Identifying your hair type is the first step in developing a hair care routine that will keep your hair looking and feeling its best. If you’ve explored the different hair types only to identify with none or more than one, you may have normal or combination hair.
It may take a little more effort to familiarize yourself with your hair type, since you probably have a unique combination of qualities. But don’t worry — with a little treatment and effort, even the most complicated heads of hair can balance out into smooth, silky tresses.
What Does it Mean to Have Normal Hair, Exactly?
Normal hair is regulated by the natural oils on your scalp, resulting in consistently shiny and healthy looking hair. This hair type tends to be easy to manage, soft to the touch, and absent of many hair woes common in other hair types. People with normal hair usually have an easier time when it comes to maintaining ideal hair quality. However, normal hair is not completely resilient and still needs proper care to maintain its healthy look.
And What Does it Mean to Have Combination Hair?
Combination hair tends to be characterized by an oily scalp and dry ends, which indicates that the scalp’s natural oils are not traveling down the hair shaft effectively. This can make your hair difficult to manage, because you are dealing with the disadvantages of two different hair types. Combination hair is usually caused by curly, frizzy, or long hair not allowing the excess oils from the scalp to travel down to the tips of the hair. This traps the oils on the scalp and results in a greasy appearance. The trick to caring for combination hair is to balance out the oiliness and dryness to create a happy medium throughout.
How to Care for Normal Hair
Normal hair care is relatively simple since it’s based on maintenance and prevention. Unless you are noticing a specific problem, normal hair tends to behave ideally and may only need a light hair care routine. Heat protectants, light hair oils, and nutrient-rich finishing sprays will prevent your hair from drying out and becoming damaged, without adding too much oil to your already well-balanced scalp.
Weather and other external factors can throw your hair balance out of whack, so you may need to occasionally switch up your hair care routine. If your hair is drying out more frequently than normal, try adding a light leave-in conditioner to your ends. If your scalp is producing excess oil, add a dry shampoo to your roots.
How to Care for Combination Hair
This hair type can make caring for your hair a little difficult, since different parts of your hair need different kinds of attention. For example, if you focus on moisturizing your hair with treatments and conditioners, you may end up with an even more oily scalp. If you focus on removing excess oils, you may end up with even drier ends, which could lead to damage. The trick is to treat both issues, while avoiding drying out the ends further and adding oils to the scalp.
Try shampooing only a few times per week with a gentle shampoo. Focus on the scalp and don’t bring the shampoo all the way down to the ends. When you rinse the shampoo out, the product with wash through all of the hair so make sure to rinse it out efficiently and thoroughly.
When it’s time to condition, apply the product to the bottom half of your hair, stopping at the midpoint between your roots and your ends. Leave it on for about 1 ½ minutes or as the packaging suggests, and then rinse. Let your hair dry naturally when you get out of the shower. Apply a moisturizing product when your hair is still damp, being careful to only distribute it to the bottom half of your hair. As for styling, try out air dry hairstyles or embrace your hair’s natural shape.
On days that you skip washing, use dry shampoo on your roots and a moisturizing product on your ends.
Common Combination Hair Concerns
Since your hair has trouble balancing oiliness and dryness, a few concerns arise that should be addressed. Learning how to deal with each issue will help you develop a regimen that will keep your hair nourished and healthy.Damaged Ends from Dryness
Your hair’s dry ends are more prone to damage, so care for them well. Dryness, after all, can be easily treated. But once dryness turns to damage, repair becomes a more intense and time-consuming process.
- Get the ends of your hair trimmed every 6-8 weeks to prevent breakage and split ends from traveling up the hair shaft. Find a trusted stylist who knows exactly what your hair goals are so that they are better able to help you achieve them.
- Try sleeping with a nourishing oil on your ends. Overnight hair care gives your hair the opportunity to soak up nutrients for an extended period of time while you sleep. Apply the oil and loosely braid your hair to prevent your ends from transferring the oil to your scalp.
- Avoid chemically processing or using heat on your hair. Added damage can result in breakage. If you need to use heat on your hair, use a heat protectant and turn the heat down on your hot tool.
Washing your hair daily can have detrimental effects on your scalp health and, for combination hair especially, your ends. Shampooing three times per week is plenty — but what about the greasy appearance that occurs on second- and third-day hair? Below are a few products and techniques that combat excess oil.
- Use a dry shampoo. This product will be your best friend on non-washing days. Apply it to your roots in layers and keep a travel size with you for touch-ups during the day as needed.
- Embrace updos and ponytails. Take the time to perfect unique braids or find your signature updo. Use this as an opportunity to exercise your hair creativity and have some fun. These hairstyles will camouflage your oily scalp, replace the damaging use of hot tools, and add some variety to your look.
- If you have straight hair, brush your hair in the morning with a natural bristle brush. Natural bristles carry the oil from your scalp down to your ends. This distributes the oil more evenly, which minimizes the greasy scalp look. Avoid this method if you have wavy or curly hair, as brushing may cause frizz.
Both oily hair and dry hair are infamous for their dull tendencies. Since combination hair includes both characteristics, it makes sense that dullness is a common hair concern. The good news is that there are lots of products on the market that will help your hair regain its shine.
- Add a shine spray to the end of your hair care routine. Perfect for use on both curly and straight styles, a shine spray penetrates the cuticle to bring out your hair’s natural luster.
- Put down the hot tools. Even with a heat protectant spray, excessive hot tool use over time can deplete your hair of its natural shine and cause a dull, fried appearance.
- Be careful not to coat your hair with too many chemicals. Chemical-filled products and processing can create harmful buildup on your hair that drowns out luster and eventually leads to breakage. If you are noticing product buildup on your hair, use a clarifying shampoo. Note: only do this about once every two weeks to avoid drying out your hair.
Best Haircuts and Styles for Combination Hair
Combination hair requires some creativity when it comes to creating volume and movement. Since it’s best to keep hot tools away from your fragile ends, embracing your hair’s natural shape (perhaps with the assistance of a styling mousse) is the best way to style combination hair.
Try getting a short or medium length haircut with subtle face-framing layers. The longer your hair is, the less likely it is that the oil from your scalp will make its way down to your ends. Adding layers will add variety to the weight of your hair, which will add volume and texture.
Molding your hair with a light styling paste and treating your ends to a nourishing oil will help keep your look fresh and voluminous all day.
What Are the Best Products for Normal and Combination Hair?
Our Miracle Shine Spray is the perfect finishing touch on combination hair — use it to combat dullness and give life to your dry ends.
Applying Miracle Oil Plus Keratin is a great way to infuse moisture and valuable nutrients into your hair without weighing it down or adding to chemical buildup.
Dry shampoo absorbs the excess oils on your scalp, combatting that greasy look. This is especially helpful on days when you skip washing your hair in the shower.
Since your ends are not receiving adequate moisture from your scalp, they need an intense, thirst-quenching treatment. Our Potion 10 Miracle Repair Mask penetrates deeply into the hair to repair damage and smoothes the cuticle.