Let’s face it, we all want soft hair. But with seasonal changes, drying dyes, and heating styling tools on high rotation, our strands are exposed to some seriously rough treatment. Add in the wrong haircare products or ingredients (we’re looking at you, sulfates) and getting softer hair can feel more like a dream than reality.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet for fixing coarse, frizzy, tangled, or unhappy tresses, either. That ACV rinse that worked wonders for your friend? It might do nothing for your lovely locks – besides making them smell like vinegar.
Here’s the honest truth. If getting hair that’s soft and healthy is your goal, you’ll need to commit to a combination of strengthening, moisturising, and cleansing techniques. This way, you’ll ensure your mane is clean and brilliant, with a healthy balance of oils and the strength to stand up to whatever life throws at it.
To learn how to get soft hair no matter your hair type, read on. We’ve rounded up 15 simple steps that are sure to give your locks some silky love!
15 Ways to Get Softer Hair
We’ve done some digging and these are hands down (strands down?) our favourite tips and tricks for getting soft hair that’s full of shine. You can incorporate 1, 3, or all 15 into your routine, it’s up to you! While some are healing, softening treatments, others are simply things to avoid (such as an over-reliance on your beloved heat styling tools – sorry).
Our tip: Think about your hair’s unique tendencies. So, if you’re prone to breakage and frizz, or have an oily scalp, look for relevant steps to keep things balanced for soft, silky hair year-round.
1. Get a Great Shampoo
Some people, (we’ve never met them), can use almost any shampoo with success. For the rest of us, the trial and error to find one that works should be led by a few basic guidelines: avoid de-volumising silicones and drying sulfates, prioritise natural ingredients, and look for a mix of oils and super-hydrators (like shea butter or coconut).
A great shampoo should provide instant hydration, strength, volume, and a natural lustre. Like our coconut and fig Super Hydrating Shampoo, that takes dull, dry strands to paradise with a blend of hyaluronic acid, coconut, avocado oil, and pineapple enzymes. Together, these ingredients restore proteins and essential vitamins, boost hydration and shine, seal cuticles, and help dissolve dry skin and product buildup for soft, glossy hair and a fresher, healthier scalp.
2. Try Hair Masks
Hydrating shampoos won’t always be enough to make hair significantly softer, though. Sometimes you need to bring in the big guns and use a mask to boost moisture and repair damage, while improving your hair’s overall texture.
Not sure where to start? Our multi-award-winning Like a Virgin Hair Masque revives strands from the inside out in just 10 minutes. Simply shampoo as usual, squeeze out excess moisture and generously comb the product through (in place of conditioner), let it work its magic, then rinse with warm water. For seriously parched or damaged hair, leave the masque overnight (wrapping your head in microfibre towel wrap) and wash out in the morning.
3. Use a Microfibre Hair Towel
Speaking of microfibre towels, proper drying is crucial for healthy, happy strands. Instead of your regular cotton bath towel, give your locks the love they deserve with a microfibre towel. A must for all hair types, a microfibre towel combats frizz and fly-aways by drying hair quickly and with much less friction than a standard cotton towel. (Microfibre towels also reduce blow-dry time, should you go that route.)
Using a microfibre towel is a simple way to improve the softness and texture of your tresses without much extra effort! Once you make the switch, you’ll wonder what took you so long.
4. Go Easy on the Heat Tools
You’ve heard this one before, so let this serve as a gentle reminder. Flatirons, curling wands, and blow dryers, despite their charms, can make your hair dry, brittle, and dull. Some days or events call for heat styling – we get it! However, try not to make this part of your daily routine, even if you’re using heat protectants.
(Already have some heat damage? Repairing heat-damaged hair may be easier than you think!)
5. Show Your Scalp Some Love
Hair softening is about more than just your strands. Scalp scrubs are a great addition to any haircare routine as they strip away dead skin cells and buildup, soothe irritation, and help combat flakes and oily scalps. Besides being itchy and unpleasant, clogged follicles and a dirty scalp can stunt hair growth and negatively affect its quality – so it’s time to get scrubbing!
Looking for a little at-home bliss? Try our Deep Clean Scalp Scrub, packed with hydrating and exfoliating ingredients, such as coconut shell, passionfruit, pineapple, and cooling peppermint oil. Use before shampooing for cleaner than clean locks.
6. Practice Good Shampooing Techniques
Once you have the right shampoo, be sure you’re using it the right way. From washing too frequently to using piping hot water, there are loads of common shampooing mistakes most of us make without thinking.
