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How to care for naturally straight hair

Published: Mar 10, 2008 - 10:39 PM

Straight hair is normally fine and thin. This may surprise you, as everyone has seen those girls with manes of cascading, dead straight locks that look so thick you could knit blankets from them. Well, those girls just happen to have a lot of strands of fine hair, the result of which is that although straight hair looks fantastic in long straight styles or in short crops, if you want hair with body and bounce it's going to take some work to make those fine thin strands stand up and dance.

This is particularly true if you are one of those Swedish blondes, as blonde hair is generally thinner than brunette or black hair (particularly that of Asians and Indians). This means the style that many of us see as the epitome of hair beauty - you know, that Goldilocks look - is probably the hardest to look after. Also because straight hair sits close to the head it often becomes greasy quickly at the roots and the fine strands absorb this rapidly, meaning you probably have to wash your hair every day.

How to care for straight hair

For that very reason, the most important thing straight hair needs is a gentle shampoo. Choose one that's marked for daily or frequent washing as it's likely to be low in detergents and high in moisturizers. At the very least use opaque shampoo - this tends to include more conditioners and so is kinder to the hair.

Using moisturizing shampoo also means you may be able to get away without conditioner; which is the kiss of death to fine, straight hair as it weighs it down further. If you do want to use conditioning products make sure they are light (sprays are better than creams) and that you wash them out well. Never use leave-in or two-in-one products.

If you want to create some bounce and body in your hair; thickening shampoos are your best friends. These normally include an ingredient called panthenol, which penetrates the hair cuticle, making each strand thicken; plus, they 'negatively charge' the hair so the strands are less likely to stick together.

When it comes to drying, your technique depends on the effect you want to create. For sleek looks, dry hair with a dryer with a nozzle.To create volume, use mousse or thickening ge on the roots of your hair and dry against your natural parting for the majority of the session, tipping your head upside down for the last two to three minutes.

Top 5 tips for straight hair

1) Your perfect brush is a flat paddle brush with wide bristles that separate the hair without damage.

2)Avoid products with alcohol in their top three ingredients. Alcohol is great at helping tame thick, wavy hair but will make fine, straight strands cling together.

3) Straight hair is the shiniest as light reflects from the cuticle.To maximize your natural asset, make the last rinse a cold one as this flattens the cuticle. Also, do the last two to three minutes of your blow-dry on the cool setting with the nozzle facing downwards. Shine serums will also help.

4) If you're aiming for volume, try not to handle your hair too much. Heat and oil from your palms can be enough to make fine hair floppy.

5) You can also add volume to your hair using colour Mix highlights and lowlights in three or four different shades to create depth and texture.

This article was submitted by Sal, who also writes for GirlzNight and sadly is not blessed with naturally straight hair. Alas, Sal is completely dependent on her ghd straighteners, without which she would be ashamed to face the world!

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