Hair Problems? Get to the Root of Them With a Product Elimination Diet

Photo: Getty Images/LaylaBird
The weather outside is frightful, that's for sure. And seemingly in solidarity with the blah weather, my hair has been very blah, too. You know the feeling when your hair is in a rut and it looks bad no matter how many products you spritz into it or how good you style it? It me.

The good news? Just as you can do an elimination diet with your food to figure out what parts of your diet aren't doing your body any favors, you can apply the same strategy to your hair products. "When your hair isn't giving you the bounce and shine you deserve, go through this checklist to eliminate the culprit," says celebrity hairstylist Monae Everett, who tells us just how to revive hair from a rut.

First up is your shampoo. "Begin by switching up your normal shampoo with deep cleansers, like a scalp exfoliator or a clarifying shampoo," she says. "Both will remove product buildup from other hair styling products, including moisturizing shampoos." Your hair can get used to your shampoo, after all, so a switch-up is always a good thing. Top hair stylist at Rob Peetoom Salon Amy Clark recommends using something like Davines Solu Shampoo ($24). "This will remove product buildup or minerals in the water and pollution, as well as buildup from dry shampoo which can cause the hair to feel heavy and dull," she says.

If you've been using any styling products lately, it'll be helpful to switch those out, too. "In winter months we tend to need more moisture, so stop using anything too drying like salt sprays or anything with high alcohol content," says Clark. Everett agrees, saying that hairspray can definitely be a culprit. "If your hair isn't looking as fab as you'd like, you may want to try skipping the last minute spritz," she says. "It may be time to try a different type of holding spray—I prefer using those with anti-humidity properties to help preserve your hairstyle." Something like the Living Proof No Frizz Humidity Shield ($15) will do the trick.

And for a general refresh: Give your hair a TLC treatment. "Use a deep conditioning mask after your hair product elimination diet to bring back some of the moisture stripped out by the deep cleanse," says Clark. Once you've gone through everything, your hair should be back to its regularly scheduled good-hair-day programming.

Also useful: How often you should wash your hair, according to your hair texture. And here's how to use honey for hair moisture (yes, it's a thing). 

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