6 Easy Ways to Achieve Healthy Hair
One of the best ways to make or break your look is with your hair. It’s one of the first things people notice about you, and helps shape their first impression. When your hair is unhealthy, it can diminish your look with more frizz and more dullness, and having unhealthy hair can be harder to manage. One of the things I pride myself on is keeping my hair healthy, and the tips below are what I use to do that. Read on to figure out if your hair may be damaged, and a few unique ways to achieve healthy hair!
How Can I Tell If My Hair Is Healthy?
Not sure if you have healthy hair or not? One easy trick to tell is to determine which part of your hair dries first after a shower (when drying naturally). Is it the hair near your scalp, or is it your hair ends? If your hair ends dry dramatically faster than the rest of your hair, your hair might be dry and damaged. If your hair ends still drip after you’ve rung out your hair multiple times, it’s a good sign that your hair is probably nice and healthy.
Another obvious and more well-known way to tell is if you have split ends. I can’t believe how long it took me to actually figure out that split ends are literally the ends of your hair that are split. It sounds dumb, but for some reason it wasn’t obvious to me! For most people, about two months after your last trim you might start seeing your ends split. This is a crucial reason why you should get regular trims to remove those split ends. The longer you go without a trim, the more severe the split ends can get and the more you’ll have to trim off at your next salon visit.
What Can I Do To Get Healthy Hair?
Reduce the Heat
By using heat on your hair, it can melt your hair’s protein and lead to brittle hair. Heat here includes hair tools like curlers and straighteners, but also blow drying. I hardly ever blow dry my hair to help keep its health, so I wash it instead in the evening and let it dry naturally throughout the night. If we also go back to not shampooing every day, that means I also don’t curl or straighten my hair every day. If I need to do small touch-ups I will, but instead I invested in higher quality tools (this curler and this straightener) that will help my hair hold its shape for days - well worth the investment! Another tip is to try using wet curlers instead of a curling iron to avoid that excess heat, or turn the heat down on your tools to the minimum you find you can use while still getting results. In addition, using a heat protectant like this one before using heat on your hair helps reduce the damage.
Rinse Hair in Cold Water
This may be an unpleasant tip, but rinsing your hair in cold water instead of hot water really helps to maintain your hair’s health. Cold water helps to close your hair’s cuticles after you wash, which results in smoother and frizz-free hair. You can shampoo and condition with hot water, but doing a quick rinse with cold water afterward seals in all the goodness you just gave your hair. And just like they close your hair’s cuticles, they close your skin’s pores as well. This helps protect your scalp from dirt, grease, and oil, which leads to less dandruff. (The same holds true for washing your face as well!)
Oil Your Ends
I’ve recently gotten into using a hair oil and can’t believe what I was missing out on! (I swear by this one, and also love this one) After I shower and before I style my hair in the morning, I apply a dime size amount to my palms and work through my ends to help “seal” any split ends and also smooth out flyaways. Hair oil helps to fight frizz, protect your hair from heat and UV damage, and adds a little extra shine (but not an oily shine) to your hair. In addition, some have added vitamins to help strengthen and soften your hair. You can even use them as a overnight treatment in your hair for increased benefits!
Don’t Over-Rinse Your Conditioner
This was something new I found out about recently, and it’s made a huge difference in my hair since I’ve adjusted my habits. When you condition your hair, you put back the moisture and vitamins back in that your shampoo washed out. You should really only be rinsing out your conditioner for 20-30 seconds while using your fingers to comb water through, or else you’re washing out all the goodness that you just put in your hair. If your hair is squeaky afterwards or hard to detangle, it might signal that you rinsed too much. Note that you shouldn’t actually be leaving conditioner in your hair, but you don’t want to be over-rinsing out the condition that your hair just got. Under-rinsing may lead to your hair feeling sticky or heavy. Your hair should feel silky and clean, but not dry or tangly.
Easy on the Shampoo
It’s not necessarily healthy for you to shampoo your hair every day. Shampoo strips your hair of its natural oils while its also removing dirt and excess oil, but the natural oil is what helps keep its moisture. Over-shampooing can lead to a dry scalp and damaged hair. I shampoo about 2-3 times a week, with dry shampoo as my best friend those other days (this one is my favorite, and this one is a great budget option). Of course, this is dependent on your lifestyle and hair type. For example, if you workout every day, you can just rinse your hair to remove the sweat and salt without using shampoo that strips your hair of its oils.
Take Your Vitamins
Vitamins are vital to help new hair grow healthy and strong. Biotin (one of the B-vitamins) and Fish Oil are known for helping hair grow thick and strong, but it takes a village (of vitamins) to have healthy hair. Many brands and stores now even carry vitamins and supplements specifically for your hair. However, keep in mind you cannot fix already damaged hair by using vitamins or supplements - it helps to maintain your hair’s health and keep the health of the new hair growing in.