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How to get softer hair?
Soft skin, soft sheets, soft-serve... we are constantly in pursuit of all things soft and silky.
And our hair is certainly no exception.
But, often when we are wondering;
"how to get softer hair?"
What we are actually wondering is;
When your hair is soft, it is also hydrated, strong, and HEALTHY.
Which is why "soft hair" is such a converted look.
So understanding that you cannot have soft silky hair which is otherwise unhealthy is super important.
But fret not!
Seriously, fretting will only make things worse for your hair!
Did you know stress is terrible for your hair's health?
But more on that later...
This is all about soft serve!
Sorry, soft hair.
To understand how to get softer hair, you need to understand why your hair isn't soft RN.
And it all comes to down to your hair's health.
So, why is my hair unhealthy?
There are many reasons why your hair isn't silky and smooth, but here are a few common ones.
Stress, as I'm sure you're all well aware is a horrible feeling.
But did you know how bad stress is for you physically?
Not only does it regularly cause me to eat my weight in chocolate and gain 10 kgs...but now you're telling me stress messes with my hair too?
Yep, it's a real b*^@#.
So how does stress affect your hair?
There are actually a few reasons you should calm the F*#K down, for your hair's sake.
The main reason is, the stress hormone, cortisol is directly connected to healthy hair follicle growth.
So high levels of cortisol signal to the adrenal gland to stop producing hair growth hormones.
Which just isn't what ya want!
If you're not growing new healthy hair, you're not replacing the hair which breaks and dies during the natural hair growth cycle - let alone hair which is breaking and dying from damage.
Fun fact ladies: High levels of cortisol is actually why we crave sugar when stressed!
In stressful situations, your body requires 12% more energy - which is most easily accessible from sugary snacks!
So maybe don't beat yourself up for having that extra block of chocolate (or 12) on your period, YOUR BODY NEEDS IT.
In moderation of course, as a healthy diet is also super important for healthy hair.
Anywho -Stress less you can still have silky strands even if you're as "fine" as Ross after drinking too many martinis.
You just need to find a way to calm down.
Walk, run, colour in, do a hair mask (two birds with one stone), have a cup of tea, get on a plane, change your name and disappear forever on a remote island.
You know, self-care?
However, if you experience stress which impacts your everyday life you should seek professional help.
You could be experiencing the effects of an underlying anxiety disorder.
I know I've just told you to eat chocolate, and you definitely should.
But like all things, moderation is key.
The old adage, you are what you eat may be outdated, but - in the case of your hair, it is true.
Your diet has a massive impact on the overall health and appearance of your locks.
So one of the easiest answers to how to get softer hair is to change your diet.
So how does diet impact your hair?
Your diet can positively or negatively impact your hair in a few ways.
One way is that you're consuming too much food which is bad for hair growth and health.
Foods that are bad for your hair are those which are sugary, carby, and well, yummy.
Now, I'm not saying you need to cut out pizza, pasta, chocolate and all that is holy, I'm not a psycho.
Just eat it less often, and in smaller quantities.
As well as eating too many bad foods, Your diet can also impact your hair depending on all the nutrients and vitamins your diet is lacking.
Not enough of these specific vitamins and nutrients can affect your hair even if your diet is otherwise healthy.
Some foods to eat more of to get softer, healthier hair are:
The most important thing to remember is that developing a good relationship with food is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself.
Focus on eating nutritious whole foods, but if you want some cake, eat some cake.
It's all about balance.
And healthy hair is soft hair.
So how to get softer hair?
This doesn't just mean drink your two litres of water a day, although that is super important, I mean, specifically, nourish and hydrate your hair.
You can hydrate your hair by using hair masks, deep conditioners, oil treatments and much much more.
An easy way to restore your hair's moisture is to wash it less.
But, more water means more hydration right?
Over-washing your hair is big no.
It strips your hair of its natural oils causing it to dry out.
Which means no soft hair for you.
Cut washes back to twice a week or three times if you have super thin hair.
You should also switch to a gentle clarifying shampoo and conditioner specifically for hydrating hair.
Look for ingredients that lock moister into your hair.
Some key ingredients for hydrating hair are;
Are you using your heat protection spray?
Are you sure?
Are you lying to me?
I think you're lying.
ALWAYS USE YOUR HEAT PROTECTION SPRAY.
Sorry for yelling, but if you want soft hair, it's important.
Heat styling wreaks havoc on your fragile locks so you need to protect them.
While you're at it, put some damn sunscreen on your face too - I don't care if it's Winter.
Heat styling breaks down your hair's hydrogen bonds.
Which is hellllla bad news because your hydrogen bonds are the fibres that hold your hair follicles together.
So essentially, heat causes your hair to break apart, fall out, dry out and all kinds of bad stuff.
This doesn't mean you can't still have soft hair and use a heat styler.
So how do you get softer hair while still using a heat styler?
Here are some tips to avoid heat damage:
Getting softer hair isn't always a matter of what you do, but sometimes what you were born with.
Like all of the things, our genetics are to thank or blame for the texture and health of our hair.
