There is an endless number of resources online with ways to keep hair healthy. The truth is that if you can follow a few general principles, healthy-looking hair is very achievable on any budget. You don’t need to buy the newest products or put your hair through a series of experiments to see results.
If you’ve finally decided that you want to get those long, flowing locks that you see on the big screen, we can get you started. Here are 7 tips on how to keep your hair healthy.
Get a Fresh Start with a Trim
If your hair is unhealthy, get a trim before you start growing it out. Since there’s no way to fully repair damaged hair, it can help to get a fresh start by trimming away any hair that’s in poor health. This is especially important if you’re using any products with harsh chemicals as they can cause your hair cuticle to lift up and contribute to split ends.
If you don’t have a go-to friend or stylist who can trim your ends, you can do it yourself with a sharp pair of scissors. Even if you’re trying to grow your hair long, a periodic trim will help you get healthy, long hair with minimal breakage.
Be Gentle to Wet Hair
Wet hair has no elasticity so it snaps rather easily. Unfortunately, many women don’t even think twice before rubbing their hair dry after a shower and wrapping it in a cotton towel. It might not be noticeable at first, but this rough treatment can cause a lot of breakage and split ends.
Instead of rubbing, blot your hair dry after a shower and let it air-dry. Also, make sure to only use your wide-toothed comb when your hair is wet, slowly working your way from the roots to the tips. And never, ever rip out knots! Give them a snip and you’re good to go.
Conditioner Is Your Best Friend
When people ask us what makes hair healthy and strong, conditioner is one of the first things we tell them. We can’t stress how important conditioner is to keep your hair healthy. You should be conditioning almost every single day, or every time you get your hair wet. Getting in a good habit like this will make your hair much smoother and easier to manage over time. Your hair follicles will be plump, strong and full of moisture.
Use Protective Hairstyles
Certain hairstyles like tight ponytails and hair extensions can cause a lot of stress on your scalp, potentially damaging your hair follicles and causing breakage, slowing down growth. If you don’t feel like wearing your hair down everyday, use protective hairstyles like buns and french rolls. They look great and even help your hair stay clean so you don’t have to wash it as often.
Stay Away from Heat
One of the most overlooked shoulder-length hair tips is this: keep away from heat whenever possible.
Save your bucket of toys (dryers, hot rollers, curling irons, flat irons) for special occasions only. Challenge yourself to only use them once or twice a week. And whenever you do have to use them, turn down the heat setting and make sure to use a protective serum. Frying your hair with heat is one of the quickest ways to damage it beyond repair.
Avoid Friction Whenever Possible
Friction is one of your worst enemies if you want to maintain healthy-looking hair. It wears at your hair strands, just like the jeans you’ve been wearing for years wear at the knees. Eventually, a hole will open up and it will be completely ripped.
One of the easiest ways to reduce unnecessary friction is to make sure you’re using the right products. Use wide-toothed combs when your hair is wet, natural-bristle brushes when it’s dry. If you toss and turn throughout the night, it might even be worth investing in silk or satin bed sheets.
Be Mindful of Your Delicate Hair
When it comes down to it, one of the best ways to maintain long healthy hair is just to be mindful. You know what products you like to use, the hairstyles you like to wear, and how much time you have to dedicate to upkeep. There is no way to completely prevent damage to your hair, but doing so in part will certainly make a difference over time. Make little changes here and there, and above all, be consistent. Your hair will grow long and healthy!