For women, healthy hair is a huge accomplishment. Thanks to coloring, length, frequent washings, repeated stylings, heat treatments, and other regular occurrences, it’s difficult to maintain healthy hair.
However, keeping hair healthy is vital when you’re young if you want to maintain thick, healthy locks as you age. Hair can be a reflection of your interior health, as certain vitamins and minerals you consume contribute to the strength and sheen of your tresses. Hair will thin and fall out over time if you don’t care for it from a young age.
If your hair is unhealthy, thin, or fried from heat and color treatments, you don’t have to cut it to get rid of damaged ends or deal with this problem forever. There are several rules you can follow to correct damaged tresses and grow stronger hair.
1. Wash Less Frequently
Many women wash their hair every day thinking that it will keep it healthy. However, the opposite is true. Washing hair daily actually dries out your hair and strips it of essential natural oils that contribute to health and strength.
Whenever you can skip a day, do so. Women with the healthiest hair only wash their hair about twice per week, using dry shampoo or choosing to wear their hair up.
If you have particularly oily hair, you may have to wash more frequently, but use dry shampoo on second-day hair to avoid over washing.
2. Use Less Heat
Heat styling tools and your blow dryer may be how you achieve an elegant look. It’s not a problem to use these tools every now and again, but too much heat will have the same effect as too much shampoo, stripping your hair of essential oils and drying out your locks. It can turn hair dry and frizzy, potentially burning your hair if it’s applied too often.
Discover methods of styling your hair that don’t use heat, such as pillow curlers, scrunch-style beachy waves, and updos.
When you do heat-treat your hair, use tools like the TYME iron that create curls that will last for days, eliminating the need for daily heat. Using heat just once or twice per week will save your hair from a world of damage.
3. Apply Conditioning Masks
At least once per week, apply a deep conditioning mask. This mixture is usually composed of a high-quality moisturizing conditioner, leave-in conditioner, olive oil or grape seed oil, avocado, eggs, honey, and other natural products that can lock in moisture. You can purchase one at the store or make your own using a recipe from online.
When applying this mask, douse the ends of your hair in the mixture. Then, wrap it in towel or shower cap, and apply heat with a hair dryer. The heat fuses the moisture into your strands. Leave on for about 20 minutes and then rinse out thoroughly. Doing this once per week will renew damaged ends and make your hair feel clean and healthy once again.
4. Shampoo Correctly
You might not have realized it, but there’s actually a right and wrong way to shampoo your hair. First of all, make sure you use a quality shampoo, a salon brand if possible. Specifically, look for shampoo that’s formulated for your hair type, such as damage-control for dry, color-treated hair. At least once per month, use a clarifying shampoo that will strip excess product from your hair and lighten the texture.
When shampooing, get your hair thoroughly wet first to lock in moisture. Then, concentrate shampoo on the scalp rather than massaging it into the ends of the hair. Your conditioner should take the opposite approach, and should be applied to the ends of your hair rather than the roots. This helps repair damaged ends and reduce the chance of a greasy appearance.
When rinsing out the shampoo and conditioner, use cold water. It may not be comfortable, but it will seal in the moisture that heat can strip away and will generate a sheen.
5. Protect from Sun
UVB and UVA rays are incredibly damaging to hair. They naturally break down hair proteins and bleach exposed locks, causing discoloration, dry and brittle strands, split and broken ends, thinning, and frizz. This is a particular problem for those with thin hair. When hair has been sun damaged, it can become unmanageable and resistant to curls and styling techniques.
Thick hair is naturally better protected from UV damage because individual strands are thicker, and there are more underlying layers that the rays won’t touch. It’s also a bigger problem for those who live in sunny climates like Florida, Arizona, and California.
To protect tresses from sun damage, avoid spending too much time in the sun when it’s highest in the sky, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. When in the sun during this time, wear a hat or use an umbrella to deflect rays.
6. Eat Better
Hair grows healthy and strong when you’ve consumed the right vitamins and minerals. Therefore, changing your diet to include the right vitamins or taking supplements to make up for any deficiencies will yield healthier hair.
Most importantly, your hair needs vitamin A and biotin. Vitamin A is found in dark orange fruits and vegetables, like oranges, carrots, peaches, and cantaloupe. It can also be found in green, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale.
Foods like walnuts, salmon, raspberries, and lentils are also high in biotin. Because the foods containing biotin are not as commonly consumed, a supplement may be necessary to make up the difference. Though the vitamins you consume won’t impact your current strands, you’ll notice that changes in diet will make your hair roots grow stronger and healthier than before.