Everybody wants their hair to be as healthy and glossy as possible.
How do you go about achieving this?
Here are eight tips that will help to give you the hair of your dreams:
Avoid Damaging Hairstyles
Many people don’t realize that the way in which they are styling their hair is actually causing their hair a significant amount of damage.
One of the biggest examples of this is tight braids and other tight styles…
This requires the hair to be pulled on quite tightly, which causes strain and stress on the roots of the hair. This leads to damaged hair follicles and split ends, as well as hair that is overall dull and weaker.
Any tight styles that also pull in the hairs from around the hairline should also be avoided. The hairs here are extremely thin and delicate, and it doesn’t take long for a tight style to cause them to snap.
Here are a few other common hairstyles that you may want to think twice about:
- Ponytails with elastic hair ties – these damage the hair shaft, resulting in frayed hairs. Fabric ties are a much gentler alternative
- Long clip-in hair extensions worn every day – these clip-in extensions cause breakages at the roots of your hair, due to the way in which they pull at the hair. If you do need to wear extensions every day, try clipping them in into different parts of your hair each day, making sure that you remove them each evening
- Back-combing and teasing – the way in which this method requires you to scrape your hair backwards leads to more tangles
There is nothing wrong with these styles when worn occasionally, but try to give your hair as much of a break as possible from them too.
Use the Right Shampoo and Conditioner
A high quality shampoo and conditioner are key when it comes to healthy, glossy locks.
Let’s begin with your shampoo…
Shampoos are designed to clean the scalp, which means that the shampoo you choose should be based on the condition of your scalp.
This can usually be split into two categories:
Look for shampoos that are able to balance and strengthen your hair, as these are the ones that tend to be effective at clearing away excess oil. Stay away from those designed for curly hair, as these will add in too much moisture to your hair.
Clarifying shampoos can also be useful, but it is important to make sure that you do not end up drying your scalp out too much.
You are probably wondering why, because isn’t this the whole point of a shampoo for oily scalps?
In a way, yes. While you do want excess oil to be removed, over-drying your hair will trigger your scalp to produce even more oil in order to compensate for the sudden dryness.
In order to increase your scalp’s moisture retention abilities, you need a shampoo that will hydrate your hair. Look for one that is moisturizing, as this will contain plenty of rich essential oils.
There are many shampoos out there formulated for dry scalps, and these will contain nourishing ingredients.
Since dry scalps also tend to be quite sensitive, make sure that your shampoo doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients, such as sulfates. This will be discussed in more detail further on.
Now, onto your conditioner…
This is designed to be used on the ends of your hair, as this is the part of your hair that ends up driest.
Because oils are produced by your scalp, and it takes them some time to work their way down to the ends of your hair. This is especially the case for those who have curly hair. However, many people end up washing their hair before the oils have reached the ends, meaning that the ends becoming parched and brittle.
Keep your hair type in mind when choosing your conditioner, making sure that it is suited to your hair’s needs.
Don’t Overwash Your Hair
Theoretically, it makes sense that the more you wash your hair, the cleaner and healthier it will be.
This is something that many people believe, but, unfortunately, it is the opposite of the truth.
Each time you wash your hair, the shampoo strips your hair follicles of their natural oils. These oils are actually quite important, because they not only keep your hair moisturized and conditioned, but also protected.
Not only that, but each time your hair comes into contact with water, it swells up from within. This forces the cuticles upwards and outwards, resulting in frizz and breakages.
So, how often should you be washing your hair?
No more than two to three times a week.
If your hair tends to get oily, you are probably thinking…
If I don’t wash my hair every day, it will end up so greasy and limp!
This is where dry shampoo comes in…
This can be applied to your scalp to soak up excess oil, meaning that you will be able to go another day before washing your hair.
Stay Away from Damaging Hair Care Ingredients
As mentioned earlier, there are quite a few ingredients out there that can actually end up causing quite a bit of damage to your hair in the long term.
In order to keep your hair as healthy as possible, there are quite a few ingredients that you need to avoid…
The main one is sodium lauryl sulphate, which is also referred to as SLS. This is commonly used in shampoos as a foaming agent, meaning that it is SLS that is responsible for how much a shampoo lathers up when it is in your hair.
You are probably wondering why SLS is bad…
Isn’t a thick lather a good thing?
Well, SLS not only dries out your hair and scalp, but it also has the ability to penetrate into your skin. It is then absorbed into your bloodstream, and, from here, it causes problems to the liver and eyes.
