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10 Life hair hacks for thick and dry hair

A lush, full head of hair can make you stand out from the crowd. But you know how difficult it can be to keep your thick and unruly hair hydrated, combed and shiny. Before spending a fortune testing one product after another, we suggest that you go through these tips. We've outlined what makes a great conditioner for your hair-type! And we're not talking about specific brands either: this way you'll always know how to choose the best conditioner, wherever you are, regardless of the available brands.

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Avoid sulphates

Dryness is a frequent problem for thick-haired people. Most commercially available shampoos are loaded with chemicals that aim exactly for that. They don't only clean away the dirt that accumulates on your hair through the day, but they also remove the natural oils your scalp produces. The solution is simple: look for shampoos and conditioners that are not made with substances such as sodium lauryl sulphate (LSL) and sodium lauryl ether sulphate (SLES). L'Oreal produces a brand of hair-care products, called Everpure, that is explicitly produced without any of those ingredients. You can also use those that are labelled with "no salt".

Avoid silicones

When used in hair-care products, silicones act as a plastic layer, a sort of sheath around each strand of hair, making it look smooth and shiny. And while that does not sound too bad, the problem is that, in the long run, regular use of hair-care products that contain silicone will make your hair look opaque, heavy and life-less. Look for conditioners and shampoos that don't contain dimethicone, dimethiconol, phenyl trimethicone, amodimethicone or cidometicone. Choose those with water soluble silicones, such as PEG dimethicone and dimethicone copolyol. Suave Naturals is an affordable conditioner without silicones available in several countries. You can also try VO5.

Try co-wash

If your hair is thick and dry or damaged after dying or flat-ironing, it's best to let it rest for a while and wash it without shampoo. Instead, you can try co-washing it, a technique thick-haired people tend to love. It's all about rinsing your hair with water, and washing it only with silicone free conditioners. These products have trace amount of sulphates, the substances in shampoo that do the actual cleaning, but in small proportions that will not dry your hair excessively. You can alternate between washing your head with regular shampoo and see the difference. Suave Naturals conditioners and VO5 are great choices, but any silicone-free conditioner should do the trick.

Deep and natural conditioning

To tame your mane and improve its general appearance, home made hair masks are a great alternative, since they reach deep into the hair fibres. Mix a ripe avocado with half a cup of olive oil. Using a blender is best, but a fork is good too, and spread the paste on your hair. Let it on for at least an hour, and then rinse it away. You can also use a couple of egg yolks, let them sit on your hair for about 90 minutes and then wash them thoroughly with water.

Wheat protein

Try out some conditioner with wheat protein. They are great at keeping your hair moisturised, shiny and under control. Wheat protein is perfect for damaged and overly dry hair. Some conditioners that contain this component are the Aveeno Nourish-Moisturize and Suave Naturals' Honey and Wheat.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is an excellent product that has gained much popularity in later days. It's great for your hair because it has moisturising properties, vitamin E and minerals that'll make it look radiant and frizz-free. Choose any kind of coconut oil-based product that does not contain artificial colours or fragrances and spread it evenly on your hair. Leave it on for at least 10 minutes and wash as usual. You can use it once a week.

Repair your hair

Thick hair tends to split, creating the dreaded split ends. If you want to recover your hair after dyeing it, or repair the damage from the hair dryer, the sun or the flat-iron, you can try using Midollo di Bamboo blisters by Alfaparf. After washing your hair, while it's still wet, break the blister on your hair and spread the liquid on it, paying particular attention to the tips. Then dry it and brush it as usual. Apply it once a week and you'll quickly notice the difference. You can complement this treatment with face mask of the same brand.

Avoid frizz

The greatest enemy of those with thick hair is humidity. To avoid looking like a lion with a hangover, you could use Style Sleek & Shine 5 in 1 made by Garnier Fructis. This silicone-free spray will form a barrier between the environment and your hair, and moisturise it with Argan oil. You will have the hair of a movie star without even going to the hairdresser.

Combing creams

The debate about whether it is healthy or not to use combing creams is still raging on. But if your hair is thick, you need all the help you can get to style it. So you should consider the cream's ingredients. It's best not to use products made with sodium hydroxide, because it's an irritating agent. Opt for those styling creams that do not contain silicones but do include moisturising elements and proteins. Two good examples are Nectar Thermique by Kerastase and Hydra Recharge by Garnier Fructis.

Seal the moisture in with natural oils

Thick hair can lose brightness after frequent washing, so i's important to keep it hydrated and seal in as much moisture as possible. To do this, you can use a few drops of Argan or almond oil. Remember that oils alone do not moisturise, but keep the conditioner's moisture from evaporating.

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About the Author

Leighann Lincoln has been a teacher for several years, with experience in public and private schools and online teaching. She studied English at Miami University and earned a Master's of Education in educational psychology from the University of Virginia. She is a frequent presenter at national education conferences, such as the National Association for Gifted Children. Her writing is published in newsletters, magazines, and journals geared toward teachers, parents, and academics. Her curriculum is published in a textbook for teachers.

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