The Most Googled Hair Questions of 2019, Answered

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As the first week of the new year draws to a close, it’s a good opportunity to take a look back at what we obsessed over in 2019. And when it comes to beauty, what we’ve all been Googling provides a remarkable insight. Google Trends has compiled the top beauty queries from the past year, and – surprise, surprise – half were concerned with our hair.

It turns out we’re not particularly original because we’re all asking the same things. To spare us from another year of madly Googling everything to do with our hair, stylists have given their professional answers to our most-asked questions.

How to Get Wavy Hair

It seems a lot of us are concerned with achieving the perfect curls – one of the top questions was how to get waves using straighteners. Lamphane Pathamachak from Michael Van Clarke salon says to start by taking an inch-thick vertical section of your hair, then notes: “I place the iron head pointing down on the top of the hair, starting roughly an inch or two away from the roots. Next, I will twist my iron generally away from the face, without pressing. Then, I slide the straightener down to the tips of the hair. For example, when I work on the left part of the head, I turn my iron to the right and slide down and the opposite way on the other side of the head without pressing too hard. Pressing hard will not make your curls or waves last longer, and it can crease your hair.”

And to achieve the perfect curl? “Slide your straightener slowly down to the end of your hair,” he advises. “The faster you slide down, the looser the wave will be.”

 

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How to Braid Your Hair

With the hashtag #braids clocking up nearly 13 million tags on Instagram, it’s obvious our obsession with intricately plaited hairstyles isn’t going away. However, most of us are clueless when it comes to actually braiding our own hair.

Pathamachak’s advice for getting the perfect French braid is: “First, comb the hair away from the face. Separate the top of the head into one section – you can start with a big section for a softer look, or a smaller section for a tighter look. Use a water spray to help with the flyaway hair. Split the top into three sections evenly, and start by crossing the right side over the left side like a regular plait. Then carry on braiding, adding an inch-sized section from each side, all the way down your head. Cross your sections over for a French braid, and cross them under for a Dutch braid.” FYI, the Dutch version is essentially like an inside out French braid, standing out more prominently from the head.

 

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How to Grow Your Hair Faster

Even if you long for princess-like locks that trail to your waist, growing out your hair isn’t always the easiest of tasks. And it seems many of us are impatient when it comes to our tresses because we’re constantly Googling how to make them grow faster. For Michael Van Clarke, the key is avoiding things that often lurk in our products and can damage your hair – think: UV light, poor quality shampoos and conditioners, chlorinated pool water, silicones, and plasticizers.

“Silicones are like cocaine for hair,” says Van Clarke. “They can provide a happy glossy veneer today, but are rotting the hair from the inside.” Unfortunately, products aren’t always clearly labeled. Van Clarke recommends looking out for and avoiding this lot, if you can: Dimethicone, Cyclopentasyloxane, Methicone, Amodimethicone, Phenyltrimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Divinyldimethicone, Dimethiconol, and Dimethicone Copolyol.

 

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... and Healthier

If you want your hair to be healthy and grow faster, Van Clarke also says to steer clear of aggressive hairdryer techniques that can go way beyond just dehydration to actually melting the hair. “Throw away your nozzle, keep a one-inch distance from the hair, and stop drying once that section is dry,” adds Van Clarke. He also recommends giving your scalp some TLC. Even if you take good care of your hair, ignoring scalp health could affect hair growth. “As with the skin on the rest of your body, your scalp contains sebaceous glands that produce sebum (oil). When balanced, sebum can help the hair look soft and shiny,” says Van Clarke.

However, these glands can get clogged up with oils, which Van Clarke says “can lead to a thinning and loss of the hair”. To help prevent this, exfoliate your scalp, as sometimes shampooing your hair isn’t enough. The hair stylist adds: “Scalps need to breathe easy, free of suffocating product build-up, pollution, excess sebum, oils, and dead skin, so periodic exfoliation is necessary to remove this detritus and unclog the pores.”

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