I love my hair—mostly because my hair loves me. It’s long, shiny, and very cooperative. It generally avoids tying itself in knots and is usually painfully straight, but will cooperate with curls if coerced enough (for a few hours, at least). To keep my hair loving me, I take care of it. Happy hair makes happy me, and really easy mornings.

1. Boar Bristle Brushes

I’ve got a couple pure boar bristle brushes from Goody. They’re brilliant for smoothing out my hair and re-distributing oils—especially great for when I’m stretching out washes or feeling a bit lazy. Because they’re a natural, softer bristle, they won’t de-tangle your hair, so don’t try or you’ll just make things worse. Also, the natural bristles do get dirty, so along with pulling any loose hairs out of the brush you’ll need to soap it up every now and then to keep it clean.

2. Wooden combs

Wooden combs don’t snag your hair like the seams in a plastic comb or brush can. I got mine from The Body Shop. I had one from Goody, but it snapped while I was combing my hair—not exactly a desired characteristic in a comb. The Body Shop one does a great job and feels nice and sturdy in my hands and against my scalp.

3. Camellia Seed oil

I love doing a hot oil treatment with this one. I’ll rub a tablespoon or so of the oil through my hair (perhaps with some essential oils), wrap my hair in a towel hot from the dryer, and let it soak in for an hour or so before shampooing. The shampooing takes some doing, but afterwards my hair is wonderfully soft and shiny.

4. Jojoba oil

When my ends are feeling a bit dry and straggly, I find a drop or two of jojoba rubbed into the ends brings them right back to life. I like jojoba because it absorbs faster than most of the other oils I’ve tried, reducing the oil slick look.

5. Hair Balm

When I’m looking for some intensive moisturizing, I love to brush in (with a boar bristle brush) some hair balm. Learn to make your own here.

6. Phytokeratin

Keratin is the main structural element in hair and fingernails. Treatments like the Brazilian Blowout use it to make hair super straight and shiny. Keratin is derived from animals, much like gelatin. Phytokeratin is derived from plants. I like to mix it with some rose water and a broad spectrum preservative and spritz my hair with it. It adds volume and makes my hair feel silky smooth.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

After shampooing, I rinse my hair with a mixture of about 1 part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts water. An acidic rinse corrects the pH of the hair after washing with a basic cleanser. You’ll feel an incredible change in texture after you rinse your hair. It’ll be so smooth you’ll think it’s soapy again, but it isn’t.

8. Double-duty updos

I’ll wash my hair in the morning, and then pin it up to the back of my head in a rather stylish messy updo. I’ll leave it in all day and then sleep on it. The next morning, I’ve got wavy/curly hair that’s full of body. Awesome.

I’ve removed two points as they’re not good ideas!

What does your hair love? Remember, every post you comment on is an entry in the monthly draw!