My secret dream job as a child was to be a professional hair dresser, since obviously they had all the secrets of healthy hair mastered. I explored the area of cosmetology for quite some time and my love for great hair was only overpowered by my more excessive love for writing, yet I kept several secrets under my belt that I learned from a few hair professionals along the way. If you’re like me, you love a great hairstyle and making a statement with your hair, yet trend, style, and ease of use are always of top priority too. With that in mind, I think you’ll appreciate these secrets of healthy hair that most hair professionals know, although anyone who just loves having healthy hair in general may know them too. There’s no need to douse your hair with harmful chemicals, styling agents, etc., which only ruin your hair. Instead, implement these simple, yet effective tips into your hair routine and you’ll have salon-quality strands stat!
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Stop with All the Shampoo
One of the top secrets of healthy hair that every hair professional usually gives each time I’ve asked them how to care for my hair is, “Stop shampooing your hair so much!" I just couldn’t seem to get on board with this tip, no matter how much I wanted to. I mean, washing my hair just felt so great at the end of everyday. As I scrubbed away my stress and what I thought was a dirty scalp, I was also scrubbing away all the natural oils and moisture too! Several years ago, I stopped being so stubborn and finally took the advice of the pros. What were the results? Fabulously shiny hair that now grows twice its length faster and more effectively. Washing your hair every other day is the best way to preserve your natural oils and enhance the health of your hair. Grime factor aside, you’ll get results quickly!
Buy a Good Brush
For the love of good hair, don’t buy a bad brush! Be sure to buy a brush that contains bristles which are coated in heavy duty plastic and that contain plastic tips on the ends, or buy a mason brush, which contains boar bristles that nourish the hair. Depending on your hair type, you’ll need a different brush. For me, boar bristle brushes only tear my hair, since my hair is dry, thick and hard to manage. It is also coarse, so coarse bristles don’t work well for me. Instead, I use a simple paddle brush with plastic tipped bristles. This keeps my hair protected, while still allowing me to comb through it. If you have oily hair, the boar bristle brushes would work great for you. All hair professionals advise getting a good brush since it is one of the most effective ways to keep your hair healthy.
When drying your hair, it isn’t necessarily bad to comb through your hair as you dry it, but be sure to use a special detangling comb. You also need to be sure to comb carefully through your hair instead of quickly and aggressively. One tip that professional hair stylists give is not to comb from the root of the head down, but to instead start midway towards the bottom, very slowly. This allows you to work out any kinks in your hair and eases away the accumulated tangles. Then, work your way up towards the top of your head slowly and gently until all your knots are out. Using this technique, you won’t tear your hair from the root down, where it grows. Instead, you’ll be working from the bottom of your strand upwards, which means you’re less likely to pull your hair out this way. When purchasing a detangling comb, I like to stick with common brands like Goody brand that are effective and inexpensive. Detangling combs are usually a thick plastic material, and contain uneven fingers, and even have uneven textures, which allow them to work through your hair differently and more easily than a straight-edged comb, creating less damage.
Another simple tip my hairdresser gave me last year was to stop using a cheap, harsh hairdryer on my head. When I told her my budget didn’t allow for the pricey, yet amazing hair dyers she owned, she told me I could get an inexpensive tourmaline hair dryer at my local superstore. Luckily enough, I bought a very reasonably priced Conair dryer that had tourmaline power included. So, what is tourmaline exactly? Tourmaline is simply a crushed mineral that is added to the ceramic heater in an ionic hair dryer, which boosts the output of the hair dryer and creates more shine and adds protection to your strands. It also helps create a frizz-free, conditioned result that is immediately noticeable. For added protection and appeal, you can implement tourmaline-infused hair tools such as brushes and flat-irons for maximum shine.
Stay Away from Sulfates
Most of us have heard of how sulfates harm our hair by now, but if you’re new to this topic, let me give you a short briefing of what the buzz is about. Sulfates are chemicals added to hair products and other beauty products that dry your hair out and can break it down quickly. I’m sure many of you have seen those new shampoos and conditioners out that claim to be sulfate-free, and if you haven’t, you should definitely be giving these products some more attention. Sulfates can not only dry out your hair, but ruin the color, cause breakage and they are generally toxic substances anyhow. In order to combat this issue, simply stay away from chemical-laden hair products and look for products that say sulfate-free or buy organic, which don’t contain sulfates naturally.
One of the most uncommon tips I ever heard from my hair dresser was not to wear my hair the same way each day. I had no idea this was one secret most every pro knows. The key here is mainly with up-dos. If you sport the same pony or high bun every single day, you’re most likely damaging your hair growth potential. If you wear your strands loose, you’re less likely to have a problem, unless you aren’t protecting your hair with the right products like conditioning agents, which protect it from drying out and from sun damage. However, if you’re like me and love pulling your hair up the same way each day, you’re creating a rut for your hair that can cause damage by concentrated, consistent restriction. Instead, wear your hair a variety of ways so you’re never putting the same added pressure in the same hair places each day. This will help your hair be less prone to breakage and damage, plus it just might help you discover a new favorite hairstyle!
