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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 September 18, 2020

                                7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                                7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                                Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                                Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                                1. Exercise Daily

                                It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                                If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                                Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                                If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                                2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                                Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                                One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                                This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                                3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                                Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                                Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                                Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                                4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                                Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                                The basic nutritional advice includes:

                                • Eat unprocessed foods
                                • Eat more veggies
                                • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                                • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                                Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                                  5. Watch Out for Travel

                                  Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                                  This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                                  If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                                  6. Start Slow

                                  Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                                  If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                                  7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                                  Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                                  My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                                  If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                                  I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                                  Final Thoughts

                                  Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                                  Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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                                  Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

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