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15 Easy Ways to Get Silky, Smooth Hair

15 Easy Ways to Get Silky, Smooth Hair

Smooth, shiny locks a la Jennifer Aniston aren’t totally unattainable, even if you don’t have a celeb-level hairstylist (let alone a Hollywood-size beauty budget). There are plenty of easy tricks you can use at home, no salon trip necessary! If you want to get silky, glistening strands, try some (or all) of these smooth hair solutions. They’ll work whether you want beautifully defined curls or a shimmering mane of straight hair.

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    1. Rinse with cold water

    Yes, it can be painful in winter, but this is a tried-and-true way to get smooth hair. The cold doesn’t just make you want to shrink up — it does the same thing to your hair. Warmth makes the hair cuticle (the outer layer of each individual hair) open, while cold makes it close up. Rinsing with cold water encourages your individual strands to stay flat.

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      2. Blot, don’t rub

      When you step out of the shower, it’s tempting to wrap your hair in a towel and give your head a good rub to remove excess water. Don’t do it! Rubbing roughs up your hair and can cause breakage, and it also encourages frizz. Instead, use your towel to blot away on top of your head. Give the longer sections of your hair a gentle squeeze with the towel to get rid of extra H2O.

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        3. Use a protective serum

        If you want shiny locks, chances are you blow dry your hair — and if it’s a straight style you’re after, a flat iron’s likely involved as well. Though these do create a shiny appearance right away, over time damage from regular heat styling will actually reduce the luster and degrade the smooth texture of your hair. When you can, step away from the heat stylers and give your hair a day off. And when you do turn up the heat, first protect your hair with a serum like Carol’s Daughter Macadamia Heat Protection Serum ($18, hsn.com).

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          4. Get regular trims

          Even if you’re growing out your hair, keeping up with regular trims is key for smooth strands. Even if your roots look amazing and polished, damaged and split ends will ruin that illusion.

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            5. Do an aloe mask

            Aloe vera doesn’t just help with burns — it also contains enzymes that encourage healthy hair growth. It also has a similar composition to keratin (the protein that’s the main building block of your hair), allowing it to easily penetrate hair. To do, dilute a small amount of aloe (the gel from a couple of pieces of the plant is key — if you’re using a prepared aloe vera gel, make sure it doesn’t contain alcohol) in a cup of warm water. Comb through hair, let it sit for 30 minutes, then rinse.

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              6. Make your hair a smoothie

              For a truly indulgent mask that is unbelievably softening, mash together one ripe banana with 2 teaspoons of plain yogurt until you have a smooth paste. This combo is crazy moisturizing, and a treat for your scalp as well as your tresses. Rub it all through your hair, and put on a shower cap (or something else to keep banana from getting all over the place!). After 45 minutes, rinse and shampoo.

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                7. Create a clarifying rinse

                Up softness and shine — and remove accumulated product built-up (yuck!) with an apple cider vinegar rinse. It helps to restore your tresses’ pH balance, gets rid of gunk, and closes up the cuticle. Best of all, it’s super-simple. Dilute a quarter-cup of cider vinegar in one cup of water. After your normal shower routine, pour it through your mane. Work it through from roots to ends, then rinse out (and yes, if you want even better results, rinse it out with cold water!).

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                  8. Comb with care

                  Taking a brush straight to wet hair is a recipe for frizz and breakage. For smooth strands, use a wide-toothed comb on damp hair. Working in sections, start detangling at the ends and work vertically. Bothered by knots and/or a sensitive scalp? Spritz your hair with a product like It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product ($18, ulta.com) before you head into the fray.

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                    9. Don’t wash more than needed

                    “Second-day hair” is everywhere, but not just because it’s super-easy. Unless you have hair that’s crazy-oily, you probably don’t need to shampoo every day. Over-shampooing can strip your hair of its natural oils, which help give it shine and prevent damage. Experiment with skipping a day to find a schedule that works for you. Not comfortable going totally au natural? Use a dry shampoo like Batiste Dry Shampoo ($8, drugstore.com), then simply style as usual.

                    keratinearth

                      10. Try an at-home straightening treatment

                      Those images of stylists wearing gas masks has pretty much put everyone off salon straightening treatments, which though effective are also chock full of creepy chemicals. The Keratin Earth system (keratinearth.com) is formaldehyde free and boasts natural ingredients — and rave reviews. With daily shampoo and conditioner and monthly treatments, it tames even the toughest frizz.

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                        11. Give your hair some guac

                        If your hair is prone to dryness, it also likely tends toward dullness and breakage. Get your smooth on with an avocado mask. Avocados aren’t just yummy, they’re also full of vitamins and proteins that are great for your hair. To make, mash together an extremely ripe avocado, 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of honey. Keep on mixing ’til there aren’t any lumps, then use a wide-toothed comb to spread it through your dry tresses. Wait 10-30 minutes, then hop in the shower as per normal.

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                          12. Get your gloss on

                          Regular gloss treatments are one way celebrities keep their hair so insanely shiny and gorgeous at all times. It’s what it sounds like — almost like putting a clear topcoat on each individual strand of your hair so it’s smooth and light-reflecting. The goods news is you can get the same effect at home by using a glossing treatment either as part of your regular shower routine or as a weekly treatment. John Frieda Clear Shine Luminous Hair Glaze ($11, walgreens.com) works on all hair colors.

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                            13. Point your dryer down

                            Again, air-drying is best for your hair. But if you’re in a hurry or working on a serious style, be sure you’re blowdrying the right way. Use a diffuser so you aren’t scorching your strands, and point the nozzle down. That way, you’re encouraging the cuticle to stay smooth and flat (an updraft can make it open right up). Finish by giving your whole dome a once-over using the cool setting for the smoothest hair.

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                              14. Sleep on satin

                              Want to avoid frizz and breakage, and make that blowout last longer? Rest your head (and your hair) on a satin pillowcase instead of the usual cotton to keep your strands smooth.

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                                15. Finish it off with a shine spray

                                Perfect for sprucing up second-day hair or adding definition to curls, shine spray can be the finishing touch on your smooth style. Just don’t overdo it! A little goes a long way, and you want to be shiny, not greasy. For curly hair, spray it on your palms, then scrunch it through your curls. If you’ve got a straight style, spritz it on a paddle brush, then gently brush it through your tresses. One to try: Bumble and bumble Shine On Finishing Spray ($15, bumbleandbumble.com).

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                                Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                                You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                                Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                                1. Work on the small tasks.

                                When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                                Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                                2. Take a break from your work desk.

                                Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                                Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                                3. Upgrade yourself

                                Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                                The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                                4. Talk to a friend.

                                Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                                Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                                5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                                If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                                Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                                Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                                6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                                If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                                Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                                Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                                7. Read a book (or blog).

                                The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                                Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                                Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                                8. Have a quick nap.

                                If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                                9. Remember why you are doing this.

                                Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                                What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                                10. Find some competition.

                                Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                                Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                                11. Go exercise.

                                Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                                Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                                As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                                Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                                12. Take a good break.

                                Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                                Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                                Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                                Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                                More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                                Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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