**Shout to my mama who instead of passing on her thick luscious locks and dark skin gave me the genetic ability to gain weight from looking at bread...
But don't worry ya'll, I did get my dad's pasty complexion sans his ability to tan and natural athleticism.
Maybe genetics are a sham?
Anyway - like I was saying, sometimes you get a genetic gold mine, with hair, skin and weight I.e ya girl Beyonce.
And other times, us mere mortals are not so blessed in every genetic area, like your hair for example.
Try as you might, combating your genetic hair texture is no easy task.
But it's not impossible.
You can't change your genetics (nor do you need to) but you can change your hair.
And let me tell you how.
Changing the texture of hair, especially If it is genetic will be difficult - but if you follow these simple tips and tricks you will see results.
Silky sheets for silky strands.
Aside from being fancy AF, sleeping on silk is extremely beneficial for your skin and hair.
So how to get softer hair by sleeping on silk?
The texture and softness of your hair rely on its condition.
So hair which is broken, snapped, frizzy and weak cannot be soft.
This is where silk comes in.
We know hydrated hair means soft hair.
But did you know a silk pillowcase hydrates your hair while you sleep?
Cotton and other common bedding materials draw moister out of your skin and hair.
Whereas silk helps you retain moisture, leaving your locks hydrate as hell simple from sleeping.
A silk pillowcase also stops your hair from snagging as you toss and turn throughout the night.
So say goodnight to split ends because no snagging means less snapping and breakage.
And less snapping and breakage means softer strands.
More like, NO snap, amiright?
Image credit: @slipsilkpillowcase
Get regular trims.
I can hear ya'll groaning, but regular trims are a must.
It's almost like hairstylists and our mums have been telling us this for years.
Getting a hair cut every few months improves the overall appearance of your hair and its condition.
Dead hair is dead weight.
And dead weight is never good. And ladies, it's time to drop it.
(I'm looking at all those F*#K boys in your DMs too, ladies, put em in the bin).
Chopping the dead ends literally takes a load off your shoulders and stops your locks being weighed down.
Literally - dead hair is heavy and pulls your hair downwards contributing further to breakage and dull and rough texture.
Get it gone, girl.
Regular trims mean airy, lightweight locks that bounce, flow and grow a hell of a lot faster.
It doesn't matter if you follow all of these 'how to get softer hair' tips to a T if you're drying your hair with a towel.
Sounds dramatic but towels are seriously bad for your strands.
The texture of the towel rubbing against your hair roughs up your cuticles creating breakage and split ends.
Which are the enemies of soft hair.
Instead of a towel opt for something softer.
Let your locks air dry until they're about 70% done, then wrap them up in a soft Cotton t-shirt or a microfibre hair wrap.
These textures are much kinder to your hair and don't create the same tension while drying.
This means softer, silkier strands with no frizz.
Image credit: @cocoandeve
Now hold up, heat?
You heard me, but I do not mean heat as in heat stylers.
I mean steam.
So, how do you get softer hair using steam?
Just like steaming your face, steaming your hair is also great and works in a similar way.
Steam opens up your hair follicles, allowing products and treatments to penetrate deeper.
Dampening the inside of your new hair wrap (that you just purchased after reading the above point about towels) with warm water, a terry lined shower cap also works.
Apply your conditioner or treatment and wear the cap for 10 minutes (or however long the treatment's required setting time is).
This will trap steam inside the cap and help your hair absorb all the goodies much better than it would cold.
Image credit: @chillhouse
Like over-washing, over rinsing can be just as bad for your hair.
Who knew there was so much to washing your hair?
But washing your hair correctly is actually crucial to getting softer strands.
And a huge part of washing your hair right is rinsing.
You make think you're doing your hair a favour by getting it squeaky clean and rinsing it for five minutes straight!
I mean it.
Release your locks.
Here's how to rinse your hair right:
Firstly only apply conditioner to the ends of your hair and always rinse with cool water!
Hot water causes frizz and all those bad anti-soft hair things so turning down the temperature of your shower is very important.
So rinse with cool water until your hair feels only slightly slippery.
Yes, this means there is still conditioner in your hair.
But, that's not a bad thing.
If you look like you've lost a fight with a grease vat, then you've left too much in.
But the conditioner is only at the ends of your hair (right? Better be), so this shouldn't be the case.
You want to leave a small amount of conditioner in the ends of your hair so that it can continue to work its magic, all day.
Julia wears the THICK halo in col. Medium Brown + Light Brown 4/6. by @amybaineshair
As well as diet, lifestyle and haircare changes, treatments are great to get softer hair.
Unfortunately, not all treatments and products for softer hair are created equally!
But to help you sort through what's good and what's ...eeek, I've done all the research.
Seriously, it's a hard gig, but someone has to do it.
Image credit: @bondiboost
Image credit: @Frank_bod
As well as store-bought (internet bought - its not the 90s, we don't go to stores anymore) there are some great DIY treatments for softer hair.
So, How do you get softer hair using DIY treatments?
Here are a few of my faves.