Everyone wants smooth, nourished hair that feels soft to the touch. While some may vary in what they ideally would like their hair to look like – e.g. voluminous and full of body, or straight and sleek – almost everyone wants hair that is soft and healthy. Many hair care companies push products that promise to make hair soft and touchable after just one use; while these promises sound great, getting soft hair is a result of taking certain steps in your hair care regimen, not some miracle product that costs a fortune. Here are some simple ways to keep hair soft.

Proper Washing and Conditioning – If you want soft, healthy hair, shampoo and condition your hair like the pros do. No, this doesn’t mean running to the salon and dropping big bucks on pricey shampoo and conditioner. Rather, use the same washing methods that professional stylists do. Before you step into the shower, thoroughly brush all tangles out of your hair. In addition, give yourself a soothing scalp massage to break up any oil or dirt lingering in your scalp. Once you’re in the shower, pour shampoo into your palm, never directly to your scalp. Add water to the shampoo and rub the product between your palms. Apply to wet hair only at the scalp, and gently work the product in with the pads of your fingers. Rinse thoroughly, and forget that old advice to wash twice: This only dries the hair out. Once the shampoo is thoroughly washed out of the hair, gently squeeze excess water out, avoiding twisting or tugging on the hair. Apply conditioner, and allow it to sit for a few minutes – ladies, this is a great time to shave your legs. When rinsing your conditioner out, use a wide toothed comb to break up any tangles.

Avoid Styling Snafus – One of the key secrets to soft hair is avoiding those styling pitfalls that cause so much damage. When you are blow-drying or heat-styling your hair, always start with hair that is 100% dry, and that has been prepped with a thermal protecting spray. Furthermore, take extra care to avoid snagging your hair when brushing, curling, or straightening. If you truly want soft hair, avoid teasing altogether. It breaks hair, rendering it dry, frizzy, and definitely not soft. If you need height, cheat with one of the many “bump” headbands available today. These plastic hair accessories give hair height, while forgoing damaging teasing.

Hard Water – One of the secrets as to why hair always looks amazing after you leave the salon has nothing to do with your stylist’s skill or expensive product. Salons use water filters, which eliminates hard water and calcium build-up, which can damage and dry out hair. Beauty supply stores sell elaborate water-purifying shower heads for hundreds of dollars, but never fear: The basic water filtering shower heads at the hardware store do the exact same thing for pennies on the dollar.

With these simple tips, you are sure to have hair that is touchable and soft. Show your hair a little TLC, and the payoff will be beautiful, smooth hair that you will be happy to run your fingers through.

Linda D. Benes is a beauty writer, specializing in trends in the hair care sphere and hair loss clinic industry news. A born and bred Canadian, Linda has written extensively on Canadian-based innovations in hair restoration, and has spent years researching the best place to undergo a hair transplant in Toronto.

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