Fortunately, there are plenty of shampoos out there that don’t contain SLS.
However, these do also lack foaming abilities. This may seem strange at first, especially for those who are used to a thick lather when washing their hair. Nevertheless, these non-foaming and non-SLS shampoos still clean the hair just as well.
Here are a few other hair care ingredients that you should try to avoid as much as you can:
- Silicones – usually called either dimethicone or cyclomethicone, silicone coats each strand of hair to make them appear smoother. However, the silicones in shampoos build up in the hair over time, resulting in heavy and limp roots
- Fragrance – this is a blanket term that covers hundreds of different chemicals. These fragrances are known for causing irritation to the scalp, while also exacerbating symptoms of allergies
- Preservatives – all shampoos need a preservative, but anything with parabens or formaldehyde need to be avoided. These both cause hormonal imbalances in the body, and have both also been linked to cancer
- Isopropyl Alcohol – dries out the hair and scalp, and is also extremely toxic
Cut Back on Heat Styling
From blow dryers to curling tongs to flat irons, heat styling tools have become so popular. In fact, many women tend to use them on a daily basis in order to maintain their signature style.
So, what’s wrong with heat styling?
A number of things…
Firstly, the heat draws out the water molecules that lie in the cortex of each strand of hair. This dehydrates it, which not only leads to frizz and changing curl patterns, but also causes your hair to be dull, limp and feel almost like straw.
Heat can also have the effect of softening the keratin in your hair. This causes your hair to start losing its elasticity, strength and shine.
If all of that was not enough, heat can also cause the pigment particles in your hair, which are what give your hair its color, to oxidize. This not only occurs in dyed hair, but also naturally colored hair.
This doesn’t mean that you need to avoid heat styling altogether…
Just try not to use heated styling tools every single day of the week.
When you do use them, make sure that you have applied a heat protectant spray first. This will coat your hair and provide a physical barrier between your hair and the heat, giving it some extra protection.
Pamper Your Hair with Regular Deep Treatments
Your hair faces so much damage on a daily basis, but giving it a weekly deep treatment will help to keep it in great shape.
When it comes to deep treatments for your hair, you have a couple of different options…
Deep conditioners are extremely common, and this is no surprise since they are so effective.
What do they do?
They contain a high concentration of conditioning ingredients, and provide the hair with an intense dose of nourishment and strength.
Hair masks are also popular, although many of these products are quite similar to deep conditioners.
They work in the same way, by nourishing, softening and strengthening the hair.
After using a deep treatment on your locks, you will likely find that your hair is instantly shinier, healthier, stronger and more moisturized.
Eat Foods that will Nourish Your Hair from Within
Many people don’t realize just how much of an impact their diet has on the health and appearance of their hair.
Well, the two are directly related.
If you are eating a poor diet, this is going to show in your hair.
So, what should you be eating?
Here are some of the best foods to eat for healthy hair:
- Eggs – packed with protein and biotin, eggs are important for hair growth, as well as the production of keratin
- Berries – high in vitamin C and antioxidants, berries contain several nutrients that benefit the hair
- Fatty fish – these contain high amounts of omega fatty acids, which the body can’t produce itself. These not only reduce hair loss but also increase hair density
- Sweet potatoes – high in vitamin A, which has been shown to increase the amount of sebum produced by the scalp. This keeps the hair moisturized and healthy
- Brazil nuts – a great source of selenium, which is important for maintaining healthy locks
Be Gentle with Wet Hair
When your hair is wet, it is extremely delicate. This makes it prone to breakages, which is why you need to be so careful and gentle when it comes to dealing with wet hair.
To begin with, make sure you never rub at it with a towel.
Instead, blot your hair and gently squeeze any excess water out.
Brushing your hair while it is wet should also be avoided as much as possible. Use a wide-toothed comb instead, running this gently through your hair to clear away any tangles. A brush with flexible bristles is another option, as these will help to remove any knots or tangles without pulling and tugging at your hair and causing uwanted breakages.
It goes without saying that using curling tongs or a flat iron on wet hair is a big no-no. This will cause some serious damage and will only lead to the formation of frizz, rather than giving you smooth and glossy locks. If you are short on time and your hair is still wet, you would be best off opting for a hairstyle that does not require any heated styling tools.
There are so many different factors that come into play when it comes to keeping your hair healthy and glossy. From knowing which hair products to use, as well as which ones to not use, to utilizing the right techniques when it comes to styling your hair, these tips will help you to keep your hair in its best possible shape.