Dealing with Problem Hair
We all have days when our hair is a bit, shall we say… problematic? So to help you defeat your biggest enemy, here are a few common problems and ways to fix them for good as well as a few quick fixes for the times when you need to get up and go.
Before we get stuck in, let’s quickly look into texture. Texture refers to the size and density of each strand. The three main textures are fine, medium and thick/coarse hair. Your hair colour is also linked to the texture of your hair, if you have blonde hair; you are most likely to have thin hair compared to someone who has dark hair. On a side note, those with ginger or red hair have the thickest out of all the colours. Now each texture has specific characteristics: fine hair does not necessarily mean that your hair is weak, but all types of fine hair have one common trait, it lacks volume. Medium hair is perfectly in-between and is usually strong and elastic while thick hair often lacks elasticity and is frizzy. Thick hair also tends to grow outwards and then downwards. Before moving on, you can easily identify your hair’s texture by running your thumb and index finger of a strand. Fine hair will feel small in diameter as well as smooth and silky, while coarse hair will feel thicker and rougher.
Whether it is from environmental stresses or overuse of styling tools, damaged hair needs to special treatment. Use conditioning products to restore the hair’s moisture content while avoiding anything that may cause any further damage such as colouring, ripping out of ponytails and tying your hair too tightly.
Limp hair 911:
This is mostly associated with very fine hair, which is hereditary. Limp hair is difficult to handle as it does not hold its shape. This lifelessness is caused by using a conditioner or a styling product which is too heavy for the hair and it is weighing it down. To save your hair, use a mild cleanser and a very light conditioner. Other alternatives are to use a volumizing shampoo or consider a light perm to add body and fullness. Otherwise, consider colouring your hair as this will cause the hair shaft to expand giving the illusion of thickness. More temporary remedies are blow drying your hair upside down with styling products that are aimed at creating body, focussing them mainly on the roots to create lift.
Dull no more:
Salt, chlorine, heat or even product build up can result in dull hair. The best way to fix this is to look for a clarifying shampoo that will deep-clean your hair. Revitalizing treatments that will nourish and condition your hair as well as add shine are definitely encouraged.
Static hair is a common problem during drier months or regions. Luckily there is a very simple and easy solution for this annoyance! Simply use your hair hand to smooth the stand up hairs, if that doesn’t seem to work use a tiny amount of wax to add some wait to the hair, ensuring that it will stay flat.
All Durbanites experience this at some point. Frizzy hair can either be inherited, you can thank your family for that, or caused by rough handling (you only have yourself to blame). The hair tends to be extremely dry and when the slightest bit of moisture is absorbed into the hair shaft, the hair freaks out. To control the frizz, massage your shampoo into your scalp, making sure to do the ends as well. Once you have rinsed your hair, apply a conditioner only on the mid-lengths or use a leave-in conditioner. Preferably leave it to dry naturally and then use a wax or pomade to style it. Gels that contain oils or a silicon-based product will be a huge help in controlling the frizz. These work by coating the hair in a thin film which stops any additional moisture from entering the shaft.
Whether they are your natural curls, results of a perm or ones you did with a curler, don’t you just hate it when your curls take on a life of their own? To tame your locks, use either a bit of sculpting lotion on damp hair or a curl defining spray on dry hair to add some weight and bounce to your curls.
Dealing with static hair is one thing, but hair that just slips out of style within moments is a completely different story. Try rubbing a strong-hold mousse or gel spray through your hair while it is still damp. Rough dry your hair till it is almost dry, and then proceed with styling. Make sure each section is dry and cool before moving on to another.
Beating the Build Up:
If you regularly use styling products or two-in-one shampoos but do not wash them out thoroughly, you can end up with a build-up of product residue that weighs down your hair. This will prevent your hair from thorough cleansing or conditioning and could result in uneven colour distribution if you were to dye over it. To rid your hair of this build-up, use a clarifying shampoo. Viola!
This is most commonly associated with lighter hair and when you spend too much time in the pool. To be free of the greenish tinge, which is caused by blue dye in the pool, use a detox shampoo, red shampoo or if necessary: tomato juice. If you are a swimmer and are always in the pool, special shampoos are available to solve this problem. Oh and wearing a swimming cap helps a lot, no matter how unflattering that may be, it might be better than greenish hair.
Tight or Itchy Scalp?
The main cause of an itchy scalp, is actually using a hairdryer that is a bit too hot or close to your scalp. When washing your hair, use cool water and hold the hairdryer approximately 15 cm away from your head (just a rough guildline, in other words don’t hold it right against your head) . A heat protective spray will also work wonders for you. If the problem persists, you might need to consult with a professional.
We could all do with some more time in our lives, so here are some quick fixes:
No time to wash your hair?
Use a dry shampoo.
Hair looking a bit lifeless?
Spritz with blow-drying spray, and focus your hair dryer on your roots.
Natural curls a bit limp?
Lightly mist with water and twist into ringlets
Looking a bit flat?
Tip your head upside down, spray a tiny bit of hair spray on your roots and off you go.
Clips falling out?
Gently backcomb, so that the clips get better grip.
Looking for more tips? Read our Beginner’s Guide to Hair Care here.
Sources: The Professional’s Illustrated Guide to Haircare and Hairstyles by N. Pope, pages 18-19