5 Natural Tricks for Shiny, Fabulous Hair

’Tis the season for . . . photo ops. And yet ’tis the season for frizz and fuss, when winter weather and dry indoor air take a toll on skin, nails and hair. This year, look to your kitchen instead of beauty shelves when prepping for the party.

Here’s why: Many conventional shampoos, conditioners and hair-enhancing goos, gels, serums and spritzes contain ingredients like alcohols (isopropyl, propyl, SD-40), sulfates, formaldehyde and fragrances, which can damage your hair over time.

Instead, stock your cabinet with gentle, natural ingredients and try these easy tricks.

  1. Look for petroleum-free shampoos and conditioners with exceptionally moisturizing oils like jojoba, argan, avocado, coconut or olive, rich in protective and nourishing vitamins (such as A and E) and omega fatty acids.
  2. Rinse with vinegar—or citrus. The unfortunate truth is that most hair products cause pH imbalance, resulting in oil and product residue build-up. Vinegar is an instant pH balancer, increasing shine and body by rinsing away dirt and icky build-up. Dilute 1:1 with water; use 1–2 cups total. Don’t want to smell like salad? Try gentle products with citrus (citric acid), which work similarly.
  3. Or try beer. Sorry, contrary to Internet rumors beer isn’t a miracle cure for thinning hair. But its alcohol content can help achieve a deeper clean for better body and shine. A half to full pint should do the trick.
  4. Avoid overdrying with blow dryer. If you can’t air dry, try a combo of gentle towel drying and drying with an old T-shirt, which wicks moisture quicker than some terrycloth towels—plus smooth surface texture creates less frizz.
  5. Get deep moisture with natural oils (see tip 1), which tame frizz and increase shine. Caution: Too much oil will overload hair and make it limp! Technique matters: Work a tablespoon or so into hair before bed, sleep with a shower cap, and then shampoo as usual in the morning to remove excess oils. Alternate technique: Use an even smaller amount as you would a silicone-based hair serum. After showering, work ½ teaspoon oil into nearly dry strands, concentrating on the tips.