Healthy Ways to Soften Your Hair Besides a Perm

Oil pouring onto woman's forehead and hair

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Taking your hair from dry and brittle to soft and manageable doesn't have to be a big process. Perms use chemicals which can sometimes be harmful for your hair. Finding a healthy way to soften your locks may be the way to go if you want to keep your tresses vibrant. Give your hair a little TLC and go natural.


It may sound obvious, but the importance of conditioning can't be overstated. The more conditioned your hair, the softer it will be. Condition your hair after every wash and deep condition dry hair regularly. Once per week to once per month -- depending on your hair type -- apply a deep conditioner to your hair, cover it with a shower cap and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. In most cases, the coarser the hair, the drier it is, which means it will require more conditioning. Hot oil treatments also work. Apply as instructed on the packaging. Generally, apply the oil from root to tip, wrap with a hot towel and allow the oil to sit for the recommended time before rinsing it out.

Olive Oil

Instead of spending money on a conditioning treatment, head to your kitchen and grab some olive oil. Olive oil is high in vitamin E, which promotes hair growth. It also promotes scalp health and prevents dandruff. Because it's naturally lightweight, it will leave your hair conditioned without weighing it down. Slightly heat 1/2 cup of olive oil, apply it to dry hair, cover with a shower cap and let it sit for 45 minutes. Shampoo hair and then rinse.

Other Natural Options

Your fridge contains some fantastic hair treatments too. Try butter or mayonnaise on your tresses. Massage a pat of butter onto your hair, cover with a shower cap and let it sit for 30 minutes before shampooing. Use mayonnaise in place of conditioner. Massage the same amount as you would conditioner into your hair, hang out for a few minutes, then rinse and shampoo.

Switch Your Shampoo

Sulfates, which are found in some shampoos to help cleanse hair, can also strip away a lot of your natural oils, which are good for keeping hair healthy. Switch to a sulfate-free shampoo which will be gentler on your locks. Also, if you shampoo every day, try to go one to two days between washes to allow natural oils to build up on your scalp.