If there is one thing about my beauty regimen that I’ve been trying to understand since moving to Spain it’s the secret to hair care! I can’t quite figure out if it’s the hard city water in Barcelona or the fact that I’m about to turn 40 next year, but my hair has been such a problem lately.
Maybe I started noticing it more after observing how luscious, thick and simply gorgeous Spanish women’s hair is! What’s the deal? Their locks appear healthy and unphased by the harmful effects of city water, over-processing, or the environment.
What do local Spanish women of all ages with their long, flowing locks know that this American expat doesn’t?!
Coming from suburban New Jersey where the local water supply was repeatedly filtered and silky smooth really aided the shine and growth of my hair. I could easily go three days without washing it and needed minimal styling products. I used the same stylist for several years who would come to my home and either dye my locks a few shades darker or put some low lights in. I was always happy with the results!
Here in Spain, the texture and thickness has definitely changed and not for the better, unfortunately. I find my hair to be thirsty and thin. Even the times I’ve been to salons for coloring and cuts, I always leave semi-happy.
But Barcelona is our home and I cannot resort to waiting until trips back to the U.S. in August to get my hair done. That’s just ridiculous! I started doing some research and here’s what I found!
Hair Care Secrets from Spain Discovered
Olive Oil is King
As someone who finds it hard to cook WITHOUT olive oil since I just love it so damn much, I was thrilled when I realized how many beauty products in Spain contain it. Olive oil isn’t just good for the heart, it also has amazing benefits to the skin, nails, and of course HAIR.
And while cosmetic aisles and beauty counters are filled with lotions, serums, and cleansers all containing olive oil (some of my favorites from the Regis line featured below), many Spanish women believe in skipping the “product middle man” completely. Applying the room temperature oil directly onto the hair and leaving it for 10-15 minutes before rinsing out improves shine and repairs/prevents split ends. Hallelujah!
Now I can douse my bread AND my head in this miracle condiment!
A Diet Rich in Vitamins is Essential
For hair growth and repair, the most essential vitamins are A, B and C (as well as folic acid) which can be found in many citrus fruits and vegetables. Spanish women understand how these vitamins benefit the strength and overall look of their hair as well as skin.
So they incorporate antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies such as mango, papaya, orange, and pomegranate as often as possible into their daily consumption. And in Spain, farm-fresh markets can be found everywhere making the availability of natural fruits and veggies plenty!
Heating Irons Just Aren’t Necessary
This might be a tough one to swallow if you aren’t a fan of your hair’s natural texture. But Spanish women embrace theirs, whatever it might look like! Curly, wavy or pin-straight they own it and rarely use styling/heating products.
Curling irons, straighteners, hot rollers, and crimpers can all be fun – believe me, I love using mine on occasion! But they are KILLERS for strong locks and really do major damage to the ends of hair. Even blow driers fall into this category and I try to now limit drying to twice per week.
So what’s a person with semi-wavy hair that poofs out with the slightest hint of humidity in the air? I usually spray my wet hair with this amazing volumizing spray by BOLDIFY, let it air-dry, throw it up into a twisted bun and sleep on it. When I wake up in the morning, I have pretty, not frizzy, waves.
Natural and Organic Are a Must
According to EuroMonitor.com, there is a much stronger demand in the Spain hair care industry for products that are natural, organic, and free of harsh chemicals. Ingredients like parabens and sulfates can not only be harmful to one’s health but also dry out hair.
Products that are chemical, paraben, and sulfate-free help keep hair moisturized and maintain natural oils. Women in Spain aren’t the only ones to switch to more natural hair products, as much of the modern world understands the importance and benefit of using organic.
Make Time for Massages
Not the kind of hot stone or deep tissue you might be thinking of! A head massage that focuses on the scalp can help stimulate blood circulation resulting in hair growth. Head massages also improve the texture of hair, making it thicker and stronger over time.
Many massage salons here in Barcelona such as Evasiom offer special stress relieving massages which typically include the head – so be sure to ask for it! In addition, hair salons will usually offer a head massage during shampooing (how amazing are these?!). Even at home, a head massage is a fantastic way to relax and also encourage the healthy growth of new gorgeous locks!