Your Stay-at-Home Toolkit for Hair Wellness and Holistic Self-Care
Here’s how to upgrade your self-love practice for healthy, glowing hair.
As we take this opportunity to pause, reflect and reset, it’s worth considering the role of hair health in our overall well-being. Hair is often an outward manifestation of what’s going on within. For example, many of us experience increased hair loss, dullness and breakage during times of stress. This occurs because all aspects of holistic well-being are deeply interconnected.
The good news is that investing in your physical, emotional and spiritual self-care will naturally result in stronger, healthier hair and a happier, healthier life!
True hair wellness is SO much more than coconut oil masks and deep-conditioning treatments. It’s about cultivating a holistic self-care practice that includes hair care, nourishment, hydration, rest, movement, mindfulness and spirituality.
Here at AIIR, we believe that your hair care should support your whole-self wellness. So we’re sharing our top hair wellness tips for cultivating a mane that’s healthy and radiant from within. Read on to discover how to show your beautiful hair (and your beautiful self) the love you deserve.
Upgrade your styling products
The products you reach for every day have a major impact on the health and vibrancy of your hair, so it’s important to make conscious choices. We recommend avoiding any products with parabens, sulfates, animal-derived ingredients and gluten (if you avoid it in your diet). Instead, look for natural plant-based ingredients that give you beautiful results with no harmful side effects.
AIIR styling products are designed to support whole-person wellness with a perfect blend of natural botanicals and healing crystals. Every AIIR product contains a specially selected gemstone for positive vibrations and mood-lifting energy.
Here are a few of our favorite picks to level up your hair care and styling routine:
♥ Smoothing Cream with nourishing Babassu oil for silky-soft, shiny hair
♥ Texture Mousse with volcanic ash for natural volume and Marigold extract for scalp health
♥ Styling Paste with aloe vera leaf juice and blue agave to restore moisture and shine
Heat style with care
♥ Avoid washing or heat styling your hair every day.
Those of us with naturally fine, thin hair might be guilty of this one! It’s tempting to wash and blow dry oily hair every day, but this can strip the hair of moisture and cause long-term damage. Try switching to every other day and see if you notice any changes in your hair health.
♥ Air-dry most of the way.
Avoid using your blow dryer on sopping-wet hair. Instead, gently squeeze excess water from your strands with a soft cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel. Then partially air-dry your locks before you blow dry. Let your hair air-dry 80% of the way for straight hair, 60% for wavy hair, and 40% for naturally curly hair. This reduces the amount of time you need to spend blow-drying, which means less heat damage.
♥ Heat defend.
It’s SO important to apply a heat protectant before styling with any heat tool! This helps to replenish the moisture in your hair and guard against heat damage. Before heat styling, work Smoothing Cream into your hair from mid-shafts to ends. Blue agave, Babassu oil and coconut oil shield delicate hair from heat and create a glossy, luminous finish.
♥ Use tourmaline or ceramic heat tools.
High-quality styling tools are one of the best investments you can make in your hair’s health. Tourmaline neutralizes the ions that cause static and frizz, while ceramic provides even heat distribution and minimizes damage.
♥ Choose the right heat setting for your hair.
Heat is damaging to hair, so the goal should be to dry, straighten or curl your hair with as little heat as possible. Start on the lowest heat setting and work your way up until you find the perfect amount of heat for you. Keep in mind that coarse, curly hair generally requires more heat than fine or straight hair.
♥ Only use a flat iron or curling wand on dry hair.
The concentrated heat from a styling tool can overheat and even burn wet hair. Over time, this leads to dullness, frizz, and dry, “straw-like” ends. If you’re rushing to get ready, skip the heat tools and give your hair instant texture and shine by using Whipped Pomade to define your ends.
♥ Keep it moving.
Holding a heat styling tool on one section of hair for a prolonged period of time increases the risk of damage. When you blow dry or flat iron your locks, avoid focusing the heat on a single spot for more than a few seconds at a time. Move slowly and steadily through each section of hair without stopping.
♥ Clip up your curls.
If your hair won’t hold a curl, it’s tempting to wrap each section of hair around the barrel of your iron for an extended length of time. But there’s a way to get shiny, long-lasting curls with less heat damage!
