Your Type-by-Type Hair Care Guide

Age, lifestyle, and climate all play a part in how your hair looks and feels, so finding the right routine may take some experimenting. The easiest way to start is to let your hair's texture and moisture levels tell you how to wash, groom, and choose products to keep it healthy.

If your hair is dry be especially careful not to over wash it. Shampoo can strip all the moisture out of your hair. Minimize washings to twice a week (or less) and target shampoo to your scalp rather than the dryer ends. Another enemy of dry hair are heat-based styling tools. Limit iron and blow dryer use as much as possible. If you notice that your hair is getting drier with age, try applying Moroccan Oil to hair after conditioning in order to keep hair soft.

Oily hair needs frequent washing with a clarifying shampoo, especially around the scalp. If your hair feels very oily, skip the conditioner entirely or only apply it to the ends. Weekly soaks in lemon juice or tea tree oil may help to absorb excess oil. Be careful not to over-brush oily hair, since this can spread the oil and signal the scalp to produce even more.

People with fine hair should have it cut frequently so that the ends stay healthy. Be careful to be conservative when applying any kinds of styling product, since it can easily overwhelm fine hair. If your hair is thin as well as fine, be especially cautious when styling it while it's wet and likely to stretch and break. Choose products designed to add volume.

If your hair is thick or curly, your best bet is to leave it alone as much as possible. Frizz—your biggest enemy—can be caused by manipulating your hair or brushing it. Wash curly hair as infrequently as you can, but condition it in-between shampoos. To remove knots, use a wide-tooth comb when you have conditioner in your hair. De-frizzing gels or creams that can be applied to wet or dry hair to help keep curls intact. You should also steer clear of blow drying thick or curly hair.

Straight hair may require more frequent washing, since the oil in your scalp spreads easily and can make hair look greasy. Straight hair is also susceptible to breaking easily, so take extra care when it's wet not to brush or rub it with a towel. Instead, squeeze water out of your hair. When styling, use the dryer or iron on the lowest setting possible since heat can also damage your hair.


Sources: "Taking Care of Your Hair." Teens Health. Web. 2012. "Stylist's Corner." Tresseme. Web. 2012.