The Healthy Hair Care Step Most Of Us Aren't Doing

Written by mindbodygreen

Image by Leandro Crespi / Stocksy

You probably have your skin care routine down to a science. There's a morning routine, a nighttime routine, with maybe some masking in between—all with different active ingredients that play a part in the health of your skin and address its unique needs.

Now what about your hair? 

The ole "rinse, wash, repeat" mantra is pretty much an accurate assessment of how lots of us approach hair care: We've likely kept to the same system for years—shampoo, conditioner, a bit of styling product perhaps, with scent being a big determining factor (guilty!)—but as our hair changes, shouldn't our routine?

Rethinking the way we wash our hair.

A few years back, the mainstream hair world welcomed, albeit curiously, the concept of pre-pooing. (The "poo" referring to shampoo, of course.) The usually oil-based treatment goes onto dry hair to protect it from absorbing too much water as you lather up in the shower.

Scientifically speaking, they were on to something. Hair is structurally weakest and prone to damage when it's wet. Each strand of hair, made up of keratin, is encased in an outer layer called the cuticle. The problem is that the cuticle is scale-like, which allows water to seep through its gaps into the cortex of the strand—starting the moment it gets soaked. And the longer your hair stays wet, the more your strands absorb and swell up with water, stretching the cuticle and causing weakness. The result? Ongoing hair frustrations.

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What's the damage?

Leaving your hair saturated can be really damaging (especially if you color or chemically treat your hair): The cuticle can crack and remain lifted as it shrinks, causing hair to feel rough, split, and more. Think the weather is causing all that frizziness? Think again: Frizz is literally a result of open cuticles by excess water absorption. And open cuticles allow even more water absorption, leaving the cortex more and more vulnerable in a continual cycle of damage. If you've ever been frustrated with a string of bad hair days, a new haircut might not be the best solution.

Image by Aquis / Contributor

It's time to get reacquainted with the prewash.

Instead, make sure you're protecting your hair from getting waterlogged in the first place with a high-quality prewash treatment. These days, pre-poos have earned the right to be an essential part of the shower routine thanks to having way more advanced formulas than before. The Prime Water Defense Prewash by Aquis is a lightweight coconut-oil-based spray that is dermatologist tested and clinically proven to make your hair hydrophobic from the inside out, protecting it against excess water absorption. It's been shown to reduce hair swelling by 46%, leaving hair smoother, stronger, and easier to style while maintaining hair's natural pH, too. The ideal thing is that you only need to spray it onto dry hair two minutes before you hop into the shower, so no waiting around twiddling your thumbs while you wait.

The point is, we put our strands through a lot on a daily basis, and rethinking the steps of our hair care is the least we can do to help maintain its health. Our skin isn't the only thing deserving of a cleaner, smarter routine, after all.

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