Hair and Self-Care: Good Hair Habits and Lessons from the ATH Editors

Get ready for your healthiest hair year yet! Our global editors weigh in on the self-care routines and hair habits that they're taking into 2021.

Needless to say, 2020 has been a rough year for many. But as the year begins to round off, not only are we starting to look forward to the new year and the prospects it brings, but it’s also a good time to look back at some of the positives from this year too, including the good hair habits we learned while in lockdown (and boy, were there a lot!).

We’ve rallied our editors from around the globe to share the good hair habits and self-care tips that they’ve learned from 2020 and will be carrying into the new year. Not only was this year rife for some serious trial and error hair-wise (quarantine bangs, nice to know ya!), it was also the perfect time for some introspection and perhaps a well-needed routine refresh. Read on for some choice nuggets we learned about hair—and, yes, even life!—from our editors:

woman with medium length wavy brown hair
Eunice Lucero-Lee, Editor-in-Chief – ATH USA

Eunice Lucero-Lee, Editor-in-Chief, ATH USA

“I’ve carved out more time for my introspective interests, like doing spiritual readings for myself and some of my closest friends—it really helps me get in touch not only with the energies of the day but also help fine-tune me from within. Coupled with a yoga and Pilates practice (maybe finally transcendental meditation in 2021? We shall see), I would say it helped save my mental health during the darkest times we’ve had this year.

For better or worse, I’ve taken lockdown as an opportunity to transition back to my natural color for the first time in six years. As far as good hair habits go, I think this has affected the most significant change as my hair has never felt this healthy and my natural texture is back in full force. I’ve been reinforcing this new virgin state by doing regular scalp exfoliations (pandemic stress-related flaking and dullness are real!) and deep conditioning twice a month. I’ve also booked a haircut for the first time since forever to finally get rid of any damaged ends and shape out my now-grown-out bob. Thrilled to be a brunette again and to give my strands a well-deserved break from the bleach!”

woman with long brown hair in a centre parting
Miriam Herst, Beauty Editor, ATH USA

Miriam Herst, Beauty Editor, ATH USA

“In the days before lockdown, I was often guilty of depending on a cup of coffee to serve as breakfast and the fuel for my commute and an entire morning of work. Working from home now has forced me to re-evaluate my food choices and I’ve become a breakfast smoothie-making machine. I’ve noticed a difference in my energy and mood and can’t see myself ever going back to my pre-smoothie days.

I am both excited and shocked to report that I haven’t touched a hot tool since early September. Two months is a pretty big deal for a serial curling iron user like myself. Along with making an effort to regularly use a scalp scrub and deep conditioning treatment, this newfound love for air-drying has my hair feeling smoother and silkier than ever.”

black and white image of a woman with straight medium length hair
Milena Prinzi, Editor-in-Chief – ATH USA Español

Milena Prinzi, Editor-in-Chief, ATH USA Español

“More than adopting new habits, I have been determined to maintain the ones I embraced before Covid-19. I didn’t fall off the wagon regarding my fitness, reading, sleeping, and eating routine.  I have kept a close eye on my anxiety and instead focused on what’s in front of me.

I’ve been straightening my hair for years now, and I have learned and perfected my technique. I used to think that my only friends were a good heat protectant spray and a professional flat iron, but something was missing.

My home styling was never as good as the salon until I discovered an anti-frizz serum. I’m talking about the mighty TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Serum. This product works wonders, and it gives me that salon finish I was so desperately craving.  In addition to fighting humidity and frizz, this serum leaves my strands smooth and shiny. My blowout last days, and I step out with frizz-free confidence.”

woman with long long hair
Beth Strong, Editor, ATH UK

Beth Strong, Editor, ATH UK

“During the first lockdown I made a vision board for the first time, and now I’m totally converted. I’ve surprised myself with how much of it has already come to fruition (despite Covid) and even though there are certain things on there that are more long term goals, it’s been a really good way to help me focus on what I want to achieve.

When it comes to my hair, I’ve been taking more of an inside-out approach, making sure I’m getting the right nutrients to help my hair to grow and become stronger. This included starting to take biotin tablets and upping my protein by eating more eggs, beans, and greens. I’ve noticed that not only has my hair grown faster but also my nails too.”

Woman with brunette natural hair
Amra Markic, Digital Editor, ATH UK

Amra Markic, Digital Editor, ATH UK

“I’ve had to be mindful of what I am consuming, taking regular social media breaks and self-care days. I’ve learned to make more time for myself and have loved reading self-help books and listening to wellbeing podcasts.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am always in box braids. However, during lockdown when that wasn’t an option, I had to learn to take care of my natural hair and actually give it the love it deserves. Giving myself a break from braids and just having that time to learn about my hair type has made me feel more confident and less afraid to wear my hair, which is something I thought I’d never feel.”

woman with short straight brown hair in a bob style
Fernanda Kuri, Senior Editor, ATH Mexico

Fernanda Kuri, Senior Editor, ATH Mexico

“Since the pandemic led me to work from home—perhaps permanently—I decided to move into an apartment that I could call my own, in my absolute favorite and most inspiring neighborhood. After six years of living in this city, I am finally ready to put down roots! Starting to furnish and decorate my space has been an unexpected adventure and a project that has helped me stay positive.

