Considering it's technically dead tissue, we spend a great deal of time, money and energy on our hair. In addition to being fun to style and colour, hair serves a valuable purpose, keeping heads warm and helping to regulate body temperature. The typical hair cell stays with us for three to five years until it falls or grows out.

 

1: Smell extra-sweet

Mix a few drops of your favourite fragrance into your hair gel before applying. You'll end up with hair that not only looks good but smells great too. Another aromatic option is to transform ordinary shampoo into a herbal experience by adding a few drops of an essential oil. Dilute a 250ml (9fl oz) bottle of shampoo by half with water and add 20 drops of essential oil of lavender.

 

2: Encourage natural highlights

For soft, natural highlights, squeeze some lemon juice on your hair before going out into the sun. Or use shampoos and styling products that contain citrus fruits.

3: Prevent split ends

After washing your hair, and while it is still wet, wrap it gently in a towel and let the cotton absorb the moisture for a few minutes instead of rubbing. If you are prone to split ends, get your hair trimmed at least every six weeks, which will help to eliminate them.

 

4: If you're going bald, go short

One of the worst mistakes balding men make is the comb-over. A sexier, more modern style is to keep it closely trimmed. As a bonus, your hair will be easy to maintain.

 

5: Wash your hair in botanical oils

Available at health-food shops, olive, jojoba and sweet almond oils are all great hair elixirs. If your hair is thick and heavy, coconut oil works wonders. Dampen your hair and apply small amounts of the botanical oil until your hair is thoroughly covered. Cover with a shower cap and warm towel for half an hour, then rinse and shampoo as usual.

6: Brush up on brushing

Use a brush with natural bristles rather than synthetic ones. Synthetic materials generate static electricity, which will make your hair more brittle. First brush the ends to remove tangles. That way, you won't pull and break your hair when you take full strokes with the brush. After you've brushed the ends, make long, full strokes all the way from the roots of your hair to the ends to spread the hair's natural oils.

 

7: Strengthen your strands with supplements

B vitamins can make your hair stronger. Take a 50mg B-complex supplement twice a day with food. The mineral selenium is also helpful for maintaining healthy hair. To add lustre to your hair, try taking 1000mg of evening primrose three times a day with meals.

 

8: Shampoo grey hair with a blue-coloured shampoo

Do this every day. By the very nature of its light colour, grey hair gets duller, dirtier and drier than darker shades, which is why it's so important to shampoo and condition it daily. The bluish shampoo helps to hide any yellowish tinge, which can be ageing.

9: Use moisturising conditioner

Condition your hair two to three times a week. This is especially important if you have fine, thin hair. Many people think conditioners will flatten thin hair, but, actually, using a moisturizing conditioner a few times a week will help your hair to block out humidity, which itself can make the hair flat.

When you use a conditioner, first apply it liberally to the ends, where hair is the driest. Then work your way towards your scalp.

 

10: For dry hair, try an avocado solution

Avocado moisturizes hair shafts and loads them with protein, making them stronger.

Thoroughly mix together a ripe, peeled avocado with a teaspoon of wheatgerm oil and a teaspoon of jojoba oil. Apply the avocado moisturizer to freshly washed hair and work it all the way to the ends. Cover your scalp with a shower cap or a plastic bag, wait 15 to 30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

 

11: Change the rinse cycle

If you have oily hair, rinsing your hair with water is fine, but you'll get even better results if you use a strong rosemary tea. Wonderfully aromatic, this herb contains essential oils that help control overproduction of oil on the scalp.

To make the rinse, pour a cup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of dried rosemary. Steep for 20 minutes, strain, cool and pour into an empty plastic bottle. Keep this in the bathroom and splash your hair with the tea after the final clean water rinse. There's no need to rinse off the tea afterwards, as long as you like the fragrance.

12: Add interest with eye shadow

Create effective, instant highlights by applying champagne or gold-hued eyeshadow to your hair using an ordinary make-up sponge.

 

13: Humidify your night air

Use a humidifier at night in your bedroom, especially in cold weather. Your central heating probably keeps the air very dry, which can dry out your hair.

 

14: Stay in condition

If you use a shop-bought conditioner, pick one with a ‘thermal protector’ ingredient such as dimethicone or phenyl trimethicone. These protect your hair from heat, which is especially important if you blow-dry.

 

15: Do the natural thing

Let your hair dry naturally in the air whenever possible. If you must use a hair dryer, use it sparingly. The same goes for curling tongs, straighteners or hot rollers. When you apply heat, it's like drying out a leaf in sunlight – you're inviting brittleness.

16: Go acidic

Another way to reduce oiliness in your hair is to apply lemon juice. Blend juice from 2 lemons into 2 cups of distilled water and pour into an empty shampoo bottle. After washing and rinsing your hair, blot it dry and apply the mixture to your scalp. Leave it on for 5 minutes, allowing the acidic lemon juice to work on the oil. Then rinse with cool water. Vinegar, which is also acidic, is an alternative to lemon juice. Mix a cup of vinegar with a cup of water, then pour it over your hair as a final rinse.

 

17: Go for a light colour

Pick a hair colour that's just a few shades lighter than your complexion, which tends to lighten as you age. Highlight or bleach grey hair to give your hair a more uniform look and make your skin appear brighter.

 

18: Give your hair a rest

If you wear your hair in a ponytail, take it out for a few hours a day to give your hair a break. Also, try not to pull hair back too tightly. Never sleep with accessories in your hair.

 

19: Banish frizz

In a frizz emergency, use a little bit of hand lotion and diffuse it smoothly and evenly through dry hair.

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