We all dream of having long healthy hair but do we really make the appropriate effort that can keep our hair healthy and strong? Well. You should know that your hair care routine is the main key to maintaining healthy glowing hair.
Most women believe that having a good hair day can boost their confidence. But when their hair does not look as they want, it makes them feel less confident and anxious.
To solve the problem, I’ll walk you through a step-by-step guide that can aid in hair growth, keep hair shiny and moisturized, make it frizz-free, and prevent dryness:
How To Keep Your Hair Healthy:
1- Maintain A healthy Diet
What you eat has a huge impact on your overall health including your hair health.
Eating healthy balanced meals full of protein, vegetables, grains, healthy fats, and fruits can help keep hair healthy.
Protein is the basic component of your hair and nails as they’re made up of keratin which is a type of protein.
Also, vitamins and minerals in healthy food play an important role in strengthening your hair. Vitamin or mineral deficiencies can make your hair weak and brittle which leads to hair loss.
So you should Eat:
- Enough protein to maintain strong shiny hair. Protein-rich foods include fish, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans, and dairy products.
- Zinc-rich foods to help prevent shedding. So add walnuts, almonds, pecans, and cashews to your diet as they are high in zinc.
- Also, foods that are packed with iron can make your hair strong and prevent brittleness. Iron, found in leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, chickpeas, fish, and beans.
- More food that contains enough omega-3 fatty acids as they may help maintain hair and scalp health. Omega-3 fatty acids-rich sources include salmon, sardines, herring, cottage cheese, yogurt, flaxseed, and cereal.
- Fruits are a great source of vitamin C. It can promote circulation which helps to improve hair follicles and scalp health. Antioxidants in fruits can also boost collagen production and this leads to strong lustrous hair. So you can have berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, guava, and papaya.
Also, you should:
- Keep your body hydrated and drink enough water during the day. Drink water instead of alcohol, coffee, or soda as they can dehydrate your body.
- When your body doesn’t get enough fluids, this can affect your hair and scalp directly. It can make your hair dry and cause damage to it.
2- Keep Your Scalp Healthy
The scalp plays an important role in keeping hair healthy. In other words, a healthy scalp leads to strong hair.
Any scalp issue can affect your hair health badly. It can make your hair weak and brittle and cause hair to fall.
Scalp conditions like dandruff, scalp folliculitis, lice, or scalp acne can cause irritation, itching, and small red bumps to form on the scalp:
- Dandruff is a skin condition that can affect anyone, it causes flakes to appear on the scalp. Many factors can be responsible for causing dandruff such as unhealthy food, hair care products, or stress.
- Scalp folliculitis is a skin disorder that results in damaging hair follicles due to fungal or bacterial infection. It causes red bumps that look like acne to appear along the hairline. These bumps go deeper and spread all over the scalp in severe cases.
- Scalp acne is a skin disorder that causes inflamed small bumps on the scalp. The reason for forming acne could be hormonal imbalances, bacteria, or clogged pores.
- Lice feed on blood from the scalp and lay eggs on hair shafts. They transfer from one scalp to another and they crawl on clothes so you can get them from anyone by close contact.
These conditions can be treated by using medicated shampoos that cleanse the scalp and reduce the symptoms.
Some home remedies like aloe vera or tea tree oil help reduce dandruff and relieve its symptoms along with the shampoo.
If you have head lice, you should use a fine-toothed comb in addition to medical shampoo to get rid of lice eggs.
Don’t share personal items with others to avoid contagious conditions like lice.
You may also need to use antibiotic ointment or cortisone cream to soothe inflammation and kill bacteria if you have scalp folliculitis.
3- Make Your Own Hair Mask
Hair masks can help moisturize and soften your hair. Experts recommend applying hair masks to hair at least once a week to maintain a healthy look especially if you use hot tools a lot.
You can find good hair masks in hair salons or at drug stores.
Or you can make your own hair mask at home from natural ingredients to help your hair grow long and strong.
Homemade hair masks can save you a lot of money. What is also great about homemade hair masks is they don’t contain any harsh ingredients.
You’ll able to control what are you going to apply to your hair. All you need to do is to choose the best ingredients that suit your hair needs the most.
Some Hair masks can help tame frizz or add shine and moisture to your hair while others reduce breakage and stimulate hair growth.
They also keep your scalp healthy as masks can reduce some skin conditions like dandruff and relieve irritation and itching.
