Soft, shiny hair is a common goal. However, life can get the best of your hair, whether due to aging, lifestyle habits, or poor hair care techniques. Many things can damage your already delicate hair cuticles. Over time, natural oils may be stripped from your hair, which can lead to dryness. Still, this doesn’t mean you have to settle for dry, brittle hair. Softening otherwise dry and coarse hair can be treated with home remedies. All you’ll need is a combination of moisturizing ingredients and healthy hair care habits. Consider the following remedies and steps you can easily add to your own routine. 1. Use a weekly hair mask Plant oils can be an effective way to add much-needed moisture to dry hair. But if you’d rather not mess with pure oils, you can look for a ready-to-use hair mask instead. Used on a weekly basis, a hair mask can help your hair draw in moisture more effectively for softer hair over time. Apply on damp (not wet) hair after shampooing, then rinse out after five minutes. INOVA Intense Miracle Mask is formulated with keratin, soy and wheat proteins as well as sunflower oil. This hair mask will repair split ends, and damaged/dry hair while adding moisture back in with antioxidants and vitamin-E. Your hair will be left feeling healthy, smooth and will have a brilliant shine. 2. Know your hair type Understanding your hair type is important before trying any home remedies. Dry, coarse hair can certainly use some extra TLC, but straight hair may not need as much oil compared with curly hair. This is because natural oils from the scalp move easier through the cuticle the straighter your hair is. Although you may know your hair type now, it can change as you get older because of a decrease in natural oil production. Your hair might also be different based on the climate you live in and what season it is. INOVA Smooth Protection Sulfate Free Shampoo leaves hair smoother, shinier and healthier without removing the natural oils, which ultimately leaves your hair more hydrated. As such, it is the most effective way to clean the hair and scalp 3. Coconut oil Coconut oil is becoming increasingly prevalent in beauty products. Although research has shown that coconut oil can benefit dry skin, there may also be some potential softening benefits for your hair, too. Coconut oil itself can penetrate deep into the skin — some of these same effects may be seen in the hair shaft. You can look for products already infused with coconut oil, or you can apply pure oil to your hair after you shampoo. If the result is too oily, try concentrating on the ends of your hair only and using the oil every other day. 4. Argan oil Derived from Moroccan argan fruit extracts, this oil is known for its moisturizing properties. While research involving argan oil and hair care is lacking, this remedy shows a lot of promise. Cosmetic manufacturers have added the oil to numerous shampoos, conditioners, and treatments, but extremely dry hair may benefit more from pure argan oil. Plus, you won’t have to deal with any chemicals or other unwanted additives. Apply as you would olive oil — in a single, even layer. For best results, KUO'S pure argan oil for hair is placed in a thin and even layer. 5. Olive oil Olive oil is well-studied for its effects on internal health, but research is also emerging about its role in hair care. It’s thought that olive oil can act as a barrier against water, which can help prevent water molecules from stretching and damaging the cuticle. The downside is that this sort of barrier can also make your hair oily. For best results, apply a small amount of olive oil in a thin, even layer throughout the ends of your hair once a week. 6. Go easy with heated tools Blow dryers, curling irons, and flat irons are staples for many hairstyles. However, prolonged, high heat can create bubbles in your hair cuticle leading to damaged hair that can then break off. If you must use heated tools, consider the following tips: • apply a heat protectant prior to each use • use the lowest heat setting possible • never use on extremely wet hair — let your hair air dry for a little bit first • take weekly breaks to help your hair recover 7. Avoid certain hairstyles Hair accessories can be a fun and easy way to change up your look. Some accessories, such as elastic bands, are even essential when you’re working out or playing sports. But over time, the pulling and tightening action from these hairstyles can damage the hair cuticle. This can lead to dryness, and even patchy hair loss. 8. Go easy on frequent treatments When you get a quality hair treatment, whether it’s a color job, perm, or straightening/relaxer treatment, the results can be addictive. You may even be tempted to get another treatment after a few weeks. Your best bet is to go easy on the treatments with a minimum of six weeks in between each session. Professional hair treatments can even make your hair soft and shiny, but many of the effects are temporary. At the core of each treatment are chemicals, which can dry out and damage your hair after a while, so organic treatments are preferred. Inova Kera-Quick Organic Treatment is a smoothing treatment with pure keratin, a revolutionary hair smoothing technology designed primarily to eliminate frizz and exceptionally straight hair in one hour. Inova Kera-Quick Organic Treatment does not contain parabens, formaldehyde, or chemicals. 9. Wash strategically If you have dry ends and an oily scalp, you’ll still need to wash your hair regularly. To treat both dryness and oiliness though, you might need to apply a different strategy. Try shampooing your scalp and then conditioning your ends only. This can help alleviate both excess oil at the top of your hair while softening out the rest of your strands. 10. Don’t wash with hot water Hot water can cause damage to dull, dry hair. Opt for lukewarm water instead. You can also make your hair softer and shinier by rinsing your hair with cool water when you’re done conditioning. This will help rinse out any excess product without stripping out moisture. It takes time It can take time and try many products to find that give you the soft hair satisfies you. The above remedies can help soften your hair over time. While a hair mask or plant oil can provide immediate softness, the effects will wear off after a few days until you reapply again. Other changes to your routine will take longer to impact your hair — this can take several weeks depending on the extent of dryness or damage. If your hair continues to be excessively dry despite the above remedies, see your doctor. Extensive dryness that won’t self-correct with healthy lifestyle habits could indicate an underlying medical condition, such as nutritional deficiencies.