Forget about my flaky skin—my biggest pet peeve is how dry and brittle my hair gets during 'ber months. Like seriously, the very second September 1 hits, my regular ol’ products decide they don’t work anymore and I have to change my entire routine. So after spending one too many seasons on the struggle bus, I’ve decided 2019 is the year I learn how to fix my dry hair for good. Ahead, I rounded up the very best tips and hacks for getting shiny, soft-as-f*cking-silk hair through the tag-lamig months and beyond.
Get regular haircuts.
The easiest way to get rid of dry, brittle ends? Get your hair trimmed every six to eight weeks. A quick snip will freshen up your layers, destroy your split ends, and most importantly, help your hair grow nice and strong. BTW, if hitting up the hair salon on the regular doesn’t agree with your budget (which, like, same), trimming your hair at home is also an option (so long as you invest in a decent pair of shears).Continue reading below ↓
Eat a healthy diet and try vitamins.
If your hair feels chronically dry (see: no amount of deep conditioning can hydrate it), it’s not a bad idea to adjust your diet. Load up on omega-3s (salmon, nuts, and seeds) and antioxidants (berries, beans, and spinach), both of which are known for making hair super soft and shiny. And while hair growth vitamins definitely aren’t a magical fix (a healthy body is already stocked with all the nutrients it needs to grow hair, like biotin, folic acid, and vitamins D, A, C, E), there’s really no harm in adding one to your routine—after, of course, chatting with your doctor. Yes, there really can be too much of a good thing.Continue reading below ↓Recommended Videos
Use a super-hydrating shampoo.
PSA: Just because your shampoo has the word “hydrating” on the bottle doesn’t always mean you’re getting the best cleanser for dry hair. Take a peek at the ingredients list before you buy anything and make sure it has ingredients like argan oil, coconut oil, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E. And, BTW, if you really want to fix your dry hair for good, stay away from shampoos and conditioners with sulfates—even though they’re great for dissolving product buildup and grime, they’re wayyyy too harsh for textures that require any TLC.Continue reading below ↓
Don’t wash your hair daily.
While we’re on the subject, the amount of shampoo you use is just as important as the formula itself. Excess shampooing will destroy your natural oils, so try to wash your hair three times a week at most (the less, the better here). Pro tip: Even if you aren't shampooing your hair, you can still rinse it—just make sure you run some conditioner through your ends so you don't risk any breakage (your hair is weakest when it's wet).
Cut down on heat styling.
Repeat after me: Heat styling is harsh on even the healthiest of strands, which means it’s extra problematic for drier textures. If you can, try to limit your use of heat tools as much as possible. If blow-drying and flat ironing is a part of your everyday routine, though, you should at the very least be prepping your hair with a solid heat-protectant spray to prevent damage.Continue reading below ↓
Use a hair mask regularly.
If your regular conditioner isn’t cutting it, try using a super-moisturizing hair mask at least once a week. Look for rich, creamy formulas that are spiked with powerful hydrators like argan oil, biotin, and/or keratin. To give your dry hair the ultimate healing treatment, smooth on your mask before you go to bed and rinse it out in the morning—the more time you give the formula to seep into your strands, the better.
Always use a leave-in conditioner.
Styling products are non-negotiable if you’re trying to fix dry hair ASAP. After you shower, make sure you’re spritzing your hair with a lightweight yet hydrating leave-in conditioner, focusing primarily on your ends (your roots are also fair game, but loading up on too much product can leave you with a greasy residue).
Sleep on a silk pillowcase.
If you’re coating your hair in hydrating products before you hit the hay, make sure your pillowcase isn’t then soaking up all that moisture. Unlike cotton fabrics—which can eat up your products and tangle your ends—silk pillowcases are way more gentle on your hair. As an added bonus, silk pillowcases are also great for your skin, since skincare products can get sucked up by cotton too.Continue reading below ↓
Use a gentle hair towel.
Like, sure, that raggedy old towel is probably fine to dry off your body, but if you’re trying to fix dry or brittle hair, you definitely shouldn’t wrap it around your head. Instead, look for a soft, microfiber towel—not only will it be more gentle on your strands, but it’ll also dry your hair noticeably faster (no blow-dryer necessary).
Don’t forget hair sunscreen.
Just like you slather on SPF 30 every morning to protect your face from the sun, you should also be protecting your hair. Exposure to direct sunlight will only make your dry hairdryer, so throw on a hat and spritz your hair with an SPF-spiked product if you’re planning on spending the day outside.
Got all that? Good. Now find yourself a good leave-in conditioner, below, and get your hair moisturized fast.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.