms of moisturising and softening the hair, as well as repairing split ends. Argan oil is also known for its moisturising properties and ability to reduce split ends and breakage, as it helps to protect the hair from everyday damage. Olive oil has some excellent nourishing properties too, as does avocado, with the latter also delivering strength and shine.
If strength is what you’re seeking, then coconut deserves a special mention. Coconut oil penetrates the individual hair strands and strengthens them from the inside out, as well as giving the hair a lovely sheen. Look out for pre-shampoo treatments and masks in particular when it comes to really enjoying the benefits that coconut can deliver.
If you’re looking to control dandruff, opt for products with honey, which can also help with a range of other scalp conditions. Banana can also help to prevent and control dandruff and can improve the hair’s elasticity as well, making it softer and helping to prevent breakage.
On the other hand, if oil control is your priority, then look out for algae-based products, which can help to control any excess oil. If you lack body, then clay and charcoal can both help. And if you’re concerned about hair loss then it’s worth trying products with rosemary oil, which has been shown to reduce hair loss and promote growth.
Style with confidence
One of the best parts of having hair that’s in tiptop condition is the flexibility that it gives you to try out new looks. Strong hair that’s well-nourished and doesn’t have any split ends can be coloured, curled, straightened and more with plenty of confidence. This means that it’s up to you to choose how you want to look, then make it happen.
International Women’s Day is the ideal time to celebrate having the freedom to choose how we look, from how we dress to how we wear our hair. It’s a privilege that not every woman around the world enjoys, which is part of why this year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge, with women calling out bias and inequality individually and collectively.
Will you be working on caring for yourself this International Women’s Day and sharpening your personal look? If so, hopefully the detailed guidance above on which products will best suit your particular needs will help you to achieve strong, healthy hair that shines. When we stand up for what’s right and #ChooseToChallenge, we have the opportunity to shine on the inside as well. Let’s do all we can to do both, this 8 March, as women across the globe celebrate International Women’s Day.