Rice water contains vitamins that can strengthen hair and improve its health.
It suits all hair types especially curly hair due to the high protein content in it. For more homemade hair masks for curly hair, check out this link.
4-When To Wash Your Hair?
To answer this question, you should know first your hair type and texture. For example, if your hair is dry, you should not shampoo your hair more than two times a week. But if you have oily hair, you’ll have to wash it every day.
Also, Your activity level will affect how many times you should shampoo your hair. You’ll need to wash your hair more often if you’re a super active person to avoid greasiness.
Washing your hair a lot can make your hair frizzy and dry. It also makes hair more prone to breakage and damage. So in brief, don’t wash your hair more than you have to.
Some hair care products contain ingredients that leave residue on the scalp and hair which is super harmful to hair health.
So always remember to choose the product that works best for you and contain good ingredients, not just the most popular or expensive one.
5- Choose The Right Shampoo
Washing hair with a shampoo that is not suitable for your hair type can damage your hair. Using the right shampoo can help cleanse your scalp and hair well without drying it out.
Regardless of what your hair type is, you can find the right shampoo at any drugstore near you.
Also, pay attention to your scalp so if you have any scalp issues like dandruff, make sure to buy a good shampoo that treats the problem.
Additionally, check the ingredients of any hair care product before buying it. Your shampoo should contain proteins and moisturizing ingredients that help to keep your hair strong and hydrated.
Avoid also shampoos with harsh ingredients as they can ruin your hair.
6- Don’t Overuse Dry Shampoo
Using dry shampoo when you are busy can save you a lot of time as it can absorb excess oil in a few minutes. It can remove grease and sweat from your hair and helps you reach your desired look.
But overusing dry shampoo can leave a residue of buildup on your scalp which can cause inflammation and itching. So hairstylists recommend using it only once between hair washes.
Also, don’t skip shampooing your hair to keep your scalp clean and fresh. Keep in mind that over-applying shampoo can dry your hair out as it removes natural oils that keep your hair moisturized and shiny.
7- Condition Your Hair
This is one of the major steps that keep your hair smooth and manageable. Use a high-quality conditioner that contains natural ingredients to moisturize and add shine to your hair.
Also, you can make your own conditioner at home by using ingredients that you already have in your kitchen.
Rice water can also be an effective conditioner as it can stimulate hair growth and improve hair health.
Apply the conditioner to the ends of your hair to soften them and prevent breakage. Leave the conditioner in for about 10-20 minutes then rinse with water.
Try different homemade conditioner recipes until you find what works best for your hair.
Also, If You Are A new Mom:
You’ll need to use high-quality hair care products to maintain your hair health.
New moms experience hair loss phase after pregnancy around three months postpartum which is normal and common.
It’s a temporary phase that lasts for about 6-12 months. After this period, hair loss slows and your hair growth cycle returns to normal again.
Also, reducing stress and using a good shampoo and conditioner can help keep your hair healthy and moisturized during this period.
8- Keep Your Old T-shirts
Instead of using a towel for drying your hair, try your old cotton t-shirt. Cotton t-shirts can soak up excess water without disrupting your hair texture. They won’t dry or weaken your hair as they are gentle on your hair.
Rubbing hair with a towel affects hair cuticle which makes it rough, weak, and frizzy. This could eventually lead to breakage and your hair will look unhealthy.
9- Massage Your Scalp
When you massage your scalp frequently, it boosts blood circulation in the scalp which helps stimulate healthy hair growth.
Massage your scalp when you wake up every day or in the shower or after applying a hair mask to your hair.
Use your fingertips to massage the scalp in small circular motions and be extra gentle.
Just dip your fingers in the oil before starting to massage your scalp.
10- Use A Comb
Treat your hair super gently when it’s wet as it is more prone to damage and breakage.
Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair instead of using a brush. Brushes are harsh on wet hair as they rip and break hair by pulling out tangles roughly.
Start to comb through the ends of your hair, then work upward until your hair is tangle-free from ends to roots.
You can also use your fingers to comb through your wet hair to detangle knots by pulling apart the tangled strands. This reduces hair loss and breakage.
11- Don’t Tie Your Hair Up Tight
Avoid tying your hair up tight whether it’s dry or wet as it can make your hair break and damage easily. Don’t go to bed with your hair tied up, let it down, or go with loose classic braid or fishtail braid.
When you sleep with your hair tied up, this puts a strain on your scalp and hair strands which leads to brittleness and damage.
