You’ve seen them. Maybe you’ve even secretly loathed them from a distance. I’m talking about women with hair that never seems to suffer from frizz, split ends, bad color, lack of luster, or any of the many other common ailments that plague so many of us. Perhaps you’ve chalked up their fabulous locks to good fortune, genes, and enough wealth to hire Jennifer Aniston’s stylist. This might be the case for some women, but it doesn’t tell a complete tale. In most instances, women with truly great hair work hard to achieve those glossy strands. They deserve the hair they have because they eat the right foods, carry around a water bottle, and consider it a cardinal sin to come within one mile of a curling iron without first coating their hair with a heat protectant.
1. They maintain healthy diets and take supplements. “Great hair starts on the inside,” Papanikolas says. “Women with gorgeous hair usually have a very balanced diet. It’s important to get protein to have healthy hair and you can supplement with a hair skin and nail vitamins (biotin is a go-to supplement) for extra thickness and fullness.”
2. They don’t wash their hair daily. “Women with enviable locks usually try to go to to three days between shampoos,” Papanikolas says. “Over-shampooing is the easiest way to strip moisture and dry out hair.”
3. They choose moisturizing products. “Hydrating masks are your friend! Using masks like the Matrix Biolage HYDRASOURCE Mask once a week will keep hair in its best shape,” says Papanikolas. Also, add shine enhancing products like Matrix StyleLink Gloss Booster to give hair a maximum brilliance boost.
4. They protect their hair from heat. “For women who use a lot of heat on their hair–think every day–it’s very important to use a heat protectant when styling,” Papanikolas says. One to try: Aveda Brilliant Damage Control.
5. They stick to a coloring schedule. “Over-coloring can be very harsh on the hair. It’s important to set a color timeline. I would suggest every four to six weeks and highlights every 10 to 12 weeks,” advises Papanikolas.
6. Scissors don’t scare them. Even those of us who are desperate to grow our our hair must give in a get a healthy snip once in a while. “Women with great hair know to regularly trim their hair every 12 weeks,” says Papanikolas.
7. They don’t just sleep–they sleep better. If you’re going to spend eight hours of your day getting some shut-eye, you might as well give your hair that time to recuperate so that it looks its best the next day. “First, consider what you are sleeping on,” Capano says. “Swap your cotton pillowcases for satin ones. This will lead to less friction, reducing frizz and tangles. Next, kick your pre-bedtime routine up a notch. I love adding Living Proof’s Night Cap Overnight Perfector before bed. Apply it before bed to dry or damp hair, go to sleep, and wake up with shiny, more manageable hair. It lasts up to five shampoos so you won’t have to do it every night.”
8. They never ignore their scalps. Need an excuse to get that amazing scalp massage? Here you go. “Take good care of your scalp; healthier hair starts with a great foundation. Use a hydrating treatment to nourish your scalp,” Capano recommends. One I love: Agave Hydrating Restorative Mask.
9. They use products that don’t weigh down hair. “Avoid strong hold styling products–they weigh down long hair, and often leave a crunchy feel. Instead, reach for a flexible, lightweight product,” says Capano.
10. They refuse to believe old wives’ tales. “I know your mother probably told you that you had to brush your hair constantly, but you don’t and you shouldn’t,” advises Capano. “Brushing disrupts the outer layer or surface of the hair, leading to more frizz and potential breakage.” And, while you’re at it, invest in a better brush like The Thinning Hair Boar Bristle Brush.
11. They rinse their hair with cool water. “Try a cool rinse at the end of your shower. Natural, protective oils help create natural shine in your hair. Hot water can strip those protective oils from your hair. Rather than wash your hair with scalding hot water, at the end of your shower turn the knob and rinse your hair with cool water,” says Capano.