Get Healthy, Shiny Hair In 7 Practical Steps

Picture this: You step out of the house looking like you're about to go and star in a commercial for shampoo. As you walk along the street, traffic stops because so many people are staring at your gorgeous, shining locks blowing in the wind. Don't you feel amazing?

Brrrrrinnnnggg! All right, time to wake up. Maybe stuff like that can only happen in your dreams, but you can make healthy, shiny hair a part of your everyday reality with the 7 tips you're about to learn. Even better news: Not a single one of these tips involves visiting a hairstylist!

1. Use Cold Water To Rinse Your Hair
Remove shampoo and conditioner from your hair with cold water, rather than hot water. The hot water can dry hair out and make it appear dull. Also, cold water helps to close up the cuticles of your hair. When they're closed, light can reflect off their outer surfaces, which helps to give your hair more shine.

2. Make Hair Serums Part of Your Routine
There are hair serums on the market that can take your hair from unruly and frizzy to shiny and sleek. You can find them at beauty supply stores, drugstores, and hair salons. Hair serums work by adding a small amount of silicone or oils to your hair to give it moisture.
When applying hair serum, start with only a pea-sized amount. (Using an excessive amount may not help, since your hair will be weighed down with it.) While your hair is still wet, rub the serum into it with your hands, starting at the tips and working upward.

3. Use A Leave-In Conditioner
Leave-in conditioner can really help your hair shine, and can be found in both lotion and spray-on forms. The procedure for applying it is identical to the one for applying hair serum, described above.

4. Blow-Dry With Caution
When using a blow dryer, be sure that its nozzle, and therefore the stream of air, is pointing down the shafts of your hair, toward the tips, while you're using a round brush to hold up each section of hair. Pointing the nozzle up the shaft toward the roots is like petting a cat backwards - it makes the hairs stick up in the wrong direction.
Cooling your hair down with a blast of cool air after you're done drying it adds to its shine in the same way as rinsing it with cool water does: it helps the cuticles close, allowing the reflection of more light. This is the reason why hair dryers have "cool" buttons.

5. Stay Hydrated
Moisturizing hair from the inside is as important as adding topical moisturizers to it, so be sure to drink plenty of water. Ideally, you should be getting about the equivalent of eight glasses of water in a day. Have a water bottle handy all the time, and use it!

6. Get Plenty of Protein and Vitamins A and E
Vitamins A and E are essential nutrients for healthy, shiny hair. Eat foods that are rich in these vitamins and in protein, which helps hair grow faster. Nuts and eggs are great choices.

7. Avoid Coming Into Contact With Harsh Chemicals
Try not to expose your hair to chemicals that can damage it, such as hair-relaxing creams containing lye and the chlorine in swimming pools.

Other things that can damage hair are heated hairstyling tools and alcohol-based hair products. Alcohol tends to remove the shine from your hair and dry it out.

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