Curl each section of hair for just 10-15 seconds, then secure the spiral to your head with a clip or bobby pin. This allows your hair’s cuticle to cool and set in the curl shape. After 15-20 minutes, unclip your curls and spray them with Flexible Hold AIIR Spray (for bouncy, perfectly defined curls) or Texture AIIR (for a tousled, lived-in look). You won’t believe how long your curls hold!
Elevate your everyday with self-love rituals
Self-care isn’t about adding more and more tasks to your to-do list. It’s about bringing mindfulness and intention to your daily life, including your hair care and styling.
By upgrading small moments throughout your day, you can transform your hair care routines into beautiful rituals that support your mental, physical and emotional well-being.
♥ Design a schedule-- for your hair!
Getting your hair care on a routine might sound boring, but it actually frees up your mental energy to be more creative with your look. When you follow a regular hair-styling rhythm, you don’t need to stress about when you’ll wash your hair or whether you’re over-using heat tools. You can feel confident that your hair will look healthy and beautiful, every single day.
It might take some experimentation to find the right routine for you, but it’s SO worth the effort! Here’s a sample hair schedule for inspiration (this includes washing your hair every four days and using heat tools every other day to minimize damage):
Day One: Wash and deep-condition hair, then treat yourself to an at-home blowout.
Day Two: Refresh and extend your blowout by applying Smoothing Cream from mid-strands
Day Three: Curl hair with an iron or wand (the natural oils will help your curls hold for longer).
Day Four: Amplify volume and absorb excess oil with weightless Texture Mousse, then create a heat-free style such as a ponytail, braid or bun.
On Day Five, wash your hair again and repeat the four-day cycle! Depending on your hair type, you may need to shampoo your hair more or less frequently. Feel free to adapt this schedule to suit your unique needs.
♥ Pause for an afternoon reset.
It seems like everyone is obsessed with morning and evening routines… but what about the afternoon? Many of us hit a slump around 3 or 4 pm. Instead of seeking out a quick fix in the form of sugar or caffeine, take a few moments to check in with yourself.
How is your body feeling? Are you holding tension anywhere? How are you feeling emotionally? Close your eyes and breathe into any areas of discomfort (whether physical or emotional). Then ask yourself, “What do I need right now?” Maybe that’s a drink of water, a healthy snack, a quick full-body stretch or a breath of fresh air.
Once you’ve tended to your needs, refresh your energy by misting some Amethyst Hair + Energy Refresher around your space, body and hair. This vibrational spray inspires a fresh start, dispels negative energy and balances the crown chakra to support calmness and creativity. It also smooths fly-aways and frizz to keep your hair energized and fresh all afternoon!
♥ Schedule time to treat yourself.
We all have multiple demands competing for our time and energy, so if we don’t make self-care a priority it often doesn’t happen.
If you’re feeling depleted or burned out, it might be time to schedule a weekly date with yourself on the calendar. Treat this time like an important appointment-- because it is! Light a candle, gather your favorite crystals, and enjoy a luxurious bubble bath and hair mask. Your hair AND your heart will thank you!
♥ Brush away the day.
Most of us love the feeling of gently brushing through our hair, making this the perfect calming ritual at the end of a long day. Brushing your hair at the scalp distributes natural oils, improves circulation and rejuvenates the hair follicles. To prevent breakage, use a soft natural bristle brush and avoid harsh or excessive brushing.
♥ Feed your mind while you do your hair.
Curling, flat ironing or styling hair can be time-consuming! Make the most of this time by listening to an uplifting, inspirational podcast or audiobook while you style. It’s a wonderful way to put yourself into a positive headspace for the day ahead.
♥ Create a high-vibe styling space.
Whether you do your hair in your bathroom or at your dressing table, make sure it’s a space where you love to spend time. A few small upgrades can make a big difference: fresh flowers, LED makeup lights, a beautiful crystal point and clutter-free surfaces raise the vibrations of your styling area instantly. Store your favorite products, brushes, and heat tools in one convenient place for easy access.
Eat for hair health
A healthy, nutrient-dense diet is essential for strong, shiny, healthy strands. All areas of health are connected, so the same foods that nourish your body also nourish your hair!
There is no single nutrient or superfood that will deliver healthy hair. Instead, focus on eating a balance of protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water!
