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Since I get a lot of hair questions, I’ll start off with 7 tips to maintain healthy hair. In case you didn’t know, I used to be a hair stylist for about 10 years. I technically still am a hairstylist, but I don’t work as one right now. It seems like another lifetime!
1. WASH LESS OFTEN
Washing your hair obviously cleanses it of dirt and product, but it also strips the oil from your hair and scalp, which is it’s natural conditioner! How long you can go between washing is going to vary from person to person. Your hair may be oily at first because your scalp is used to overcompensating by producing more oil than it needs to, so if you wash every day, try every other day. If you wash every 2 days, try every 3. I only need to shampoo my hair once a week! If you find that your hair is getting oily, try using a dry shampoo in between washings – my favorite is Dirty Secret by TIGI/Bed Head.
2. USE COOLER WATER
When you do wash your hair, use cooler water. Hot water opens up the cuticle of your hair the same way that it opens up the pores of your skin. Using lukewarm water to wash your hair and finishing with a cool rinse will help keep your hair from getting roughed up, help preserve your natural oils, and make hair color last longer.
3. USE PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTS
Wash your hair with professional quality products. While I really recommend using professional products and tools for all of your care and styling, I realize that’s not within everyone’ budget. But if you want healthy hair, a professional shampoo and conditioner are key. Not all products are created equally and in the case of shampoos and conditioners, you get what you pay for. There’s a reason that cheap products are cheap. Their ingredients are inferior and they aren’t doing your hair any favors. Go to a salon and get a product recommendation – if you don’t like it or it doesn’t work how you want it to, most salons will let you return it. My favorite line is Paul Mitchell.
4. GET IT TRIMMED
I’ve been trying to grow my hair out, so I am guilty of not doing this, but I really need to! Trimming your hair regularly prevents split ends from wreaking havoc on your hair. Split ends will eventually keep splitting further and further up the hair shaft, weakening it and causing it to break. Keeping it trimmed also makes your hair look fuller and healthier, and makes it easier to brush out.
5. SKIP THE HEAT
Hot tools are great for styling your hair. But every time you use one (blow dryer, flat iron, curling iron, etc.) you damage your hair a little bit. They can eventually cause your hair to become weak, dry and brittle, especially if you are using a poor quality tool or not using any kind of protective product with it. Try letting your hair dry naturally, or using rag curls or pin curls instead of a curling iron once in a while. If you must use hot tools, be sure that you prep your hair with a thermal protective spray like Paul Mitchell’s Hot Off The Press.
6. BRUSH GENTLY
While it’s true that brushing your hair can help spread the oils from your scalp, the old myth that you need to brush it 100 strokes a day is just that – a myth. Over-brushing or brushing too vigorously damages your hair’s cuticle, and when the cuticle is damaged, your hair will look dull and will tangle more easily. Gently brush your hair starting at the tips and work your way up, carefully removing tangles as you go. Make sure it’s brushed out and detangled thoroughly before you wash it, and feel free to brush your scalp too – it exfoliates your scalp to help keep it healthy!
7. GO AU NATUREL
If you bleach or color your hair, it can become very damaged very quickly, especially if you are doing it yourself at home. If you follow all of the above tips and your hair is still weak, dry or lifeless. It may be time to literally get back to your roots.
Of course there is a lot more that could be said on this subject, and I have written more hair-related posts in the past, but if your looking to have healthier hair, that’s a good start!