At the beginning of lockdown, my fine hair looked dull and felt saturated. I decided to go for a minimal hair routine and started using silicone-free formulas with natural ingredients. I gave my hot tools a break and learned new hairstyles. I also got rid of the last traces of old color. Now my hair is soft and shiny!”

Editor’s tip: Looking for a silicone-free shampoo? We recommend Love Beauty and Planet Volume & Bounty Coconut Water and Mimosa Sulfate-Free Shampoo, which is free from colorants, sulfates, parabens, and silicones and is made with organic, sustainably sourced ingredients.

woman with long curly dark brown hair
Elizabeth Almazán, Content Writer, ATH Mexico

Elizabeth Almazán, Content Writer, ATH Mexico

“Quarantine made me understand the value of patience. This season reminded me of the importance of spending more quality time with those I love and taking a break to take care of myself physically and mentally. I learned that living with calmness is the best gift you can give to yourself.

This year I had the greatest revelation regarding my natural hair! I understood its uniqueness and how it’s beautiful in its own way. I learned how to take care of my hair and enhance my natural style. Now I feel safe and confident to carry it off. Definitely, during this quarantine, I’ve discovered how loving your hair empowers you.”

woman with a short wavy bob
Grace Herrera, Digital Editor, ATH Mexico

Grace Herrera, Digital Editor, ATH Mexico

“When quarantine began, I was really stressed and it was hard to focus on the bright side of things. So I decided to switch perspectives and to do these four things every day: Do something that gives me joy and peace, create new content, do something that makes me laugh, and do something that helps me grow. It has made me feel better; mentally, physically, and professionally.

This year, I learned how to take good care of my hair. I used to get a new haircut every now and then and I loved experimenting with it just for fun. I just went back to basics and now my hair is stronger and healthier.”

woman with short wavy brown haie
Mariana Meggiolaro, Editor, ATH Argentina

Mariana Meggiolaro, Editor, ATH Argentina

“Spending so much time at home made me realize how much plastic we consume every day. So I pointed this out to my family and we started making smarter decisions when buying groceries. I taught my daughter what single-use plastics are and we collect them so we can donate them to a foundation that turns this material into eco-bricks. In this sustainable awakening, I also changed my diet a lot (going plant-based as much as I can!).

At the very beginning of lockdown, I noticed the first symptoms of stress on my hair. I found strands all around the house, so I took that sign as an opportunity to create a simpler but effective routine. Unlike many people, I didn’t experiment with self-haircuts or colors. Instead, I gave the hairdryer a break and did the same with styling products. So I went back to basics and focused on deep cleansing my scalp and hair. Now it’s shiny and smooth, just as when I was a child.”

Editor’s tip: If, like Mariana, you’re also trying to be more eco-conscious with your beauty buys, why not make the switch to a shampoo bar? Love Beauty and Planet Blooming Color Murumuru Butter and Rose Shampoo Bar comes in recycled cardboard packaging and lasts up to 50 washes, completely cutting out any need for plastic shampoo bottles.

woman with long brown hair worn to the side
Erin Mizuta, CCO, ATH Brazil

Erin Mizuta, CCO, ATH Brazil

“Like most of us, I had to adapt my routine to working from home and not having a commute, so I try to take a walk for at least 15 minutes every day around the block for some exercise. As I felt more rested, I started waking up earlier and read something while enjoying the sun before the day starts. And because I tend to immerse myself in work for hours, I started to have a 15 to 20-minute break during the afternoon—it’s refreshing.

I wanted to make a change in my hair, which was in a long bob at the time but didn’t have anything in mind. The quarantine came with a resolution: as couldn’t get a haircut in the salon, I decided to let it grow. I liked the result, as it’s been a while since I’ve had hair so long—and no fringe. I started using hair masks every other week and blowdry it less. I also take omega 3 capsules—not only for hair, but it helps in keeping it stronger.

I also started experimenting with new hairstyles and now I rely on braids and hair clips to keep the hair from falling in my face while I’m working.”

woman with medium length wavy brown hair
Carolina Maggi, Editor, ATH Brazil

Carolina Maggi, Editor, ATH Brazil

“When quarantine started I was really stressed and it was hard to focus on anything, from work to even watching a movie on Netflix. So, to make things feel a little bit ‘normal’, I created a home office routine and started to practice yoga every day. I intend to keep up this routine even when the pandemic is over. It makes me feel mentally and physically better.

