Unlocking the Secrets of Great Hair
Today we explore hair health and how to pick up some daily habits that will make a real and lasting difference to your wonderful mane!
Colour, chemicals, straighteners & blow drys! These can take some serious toll on our hair, often causing breakage, dead, dry, or damaged hair.
A Little Bit about Hair & Hair Growth
Hair is the fastest growing natural tissue in the human body: the average rate of growth is 1cm per month. Optimal growth occurs from age 15-30 and reduces from age 40-50.
The cycles of growth of each follicle consist of creation followed by self-destruction.
During each new cycle the follicle is built anew from raw materials.
Genetics and health are also factors in hair wellbeing. Smoking, hormones, our sleeping patterns and our alcohol intake will also affect how our hair looks and feels. Individuals with certain nutritional deficiencies tend to have dry, stringy, often dull hair and sometimes experience hair loss. All which can be restored through the right nutritional care.
1. Hydrate, Hydrate, hydrate
In hair care, hydration and moisture are not the same things.
As well as consuming your H2O, remember your hair product needs to include water, and your hair should be hydrated to get the best results. We recommend using a hair mister so that water really penetrates the hair and allows the products to be absorbed by the hair as intended.
We HIGHLY recommend this Hydrating Mist Spray Bottle by Curl Talk.
2. Avoid heat styling as much as possible.
If you absolutely have to use hot tools (blow dryers, curling irons, wands, flat irons, hot rollers) to style your hair, always use a spray-in heat protector. Consider steam rollers as a less damaging heat option.
3. Sleep on silk
Silk's smooth texture won't rough up your hair cuticle when you sleep the way cotton does, leaving you with smoother hair in return.
4. Don’t skimp on moisturiser
The skin that makes up your scalp needs moisture just like the skin on your face does, especially if it's going to provide a healthy foundation for hair to grow. Condition every time you shampoo and consider co-washing your hair every other hair wash, this allows your natural oils to not be stripped via shampoo every wash.
Moisturising doesn't end once you leave the shower or the bath. Comb through a protective product, such as a leave in conditioner. A pea size amount for fine, thin hair can do the trick. For girls with curls and large manes, you know what to do: get that product in, use in conjunction with a hair mister bottle as above for high hydration + moisture combo!
5. Know Thy Products
DO NOT USE
- Shampoo with Sulfates
- Heat styling tools
- Combs & brushes
- Sulfates – namely sodium lauryl sulfate & ammonium laureth sulfate
- Non-water soluble silicones
- Gentle cleansing ingredients - cocamidopropyl betaine & decyl polyglucose
- Emollients - Shea butter, olive & vegetable oils
- Proteins - wheat, wheat germ or soy
- Humectants - panthenol, vegetable glycerine, sorbitol
- Moisturizers - amino acids & aloe vera
- Styling gel ingredients - PVP and PVP/VA
- Recommended product range: Shea Moisture
6. Nourish, nourish, nourish
When it comes to healthy hair, it’s not just what we put onto our hair that counts, it’s what we put into our bodies too. It is after all not the hair itself that needs nutrition to strengthen and shine, but the cells that form the hair. Just like every other part of our bodies, the cells and processes that support strong, vibrant hair depend on a balanced diet.
It can take longer to notice changes (both good or bad) in your hair than in your skin. For example, just one week with a poor diet can yield breakouts, flare-ups or dry, sallow skin within days but with hair, it can take a few months for a nutritional deficiency or the effects of a crash diet to show up.
The nutrients we eat help fortify the hair follicle. A fortified follicle means a healthier scalp and in return healthier, more beautiful hair.
A diet rich in iron, zinc, Omega-3 fatty acids, and protein will help stimulate your hair follicles for growth
7. Take your Vitamins
Even if your diet is impeccable, it's possible you're missing out on some crucial hair-boosting vitamins. Once you start taking the right combination of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs, you can get fuller, shinier, and stronger hair in just a few months. Bonus: Your nails and skin will also benefit !!!
Hair vitamins to help keep your hair thick & healthy: Beautifully Nourished's Repunzel
8. Limit time in the sun
Just as we protect our skin from the sum, our hair must be given the same protective treatment and love!
How to combat UV rays, wind, and saltwater? We recommend sun hats, leave in conditioners and heat protectants with an SPF!
9. Get regular trims
You might be tempted to skip seasonal trims when growing your hair, but to add healthy length, you actually need to do just the opposite. Trims every 6-8 weeks are necessary to prevent split ends from forming as the hair cuticle splits. Once your hair splits, there is no way to repair it, so keep it trimmed to prevent harmful breakage before it starts.
10. Keep it cool in the shower
When you're washing your hair, you don't want the water too hot. Excess heat can blast the volume out of your hair, leaving you with limp locks. Warm water, as apposed to hot, allows you to work up a nice lather warm enough to rinse the hair clean. When it comes to the final post conditioner rinse, the colder the better. Cold water locks in those coveted nutrients into each strand, adding a beautiful, healthy luster.
11. Self massage and root stimulation
We love following The Moments
12. Lessons from Lorraine Massey
For anyone not familiar with The Curly Girl Method, by Lorraine Massey, it is definitely time to become acquainted, no matter what your hair type.
The lessons run deep and can transform and restore even the most damaged hair to its healthy, natural state,
The curly girl method is a hair care method that trades in damaging habits (like over shampooing and heat styling) for a healthy hair regimen using sulphite free and natural products. While this set of recommendations has been shown to have incredible results for many curly girls around the world, it can be adapted for all hair types.