Proper shampooing is an easy way to get softer hair, so here are a few quick tips to improve your technique:
- Lather twice! Voluminous locks and heavily styled hair will need two rounds of shampooing for a proper clean.
- Concentrate on the scalp! Dirt and oil collect at the roots, so don’t forget to give your scalp some lathered love.
- Start with sopping wet hair! Hair that’s not fully drenched won’t get as clean once you work in the shampoo. Long-haired babes, this is extra important for you.
7. Use Coconut Oil
For smooth, supple strands, use this tropical ingredient as a mask or oil. Coconut oil smooths frizz, heals breakage, seals moisture in cuticles, and strengthens overall follicle structure by restoring essential proteins, lipids, and humectants. Using it takes a little know-how, though, so we’ve put together a guide to applying coconut oil to your hair correctly. You’re welcome.
8. Use the Right Conditioner
A great shampoo only goes so far. Ensure your tresses are getting the nutrients they need by aligning your conditioner with your hair type (and note that the kind of conditioner you use doesn’t have to match your shampoo).
For curly, coarse, or dry hair, go with a hydrating conditioner. Our Super Hydrating Cream Conditioner bountifully hydrates and works perfectly for all hair types. It’s made with a blend of almond and avocado oils, coconut, and other natural ingredients – meaning zero, zip, zilch de-volumising silicones.
Straight or wavy locks requires less maintenance than curls, so look for a smoothing conditioner that will lock in the moisture. (Our hydrating conditioner is still a great option!)
For fine or flat hair, reach for light, volumising conditioners that won’t add weight. And for brittle, processed, or damaged hair, try a fortifying or repairing conditioner. Packed with essential lipids and proteins, these are great for reducing damage and restoring follicle structure.
9. Use Protein Treatments
Some level of damage is unavoidable, especially if you colour your hair or have thinner strands to start with. Thankfully, leave-in protein treatments do a great job of repairing damaged cuticles, restoring elasticity and getting you back on the road to softness and strength.
Have limp or shedding hair that’s lost its vibrancy? Use a protein treatment once every month or two to build back texture. But know that less is more, and don’t use more often or you’ll risk drying out your hair.
Rough, dry, and brittle hair also calls for hydration. So be sure to use protein treatments alongside moisture boosters to maximise softness and vitality.
10. Use a Great Brush
No hair routine’s complete without an amazing hairbrush, and switching yours up is a no-brainer for softer strands. Our Peta-approved Tangle Tamer gently detangles all hair types while minimising breakage. Made with 2-tier bristles, it’s also a go-to for
enhancing the application of intensively nourishing masks.
11. Dry Your Hair the Right Way
Skip the blow dryer, skip the cotton bath towel, and skip the damage that comes from drying locks the wrong way!
Instead of rubbing your head with your towel (which causes lots of damage), gently pat and squeeze water from your strands with a microfibre towel. (Yes, microfibre makes all the difference!) Let your strands air-dry once you’ve taken them from dripping to damp, using this hair drying guide as a reference.
12. Incorporate a Hair Oil
Sometimes your ‘do really does needs a little extra love. For soft and glossy hair with fewer split ends, work a few drops of hair oil (or coconut oil) into the mid-lengths and ends. Non-greasy and multi-tasking, our Miracle Hair Elixir is great for restoring shine and using as a pre-styling heat-protectant. Keep oils off your scalp, however, as too much can build up and clog pores!
13. Trim Your Hair
Trimming your hair every few months helps prevent split ends, improving the look of your luscious locks. We know it seems counter-intuitive if you’re trying to reach Rapunzel-like lengths, but regular trims really are essential to keep split ends at bay!
14. Hot Oil Treatments
Have a spa day at home with a hot oil treatment for dry, brittle hair. Warm a few tablespoons of coconut or olive oil in the microwave for about 10 seconds. On clean, damp hair, work or comb through the oil until it’s evenly distributed. Cover your head with a shower cap and leave for up to 20 minutes. Rinse in the shower, then use conditioner.
Hair or scalp already oily? You can go for jojoba or almond oil instead, as they both leave less residue behind. Hot oil treatments should be done no more than once every 1 to 2 weeks.
15. Eat Hair-Healthy Foods
What you eat and drink also impacts your hair’s health. Incorporate things such as omega-3 fatty acids (found in nuts and seeds, fish and fish oil, and supplements), foods rich in iron (such as beans, beets, and spinach), Vitamins C and D, and foods packed with biotin (such as eggs).
So, now you know how to get soft hair. It can take some patience and trial and error to find the tips that work best for you, but once you find the perfect recipe, you’ll see it was worth the effort!
Edited by: Vidhya