Everyone wants show-stopping, gorgeous hair. I wrote a similar article on my old style blog a few years ago which was very popular – thought it was time to update it with some more tricks & secrets I’ve learned since then!
I’ve been doing crazy stuff to my hair for as long as I can remember – dyeing, bleaching, backcombing (!!), straightening – all of it. Naturally this leads to dry, distressed and broken ends. Or your hair can even start falling out, not even kidding.
Here are a few ways to keep your hair healthy and lovely despite the abuse..maybe it’ll forgive you, eventually.
1. Take your vitamins! A good multivitamin ensures you get an extra dose of anything you might be missing in your diet, especially if you are vegetarian or have any other food-related restrictions. My favourite is Centrum – it’s easily available, effective and usually on offer. Another great supplement is Biotin, one of the key B vitamins which is known to promote hair growth. My favourite brand is Natrol which I first bought from Walmart in the USA but is also very reasonably priced and reputably sold via Amazon. It’s the only Biotin brand I’ve taken where I’ve actually noticed both my nails and hair growing much faster and feeling stronger! Studies have shown that Biotin is relatively harmless even at 10000mcg per day, but like with any new medication it’s absolutely necessary to consult with your doctor first.
2. Eat healthy! This means fresh vegetables as well as high-protein foods such as fish, meat, eggs and oats – these contribute to the proteins which your hair as well as your nails are composed of. Again, vegetarians should look into alternatives such as protein powders to ensure you’re not missing out on anything important in your diet. Eating a good, balanced diet makes you look and feel better all over, not just help your hair out.
3. Get at least 8 hours sleep each night. Another point which contributes to your general well-being as a whole and not just your hair. Turn off the TV, tablet and smartphone, read a book, make yourself comfortable and get a full night’s sleep for once. Since your body replenishes and repairs itself in certain ways overnight, you’ll also notice eye bags and skin looking lovelier for a good night’s sleep. Keep a glass of water by your bed to maintain a decent level of hydration.
4. Leave an extra day or two between washes. Okay, this can be a little gross, but it genuinely does help. Washing your hair every day dries it out like crazy – leaving it an extra day or two between washes allow your hair’s natural oils to condition it and keep it softer and healthier (not to mention saving money on shampoo and conditioner). After a while your hair will train itself not to produce quite so much excess oil, making it easier to stick out the extra day between washes. If you’re not a fan of the ‘greaseball’ look, products like dry shampoo and talcum powder help keep the oil at bay without drying your hair out.
5. Get a good deep conditioner in your routine. Anything thick and creamy that nourishes your hair naturally without leaving tons of silicone or chemicals in there. As a general rule, look at the ingredients in the product and make sure that silicone isn’t high up on the list. Using the right deep conditioner 1-2x a week will keep your hair soft, nourished and shiny – an essential if dry hair is one of your main concerns.
6. Put the straighteners down! Some ladies are more attached to their GHDs than they are to their partners. If you straighten your hair more than once a week, can’t leave the house without a straightener fix and suffer with dry, broken ends, you may be guilty of straightener overkill and may want to take a break from each other for a while and embrace the natural look for a while (it’s really not that scary, honestly). When you do use the straighteners, make sure you’re using a good heat protection spray as well as shampoos and other styling products with heat protection to minimise any damage to your hair. Remember – no hair product shields your hair from heat 100%, so if you’re constantly using the heated tools your hair will inevitably become damaged no matter what you’re using.
7. Sun protection! You use SPF sun cream for your skin (and if you don’t you really should!) so why not your hair? Maybe this isn’t so relevant in rainy England, but if you’re on holiday or spend a lot of time outside in direct sunlight, your hair will dry out and become damaged without the right protection. And if you’ve recently spent a lot of money having your hair professionally coloured, it’s worth investing in the right protection to keep your hair looking vibrant rather than dried out.
8. Book regular trims in advance. Good hairdressers will inevitably have a packed schedule, so make sure you book a trim in advance at least every 6-8 weeks to keep any split, damaged ends in check before they run up your hair shaft and cause further damage. A trim leaves your hair looking noticeably thicker and healthier so don’t forget to book in regularly!
9. Avoid chemical damage as much as possible. I’m mainly talking about hair dye here. If you must colour your hair, at least have it professionally done at a salon – bleaching at home doesn’t always work out to plan and it’s not worth the risk. One home dye disaster means years of growth permanently ruined! Also watch out for pool chlorine if you go swimming regularly – wear your hair up or under a swimming hat to keep it free from unnecessary chemical damage.
10. Style with care. Hairspray, hair wax and an army of pins and clips will lead to buildup and pulling on the hair, which can lead to hair becoming weaker and/or being pulled out by accident. When you need to wear your hair styled, don’t overdo it on the product and keep it simple to keep your hair happy.
Coming up: Surprise! A Part 2 filled with some of my favourite Holy Grail product to keep my hair looking healthy and awesome.
Any other tips to add? What do you do to take care of your hair?