Going to bed with wet hair can make your hair dry and frizzy. Your hair is super weak when it’s wet so when you toss and turn, this creates friction and results in hair breakage more tangles.
And it leads also to using extra hair-care products or flat iron in the morning to soften your hair which causes damage in the long run.
Also, sleeping with wet hair can make bacteria grow on your pillow which will affect your hair and skin health badly.
Additionally, use fabric hair scrunchies instead of metal or rubber hair ties. Fabric hair scrunchies are more gentle on your hair and won’t pull out individual hairs or stressing your hair strands.
12- Use Heat Protection
Apply heat protection spray to wet or damp hair before using a hairdryer or iron. Comb your hair after applying it to be sure that it spreads evenly across hair.
High temperatures from styling tools strip your hair of its natural oils. And This causes damage to hair and makes it break easily.
Styling your hair without using heat protectant spray causes keratin protein to break down and hair cuticle to open up.
This makes your hair lose its strength and elasticity and cause breakage and frizz.
Heat protectant spray adds a barrier between the heating tool and hair. So it helps keep your hair safe from the heat which reduces damage and frizz.
Also, heat protectant sprays can smooth the cuticle and make hair look soft and shiny.
13- Get New Styling Tools
So every year, there are new models you can use to style your hair with, faster and safer.
When you take less time using a hot tool, it helps reduce damage and keep your hair healthy. Also, avoid cheap tools, invest money in a quality product to maintain a healthy and vibrant look.
14- Avoid Overusing Hot Tools
Regular use of styling tools can dry out and break your hair easily. You should try to limit your use of hot tools as much as you can to maintain your hair health and strength.
But if you are going to use a hairdryer, flat iron, or curling iron, follow the steps below to maintain a healthy look:
- Apply a heat protectant spray to your hair before drying.
- Try to hold the hairdryer about 4-6 inches away from your hair to reduce damage.
- If you have fine hair, keep your hairdryer temperature on a medium to low temperature. But having thicker or curly hair requires a higher temperature.
- Separate your hair into sections and keep the hairdryer moving to avoid overheat or burning.
- You can also use the diffuser to spread heat over a large section of your hair which helps reduce breakage.
- When your hair is dry, use the cool shot button on your hairdryer to decrease the temperature. This button can seal your cuticles and keep your look last longer.
- Also, don’t blow dry your hair every day, let it air dry whenever possible.
- Additionally, invest money in an ionic hairdryer as it takes less time to dry your hair. And it helps make the hair cuticle lie flat.
Flat Irons And Curling Irons
Ironing hair whether it’s dry or wet leads to breakage and split ends. But it’s best to iron your hair while it’s dry.
Ironing wet hair boils the moisture out it which causes more damage. To maintain your hair health and reduce damage:
- Apply heat protectant spray to your hair before using the iron.
- Buy an iron that made of high-quality material like ceramic, tourmaline, or titanium. They help keep your hair smooth and shiny and decrease damage. Titanium irons are often more suitable for thick or coarse hair.
- Keep your hot tool around the 250-340-degree range if you have fine hair.
- Thick hair types can withstand high temperatures between 300-380 degrees.
- For coarse thick hair, keep the temperature anywhere between 400-450 degrees.
- If you have normal to medium hair, stick to 300-350 degrees.
- Also, experiment to find out the best temperature that suits your hair as everyone’s hair is unique and different.
- Use a good deep conditioner that suits your hair type to strengthen your hair which helps reduce breakage. A good hair conditioner can smooth your hair and restore its shine.
- Apply also a hair mask to your hair at least once a week to keep your strands soft and moisturized.
- Avoid using a flat iron or curling iron daily to reduce breakage.
15- Use UV Shielding Products
Always use hair care products that can protect your hair from UV harmful rays.
The sun can dry and damage your hair so using UV-based products can help reduce sun damage.
They help protect hair color and keep blonde hair from looking fried. They also prevent dark hair from becoming red or brassy.
Apply the product to damp or wet hair to make sure it absorbs fully. If you apply it to dry hair, the product will sit on top of the hair and won’t provide protection.
You can also wear a hat or a scarf before going out to protect hair from UV rays. They can help reduce the harmful effects of the sun and keep your hair healthy.
16- Trim Your Hair Regularly
Hairstylists recommend getting a trim every 6-8 weeks to get rid of damaged ends. Usually, your stylist cuts off 1/2 to 2 inches to remove split ends. This helps to keep your hair healthy and freshen your look.
