Are you tired of your dry and limp hair? Do you always resort to tying your hair up just so that people don’t see your damaged split ends?
Have you switched between a million shampoos, bought supplements that promise to give you soft, smooth, healthy hair but only in vain? Have you lost count of your bad hair days but can count the rare good hair days on your fingers?
Well, we’ve all been there. Each person has a different hair texture and scalp type. Everyone wishes to have shiny, thick and healthy hair. Taking care of your hair is just as important as taking care of your skin and body. Healthy hair doesn’t necessarily mean long hair. You hair should be strong, thick, nourished and free from hair problems like hair fall, dandruff, split ends, frizz and dryness ( 1 ).
Here are a few tips that will help you get healthy and nourished hair!
Hair Care while you’re washing Your Hair:
1. The Right Water Temperature
Wash your hair with lukewarm water instead of extremely cold or hot water. This will ensure that your hair cuticles are open but relaxed. The open pores allow you to get rid of surface dust, debris, toxins, and other contaminants. It also acts as a scalp exfoliator and softens the roots.
After you’ve applied conditioner in your hair, wash it off with cold water to close your pores. This will smoothen your hair at the roots and give your hair a shiny appearance.
2. Use the Right Shampoo
Try and experiment with shampoos and their targeted results to see which one suits your hair the best. For this, you will have to determine the type of hair you have and accordingly find the suitable kind of shampoos. The chosen shampoo should reduce your hair problems like hair fall, dandruff, lifeless hair and so on. When you do find the right shampoo, use it for at least six months or so, without switching between other shampoos, even when you’re traveling. Your hair gets accustomed to the shampoo and you will seek the best results if you use the same shampoo for a long period of time.
3. Use Sulfate Free Shampoos
Shampoos containing sulfate can cause great damage to your hair. It strips the hair of its natural moisture. Opt for sulfate free shampoos to retain the oils produced by your hair follicles and prevent any further damage.
4. Use the Same Line of Shampoo and Conditioner
Applying shampoo and conditioner of the same brand and same line on your hair will reap maximum results on your hair. This is because the products have been designed in a way to complement each other. Again, it is important to find out which shampoo works best on your hair and use the same conditioner.
5. Wash Your Hair the Right Way
There is a certain method of washing your hair to keep it healthy. Lather your hair using shampoo. Concentrate the shampoo on your roots and scalp since the main purpose of a shampoo is to get rid of the dirt and debris from your scalp. Massage the shampoo on your head evenly with gentle hands. Rinse off the shampoo thoroughly from your hair.
Then use a conditioner along the length of your hair. Take a coin-sized amount on your palm and rub it on both your hands. Coat your hair with the conditioner but make sure that you don’t apply it on the scalp or roots. Conditioner is meant to retain the moisture in your hair and prevent breakage and excess damage.
The next step involves treatment. Use products like leave in conditioners, heat protectant sprays and so on. These add extra protection and specific benefits to the hair.
You can also use a dime-sized amount of styling cream or oil to give your hair an extra bounce. Use it at the tips of your hair for the best results since the ends are the most damaged and old parts of your hair.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Hair Care
1. Wash your hair every day
Daily hair wash can strip your hair of its natural oils which are needed by the hair for nutrition and growth. The sebaceous glands present in the scalp end up producing more fat and make the hair oilier than normal.
2. Comb wet hair
Never run a comb through wet hair. Your hair is at its most vulnerable state when it is wet. Combing through wet hair can cause the hair strands to stretch to the point of breaking. You can instead use a wide tooth comb while you’re in the shower, right after you apply conditioner on your hair.
3. Dye your hair
Avoid dyeing your hair since hair dyes contain harmful chemicals like ammonia. Ammonia causes significant damage to your hair and causes scalp burns. Try and keep your hair as natural as possible.
4. Use Heat on your hair
Avoid heat styling tools as far as possible. Excess heat can burn the hair, weaken the fibers due to high temperature and damage it. If you do want to use heat styling tools, spray your hair with a heat protectant.
5. Sleep with wet hair
Always dry your hair before you go off to sleep. Since wet hair is delicate and prone to breakage, sleeping with wet hair will cause more damage to the hair. Always dry your hair before you sleep or wash your hair earlier in the evening.
1. Trim your hair often
Every eight to twelve weeks, pay a visit to your hairdresser and cut off a few inches from your hair. This will help you get rid of the damaged ends.
The tips of your hair are dry and brittle and are prone to breakage. It is better to get rid of them as soon as they appear. Your hair looks and feels healthier if it’s not damaged at the bottom.
Regular trimming allows your hair to grow healthily with less breakage and thinning.
2. Massage your scalp
Take a wooden bristle brush and massage your scalp with it. Rub the brush in circular motions on your scalp to improve blood circulation. This lubricates and conditions the scalp, prevents the scalp from being flaky and dry. It encourages new hair growth, improving the hair’s health.
You can also massage your head using your fingers. This will reduce hair loss and reduce stress.
