HAIR: Our Top 10 Tips for Healthy Hair Now
Below is a list of small, simple changes you can make to improve the health and appearance of your hair immediately.
1. MASSAGE THE SCALP: Aside from feeling really good, massaging your scalp lowers stress levels, conditions the scalp with natural oils, and stimulates blood flow to the head. This is a great practice to add into your self-care rituals as a preventative technique for hair fall/ hair loss and the promotion of healthy hair growth. Be gentle and use only the pads of your fingertips to apply oil; stimulate the scalp using circular motions. Make time for a massage as you shampoo, during an abhyanga session, or as a pre-shampoo hair-oil treatment.
2. WATCH YOUR WATER TEMPERATURE: Hot water on hair can dry it out, stripping the hair and scalp of its natural oils. This causes dry, dehydrated hair with excessive frizz. These are all signs of hair damage (which leads to brittle, breakage-prone hair.) Try your best to protect the health of your hair and prevent damage by only exposing your hair to cool or lukewarm water instead.
3. DEEP CONDITION: Coat the entire length of your hair with deep conditioner or a hair mask then wrap hair in a warm, terry-cloth towel or cotton t-shirt. Leave the hair conditioner in for ~20 minutes. Before washing out, gently comb-through and detangle your hair using your fingers or a brush meant for use on wet hair. You can make this a part of your weekly self-care routine.
4. LEAVE-IN CONDITION: apply a leave-in conditioner to the lengths of hair after towel drying (with a soft, microfiber towel or cotton shirt). Leave-in conditioner softens the hair texture and provides a barrier to the hair shaft, making detangling your hair easier while fighting frizz as your hair dries.
5. EMBRACE YOUR NATURAL: Forgo the heat styling tools, opt for an air-dry and work with what mama gave you. You'll protect your hair from the breakage and split-ends that come as a result of heat damage.
6. LET OFF SOME HEAT: If air-drying is not an option for you, use the lowest setting possible on your hairdryer, straightening iron, or curling wand. Let the hair air-dry about half way before applying heat from the dryer. Make sure the hair is completely dry before applying straightening or curling irons.
7. LIMIT HAIR PRODUCTS: The quest to find the right products for your hair is hard, I know. But try to use products sparingly to prevent product build-up onto the scalp. Products with waxes and silicones are water insoluble and require shampooing with a clarifying shampoo to prevent buildup. These harsh shampoos tends to strip the hair of its natural oils. Avoid products with these ingredients so that there will be no need for harsh cleansers.
8. PROTECT FROM THE SUN: Protect your hair and scalp from the damaging effects of UV radiation. Wear a wide brimmed hat, scarf or apply a hair protectant spray that guards hair against the suns penetrating UV rays.
9. KEEP THIRSTY HAIR HYDRATED: For thirsty, easily dehydrated hair, or in dry environments, refresh and revive hair with several spritz of mineral water or rose water. (One of my favorite tricks!)
10. ADOPT A HAIR HEALTH DIET: Incorporate hair health supporting foods into your diet. Hair benefits from the Omega-3s in healthy fats like nuts, avocados, and salmon. Healthy lean protein like chicken and biotin rich eggs are meat options that support hair growth. Lentils are a great meat free alternative for the iron and zinc nutrient content.