Everyone emphasizes the importance of skincare, but a good hair care routine is just as important! Your hair is constantly prone to damage, like dullness, thinning, dryness, breakage and frizz – and it’s more vulnerable if extreme color maintenance, overexposure to UV rays and hot tools are part of your routine. There’s no secret shortcut to getting healthier and stronger hair, but there are a few small things you can incorporate into your daily beauty routine that will get your hair on the right track. Here are 10 ways to keep your hair feeling (and looking!) healthy and strong.
Eat a balanced diet
Hair is mostly made up of protein, so eating a balanced diet rich in protein is important for optimal hair health. This can look like adding more fish, meat, eggs and beans to your diet. Other good sources of hair food are berries, spinach, avocados and foods rich Vitamins C and E (it helps boost collagen production!), zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.
A nickel-size drop is usually PLENTY for most textures and lengths. Anything more than the suggested amount can weight down your hair and change your hair’s natural texture. I like to apply conditioner to the mid-shaft and ends of my hair and leave it in for a few minutes before rinsing it out. Your scalp has a higher concentration of natural oils, so I like to skip the conditioner on my roots and hydrate with a hair mask instead.
Treat your hair
Just like how you’d show your skin some TLC, treat your hair with hair masks, scalp exfoliators and hair oils. A moisturizing hair mask or deep conditioner will keep your strands hydrated and smooth while exfoliating your scalp will help remove any product buildup and combat dryness. I like to do this at least once a week (more if I’m using hot tools regularly!). As for hair oils, it depends on what you want it to do. It can enhance shine, smooth frizz, provide heat protection and more depending on which oil you choose. I like to add oil to the ends of my hair daily for extra nourishment!
Be mindful of key ingredients
The ingredient list can be pretty lengthy when it comes to beauty products, so it’s important to know which ingredients do what. Whenever you go to pick out new products, you can narrow down your options by looking for strengthening ingredients that’ll nourish your strands. I like to look for hair care products with key ingredients like coconut oil, aloe, spirulina, Argan oil, avocado oil and olive oil.
The same goes for harmful ingredients! You want to stay away from shampoos and conditioners that have sulfate, parabens and phosphates.
Be extra gentle with wet hair
Your hair is more vulnerable to breakage when it’s wet, so it’s important that you’re extra gentle after your showers. Before I step out of the shower, I like to squeeze out any excess water with my hands. I also like to use a wide-tooth comb or my fingers to detangle wet hair in sections (starting with my ends first and working my way up!). One tip is to detangle your hair BEFORE you shower. Brushing any knots out while your hair is dry will lead to less breakage – and brushing dry hair helps distribute the natural oils from your scalp to the ends of your hair!
Turn down your shower temp
Washing your hair with warm water opens your hair cuticles and pores on the scalp, which helps get rid of any dirt and build-up more effectively – but regularly taking hot showers can irritate your scalp and weaken your hair as it grows out. I like to keep the water temperature on the warm side and then end with a quick rinse in cold water to seal the cuticles shut, lock in the hair’s moisture and boost shine.
Dry your hair with t-shirts
This is a hairstyling tip worth trying! Drying your hair with a cotton t-shirt will help retain moisture and lessen any potential damage since it’s not as rough on the cuticles. When you dry your hair with a standard towel, it can absorb too much moisture and rough up your strands, which is what causes all the frizz! You’ll want to be careful – gently patting your hair with the t-shirt – and make sure you’re not over-drying.
Protect it from UV rays
Overexposure to UV rays doesn’t only damage your skin but also your hair! I always make sure to include hair care into my sun safety practices by spraying on a hair mist or heat protectant spray before going outside.
Regular haircuts are the best way to maintain healthy hair, even if it’s just a trim. Split ends can make your hair look thin, damaged and unhealthy, so trimming your hair every 2-3 months is an important hair care step to keep on your calendar!
Sleep on silk
Sleeping on a silk pillowcase is a great little anti-aging trick – but it also works for your hair. Silk protects your hair cuticles by reducing the amount of friction between your hair and the fabric (versus when you use cotton pillowcases).
How do you incorporate hair care into your beauty routine? I’d love to hear your favorite tips for healthy and strong hair!