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Last Updated on January 17, 2018

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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      Macadamia-Heat-Protection-Serum-1.5oz

        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.

              applecidervin

                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!).

                comb-hair-sections

                  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.

                          dryer-down

                            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 January 15, 2019

                                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                                Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                                Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                                Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                                Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                                The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                                There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                                How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                                According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                                Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                                Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                                The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                                Listen carefully:

                                We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                                The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                                Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                                8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                                There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                                Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                                1. Pray Daily

                                You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                                When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                                Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                                Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                                2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                                A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                                By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                                Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                                If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                                This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                                How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                                3. Smile Often

                                Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                                Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                                Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                                The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                                4. Organize Your Working Desk

                                A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                                When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                                Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                                Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                                5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                                I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                                Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                                What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                                6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                                God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                                I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                                I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                                7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                                You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                                How do you do that? This is my formula:

                                First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                                If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                                If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                                If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                                Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                                8. Go Exercise

                                Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                                The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                                You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                                12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                                The Bottom Line

                                It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                                It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                                Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                                More Resources About Mindfulness

                                Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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