9 Tricks for Healthier, Fuller-Looking Hair
Your hair can say a lot about you. Treat it right.
Hair It Is
While genetics play a key role in hair health, your diet, the weather, pollution, and your overall approach to hair care are all critical to maintaining your crowning glory. Promoting hair health through a healthy diet and proper care will keep your mane a head above the rest.
Pump up the Protein
A well-rounded diet is an important factor in hair and scalp health. Hair is primarily made up of protein, so be sure to eat at least 45 grams daily in the form of:
- lean meat
- low-fat dairy products
Diets with inadequate protein can result in weak, brittle hair and loss of hair color.
Zinc About It
Zinc deficiency can cause the hair to shed. To combat shedding, incorporate Brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews, and almonds into your diet. Eat an abundance of vegetables, fruits, and leafy green salads and drink plenty of clean, filtered water. A multivitamin or zinc supplements can enhance your diet when necessary.
Omega Your Hair Nice
Increasing your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids can stimulate your hair follicles and sebaceous glands. While this won’t cause your hair to grow, it will improve scalp health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold-water fish, such as salmon, sardines, and herring. Other good sources include:
- cottage cheese
Know Thy Hair
There are conflicting opinions about how often to shampoo your hair. It all comes down to personal preference and individual needs, which depend on your hair type and texture, how often you use hair products, and your activity level. People with oily hair may need to shampoo every day, while people with dry hair may only need to shampoo once a week.
Choose the Right Shampoo
Significant hair damage can be caused by using the wrong shampoo and styling agent. Look for products that are right for your hair type (oily, normal, or dry) and target any problems you have, such as dandruff.
Try to avoid shampoos with harsh ingredients, such as ammonium lauryl sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate. And remember, cost doesn’t necessarily indicate the quality of a product.
Conditioning after shampooing is an important step to keeping your hair soft, shiny, and manageable. You can choose a separate conditioner or a shampoo with built-in conditioner.
Comb conditioner through for even distribution. Leave it in your hair for two to three minutes before rinsing out. Just like hairwashing, some people don’t need to condition every time they wash their hair. Experiment to find what works best for you.
Wash Up and Brush Up
Experts suggest many people over-shampoo or shampoo incorrectly. The standard rules of thumb are:
- Don’t wash your hair more than once a day.
- Use only enough of the product to cover your hair.
- Avoid using very hot or very cold water.
Treat hair gently when it’s wet—it’s three times more vulnerable to breakage. Don’t rub wet hair excessively with a towel. Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle, but don’t over-comb or brush wet hair.
Hair Maintenance Tips
Keep these hair care tips in mind for healthy locks:
- To minimize damage during blowdrying, start off on the lowest heat setting and gradually increase heat as needed.
- Allow your hair to air-dry whenever possible.
- Change up where you place pins and clips so that breakage isn’t localized.
- If you must dye your hair, choose a shade that’s within three shades of your natural color to lessen damage.
- Massage your scalp often to promote hair growth and increase blood circulation.
- Get your hair cut regularly (every 10 to 12 weeks) to keep hair healthy and protect the ends from splitting.
Cut It Out
Harsh shampoo, hair treatments, styling products, and overbrushing contribute the most to poor hair health. However, other culprits include:
- over-consumption of alcohol
- low-calorie and crash diets
- decreased thyroid
- excessive stress
- blood thinners
- some prescription drugs for heart problems, depression, high blood pressure, and arthritis