Oh, how we all long for glorious locks that fall exactly where we want them to 24/7, 365 days a year. Hair that shines in the sunlight and looks as soft as silk~ Sounds like a dream, right? Or at least a tv commercial. Either way, it’s safe to say these are all things that we strive for, or at least envy when looking at our favourite actors, singers, models, etc… The question is, can my hair also be so mesmerisingly beautiful? Yes, it most certainly can! Well, only if you’re willing to put in the necessary work, while giving it the loving care and affection It deserves. So, let us begin looking at the basics of good hair care. ^-^
What is my hair made of?
The best place to start is at the beginning! Hair is (much like your fingernails) made of a hard protein called ‘keratin’. There are three main parts to your hair – the hair shaft, the hair follicle, and the hair bulb.
Here is a quick breakdown of all 3 parts and their functions.
- Hair Shaft – The part that everyone sees.
- Hair Follicle – The part that attaches the hair shaft to your head. (You can’t see this part, it’s in your scalp.)
- Hair Bulb – The very end/base of your hair follicle. The hair bulb is where living cells create ‘food’ for your hair shaft. Pretty cool, huh?
What can I do to help my hair?
There are many things you can do. Here are a few tips and tricks that we’ve learnt over the years.
- Protect your hair from heat by using a heat protective essence or serum.
- Exfoliate your scalp! Just like you exfoliate your face and body you must also take care of your scalp.
- Use a microfiber towel to gently pat your hair instead of a regular towel. (The fibres of regular towels can damage your hair shaft.)
- Stay away from heat tools like a blow dryer, hair straightener, heated rollers, etc. Or at least use these sparingly.
- Soak your scalp for 3-5 minutes in the shower before you shampoo, this ensures maximum efficiency of the shampoo.
- Never wash your hair with hot water! Never! Warm or tepid water will do fine, hot water only damages your hair.
- After you have conditioned your hair before you exit the shower, turn the tap to pure cold…just trust us on this one! It makes your hair soooo shiny and closes the hair follicle, making it harder for dust and dirt and even bacteria to ‘stick’ around. 😉
- Korean scalp massage! You can google the techniques and do it yourself or go to a professional to increase blood circulation and hair growth.
- Use oils to cleanse your scalp. Coconut, argan, olive, or any other oil of your preference (preferably extra virgin, if at all possible.) Apply the oil onto a dry scalp and massage for a few minutes then wash your hair as usual.
- Use a hair mask at least twice a week.
- A leave-in moisturizer is your best friend.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Do not overwash your hair, wash it only as it needs it. Excessive hair washing can lead to damage, dryness, and overly oily hair.
- Eat a healthy balanced diet. Eat your greens! Eat your kimchi! (Make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need.)
- Korean men and women use the carbonated water method to unclog the pores and follicles of the scalp. Yes, just carbonated water either sprayed or poured over your scalp. (This is really good for people with a dry scalp, and no, carbonated drinks are not a good idea as a substitute for carbonated water! XD)
- The vinegar rinse (apple cider vinegar recommended) is a great way to give your hair a wake-up!!! Once a week is good.
- Instead of slowly destroying your hair by over styling with tons of products, chemicals, and dyes, to achieve the flawless look most of us want, try using a wig instead! This is very common in Korea. Just be careful, K-pop tends to snatch them. :3
- Steer clear of 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioners.
- Foam your shampoo with your hands before applying it to your hair, this helps to maximize the cleaning effect.
- Don’t stress too much! Stress ruins everything, it stumps the development of healthy hair strands and can cause other issues in the hair follicle and hair bulb. De-stress at the end of every day, this is imperative for the health of your whole body.
- If you are going to colour your hair, try using a Korean hair tint instead of a dye. The difference is amazing!
- When washing, tying up, styling or pretty much anything you do with your hair you must be gentle! ALWAYS! Think fairy fingers people~
- Get your hair trimmed when your hairdresser tells you to. Listen to the experts, they know.
What products should we be using?
Koreans never miss an opportunity to pamper and take care of themselves, and as such, they have an innumerable amount of excellent products to help with the many problems that can oppose hair and keep it in excellent general health. These are some of our favourite products and brands that we highly recommend.
Mediheal – Sheep Steam Pack. Using the power of sheep’s milk, this hair mask helps to repair damaged and dry hair leaving it soft, and nourished.
Nature Republic – Argan Essential Deep Care Hair Pack. For those with extensively damaged hair from continual dying, perms, and other treatments, this product helps to repair and restore your hair to a softer, hydrated, and fresh feeling.
Tony Moly – Haeyo Mayo Hair Nutrition Mask. Enhanced with nutrient-rich oils, this mask helps to replenish hydration in dry and damaged hair. And you don’t need to worry, it smells like vanilla and macadamia nuts, not mayonnaise!
Skinfood – Argan Oil Silk Touch Essence. A few drops of this in your hair after washing will help to nourish and hydrate your hair, leaving it soft, silky, and shiny.
Nature Republic – Olive Oil Cooling Scalp Care Essence. Not only does massaging this into your scalp help keep it nourished, moisturized, and clean, but it also helps stimulate hair growth! The cooling effect also makes it ideal for those hot summer days.
Mise En Scène – Men’s Wax Remover Deep Cleanse Shampoo. Regardless of whether you are a man or not, if you use wax to style your hair, a product like this that focuses on removing all of the wax, even the unnoticeable residues, while also nourishing and cleansing your hair is a must. This brand focuses entirely on hair, covering everything from many forms of hair care to styling products as well. Check out their website for more fantastic hair care products. Their shampoo and conditioner range is amazing!
Ryo – Cheongsam Deep Cleansing Shampoo & Conditioner. An awesome shampoo that cleanses your hair and scalp leaving it feeling fresh and clean and ready for any extra touches you may wish to apply, like an essence. Ryo is Korea’s number one herbal medicinal hair care brand, their shampoos are renowned for their amazing effects! Their products are colour-coded for different hair care needs, ranging from hair loss to scalp care and everything in between, if you’re interested in using their products, check out their website to find out what suits you the best!
Doori – Daeng Gi Meori Ki Gold Energizing. This shampoo & conditioner helps to improve the elasticity of your hair, strengthening it and leaving it feeling light and fresh! This is another brand that has a lot of fantastic products, all of which contain herbal medicinal ingredients! If you’re looking for something more natural, this brand is definitely for you. Check out their website for more.
Atomy – Atomy has a number of incredible products to suit all kinds of hair, but can often be rather pricey, if you are interested, check out their website, because if you can afford it, their products are certainly worth the cost.
All of these products are incredible and well worth taking the time to try! But, never forget that the best way to maintain healthy hair is to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, but for those who find this easier said than done, Korea has many products to help, just like the ones we’ve shared with you!
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Featured Image Source: © Hair, Daniel Apodaca – @danielapodaca96, Unsplash, 02.09.2018, https://unsplash.com/photos/wmbbbU0LUG8