How To Care For Short Hair

   A lovely reader sent me this question:

"I have short hair by most standards, for a woman.  I want to take care of it well.  I was happy to discover that I use a fairly non-harsh shampoo (I don't use conditioner at all, except for occasionally if I'm in someone else's shower and try it out).  By the method you provide for shampooing, I find to be difficult.  With short hair, it's hard to wash the scalp and roots without getting it on the ends of the hair.  Additionally, if I did start to use conditioner regularly, I imagine it would be very difficult to get the conditioner on the ends while completely avoiding the roots.  How do I avoid this conundrum?  Are there separate hair care techniques for short-haired people?  Do we just not need to take care of our hair as rigorously as longer haired people (since there's less of it to deal with)?"

    Shorter hair definitely needs a different kind of care! The good news is that short hair is easy to take care of. Here is how to go about it

    Short hair is usually much less damaged than long hair. It doesn't get damaged by rubbing and tangling around bag straps, scarves and hair elastics. And any damaged parts grow out and are cut off quite often. So theoretically short hair has a high chance of being perfectly healthy. In practice, I have seen women with short but damaged hair, probably due to harsh shampoos, dyeing, straightening  and lack of conditioning.
Short hair tends to be less dry and sometimes it can be oily (because the scalp oils have a shorter distance to travel). Another issue is styling, because short hair often tends to stick out in all directions.

How to take care of short hair:

* Use a gentle shampoo
   Pick a shampoo that is sulfate-free (no SLS or SLES). An aggressive shampoo will dry out the hair and scalp, simultaneously stimulating it to produce more oils. Owners of very short hair usually don't need to use the conditioning-only method or the condition-wash-condition method, simple shampooing is enough.

* Conditioning:
    Even short and healthy hair needs conditioning once in a while: once a week or a fortnight. If you feel that conditioner weights the hair down, try either using a light product, like a leave in; or try to condition before washing. If you need extra moisture, a hair mask works well. You can also oil your hair before washing, once every 1-2 weeks, for extra softness, shine and protection.

* It's a bad idea to go to sleep with wet hair.
   Long hair is heavy enough to stay straight, but short hair will be pressed into all possible directions. Also, change your pillowcases to satin, this will minimise damage from your hair rubbing around when you sleep.

* Avoid drying your hair on the hottest setting or straightening it.
   Both do huge damage to the hair. Be gentle while brushing/combing the hair, and don't do it when the hair is wet.

* Get regular haircuts
     Short hair needs to be cut every 4-6 weeks to look good. This is because individual hairs grow out at a different pace, and a grown-out style can often look unkept.

* Styling:
    I'm not an expert hair, but generally it is important that the styling product doesn't weight down the hair. Use only small amounts of the product; or try applying the product only on the ends. If you do use a lot of styling products, don't forget to clarify from time to time.

    Any of you short-hair owners have extra tips for keeping your hair healthy and beautiful?

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