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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.

    blot-towel

      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 16, 2019

                                How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                                We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                                The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                                Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                                1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                                Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                                For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                                • (1) Research
                                • (2) Deciding the topic
                                • (3) Creating the outline
                                • (4) Drafting the content
                                • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                                • (6) Revision
                                • (7) etc.

                                Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                                2. Change Your Environment

                                Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                                One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                                3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                                Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                                Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                                My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                                Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                                4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                                If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                                Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                                I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                                5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                                I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                                Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                                As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                                6. Get a Buddy

                                Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                                I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                                7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                                This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                                For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                                8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                                What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                                9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                                If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                                Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                                10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                                Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                                Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                                11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                                At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                                Reality check:

                                I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                                More About Procrastination

                                Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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