Protein + healthy fats
Hair is made up of protein, and it’s important to get enough. Eating protein-rich foods has been shown to support hair growth and prevent hair loss. Some of our fave protein sources include beans, lentils, tofu and quinoa.
Healthy fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, promote thicker and shinier hair. We love walnuts, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and avocado! If you include animal products in your diet, oily fish (such as salmon and mackerel) are rich in protein and omega-3 fats as well.
Vitamins + minerals + antioxidants
All fruits and vegetables are packed with the nutrients you need for healthy hair. You can’t go wrong here, so load up your plate with a rainbow of vibrant colors! Fresh or frozen spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, berries, broccoli and citrus fruits are especially beneficial for your hair.
A dehydrated body means dehydrated hair, so drink up! A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day, but you may need more if you live in a hot climate or you are very active. Upgrade your plain water with lemon or orange slices for a boost of hair-friendly folate and Vitamin C.
Taking a hair growth vitamin as a supplement to a balanced diet can support overall hair health. Look for a vitamin that includes Vitamin B12, Vitamin E, biotin, folic acid and vegan collagen.
Everyone’s needs are different, so it’s recommended to check with your health care provider before adding new supplements to your wellness regimen.
Score some extra beauty sleep
With so much going on in our lives, sleep has become a luxury. But science shows that getting quality sleep (and enough of it!) is essential for everything from muscle repair to stress relief to hair health.
Restorative sleep is needed for the protein synthesis of the hair. Sleep is also the time when your body releases the growth hormones and enzymes that support overall hair health. Skimping on sleep can lead to dry, dull or brittle hair and slower hair growth. In the worst cases, poor sleep can even cause hair loss.
It isn’t always possible to get 8 solid hours of ZZZs, but practicing good sleep hygiene can help you get a better night’s rest. A completely dark, cool room is ideal for promoting deep sleep. Try to avoid all screens in the hour before bed and keep your phone out of your bedroom. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule and avoid long daytime naps!
While your hair restores itself overnight, protect it from damage with these tips:
♥ Avoid sleeping on wet hair.
Damp or wet hair is more fragile and prone to breakage than dry hair. Make sure to blow dry wet hair or let it air dry completely before you call it a night.
♥ Braid long hair.
It’s OK to throw your hair up in a bun while you get ready for bed, but don’t leave it up overnight. The tension from a tight updo can pull and damage your hair. Instead, protect your ends by sleeping with your hair in a low, loose braid or ponytail.
♥ Satin > cotton.
Most of us sleep on cotton pillowcases, but upgrading to satin can have a big impact on your hair health. Satin is softer and gentler than cotton, so it doesn’t pull or tug the hair. This means less breakage and fewer split ends. If you don’t want to change your pillowcase, wrap your hair in a beautiful satin head scarf before bedtime.
Apply coconut oil pre-workout
Give your hair a treat while you exercise! Before your next at-home sweat sesh, work a scoop of organic coconut oil into your hair from roots to tips. Comb the oil through your strands and braid your hair. The heat and sweat from your workout will help the nourishing oil penetrate your hair’s cuticle to deep-condition, rehydrate and restore natural shine. Post-workout, just wash and style your hair as usual.
Show your scalp some love
Scalp wellness is often overlooked, but it’s one of the biggest drivers of hair health! A clean, healthy scalp is the foundation for strong, shiny hair. Just a few simple changes to your hair care routine can make a big difference in the health of your scalp:
♥ Skip the sulfates.
Many shampoos contain cleansing agents called sulfates, which create a foamy lather when you wash your hair. But these harsh detergents can also strip away your hair’s natural oils and dry out the delicate skin of your scalp. Instead, pick up a gentle sulfate-free shampoo. It won’t make as many bubbles, but your hair will get just as clean-- and be a lot healthier!
Styling products, dead skin cells, and natural oils build up on the scalp over time and can clog the hair follicles. Just as you exfoliate the skin on your face and body, it’s important to exfoliate your scalp on a regular basis. Using an exfoliating shampoo or scalp scrub once a month helps to clear any blocked follicles for thicker hair and faster hair growth.
♥ Focus on the essentials.