Make sure that you massage your hair daily. It will also help in spreading the natural oils evenly throughout your hair.
3. Switch to a satin/silk pillowcase
The soft fabric of satin or a silk pillowcase causes less pulling than a cotton or linen one when you’re tossing and turning in your sleep. It keeps your hair smooth and results in little to none breakage, causing less damage to your hair.
4. Use protectant sprays
When you’re styling your hair using heat tools, make sure that you spray in some heat protectant to cause less damage to your hair.
The harsh summer heat can make your hair dull and dry so use a protecting spray to minimize the harm.
Use summer styling products to protect your hair from chlorine and salt water.
5. Comb your hair from the tips
When you’re brushing your hair, start by untangling the tips. Work your way upwards as you comb your hair. Remember to comb your hair in small sections and don’t tug too hard or else your hair will break.
6. Towel dry the right way
Dab your wet hair after your shower instead of rubbing the towel on your head.
Rubbing the towel all over your head will only result in breaking and frizzy hair. Your hair is already very delicate when it is wet and tugging at it will only cause more damage.
You can also switch your towel for a thin cotton t-shirt to reduce frizz as far as possible.
Try not to take too much stress.
This will only result in unhealthy hair growth. Remember this simple motto: worry less, sleep more.
Get an adequate amount of sleep to help your body repair damages and regenerate its cells.
8. Braid hair before bed
Tie your hair in loose braids before you sleep. This will prevent your hair from tangling and breaking and encourages faster hair growth.
You will also wake up to naturally wavy hair. Make sure that your braid isn’t too tight since it might cause excessive pulling at the roots, resulting in more breakage.
9. Condition/ Nourish your hair
At least once a week, apply a hair mask to your hair to exfoliate, moisturize and nourish your hair. You can use simple products like coconut, jojoba, rosemary and apricot seed oils.
You can also use commercially available hair masks which are rich in Vitamins and oils.
Oil-based leave-in conditioners are also a great option to treat your hair.
Home Remedies for Healthy Hair
Here are a few home remedies that you can follow to improve the condition and health of your hair:
Dampen your hair with plain white vinegar after using your shampoo. Leave it on for about two minutes and then wash it off. Vinegar makes your hair brighter and shinier from the first use itself.
You can also rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar after shampooing it. This will bring your hair to its ideal acidity, especially for those with oily hair.
2. Avocado mask
Once a month, use a natural mask on your hair. To make this mask, take the flesh of a medium avocado, 1/4th cup olive oil, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice and mix them together.
Wet your hair, apply the mask and leave it on for about twenty minutes. Wash it off using a small amount of your shampoo and warm water.
3. Egg yolk
Switch your commercial shampoo with raw egg yolks. They have proven to moisturize your hair better than shampoo and do not weaken the hair strands.
4. Argan Oil
Argan oil is highly beneficial in tackling split ends, dry scalp, and dandruff and hair loss.
It promotes shiny and healthy hair growth and also acts as a leave-in conditioner.
Foods that help in healthy hair growth
Also known as “Vitamin H”, Biotin promotes nail and hair growth and helps in skin regeneration. If adequate amounts are not consumed, it may lead to scaly red rashes and hair loss ( 2 ).
Hair follicles are mostly made up of proteins and eating adequate amounts of protein to keep it healthy is a necessity. Eggs contain protein, iron, Vitamin B and biotin ( 3 ).
Spinach is rich in iron, folate, magnesium, potassium, omega 3 acids and Vitamins A and C. the sebum present in spinach acts as a natural conditioner. The iron contents fuel metabolism and aid hair growth and reparation.
4. Sweet potato
Sweet Potato constitutes Beta Carotene which is an antioxidant and is turned into Vitamin A by the body when consumed. It also contains Sebum, Potassium, Zinc and Vitamins B and C. it promotes healthy hair growth.
Salmon contains Potassium, Protein, Omega 3 fatty acid, Selenium, Iron and Vitamins B12 and D. it nourishes the hair follicle and the omega 3 fatty acid prevents hair fall, dandruff and dry, lifeless hair.
Nuts are rich in protein, zinc and other nutrients like Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. They encourage hair growth, nourish the hair follicles and support thick hair.
The Vitamin E and Inositol present in nuts improve blood circulation and results in healthy hair follicles.
If you have colored or processed hair, you need to take extra care of your hair. The bleach on your hair has already caused immense damage to your hair and it is important that you protect it from further damage. You should use the right type of shampoo and conditioner for your hair. There are certain shampoos and conditioners that are made specifically for colored and processed hair. They consist of the correct molecular structure to hydrate and restore your hair.
Apart from this, try to minimize the use of a blow dryer on your hair. Air drying wet hair is the best possible way to dry your hair. If you’re in a hurry and have to resort to using a blow dryer, use a heat protectant spray before you do so.
Never tie your hair too tightly. When your hair is up, make sure that it is not fully taut at any point. Stretched hair tends to be fairly and can break easily, so let your hair be a little loose.