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Philip Kingsley, scalp and hair specialist and author of The Hair Bible, says, “Just as nails have a protective cuticle barrier, so does your hair, and the key to a healthy sheen is keeping the cuticle smooth.”
If you observe your hair under a microscope, in case of damaged hair the cuticle would appear like a roof with all its shingles lifted up. In case of smooth hair these shingles lie flat. Excess styling, colouring and heat processing cause these shingles to lift. Robert Hallowell, hair stylist in South Pasadena says, “Light reflects best off a smooth surface, so a roughed-up cuticle means dull hair.”
Excessive styling not only makes your hair look dull but also cause them to fall, thus making them thin. So this is what we advise about hair care:
Focus on your Diet
Our hair is made up a special type of protein called keratin, so try to incorporate protein-packed foods to your diet such as fish, lean meat, eggs, milk and low-fat dairy products and beans. Also take more of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as soybeans, flaxseed oil, walnuts and salmon. Your hair will fall in love with omega-3 fatty acids. Why? It moisturises the scalp, makes them healthy and lustrous, increases the blood circulation of the scalp and heals it and also protects it against breakage. Philip Kingsley says, “Eating these can increase hair’s sheen over time.”
Vitamin B is yet another essential nutrient required by your body for producing new hair. People who consumed more vitamin B reported that they had less hair fall and the volume of their hair also increased after its consumption. You can either use foods containing lot of vitamin B or you can use B-complex supplements.
Another important supplement for your hair is biotin, especially for those who are losing their hair because of stress. Biotin not only supports healthy hair growth but also prevents premature greying of the hair.
Just incorporate these nutrients to your diet for six months and get ready to show off your new shiny, healthy hair.
Avoid frequent washing, as washing your hair everyday can deprive your hair of the natural oils necessary for making them strong and healthy. In fact, the more you will wash your hair the oilier they will become, to make up for the lost oil. Wash your hair twice or thrice a week.
You can use a clarifying shampoo once a week or just add 1-tablespoon baking soda to 2-table spoon of shampoo; it can help your hair get rid of the sticky, stubborn residue.
Try these Homemade Conditioners
Use a hair mask or conditioner once a week, you can use it twice in the winters, as the scalp can get very dry. For keeping the hair moisturised you can easily make some conditioners at home.
- Take a cup of mayonnaise and apply it to your hair coating each and every strand. Rinse off after an hour. Your hair will get shiny and soft.
- Apply the mixture of 2 ounces olive oil, 2 ounces Aloe Vera gel, 5 to 6 drops rosemary and sandalwood essential oils, for 15 to 20 minutes. This will keep your hair moisturised and soft.
- Take a ripe avocado and mash it, add an egg and mix well. Apply this mixture to your wet hair for 20 minutes. You can apply this mixture once a month for improving hair health and once a week for damaged hair.
When buying conditioners look for nutrient-rich formulas containing ingredients like olive oil, avocado oil, or shea butter.
Warning! “Heat-styling is shine-killer”. The more you stay away from styling tools the better. In case you need styling tools, set them on low heat. You can buy blow dryers with features that suit your hair type.
To avoid the hair damage you can also use heat-resistant serums. These products lock shine in the hair and protect it from the damaging effects of the heat.
Choose brushes with boar-bristles, they are good for making the hair smooth and for distributing the natural oils of the hair. Plastic brushes can cause your hair to break.
Also skip the “100 brush strokes before going to bed” myth, it won’t do any good for your hair and would cause them to break.
Avoid brushing wet hair with a brush, instead use a wide-toothed comb or use your fingers to detangle your hair.
Use Botanical Oils
Apply oil to your hair on weekly basis, it can improve your hair texture and increase its volume. For strengthening your hair use almond oil, olive oil helps to increase the volume; coconut is also very helpful for keeping the hair soft, shiny and healthy. Apply oil to your hair and cover with a warm damp towel for half an hour, and then rinse off with your shampoo.
Just follow these tips and have healthy, happy hair!