Before quarantine started I was already letting my hair grow. I had it shorter for many years and decided to make a change. With all the beauty salons closed, it was easier not to be tempted to have an impulsive haircut. One of the things that I start doing was to let my hair dry naturally. To help keep it hydrated I started to use a leave-in (TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Hydrating Mist). This product is also good to give my hair a beautiful texture.”

woman with wavy short brown hair
Monique Garcia, Editor, ATH Brazil

Monique Garcia, Editor, ATH Brazil

“Reading has always been a true passion of mine, but, in this quarantine, I had the opportunity to change the hours spent in traffic for a longer quality time immersed in my favorite books. Also, more than ever, I’m actively working on managing my anxiety and focusing my energy on what we really can change.

More indoor days have meant that I’ve started to pay more attention to my own needs, which definitely includes my hair. I had highlights for years and couldn’t wait any longer to cut it all and recover my natural hair 100%. Seeing it so healthy again instantly motivated me to take better care of it. Now, I can’t go even a week without using moisturizing deep conditioners. Sunday afternoons have become a great moment to have a relaxing bath and take care of my hair and I’m happy to say I’ve never seen my hair so healthy.”

Editor’s tip: When it comes to frizz, a good conditioner like Suave Professionals Lavender + Almond Oil Frizz Calming Conditioner is essential. We love this almond oil-infused formula for its smoothing and moisturizing benefits.

woman with ash brown hair in a bob style
Nadya Paramitha, Managing Editor, ATH Indonesia

Nadya Paramitha, Managing Editor, ATH Indonesia

“Books and quiet moments at home have made me think about re-organizing my life and taking control of myself. I started reading self-help books about ikigai, hygge, decluttering, and mindfulness.

I’ve also been more experimental with my hair, which started when I planned to dye my hair blue/green. Before this, my hair was already dry and prone to breakage, so that’s when I promised myself to start taking care of my hair. I stocked up on conditioner and hair masks and bought various supplements to help improve my skin and hair health.

I tried the no-poo method for the first time, coconut oil hair masks, and even added my hair oil in with my conditioner for maximum results. I learned to cut my own hair to prevent dead ends, changed my hair towel to a micro-fiber one, changed my cotton pillowcase to silk, and many other things. I’m pleased with my hair now—I’ve realized it looks ‘happy’ when I treat it better!”

woman with dark brown long wavy hair
Yunisa Putri, Senior Editor, ATH Indonesia

Yunisa Putri, Senior Editor, ATH Indonesia

“At the start of lockdown, I had some hair fall and a major acne breakout due to stress, which could be from juggling between household chores, work, and being locked out from the outside world. My son is also learning from home, so it’s quite hectic. Instead of dwelling on the stress, I changed my perspective and focused my energy only on things that I can control.

I get up early and workout, I eat a lot of veggies, fruits, fish, and eggs, sleep for 7 to 8 hours every night and drink 3 to 4 liters of water a day. I also started journaling to track my mood. I think it transforms me inside and out. I feel happier and started to see some good changes in my skin and hair!

I know a lot of people have been experimenting with hair color or new haircut during the pandemic, but I did something different. I grew my hair! I trimmed the ends and I religiously use a hair mask + hair oil concoction two to three times a week. I limit the use of a hairdryer and use flat iron only when it’s necessary. I never skip the heat protection spray while using heat styling tools. As a result, my hair grew way over my shoulders.”

Editor’s tip: It’s super important to use a heat protection spray every time you use any heat on your hair—that includes everything from blow-drying to curling and straightening. TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray protects hair and also gives your strands an amazing shine.

woman with a short bob haircut
Kat Lopez, CCO, ATH Philippines

Kat Lopez, CCO, ATH Philippines

“This year, I also learned to be mindful of my purchases. With almost all brands available online, it is so easy to get caught in an add-to-cart blackhole. Of course, it’s perfectly okay to treat yourself once in a while, but it’s also good to channel your extra energy and resources to other worthwhile activities and to help others.

This year, I learned how to cut my own hair! Because of the quarantine, I couldn’t go to the salon, so I had to learn how to do it myself at home. I just did a simple bob haircut—no fancy layers or bangs. It wasn’t perfect, but it looked good considering I’m not a professional hairstylist. It was also an empowering experience, and seeing the result in the mirror gave me a boost of confidence.”

woman with long light brown hair holding a shampoo bottle
Olga Nedobezhkina, Senior Editor, ATH Russia

Olga Nedobezhkina, Senior Editor, ATH Russia
“My 2020 mantra is to stop worrying too much. This year showed that all plans can go wrong, and all you can do is keep calm and take care of yourself and the people you love.

During lockdown, I grew my hair long. To avoid split ends without cutting any off, I always use conditioner after washing. I like Love Beauty and Planet Volume & Bounty Coconut Water and Mimosa Flower Conditioner. It moisturizes hair but helps keep volume. This product can be useful for greasy hair too.”

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about everything Team ATH has been doing to take care of themselves this year. To see more from the team, be sure to follow us over on Instagram @allthingshairus.

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