Hair care is not universal, but one thing everyone can agree on is that it’s definitely a journey for us all. You’ve likely tried a couple of hair products that didn’t exactly “work” for your mane, or you’ve had your fair share of slight hair regrets. But that’s okay, hair woes happen to the best of us and the more we get to know our hair, the healthier it can be in the long run. To help you all get your best strands moving forward, we spoke to Dianna Cohen, founder, and CEO of cult-favorite brand Crown Affair for some simple hair hacks to follow. Frenshes, take notes!
Know Your Ingredients
“I fell in love with the power of Tsubaki seed oil which I discovered on a trip to Japan. Tsubaki has been used there for centuries because of its ability to retain moisture and penetrate the deepest layer of both the skin and hair,” says Cohen. When formulating Crown Affair’s The Oil and The Renewal Mask the power of Tsubaki oil allowed for the products to restore moisture, while still being weightless. “We also love and use Meadowfoam seed oil. It has a long chain of fatty acids, so it will not penetrate the skin and hair this makes it coats the skin and hair locking in moisture,” she adds. Meadowfoam seed oil makes for great hair-taming products and for moisturizing curly/wavy hair types. Three ingredients we should never use are sulfates, parabens, or cyclic silicones when it comes to our hair products. As Cohen says, we can dive into a whole conversation with these three ingredients, but for time’s sake, here are the key takeaways. “Sulfates are chemicals used as cleansing agents in household cleaners, detergents, and even in shampoos,” explains Cohen. The powerful cleaning functions of sulfates strip hair of its essential natural oils like sebum which keeps strands moisturized, aka it dries out your hair. Parabens, on the other hand, are believed to disrupt hormone function by mimicking estrogen and they penetrate your body through your skin. The reason why parabens are still present in a lot of products is that they help preserve the shelf life of a product, but all at the expense of your hair health.
Enhance Your Diet
What you eat has a huge effect on the health of your hair, period. “I am a big fan of fish oils. Omega-3s nourish the hair, support its growth by preventing hair follicle inflammation (which is a direct factor to hair loss) and it’s the secret to shiny hair,” explains Cohen. Fruits in general have many health perks as we know. They’re excellent sources of everything from antioxidants to vitamins and minerals, and they’re essential for strong, shiny strands. As for extreme diets or fad diets, they have a huge impact on your hair (along with your overall health). “Some people may experience hair loss within 3-6 months of starting diets,” says Cohen. It’s all about finding a good balance.
Products for Different Hair Types
“A wide-tooth comb is great for detangling all hair types throughout the day, or in-shower when wet to evenly distribute product throughout your hair,” says Cohen. The action of brushing your hair is so simple, yet so powerful! It stimulates the scalp, improves circulation, and encourages growth. “Everyone’s hair is uniquely their own (there are also variables like the weather, the harshness of the water near where you live, how often you wash your strands), etc, that you will want to find your personal brushing cadence and technique,” Cohen explains. As for that powerful brushing we discussed, it’s important to only do so on fully dry hair. “Start at your scalp and gently work down to distribute your hair’s natural healthy oils, giving you healthier strands,” she says. “Brushing has transformed the health of my hair, supporting growth, strength, and shine,” she adds.
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Limit Heat Styling
Cohen is a huge fan of air-drying her hair. “Don’t get me wrong, I love a voluminous blow out from time to time— I’m all about finding balance with your hair, like all other parts of our wellness routines,” she explains. On most days she’ll opt for air-drying her hair, and hair favorite air-drying hack for her hair type is twisting her hair into sections with clips when it’s nearly dry. “It gives it a similar wave to if I used a curling iron,” she explains. If you do decide to use hot tools, it’s important to use a heat-protecting product. Cohen also suggests allowing your hair’s natural oils to absorb for a few days after washing.
Washing & Trimming
“I shampoo about twice a week and alternate every third shampoo with a pH balancing scalp scrub,” says Cohen. As for conditioning, she’ll do so about twice a week and will layer on a nourishing renewal mask treatment once a week mid-length to ends. “So much of the magic happens in the pre and post-wash ritual,” she explains. For example, brushing your hair before washing helps remove debris or any scalp buildup, for a more efficient cleanse. “Your hair as a fiber is most vulnerable when wet, so it’s important to use a hair-specific towel and not your body towel to dry your strands and prevent breakage and frizz,” she says. This is especially true for curlier hair types, as you want to retain as much moisture as possible. When it comes to trimming, Cohen says it all depends on your unique hair type. “If your hair is more prone to split ends, or you have a ton of chemical treatments done, trimming about every eight weeks will help keep your hair healthy,” she says.