Multimasking May Be Exactly What Your Hair Care Routine is Missing
Since there are some 120,000 (!) different strands of hair on your head, it bears repeating that they don’t all have the same needs, or the same issues. But, instead of keeping a vast assortment of shampoos and conditioners on constant rotation in your shower—which would be costly, and not necessarily useful—the best solution for treating your hair’s varying needs is multimasking.
So, what exactly is multimasking? Simple: It’s the practice of layering different masks on different areas of your hair and scalp at one time. Think facial multi-masking—which gained momentum several years ago—only now the trend has found its way to our hair.
Your hair changes as it ages
The ends of your hair are likely 1 to 5 years old (depending on how long it is), while the hair near your scalp is brand spanking new. “Most hairs are damaged near the bottoms, while new growth from the scalp is the healthiest,” explains Gabriel Abrams at Numi and Company Hair Salon in Scarsdale, NY. Old hair tends to be tortured hair— think hairdryers, curling irons, flat irons, and chemical hair color processing. Not to mention the many years of being tugged, brushed and knotted, so clearly it has some serious dry, brittle, damaged issues. While new hairs, though perky and relatively untouched, have the burden of being close to the scalp. Thus, they’re subjected to larger bouts of product buildup and natural oil and sebum production—all of which can leave them a bit greasy.
Hair treatments need to be targeted
When you multimask, you are applying the right vitamins, nourishment and cleansers exactly where they are needed the most. For dry, brittle hair, that means smoothing on a mask with ingredients like shea butter, mango butter or silk proteins from mid-strands to ends where the deep conditioners will hydrate and seal rough, coarse ends. And for an oily scalp and roots, using a lightweight mask with ingredients like witch hazel, aloe vera juice or apple cider vinegar will not only hydrate and nourish the scalp, but also eliminate product buildup and cleanse the scalp of an overabundance of oil.
Different hair textures require different formulas
Not only is no one strand exactly alike, but no one strand may be alike from root to tip. How’s that for a conundrum? The hair near your roots may be a completely different texture from the hair mid-way down your lengths…which may be different from the hair at your ends. Yes, a part of that is related to aging (as we mentioned above), but it may also just be your hair’s natural development as it grows. The beauty of multimasking is that you can use a lightweight, oil-free mask on your roots and scalp (or even one that uses kaolin or clay powder to soak up oil), where hair tends to be straighter, oilier and your scalp may be congested with product buildup. And then apply a creamier, richer mask (or an oil-based one, think argan or avocado oil) on your ends—or even mid-way to ends where hair may be straight, wavy, curly…or any combination of all three! Plus, damage due to heat styling or chemical hair color treatments may have made hair weak, frizzy, split or dull—all of which would benefit from an intense moisture treatment.
Turn your home into a spa
The mere act of applying hair masks is a gift in itself. Think about it, you’re setting aside time (10-20 minutes which includes applying the masks and rinsing them off) to give yourself a specialized treatment once a week. When applying your scalp mask, be sure to really work the product into damp hair by parting and re-parting your hair to ensure it gets everywhere you have scalp skin. You’ll want to use circular motions with your fingers as you massage it in—which will feel amazing. For your hair mask, apply it from mid-lengths to ends (be sure your hair is damp) and use your fingers to blend the mask down your lengths. You can ensure you got every strand by using a wide-toothed comb to distribute it evenly. Then, sit back and relax for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it all out with warm water.
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