By Adline A. Ghani
Ever watched a shampoo commercial, see the model flip her gorgeous hair and wonder, “Was she just born with it, or did the shampoo really work wonders?”
Well, when it comes to hair, genetics can work either for or against you. For example, the colour, texture and thickness of your hair were all determined well before you were born. Fortunately, there are methods that you can use to tame your mane. The trick is to make your hair as healthy as possible!
Like other parts of your body, your hair needs nourishment and attention, so a healthy diet and lifestyle, as well as good hair care habits, can go a long way in ensuring your locks are as luscious as they can be.
So, if you’re keen on avoiding hair havoc from now on? Check out these our top ten tips:
Tip #1 Know What Can Damage Your Hair
You may spend a small fortune on high-quality hair care products but your investment will be for nothing if you don’t take the time to discover exactly what can damage your hair.
The frequent use of hair dryers, curling irons and hot rollers, for instance, can significantly dull your magnificent mane. The chemicals in bleach, perms and dyes won’t do your locks any favours either. Rough handling, particularly during brushing and combing, as well as exposure to the environment can also strain hair follicles.
Tip #2 Brush It Right
Do you know the right way to comb your hair? As a rule of thumb, don’t comb your hair while it’s wet, because wet hair is delicate but, if you must, use a wide-tooth comb instead of a fine-tooth one.
Plus, be prepared to invest in a natural bristle brush, and when brushing your hair when it’s dry, use long, even strokes. Brushing is good for improving circulation in your scalp, as well as distributing the oils in your hair. Whatever you do, avoid tugging on your hair while brushing!
Tip #3 Trim Regularly
Why is trimming good for your hair? Well, the answer is simple — trimming helps to keep split ends and breakage at bay! All good hair stylists know that it’s best to trim your hair regularly (and by regularly, we mean every 6 to 8 weeks).
This habit will also help keep your hair style up to date and stylish. Rest assured, this doesn’t mean that you can never grow your hair out again! If you’re trying to shift from short to long, a good rule of thumb is to trim the ends of your hair every 12 weeks or so.
Tip #4 Get A Shower Water Filter
It’s a scary thought, but our water contains not just chlorine, but heavy metals too! Yikes! Needless to say, this toxic load can be damaging to your hair and skin.
The truth is we’ve all become so accustomed to washing our hair in normal tap water, we can’t imagine it any other way but if you washed your hair with filtered water, you’ll definitely notice a difference after some time! You don’t have to buy expensive bottled water though. Just switch to a showerhead with a filter.
Tip #5 Use An Alcohol-Free Heat Protectant Spray
You protect your skin with sunscreen, but do you protect your hair from sun damage? To save your locks from sizzling in the sun, use a heat protectant spray.
This won’t just protect your locks from the heat, but it’ll also add shine and moisture too. Before you reach for a bottle, however, be sure to read the label carefully. Avoid hair protectant sprays that contain alcohol, because this can dry your hair out.
Tip #6 Air-Dry When Possible
You probably already know that heat and dryness are your hair’s worst enemies. So, try to give the hair dryer a miss whenever you can. You should also take care when drying your hair with a towel. Don’t tug at the strands and instead of rubbing vigorously, gently pat it dry.
You can also wrap your head up in a towel, to absorb much of the moisture, and then remove the towel to let your damp hair dry naturally. No heat or friction!
Tip #7 Switch To Natural Hair Care Products
We’ve talked about the negative effects of chemicals on your hair, so why not switch to natural or organic hair care products that are free of toxins like parabens and heavy metals? You can also try moisturising your hair with natural oils, like coconut, olive or avocado.
For an at-home hot oil treatment, warm up the oil and apply to wet or dry hair. Then, wrap a warm towel around your head and let your hair soak up the goodness for a few minutes. Be sure to rinse out the oil residue thoroughly.
Tip #8 Take Your Vitamins
Hair health isn’t just about how you care for it on the outside. In fact, you can also care for your hair from within. To keep your hair shiny, bouncy and healthy from the inside out, be sure to eat your vitamins!
Vitamin-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables, are great but you can also take supplements such as a daily vitamin or multi-vitamins — your hair will thank you for it!
Tip #9 Healthy Fat and Oils Are Your Friends
Want beautiful skin and hair? Don’t skimp on healthy fat and oils! Omega 3 fatty acids is particularly helpful. Found commonly in flax seeds, salmon, walnut and chia seeds, it can help keep your scalp stay healthy from the inside out.
Olive oil, which is also rich with healthy fatty acids, has anti-inflammatory properties that promote scalp health and reduces dandruff.
Tip #10 Load Up On Antioxidants And Biotin
Ever heard of flavanoids? They’re antioxidants found in foods like apples, broccoli and tomatoes, which can help your hair grow healthy and strong. Besides flavanoids, biotin also works to protect hair follicles.
Foods rich in biotin include: brown rice, bulgur, green peas, lentils, soybeans, sunflower seeds and walnuts.
While a few of the hair care tips above, like the hot oil treatment, can provide you with instant results it usually takes a little time to make your luscious locks last so you’ll have to be patient.
Best of all, hair care doesn’t have to be a hair-raising experience! Just treat your hair well, using the tips we’ve given you, and you’ll soon see improvements in hair growth and beauty.