For many people, their hair is one of their defining assets. After all, it’s one of your most noticeable features and can completely transform your look, for the better or for worse. Keeping your hair looking and feeling healthy may seem complicated, but it’s relatively simple and comes down to positive everyday practices.
1. Be Smart About Your Wash Day Routine
When it comes to keeping your hair clean, finding the right schedule for your unique scalp and hair is crucial. Washing too much can dry your hair out and make it brittle and coarse. Waiting too long between shampoo sessions can lead to sebum buildup that not only looks and smells unpleasant but also clogs your pores, potentially preventing new hair growth. For most people, once every day or two is ideal. Those with oily hair may need to wash more frequently, while those with dry hair may need to wait an extra day. To keep your hair looking and smelling fresh between washings, consider using a dry shampoo to revitalize it.
2. Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Your body needs a diverse combination of nutrients to function properly and work efficiently. This is true not just of your internal organs, but your external ones as well, including your skin and hair. Eat plenty of lean protein, healthy fats, and fresh produce in a variety of colors to keep your hair looking vibrant. It can be challenging to get everything your body needs from natural sources, so consider adding vitamin and mineral supplements to help fill in the gaps.
3. Shield Your Hair From Damaging Elements
Chemicals and pollutants in the environment can be harmful to your hair. If you live in an industrial area, you may want to use a protective mist or spray before you leave your home. If you’re a swimmer, make sure you protect your hair from too much chlorine or saltwater by wearing a swim cap whenever possible. Otherwise, be sure to wash with a clarifying shampoo as soon as you’re done in the water. This will help remove the buildup and minimize dryness and damage.
The sun’s rays can also damage your hair and weaken the outer cuticle, making it more prone to dehydration, dullness, and breakage. Fortunately, there are many practical ways you can protect your hair from UVA and UVB rays, such as wearing a hat, limiting your time in direct sunlight, or sticking to the shade on a hot, sunny day. You can even apply topical products that help shield your hair from sun damage.
4. Choose Your Style Wisely
To keep your hair looking healthy, keep in mind that your daily go-to style can have significant long-term effects. Straightening naturally wavy or curly hair on a regular basis can lead to frizz and damage and can ruin your natural curl pattern. Pulling your hair up or back in a tight bun or ponytail can lead to more breakage and can even cause recession along the hairline. Keeping your head covered can minimize airflow and also result in hair loss or lack of new growth. To keep your hair healthy, strong, and beautiful, keep these tips in mind:
- Limit heat styling to once every few days. This includes using a hair dryer.
- Try not to wear your hair up every day. If you must wear it up, alternate how you part it and keep styles as loose as possible to minimize stress on the scalp.
- Hats, scarves, and headbands are great and can even be beneficial, but give your scalp a break and only wear them occasionally.
5. Keep Stress Under Control
Elevated stress levels can weaken and dehydrate your hair and can even lead to hair loss. Find positive ways to keep stress under control, such as exercise, meditation, and self-care. There are several other negative effects of high stress on the body, not just potential hair damage and loss, so it’s a good idea to prioritize stress management for your overall health too.
When it comes to beautiful hair, prevention is key. Building healthy haircare habits can help you support a gorgeous mane that you can be proud to flaunt.