Natural essential oils have some amazing benefits for the hair and scalp. Try chamomile oil to soothe the scalp, lavender oil to reduce dandruff, or rosemary oil for better scalp circulation.
Mix a few drops of essential oil into 2 ounces of a carrier oil, such as almond or jojoba, and apply it directly to your scalp. Wrap your head in plastic wrap or an old towel, and wait for at least 30 minutes. Then shampoo your hair, style as usual, and enjoy the glow!
Who doesn’t love a good scalp massage? This is one of the best ways to improve circulation and help nutrients reach your hair follicles, and it’s so easy to do at home! Just take a few extra moments in the shower to massage your scalp while you wash your hair. Once a week, lay down and gently rub your head with your fingertips or a scalp massager for 5-10 minutes. Breath deeply and release any tension from your scalp, forehead or jaw. We often clench these muscles without realizing it, especially when we’re feeling anxious or stressed. This simple self-care ritual can make a world of difference!
♥ Hold off on heat.
Exposing your head to scorching-hot water and hot air from your blow dryer can dehydrate the skin of your scalp. Use lukewarm water to rinse your hair in the shower, and try to keep blow drying to every other day at most.
♥ Sun protect.
You know the importance of using sunscreen on your face every day--but what about your scalp? The delicate skin on the scalp is frequently exposed to direct sunlight and can easily get burned. (If you’ve ever burned your hair part, you know that a scalp sunburn is the absolute worst!) Wear a hat as much as possible when you’re in the sun. You can also use a shampoo that contains sunscreen or apply a high-SPF sunscreen spray directly to your part.
Keep up with regular trims
Most stylists recommend that you get a trim every 4-6 weeks to maintain your cut, or every 10-12 weeks to grow out your hair. Regular trims are essential for healthy hair growth because they remove damaged or broken ends.
It may not be possible to book an appointment at your favorite salon right now, but with the right tools and lots of care you can clean up split ends with an at-home hair trim.
We’ve all heard horror stories of home haircuts gone terribly wrong (ahem, crooked bangs!), so proceed with caution and keep these tips in mind:
♥ Only use professional styling shears. While it might be tempting to reach for the kitchen shears or your daughter’s hot-pink kiddie scissors, you need razor-sharp blades that are especially made for cutting hair. Ordering a quality pair of haircutting shears online is an important investment in your hair’s health and beauty.
♥ Keep it low-key. This isn’t the time to give yourself bangs or try to recreate your favorite celebrity’s pixie cut. Take off as little length as possible-- remember, you can always cut more later but you can’t put the hair back! If you’re cutting your hair wet, be aware that it will look shorter once it dries.
♥ Use a guide. Freestyle cutting is best left to the pros. Instead, use your index and middle fingers or a long comb as a guide to help ensure a straight line. Maintain very light tension and avoid overstretching your hair, especially if it is curly.
♥ Work with your hair type. If you have straight hair and want a blunt trim, dampen it before cutting to achieve sharp, clean lines. If your hair is curly, wavy or layered, it may be easier to cut it dry so you can envision the final results.
♥ Be aware of your desired shape. The way you hold your scissors and section your hair can have a major impact on the final outcome of your haircut. For a basic blunt trim, check out this simple YouTube tutorial from Patry Jordan.
Many of us rely on a few tried-and-true hairstyles that we can do with our eyes closed. There’s nothing wrong with that (who doesn’t love a good messy bun on a lazy day?), but sometimes it pays to break out of a hair rut.
Learning an innovative new style is a great way to boost your confidence. If you’re working from home, dressing up and styling your hair can help you feel more motivated and productive… and if a style doesn’t turn out so well, only your family will see it! Bonus: in the future, you’ll have a whole repertoire of gorgeous braids, buns, ponytails and twists to show off.
Looking for hair inspiration? Follow @aiirprofessional on Instagram for stunningly beautiful hairstyles and check out our step-by-step styling tutorials here!
Hair love = self-love
So there you have it, darlings-- our top 10 ways to upgrade your hair wellness practice. We hope this has inspired you to show yourself some extra kindness and care during this unique and challenging season of life.
How do you integrate hair care into your wellness routine? We’d love to hear your tips and ideas! Post a picture on Instagram and tag us @aiirprofessional so we can inspire each other in our self-care. ♥
The AIIR Professional team