Everyone wants to have long healthy hair! I believe that regardless of the length, your hair should be healthy! Unhealthy hair always gets negative attention and it is almost always impossible to style! After spending long and painful hours styling dry and damaged hair, the result looks just as bad as before, if not even worse because your hair is fried.
Read on to find out what to do, or what NOT to do, in order to have beautiful healthy hair!
Healthy hair should feel smooth and you should be able to rub your fingers through it from roots to ends, without having your fingers getting stuck. If the ends of your hair look like a broom, and your hair tangles easily, it is damaged! Avoid the dreaded “broom effect” by protecting your hair and caring for it accordingly.
This is how the hair follicle looks under the microscope:
The picture on the left, shows damaged hair. With time the condition worsens and the split ends become more adverse as the hair breaks from the ends.
This is how the healthy hair follicle should look:
Here are 10 simple steps that if followed, will ensure you will have gorgeous, healthy, locks:
- Get a trim every 6-8 weeks!
This is the most important advice, that stylists recommend! Every 6-8 weeks you should get a trim to remove split ends, as they are inevitable no matter the length. It is recommended that you cut 1-2 inches. Some argue that this shortens the length and in this way your hair will never grow, however this is just a myth. If you do not trim your hair regularly the split ends will only cause it to break off and your length will shorten regardless because whatever grows from the roots, breaks off at the ends
- Know when to wash your hair
Here is something that most people do not know! Staying clean is very important however, washing your hair every day it is DAMAGING for it. Not only does it dry your hair out but it makes it more fragile, therefore it falls out easier. Washing your hair daily is a big mistake. When you wash your hair daily, products are also piled on, this suffocates the hair as it is unable to breathe.
If you have short/thin/oily hair wash every other day or every two days.
If you have long/thick/curly/processed hair washing three to four times a week is enough.
- Use a hair mask
Applying hair mask is essential to your hair’s health! A good hair mask will heal your hair from all the stress it is exposed to, while hydrating it. When purchasing a hair mask, select one that is appropriate for your hair type, as there is a wide variety in stores. Home made hair masks are always recommended as they are natural and do not contain artificial ingredients.
Apply the hair mask at LEAST once a month! Depending on your hair type: fine, greasy, dry, or colored (processed) hair, apply the mask every week, two weeks, or once a month.
- Air dry hair
The hair dryer is one of the most dangerous hot tools. If not used properly and held at a bad angle, it can burn the hair worse than the flat/curl iron. The word “drying” speaks for itself. That’s what hair drying does, DRYES your hair. Try to incorporate it in your routine to air dry your hair. This will keep your hair healthy and eliminate split ends tremendously. If time is an issue, accommodate your schedule and wash your hair at night, so that it has time to dry on its own.
If you HAVE to use a hair dryer: invest in an ionic hair dryer, as this cuts the drying time in half and keeps the hair cuticle flat. Always use heat protection and try using cooler settings.
Also, DO NOT towel dry your hair! When towel drying, your hair breaks as it is roughly handled. This also makes your hair tangled and frizzy.
- Use heat protection products
A common misconception is that hot tools damage your hair and they should not be used. Well, this is not the advice that I am going to give you. A lot of women are dependent on the flat/curl iron as without these tools it is almost impossible to get the style desired.
Use heat protection products, they come in many different forms (sprays, creams, mousses). It is recommended that you apply them on damp hair as the product is better absorbed than on dry hair. If used periodically these products will make a difference and your hair will be healthier .
- Avoid tying your hair up for too long
Tying your hair up tightly and consistently causes hair to break off. There have been instances when tightly tying your hair caused baldness.
Alternate when tying your hair, do high ponytails, low ponytails, or try to leave hair lose so it can breathe.
- Eat Healthy
Having a healthy diet is essential in maintaining your hair healthy! Eat foods with lots of antioxidants. There are foods that will make your hair healthier such as: walnuts, sweet potatoes, salmon, eggs, poultry, etc.
Along with a healthy diet you could also take vitamins high in biotin! This helps maintain hair strong and grow faster.
- Avoid brushing hair when wet
When your hair is wet after the shower, avoid brushing it with a brush as hair is tangled, and this will cause it to break off. Use a wide-tooth comb and section hair. Comb hair from mid shaft down to ends and then work from roots to mid shaft. Do not comb hair from roots to end as this will cause it to break off.
- Use shampoo for color treated hair
Another misconception and myth is that hair color damages your hair. If done properly and professionally in a hair salon, your hair will not be damaged. Avoid using box color, the ingredients used in box color are stronger than the ones in the colors the salon offers. The most important thing is to have a shampoo for color treated hair. This will help the color last longer, add shine to your hair and nourish it.
- Use serum
After styling your hair use serum. This will minimize frizz and add shine to your hair. It will also help you set your style and make your hair soft.
When applying serum, apply from mid shaft to ends, avoid the roots as this will make your hair oily.
Serum will make your hair hydrated and you will not have that dry look.
Take care and protect your hair!