Every woman (and lots of men too) wants the kind of healthy, luxuriant hair you see in all those hair commercials. Getting hair like that is possible, it just takes a little extra work, and a little extra know how, on a daily and ongoing basis. Here are some tips and tricks for getting the best hair you have ever had, however long or short or thick or thin it is:
Hair Care in the Shower
Getting gorgeous hair often begins in the shower and believe it or not there are right and wrong ways to wash and condition your hair:
- Choose Natural Cleansers – Instead of sticking to a sulfate laden shampoo try a more natural approach to hair cleansing and opt for one of the growing number of great sulfate free shampoos that are out there. They clean every bit as well and the natural cleansers won’t rob you hair of precious oils the way “ordinary” shampoos often do.
- Make the Last Rinse a Cool One – When you are washing the final bit of conditioner out of your hair rinse with cool water instead of hot. The cool water will seal your hair cuticle a little better, helping to lock in moisture and prevent frizzies.
- Don’t Overwash – Washing your hair every day really is overkill. Try to stick to every other day and if grease is a problem opt for a dry shampoo on in between wash days to polish your look.
- Deep Conditioning is a Must – Every one should treat their hair to a deep conditioning treatment once a week and if you have color treated hair, or use a lot of hot styling tools then a hair mask may be an even better choice.
Hair Care and Hair Styling
Much of the damage we do to our hair happens when we style it. For healthier, yet still glamorously well styled hair, keep these tips in mind:
- Powerful salon quality hair dryers are a fixture in many peoples homes now as well but if you don’t use them properly they can fry your hair very quickly. These dryers were designed to used at least 12 inches away from the hair and are not suitable for close styling use at all.
- Style with Your Fingers – If at all possible use your fingers to style your hair when blow drying as much as possible, at least until 80% of the moisture is gone. Styling very wet hair with a comb or brush creates too much resistance and snags and tears are almost always the end result.
- Silicone products designed to eliminate frizz and enhance shine are great but they don’t mix well with heat styling. If you apply them and then dry your hair you will create a shrink wrap effect that will rob your tresses of much of their natural moisture. These are great products for casual use – such as when you rinse your hair after a dip in the pool – or for use after you have put the blow dryer away.
- Go Natural – With your hair brush that is. almost every professional hairstylist agrees that the best brush for anyone’s hair to prevent accidental damage is one that has natural boar bristles. These bristles do the best job of distributing your hair’s natural oils evenly, leaving you with a shinier look you’ll love.
At The Dinner Table
What you eat not only affects your weight and how well your body functions but the condition and health of your hair as well:
- Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids are great for your hair. At least two servings of a fatty fish – salmon or halibut are great choices – can help keep your hair healthy, shiny and growing the way it should.
- Oysters may be great for spicing up your love life but because they contain a lot of zinc, a mineral your hair really needs to grow and stay healthy – they are wonderful for your hair as well.
- Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale will not only help your body stay strong but they can work wonders for your hair as well.
- Your hair is essentially made up of proteins so you need to consume lots of it in your diet for the healthiest hair possible. Low fat dairy foods are a great every day source of protein but so are nuts and beans as well.
At the Salon
Avoiding a regular trip to the salon can undo all your hard work but there are one of two things you should know before you head there:
- Color the Right Way – As strange as it may sound if you color your hair a little more often than the every 6 to 8 weeks you are used to you can actually help prevent some of the damage that coloring does to your hair. By opting for a color touch up about every 28 days you color will have faded less so your stylist will not have to leave the dye on as long.
- Know Your Processes - Many of the things we do to our hair to try to make it look more beautiful also damage it at the same time. If you do still opt to ask your stylist for things like permanent hair coloring, straightening or perm treatments or another chemical treatment make sure you ask them just how you should care for your newly altered hair after they have finished.
By keeping these tips is mind you should be able to get – and then maintain – the kind of strong, healthy hair you long for.