When you cut even 1/4-1/2 inch, it makes your hair look thicker and shinier.
If you want to maintain your hair length, ask your stylist for a dusting which means you’ll cut only the damaged tips.
Also, if you have a defined cut, you’ll need to get a regular trim to maintain the look.
17- Go Easy On Salon Treatments
Bleaching and dyeing can cause serious damage to your hair strands.
Chemical straightening can also lead to mid-shaft splits. It means hair breakage or weakness that happens along the hair shaft as a result of chemical damage.
These ways are unhealthy and will weaken your hair so its best to avoid doing any of these practices. You can use henna dye instead to lighten or deepen the color of your hair.
18- Don’t Wear Hair Extensions For Too Long
Wearing hair extensions can damage your hair, cause bald spots and breakage. Hair extensions could be uncomfortable to sleep with if applied incorrectly.
They cause also pain and give you headaches when they are super heavy.
To avoid damage:
- Wear light extensions so they won’t pull down on your natural hair and roots. Choosing the appropriate weight can help you avoid pain and headaches.
- Pick the right texture, color, and length.
- Make sure to get hair extensions at a specialized salon so experts can attach the extensions properly.
- You can wear professional hair extensions for 2-3 months before needing adjustment.
- Brush your hair so hair strands and extensions won’t tangle up.
- Shampoo your hair carefully. Don’t pull on or scrub the extension as this can damage your hair.
- Keep your scalp clean.
- Don’t wear hair extensions all the time, try new hairstyles.
19- Sleep On Silk
Sleeping on cotton pillowcases absorbs moisture from hair which leaves it dry and tangled.
Cotton pillowcases also create friction and this leads to split ends and frizz. On the other hand, silk pillowcases keep your hair hydrated and smooth.
They help your hair retain its moisture so you won’t wake up with frizzy dry hair. The smooth texture of silk can prevent frizz and leave your hair manageable and sleek.
You can also wrap your hair in a silk headscarf before going to bed to avoid breakage if you don’t have a silk pillowcase.
20- Don’t Smoke Or Drink Soda
It can harm your hair follicles as it can affect circulation, shrink blood vessels, and impede blood flow. This leads to a disruption to the normal hair growth cycle.
Smoking also can weaken your immune system which increases the risk of infections on your scalp. Scalp infections can affect hair growth as they can make your hair weak which leads to hair fall.
High-acidic foods like soda, white bread, and pasta increase your chances of metabolic diseases like diabetes and cancer. Diabetes can cause hormonal changes that can cause your hair to fall out.
21- Take Supplements
Following a balanced diet that contains enough nutrients is the ideal way to keep your body and hair strong. But taking supplements can also be effective in treating vitamin or mineral deficiencies fast.
If you’re not eating enough food rich in iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin E, biotin, and Vitamin B 12, consider taking supplements.
These vitamins and minerals play a major role in maintaining hair health and strength.
Biotin is vitamin B7 and it becomes widely known these days as it can prevent hair loss and help your hair grow strong.
Keep in mind to check with your doctor before taking any supplements to avoid possible side effects.
22- Wear A Swim Cap Before Swimming
Swimming pools can cause serious damage to your skin and hair.
Chlorine and bromine in pools react with sebum and oils that keep your hair protected and leave hair exposed to other chemicals.
This leads to hair discoloration, your hair color will be lighter. It also makes hair dry and frizzy. And your hair becomes more prone to breakage.
Wear a tight-fitting swim cap before swimming to reduce the damaging effects of chlorine. Use also shampoo and conditioner that made especially for swimmers to replenish your hair moisture.
You can wet your hair with clean water and conditioner before swimming so it won’t absorb more water as it’s already wet. This helps to reduce damage and keep your hair nourished.
23- Avoid Stress
Stress has a negative impact on your overall health. It can affect your hair health and make your hair thinner and weaker.
- Exercise 3-5 days a week.
- A daily walk can help you feel better.
- Meditation and breathing exercises.
- Massages and aromatherapy.
- Occupying yourself with something you love doing like meeting your friends or doing volunteer work.
The Bottom Line
The journey of Keeping your hair healthy and strong is not easy, it requires following some steps. These simple steps I mentioned in the post can help you get the hair of your dreams.
Now I would like to know Which step are you going to add to your hair care routine?
Also, let me know if I missed any step that you think it’s important?