How Do You Achieve Healthy Hair?

by Brianna Thompson

Hair is almost like skin care or going to the gym, if we build a habit, we will see results from when we started. Everyone's hair is unique and qualifies for special care. In this blog I am going to go over the best ways to keep your hair healthy and feeling its best, or how to get it to a state where it feels and looks new. I will be discussing what habits to build and the best products to use in your hair at night to prevent breakage. 


Using natural products


Natural products are free of harsh chemicals that can damage your hair and scalp. Instead, they are made with natural ingredients that nourish and protect your hair. For example, for curly hairyou can use shampoos and conditioners made with natural oils like coconut oil or argan oil. These oils help to hydrate and protect your hair from damage. You can also use natural styling products like aloe vera gel or shea butter to style your hair without damaging your curls. Certain natural products may not be suitable for all hair types, especially those that are fine and oily.   


Avoiding harsh chemicals


It is important to find products that are labeled “sulfate-free” or “paraben-free” to ensure that you are avoiding harsh chemicals, especially if you're hair type is not suitable for oil-based products. Harsh chemicals like sulfates, parabens, and phthalates can strip your hair of its natural oils and cause damage. Instead, look for products that are free of these chemicals and are made with natural ingredients that nourish your hair. Simply avoiding drugstore brands will lead you in a better direction of less chemically processed brands. Seeking a recommendation from a professional would be helpful to find what suites your needs and your budget.


Exfoliate your scalp


Using a scalp scrub to exfoliate your scalp will help open up the pores to the hair follicles and promote hair growth. If there is too much debris in the scalp it will cause the follicles to be blocked away hair growth. This is especially for anyone suffering excessive shedding and hair loss. Exfoliating the scalp and promoting blood flow will encourage the hair to grow. Not only will the hair not grow, when debris build up in the hair it will cause dandruff or other scalp conditions. Find scrubs that consist of cooling agents such as peppermint or tea tree oil to deeply cleanse the scalp and rid of all dead skin clogging pores. Scalp exfoliation should be done at least once a week or when the hair has excessive buildup. 


Use a deep conditioner


Deep conditioners and hair masks deeply nourish the hair strands to give the ultimate moisture. This helps create manageability to all hair types while making it feel soft and moisturized. Deep conditioning also helps protect your hair from damage due to heat styling and environmental stressors. Deep conditioners should be applied at least once a week. For curly or coiled hair, deep conditioners with natural ingredients like avocado oil or argan oil will give the perfect amount of hydration. Other hair types should refer to hair masks with less chemically packed ingredients, one I like is the Amika Soulfood hair mask or the Verb Ghost hydrating mask for fine hair.


Use a wide tooth comb and or a wet brush


Wide-tooth combs are much gentler on your hair than brushes and can help to reduce breakage and split ends. Using a wide tooth comb or wet brush on the hair when its wet is super important. The hair is in its most fragile state when it is wet and needs to be detangled gently to avoid too much damage or pulling on your strands. When combing your hair, start at the ends and work your way up to the roots to avoid tugging. If you start far up the hair shaft, you may cause more breakage.

 

Use a silk pillowcase and scrunchie


Using a silk pillowcase is going to build an amazing habit for healthy hair goals. Silk pillowcases are much gentler on your hair than cotton pillowcases, which can cause friction and breakage. Silk pillowcases also help to keep your hair hydrated as they don’t absorb moisture like cotton pillowcases do. This helps to keep your hair from becoming dry and brittle. Using a silk scrunchie is also important to avoid tightness on the hair strands, as regular elastics cause breakage. Sleeping with a low braid or ponytail is best to avoid matting or knotting the hair severely.


Avoid tight hairstyles


Constant tight buns or ponytails will cause tension and pulling around the hairline by the nape and front hairline and may cause breakage. Instead of tight styles, doing low buns and lower ponytails will help avoid tension. Claw clips or scrunchies can also help avoid tension from elastics and still pin your hair high enough for activities such as sports or the gym.


 Leave-In Conditioner & Heat Protectant Spray


Using a leave-in conditioner will help to protect your hair from damage caused by heat styling and environmental factors like sun exposure or pollution. They also help to keep your hair hydrated and prevent it from becoming dry and brittle. Look for leave-in conditioners that contain natural ingredients like coconut oil or argan oil for the best results. One of my favorite leave in conditioners is the Pureology 21 spray. This leave in is packed with benefits from heat protection, frizz tame, to moisture and shine.

Heat protectant sprays help to protect your hair from damage caused by heat styling tools like curling irons or flat irons. It is good to use a heat protection that is applied on dry hair, as a mist leave in will cause slight wetness in the hair. My favorite leave in on dry hair is the IGK Good Behavior. This spray is an aerosol that protects your hair from heat, gives softness, and tames frizz. 


Eat a balanced diet


Eating a balanced diet is essential for having healthy hair just like keeping our bodies in shape. A balanced diet should consist of fruits and vegetables as well as lean proteins and healthy fats. Eating a balanced diet will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to keep your hair, skin, and body healthy. Foods like salmon, eggs, and avocados are especially beneficial for hair health as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that promote healthy hair growth.

Overall, having healthy hair is like any other goal we have, like losing weight, gaining muscle, or having bright glowing skin.  Goals like these involve commitment, dedication, and consistency. If you start to build these habits consistently, you will have remarkable results and notice a difference in a matter of months. Building habits like this also sets a routine to indulge in self-care. Having a routine will help you feel better about yourself and give yourself the chance to destress from day-to-day duties


About the Author

Brianna Thompson

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