“A few factors that can cause your hair to look dull/lifeless are improper hair care techniques, such as high heat on a hot tool, diet low in essential nutrients, too much sun or heat styling, overtreating your hair with harsh chemicals, environmental conditions, such as dry or cold air, and using too much or the wrong products,” says Jennifer Korab, a New Jersey-based hairstylist.
All of this, in turn, can keep your scalp and strands from responding to your go-to products, which is why stylists recommend “shocking” your hair to get things back on track.
According to celebrity hairstylist Gina Rivera, “hair shocking” involves changing up your routine to give your scalp and locks a jolt to stimulate growth and steer your hair health in the right direction. Then, when you start using your usual products again, your hair will be better prepared to enjoy all their benefits. Just keep in mind that this process works best on hair that is not past the point of serious damage, so if you’re dealing with issues beyond general dullness and dryness, you’ll likely need a more intensive routine overhaul instead of a one-time bump.
With that, keep scrolling to find out how stylists recommend kick-starting your journey to healthy hair.
1. Take the time for a deep clean
“Periodic switching to a clarifying shampoo can give hair a boost by removing any medications and buildup that can clog follicles and prevent hair growth and health,” says Rivera. Any residue on your scalp and strands can prevent your hair care products from working to their full potential, and that doubles if you’ve used heavy silicone-based formulas (they build up and prevent moisture from entering your locks, leaving your hair dull, frizzy and brittle). By deep cleansing your entire head with a clarifying shampoo, you will essentially be able to “shock” your scalp and strands back into balance by detoxifying them of this buildup.
2. Exfoliate your scalp
“Making your hair healthy with scalp exfoliation will help reset your scalp and alleviate conditions like dandruff,” says Graciano. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, oil and dandruff, and is “the key to healthier, shinier hair from root to tip,” adds Korab. Your hair can become weak and thin if your follicles are clogged, and exfoliation will help remove any potential clogs to create an optimal environment for new growth.
3. Rinse with cold water
“A cold water rinse is a great way to help your hair cuticle close, leaving you with a more reflective shine,” says Graciano, explaining that it can be helpful in combating the effects of hair damage. the heat on our locks. “When we apply heat to our hair, it can [cause] the cuticle to open up, which is the perfect escape route for all moisture and moisture to leave your strands rather than keep it inside. Plus, rinsing with cold water will help seal in any moisturizers you apply in the shower, allowing them to keep your hair hydrated for longer.
4. Try a deep conditioner
“Another great way to bring your hair back to life is to apply a hair mask,” says Graciano. “Allowing [a mask] fully absorbing into each strand before starting your routine is a great way to get straight into your hair strands so they absorb all the moisture and nutrients they crave.” She’s a fan of Goldie Locks Ultra Hydrating Hair Mask ($52), which should be applied to dry hair before shampoo and conditioner in the shower.
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