It's always fun and exciting to change your look, and the best way to achieve that is by changing your hair. We have all grown our hair out long only to cut it right back off. The only trouble is, once you make the cut it takes FOREVER to grow it back out. Here are a few easy tips you can use to keep your hair healthy whether you grow it out or want to maintain a longer look.
Don't Wash Your Hair Everyday
I know, you hear me say this over and over but its true. When you wash your hair often you are stripping it of its natural oils that your body provides to keep your hair healthy. When you remove those oils every day not only are you drying out your hair but you are causing your body to over produce the oils which then leads to oily hair which causes you to wash more often. It is a never ending cycle of destruction. Instead use a dry shampoo and dry conditioner to keep your scalp clean and your ends moisturized.
Nourish From The Inside
Eating healthy fats and drinking plenty of water can keep your hair looking healthy. Hair is a part of the largest organ we have in our body, providing it with water and vitamins can only help right? If taking vitamins is more your thing then I would suggest over the counter pre-natal vitamins or Biotin.
Let Your Hair Down
It's so easy just to throw it in a pony tail right? Wrong! Constricting your hair in pony tails, bobby pins, or hair bands can cause great damage. Yes, even the pony tail bands that say damage free on them. The worst part is putting your hair up when it‘s wet. This is a big no no! Wet hair is in its most fragile state, and can stretch up to 50% longer, so as it dries it shrinks back to its normal state. Say you're at the gym or running out the door in the morning with wet hair in a pony tail? As the day goes on your hair is drying and shrinking, so with it being constricted it can't go back to its original state, so it begins to break, leaving you with broken, damaged hair. Bobby pins and hair bands are offenders as well, if you are always pinning those pesky bangs back or using a hair band to pull your hair back away from your face you may notice that your bangs aren't growing or that you have so many baby hairs around your hairline. It's a simple explanation: your hair is breaking from the constant stress of being pulled and pinned. Solution? Make sure your hair is 100% dry before pulling it back and move the pony tail around. DO NOT put your pony tail or bobby pins in the same place every day.
Don't Rip Through Tangles!
We established how fragile your hair is when wet so we need to take proper care of it when brushing. Use a good detangler and a Wet Brush when combing your hair after a shower. The Wet Brush glides through your hair more gently than a normal paddle brush or even a wide tooth comb. If you happen to get a pesky knot and you have the urge to rip the brush through it, grab your hair firmly a couple inches above the knot and then use the brush or a fine tooth comb to get the knot out. By putting a barrier between your scalp and the knot it will keep your hair intact at the scalp and not hurt as bad when brushing the knot out.
Turn The Heat Down
Using hot tools can wreak havoc on your hair when not properly used. It is always a must to use a thermal protectant when blow-drying and styling hair. While thermal protectants can provide protection up to 450*, this doesn't mean crank up the temperature on your irons though. Everyone's hair is different, so using the same temperature on hair whether its fine, straight and blonde or curly, course and thick could damage finer hair. Try using the medium heat setting on your blow dryer instead of hot and turn that flat iron down to 400 or less.
Use Professional Grade Products
Let's put this into perspective shall we. Suzi came in to the salon to get her fall hair color and trim which came to $150, instead of purchasing the recommended shampoo and conditioner her stylist recommended to keep her hair healthy and color looking great, Suzi just picked up your average "color protecting" drug store shampoo. Now, you go out to Jeff Ruby's Steak House for dinner and order a $150 Filet, would you cover the filet with Heinz 57 Ketchup? NO! Protect your investment! We as professionals know what your hair needs, and what it doesn't need. The products we choose to use on your hair we stand behind 100% because we know that it works and will do what it says. After all, we use them ourselves! We can tell you if your hair needs more moisture or protein, what the best shampoo or conditioner would be for your hair, and what styling creams and tools will work best. Use great products, have great hair. We want to see you protect your investment and have amazing hair whether it's fresh from the salon, or a month after! Use great products, have great hair. Simple as that!
While conditioning treatments are vital for everyone they are most important to those that color or heat style their hair. Hair needs to maintain a certain balance of moisture and protein to stay healthy, much like how we need food and water. Without proper moisture or protein hair will become dry and brittle, causing spit ends and breakage. On the flip side, using too much moisture or protein can cause dry brittle hair, weird huh? Lets take protein for example, if you over-proteinize the hair it has reverse effects making it dry and brittle, causing it to break like a dry uncooked piece of spaghetti. So with that being said, don't run to the store and just use any old deep conditioning mask on your hair. It needs to be the specific treatment for your hair needs.
Stop! You might be thinking, "Oh yeah, I have seen this all over Pinterest!" No.... just no! This will not be a pro-coconut oil paragraph. Please stop using coconut oil on your hair. This isn't some miracle, grow your hair healthy and long by slathering your head in coconut oil bit. Coconut oil has no place being on your head, use it in cooking like everyone else. Its great to saute veggies and meat but not for growing your hair. Coconut Oil WILL clog your hair cuticle and create build up on the hair shaft. Not only that but it will create an oily scalp, which we all know what happens when our skin gets clogged and oily... ACNE! We don't want that if we are trying to grow healthy hair right?
To maintain healthy hair, trimming it is a must. Even if you are growing it out you should still get the ends trimmed to keep the split ends from getting worse. I have created two charts to show when you should get your hair cut whether its to maintain a healthy style or growing it out.
In conclusion, you can see there are several steps we can take to create and maintain healthy long hair. I hope you are able to start implementing them into your daily or weekly routines and start noticing the great benefits! Happy hair growing everyone!