“Invest in your hair, it is the crown you never take off.” – Casa Vera. That’s true at any age and any length. And though healthy hair doesn’t happen without some effort, nothing says you have to spend a fortune to keep it looking enviable.
If you already see your hairstylist regularly for trims and treatments, you’re off to a great start. But what else can you do to keep your hair healthy between visits? These tips for hair care at home will help.
Signs of healthy hair
The way your hair looks will tell you a lot about what it needs. With the right level of hair maintenance, here’s what Southern Living says you can expect:
- Smoothe, shiny strands of hair
- Bouncy hair with strong elasticity
- Normal daily hair loss
- Few tangles
- Low frizz, even with humidity in the air
- Minimal breakage
Now that you know what your goals are, here’s what you can do to get healthier hair at home.
10 Tips for keeping hair healthy
Healthy hair doesn’t have to be complicated – or expensive. Here’s what experts say is the long and the short of knowing how to take care of hair.
- Eat a balanced diet. Healthy hair starts from the inside out. “Try and include iron-rich foods like leafy vegetables, fish, pumpkin seeds, beans, chickpea, soybeans and cereals in your diet. Doctors suggest that you consume around 12 mg of iron daily. You also need protein because that’s what strengthens your hair. Include complete proteins which are also rich in amino acids: like cheese, milk, soy, lentils, peas, quinoa and yogurt,” shares NDTV Food.
- Don’t overwash your hair. Washing your hair too often strips it of natural, protective oils. Using shampoos that have too many chemicals can also overdry your hair and even trigger it to start over producing oils.
- Be careful brushing or combing wet hair. Invest in a wide tooth comb. The less you can disrupt the hair follicle, particularly when wet, the healthier your strands will be.
- Get hair professionally trimmed regularly. No matter how careful you are with your hair, the ends will eventually deaden. Getting them trimmed roughly every 8 weeks can help it stay healthy from root to tip.
- Deep condition on occasion. You should always follow up with a daily conditioner when you shampoo your hair. However, using a dedicated deep conditioner every now and again is a good idea, too.
- Avoid excessive heat, even in the shower. Let your hair air dry as often as you can. If you must use a heating tool, turn the heat settings as low as possible. Be sure to check the temperature of your shower, too. If the water is too hot, it can damage the hair’s protective cuticle.
- Invest in sulfate-free shampoo. The fewer chemicals in your shampoos and conditioners the better, but be sure to avoid sulfates and parabens whenever you can.
- Toss in the towel. Sometimes even the terry cloth fabric from your towel can be too harsh, especially for fine hair. Thin cotton, like the kind in most T-shirt material, is a cult favorite in the hair biz.
- Know where to apply shampoo and conditioner. As a general rule, avoid using shampoos on the ends of your hair (it can dry it out) and keep conditioner off your scalp (it can encourage excess oil production).
- Keep hair hydrated. No amount of anti-frizz serum can do what eight glasses of water a day can.
The consequences of neglecting your hair
Fail to take care of your hair, and you may notice it stop growing. If you can’t get your hair longer than a certain point, it may be due to neglect or active damage.
SkinKraft explains, “Slowly, you may start experiencing dandruff, hair fall, dryness and dullness. Not washing hair for long periods can cause ingrown hairs…Also, by leaving your hair unwashed for a long time, you are attracting more dust. Using wrong hair care products can make you feel itchy and lead to hair fall.”
Hair care FAQ
In the end, healthy hair at home has as much to do with what you put on your hair as it does what you put in your body. Everything else you can leave to the professionals to help keep your hair healthy.
Beauty Icon and Expert
Gina Rivera skyrocketed to success when the company she founded in 2007, Phenix Salon Suites, became the fastest-growing salon suite company in the beauty industry. With more than 300 locations nationally and international expansion occurring in the UK, Entrepreneur Magazine named Phenix Salon Suites a Top 500 Franchise list seven years running.