How To Soften Hair

Woman with long soft hair
Q: Can you give some tips on how to soften hair? I used to have really soft hair, but now that I'm older (41) I no longer manage to make it soft. What hair care products do I need to soften my hair?
A: One of the things that we never learn in school is how our bodies are likely to change as we get beyond puberty and adolescence. One of the things that often shocks people is that their hair will often change with age as well.
Hormone levels that affect aging and development, also affect the way the hair grows, turning thick, coarse hair finer and sparse, or change once soft, silky-smooth hair to wiry, dry fibers.
Luckily, we do have hair care products that can help with these changes, as long as we remember to use them, and also remember that in most cases the benefits are cumulative. So step one is to make sure that you are using a shampoo and conditioner that is moisture-rich (one for dry or damaged hair).
Also remember that while you only need to shampoo the hair when it is soiled, you should condition the hair every day. Whether that involves using a rinse-through conditioner in the shower or a leave-in conditioner for the days when you need to have "faster" drying time, is your choice based on your needs and time commitments.
However, to maximize your results, I recommend that you use a hot oil treatment as needed. Start by using it every two weeks. If this makes the hair as soft as you desire, stick with this schedule, if you find you need more softening or the hair gets rough again before the two weeks is up, shift to a weekly treatment. If every two weeks seems to leave the hair feeling oily, drop it to every three weeks or once a month. It's all about giving your hair what it needs.
Photo: Lakov Filimonov/Shutterstock
See also:
Deep conditioning
Analyzing your hair