We all want our hair to look great if not stunning. However, for that to be within realistic reach, your hair needs to be kept in really healthy condition. Whilst booking into the salon for a professional haircut is the obvious first step, no salon treatments, hair masks, or stylish haircuts will do more than regular maintenance.
Dirt, dandruff, and excessive scalp buildup can lead to hair loss and other major hair issues. Unfortunately, all of these can also be caused by improper home care. Irregular washing, frequent styling, wearing tight ponytails – if you’re guilty of any of those, you might be inadvertently damaging your hair. If you want to keep your hair healthy and strong, check out our tips and add them to your daily care routine.
Trim Your Ends
Trimming the ends of your hair either in a salon or at home is a must for long, healthy hair.
If you don’t feel the need to run to the salon, only to watch them trim a few millimetres off your length, you can find plenty of simple tutorials on how to trim your ends on Youtube. It’s worth noting, regular stationary scissors aren’t the way to go. If you don’t own proper hair cutting scissors, you can easily choose your hair shears online and have them delivered to your door.
How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?
There is a big difference between healthy and not-so-healthy hair. How do you spot the difference? Healthy hair is shiny, strong, and soft, while unhealthy hair looks dull, stiff, and dry. Frequent washing is one of the most important things you can do to help your hair. If you wash it rarely, your scalp can get oily, which is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. In turn, that leads to dandruff and other unpleasant problems. Experts from the Hotze Health & Wellness Center remind us that you need to provide your body with enough vitamins and minerals to ensure healthy hair. If you suspect this might be the culprit for dull looking hair, check out the supplements available online.
On the other hand, if you wash too frequently, your hair will lose natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle. As a result, you may develop split ends or weak hair. That’s why it’s important to find a balance between washing your hair too often or not often enough.
How often should you wash your hair? It depends on many factors. If you work out a lot, you’ll need to wash it more often. If you don’t exercise at all, you can go longer between washes. No matter what kind of lifestyle you lead, try to wash your hair every 3-4 days. The best way to figure out if your hair is clean enough is to examine it in natural daylight. If you see oil on your scalp, wash it again. Just be sure not to use hot water every time and opt for using warm water instead. Hot water dries out your scalp and hair and can lead to split ends and premature hair loss.
Use the Right Shampoo
If you wash your hair once a week or more, make sure to use a decent shampoo. The basic rule is to use a shampoo that’s made for your specific hair type. Using the wrong shampoo can actually make your hair look worse. For example, if you have chemically treated hair (bleached or dyed), you’ll know to use a special shampoo that will protect it from further damage. Also, if you have curly hair, use shampoos that are specifically designed for your hair type. Some shampoos contain chemicals, such as Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or Polyethylene Glycols, that can damage your hair over time, so try to avoid these.
Avoid Brushing Wet Hair
Brushing your hair when it’s wet can cause a lot of damage. It can weaken your roots, split your ends, and cause breakage. Instead of brushing your wet hair with a hairbrush, try using a wide-tooth comb instead. However, you should also try to avoid combing your hair too much, as this can lead to split ends as well. If you really need to comb it often, use a wide-tooth comb or a wide-toothed brush so you don’t break your strands. It is also essential to avoid combs made of metal or plastic as they can cut your hair strands at the root and cause even more damage.
Your shampoo can only do so much – after washing your hair, you still need to use a conditioner to make it smooth and silky again. Here’s how to find the best conditioner for you. It might seem obvious but after you’ve finished washing your hair with shampoo, squeeze out the excess water and then apply the conditioner while it’s still damp. Then, massage it into the scalp and let it sit for 5 minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water. Finally, you can rinse with cold water to close the pores of the scalp and seal the cuticle of the hair shaft from external dirt.
This is the best way to make your hair healthy and shiny. Even though conditioners have silicones in them, they shouldn’t be used every day – otherwise, they can build up on your scalp, clogging the pores and preventing proper circulation in the hair follicles area. Try using a conditioner 2-3 times a week only.
Use Heat Protection Products
Even if you have naturally straight or wavy hair without any damage whatsoever, it is still smart to use a heat protection product before blow-drying or using a flat iron on it. These products help prevent future damage, lock in moisture, and eliminate frizz caused by humidity in the air. Additionally, if you apply a heat protection product to damp hair before styling, you’ll avoid damaging it in the process.
Avoid Excessive Scrubbing
It’s very important not to scrub your head too hard when washing your hair. If you’re trying to get rid of excess oil on your scalp, scrubbing too hard can cause inflammation and swelling, which could lead to scalp problems later on. The best way to avoid this is to use special brushes or massaging balls designed specifically for washing and massaging your scalp. They can help you improve blood circulation in the scalp, which will help eliminate excess oil build-up faster than scrubbing alone ever could!
Avoid Blow Drying Everyday
If you blow-dry your hair every day, there is a good chance you’ll end up with split ends, thinning hair, or other serious issues. The best way to protect your hair is to only blow dry it when necessary. For example, if you have naturally straight hair and don’t need to use a flat iron or curling iron, you can skip blow-drying entirely.
However, if you need to blow dry your hair, use low heat and high airflow. This way, you can avoid overheating your hair and causing more damage to your scalp and hair. Also, we recommend using a heat protection spray before blow-drying your hair to avoid causing damage.
Avoid Ponytails & Braids
Ponytails and braids can look stunning and stylish. Unfortunately, they can also be very damaging to your hair if you wear them on a daily basis. If you want your hair to look healthy, avoid wearing them every day. Instead, you could consider a loose, flowing style that doesn’t put too much pressure on your hair strands.
Use Hair Masks
Just like your skin needs regular care to stay strong and healthy, so does your hair. Try deep conditioning your hair with a hair mask once a week. It’s very simple to do – just apply a deep conditioner (like coconut oil mixed with honey) to your hair after washing it, let it sit for about 15 minutes, and then wash it off with warm water. You shouldn’t use a conditioner too frequently, as this could cause excess build-up on your scalp.
If you want your hair to grow long and healthy, then it’s best you avoid colouring it. Dyeing your hair can be less damaging if it is only a few levels lighter or darker than your natural hair colour. However, if you have naturally black hair and want to be platinum blonde, then lighteners and bleach will most certainly strip your hair and damage it in the process. If you do want to colour your hair, we recommend consulting with a professional hairstylist before attempting this at home.
Luckily, there are many things you can do in the salon or at home to improve the quality of your hair. First, you want to find the right shampoo, conditioner, and mask that work with your hair type and not against it. You should also invest in a good heat-protecting product so you can style your hair without having to worry about damaging it.
When it comes to hairstyles, try to avoid those that may be pulling and tugging on your hair, as these can cause breakage. If you make these small changes to the way you take care of your hair, you will most probably see an improvement in the look and quality of your hair in no time.