To achieve or maintain beautiful healthier hair, the key factor that goes beyond a color, cut, or even extensions is making sure your hair is healthier. Ways to obtain this include minimizing damage, using the right products, and getting the right nutrition. Styling, shampooing, and brushing have the potential of doing damage to your hair. However, with the correct care, damage can be avoided and healthier, beautiful hair can be your end result.
3 Steps for Healthier Hair: Tiera Jones, Orange County, California Hair Stylist
First, it is important to wash your hair carefully and with the right products. This means using the right shampoo and conditioner for your type of hair. If you have a severely processed, platinum blonde hair and you wash it with a clarifying shampoo, you can get yourself into trouble. The same results could occur if you have normal, untreated hair and opt for a protein-infused mask as your daily conditioner. Ultimately, your hairdresser should be able to lead you in the right direction.
Do not shampoo your hair too often. This is because shampooing can strip hair of its essential natural oils (while following the rule of using the right products as well). When you shampoo, massage your scalp to increase blood flow to the follicles. Believe it or not, this can stimulate growth and keep it healthy! However, shampooing can be a double-edged sword. If you shampoo too often, it can be drying and tough on the hair. Yet, it is nice for the scalp to receive that “massage therapy” and cleansing.
Second, be careful when you style your hair. Make sure you know what you are doing! When it is wet, it is particularly fragile. At this point, it has lost most of its elasticity and is more prone to breakage. It is okay to brush your hair, but a rule of thumb that most people are never taught is to brush from the ends to the scalp. In other words, to get the knots at the bottom first, and then, work your way up to keep the hair from breaking. This technique will help foster healthier hair. Also, you should never, and I mean never, apply heat to wet or even damp hair! When heat is applied to wet hair and a soft cloud of smoke appears in the air, this is a warning sign. It means your hair is burning! Even if you have in enough product, the product is not activated until heat is applied. When the hair is still damp, it should remain cool until the excess water is burnt off.
Additionally, make sure you are ALWAYS using heat protective styling products before applying any heat. Even if you are just straightening a chunk of hair, that chunk will appear a lot thinner the less you protect it. Coconut oil treatments and 5-10 minute deep conditioning masks are great in leading your hair on its way to a healthy recovery.
There are a lot of products sold that contain parabens (which are known carcinogens), sulfates, etc. that can damage to your hair as well. I highly suggest that you refrain from using any products sold at drug stores, grocery stores, or even Costco. Their advertising may be tempting, their pricing might be ideal, but consider the potential damage to your hair before purchasing such products. Anything sold at a beauty supply store or salon should be trustworthy, and again, your stylist should be able to stir you in the right direction.
Although it may be pricey, trimming your split ends every 4-6 weeks is essential. No matter what anyone says, split ends never mend. The only way to solve the issue is to regularly cut them so they do not spread up your hair shaft and create further breakage.
Tight hairstyles that pull on your hair should be avoided as well. These styles can damage your hairline, which happens to be the weakest area on your head.
The final step may be the hardest. It is necessary to make sure you are getting complete and total nutrition in everyday meals. Without this, I can guarantee that your hair quality will diminish, appear dull, thinning, and break shorter. In particular, eating enough protein is essential to healthier hair. A good guide for a regularly active person is one gram of protein per pound of body weight. Moreover, necessary vitamins for strength, growth, and health include iron, niacin, biotin, and fish oil. You can find most of these in vitamins for hair, skin, and nails, or even, prenatal vitamins. If you keep these three tools in mind, you will be on your way to a healthier, more stunning head of hair.
Opinion and Blog by Tom Jones
Edited by Leigh Haugh
Image Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons – Creative Commons License