Long, lush, healthy hair – it’s hair goals. So how do we make our hair healthier, shinier and envy-worthy? We could shell out tons of cash on extensions, or we could start improving the sheen and texture of our own natural tresses with a few small steps.
1. Shampoo Choice:
Healthy hair starts at the root. Which means we should be paying a lot more attention to our scalp. One way to show your scalp some love is to switch to an apple cider vinegar shampoo. This can help restore the pH balance of your hair, help moisturize it and clear the follicles of dead cells. This can help improve the potential for new hair growth and combats against split ends.
Because we all have different types and textures of hair, you may want to test drive a few products, but when the back of your shampoo bottle says “lather, rinse and repeat” it’s highly recommended to heed this advice. The first time you shampoo your hair, you are eliminated buildup and cleansing the scalp. For the second round of shampooing, you want to massage your scalp and stimulate the roots.
Since we’re on the topic of shampoos, it’s highly recommended to steer clear of clarifying shampoos. Yes, our hair accumulates grime, buildup and junk from everyday life, but a clarifying shampoo will only strip your hair of its natural oils.
2. Natural Products:
It’s important to use natural products whenever possible. Healthy hair doesn’t stand a chance if it’s weighed down by a lot of chemicals. So, when you are shopping for hair products, make sure you are examining the ingredients.
It’s crucial to find products that are paraben and sulfate free because these chemicals will also strip hair of its natural oils, causing it to become brittle. Other natural products, like argan oil, almond oil, and saw palmetto extract will also keep the hair hydrated, soft and shiny. These also remove excess oil.
Regular haircuts are imperative to growing healthy hair. It may seem counterintuitive, but split ends are the culprit behind dull, frizzy hair which leads to more breakage. Regular trims will add vigor to your hair and keep it bouncier. Pollution, heat styling and certain products can all lead to less healthy hair.
4. Vitamin E Oil:
We touched on massaging your scalp while shampooing, but it’s also a great idea to massage with vitamin E oil. You can find these capsules at your local grocery store. You just snip open about a dozen capsules and squeeze the oil into a small bowl. Prior to your shampooing, apply to scalp and gently massage with your fingertips. Yes, it will be a little sticky, but we promise it will lead to shinier hair when it penetrates the roots.
A good hairbrush can also make a world of difference. Find a great quality, 100 percent natural boar brush (sourced humanely) as these brushes draw oils from your roots and evenly distribute to your tips leading to greater shine and increased volume.
And making a few changes to your diet can also benefit your hair. When you digest Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in salmon, eggs and chia seeds, it results in a natural gloss on your locks. But if your diet prohibits you from consuming these foods (or if you simply don’t like them), you can also apply a glossing treatment. This will seal your cuticle like a topcoat, protecting it and adding diamond-like shininess. Glossing treatments can even come in different colors to boost the tone of your hair.
Depending on your hair type (I’m talking to you, curly-haired friends), you may want to apply a leave-in conditioner. While your hair’s natural oils help keep it shiny, and your boar’s brush is helping to distribute those oils, people with exceptionally long or curly hair may have a hard time getting the oils to their tips.
Leave-in conditioners will help nurture your strands and keep them nice and hydrated. But ensure you are using a leave-in conditioner and not just leaving your regular conditioner in your hair after you shower. Regular conditioners have proteins and other ingredients that shouldn’t be left on the hair for excessive periods of time. When you overload your locks with proteins, it causes it to snap faster. So, find something that is formulated to be left on.
8. Heat Protectant:
Another great tactic is using a heat protectant if you are one that blow dries, curls, straightens on a regular basis. Temperatures on heating tools can reach up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which is extremely hot for your hair to endure. When you apply a heat protectant, you are essentially providing a barrier that will help retain some of your hair’s moisture and proteins. Heating elements strip the hair of all it’s natural glory and will cause breakage and even dull the color of your hair, so heat wisely.
9. Hair Mask:
And lastly, let your hair replenish while you’re in dreamland. Apply a hair mask and a towel before you get your night’s rest and wake up to naturally glossy and restored hair. Simply wash it out with a sulfate-free shampoo in the morning and skip the conditioner. On the nights you don’t use a hair mask, opt for a satin or silk pillowcase. Regular pillowcases can rough up your locks and lead to breakage.
Now go out there, and up the ante on your hair game! Everyone will be asking how you got your hair so healthy and shiny.