Quit with the Hairspray
Hairspray has fizzed out a bit by now, but if you still spray your weight in hairspray each day, you truly need to let up a bit. I quit using hairspray six years ago completely, even through doing modeling and pageants during those years. As a result, my hair looked ten times better, felt 100% more moisturized, and grew at a much faster rate, almost double, of what it used to. Hairsprays don’t only contain harmful and usually toxic chemicals that break down your hair shaft and proteins, but they also dry them out. Instead, stick to styling agents like conditioning agents or natural serums that you can apply when your hair is wet. After you dry your hair, it will stay in place naturally and look healthier too.
Use a Product with Sunscreen
I never though to SPF my locks, but doing so has increased the moisture of my hair times ten! Most hair professionals advise using a product with SPF included, such as shampoos, conditioners, or natural styling agents. Just like the sun damages your skin, it also damages your hair. During summer, when hair is naturally more exposed to damaging UV rays, you should be using a product with SPF more than ever. I like natural products that contain SPF instead of directly applying SPF lotions to my hair, which can make it oily.
Consider an Oil Mask
One of the most classic tips that hair professionals know is that an oil based treatment can do wonders for your hair health. I’m an impatient person, so for me, letting oil sit on my hair for hours before washing it out just seems like a lengthy process I don’t want to give my time to. Instead, I coat my hair in coconut oil right before getting in the shower, while it is still dry. I let it stay on my hair while I wash my face and body, and then shampoo and condition as normal. This keeps my hair moisturized and makes combing it out after showering a breeze, yet it doesn’t make my hair so oily that it takes half an hour just to get all the oil out. I like coconut oil, because it doesn’t seem to make my hair greasy like other oils do, such as olive oil, which is commonly used. Experiment with what works for you, but consider using an oil based treatment if your hair is prone to dryness, breakage, or is hard to grow.
Turn down the Heat
We all know how tempting it is to blow dry, straighten or curl your hair for a great look, but under no circumstances should we do it everyday! Hot tools like hair dryers or flatirons can be very damaging to the hair, causing it to break and dry up. So if you are used to applying heat to your hair everyday, try toning it down to every other day and make sure to use products on your hair beforehand, that coat your cuticles and create a barrier between the hair and the heat. In addition, set your hot tool to the lowest setting and only work it up if it is absolutely necessary.
Don't Shower in Hot Water
No matter how relaxing hot showers can be, especially during the colder seasons, they are never recommended for healthy skin and hair. The scalding hot water can rob the skin and hair of its natural oils and cause damaging results. Next time you are going to take a shower, set the water to room temperature or a little warmer and finish off the showering session with the coldest temperature you can handle. This way you'll be able to seal the moisture in your hair and achieve shiny and luscious locks!
Get a Trim
We all know how upsetting it can be when you are trying to grow our your hair, but it's time for your next trim. No matter how much you want to keep your length, it's important to freshen up your ends. It doesn't have to be drastic but it should be enough to get rid of dead ends. Your regular trims are the most effective ways to maintain healthy hair and get rid of the notorious split ends that can travel up to the roots of your hair. They will keep the ends from splitting and tearing, and help your hair regain its strength!
Decrease the Use of Hair Ties
Don't you just hate it when you wear your hair in a ponytail the whole day and when it's time to let it down, you feel like you are pulling a huge chunk of hair down along with your hair tie? This is the main reason why experts say it's crucial to reduce the use of elastics on your hair. By wearing elastics, you can cause tugging and breakage of your hair. Although elastics act like life-savers when you want to keep your hair out of your face, there are other alternatives, such as headbands, barrettes and bobby pins. You can even switch your rough elastics to more gentle hair ties that are made out of fabric. All of these alternative options can sweep the strands off your face just as effectively without causing much damage!
Dry with Care
Whenever your hair is wet, it is in its most fragile state, which is why it is important to take care of it right in that moment. Even before you wet your hair, it is recommended to brush it beforehand to reduce the post-shower tangles, dissolve dirt, product build-up and equally disperse your natural hair oil. After your wash, instead of rubbing, putting your hair in a towel and causing breakage, try to use an old and worn in tee shirt instead to dry your hair. It's much cheaper and will cause less breakage and frizz later on. Make this switch and your hair will thank you!
In the end, the only thing that reflects the health of your hair is your own personal health. If you have always wanted to have strong and shiny hair, it's time to take care of your body! You can start by cleaning up your diet and incorporating more nutritious foods like salmon and nuts. The protein and omega-3 fats will help you create a healthier scalp and in turn improve not only the appearance of your hair, but also your face and nails. If salmon and nuts just don't appeal to your taste buds, there are always vitamin and diet supplements like omega-3 pills. Try to stay away from quick weight loss diets, which can lead to brittle hair and promote hair loss!
Avoid Drastic Color Changes
I would be the first person to admit that not coloring your hair is much harder than you think. There are always those times when you want to see a change in your appearance and coloring your hair is the easiest solution for that. However, applying any chemicals to your hair can do a lot of damage and there is even more damage when you seek a drastic change in your color. Extreme changes in hair color often require bleach and other harmful chemicals, and it's important to stay away from them. So next time you are in a mood for coloring, try to stay close to your natural hair color to prevent further unnecessary damage!
Whenever you wet your hair, it's vital to condition it at the ends. Although you should deep condition your whole hair once a week for extra healing, most of the time conditioners should be concentrated at your ends, where the hair is much dryer. Not only can it help you out with detangling, but it is also great for locking moisture in the cuticles.
Do you have a hair tip that a hair professional has shared with you? Please do share it! We all desire lovely locks and too much information is never a bad thing when it comes to getting great hair pronto!
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