Tips for Healthy and Beautiful Hair
I promised in my last blog to provide you with a list of suitable shampoos. Before I give my list of good shampoos I have 12 tips on how to keep your hair full, strong and glossy. They are worth memorising! When reading this just remember that hair is dead material; if it breaks it can no longer be repaired. Just compare it to a piece of fabric, the gentler you are with it, the longer it will stay in good condition!
Handle with care
1. Don’t comb your hair while it is still wet. It is evident from studies that the risk of damage is far greater when hair is wet. This is to do with the fact that when combed, wet hair can be pulled (it is more elastic) and by doing so can be damaged more easily. As an alternative, brush before showering.
2. Damage most commonly occurs from combing/brushing. After washing, apply a good conditioner, then comb through your hair with your fingers, starting at the ends and working them up towards the scalp. Only after this use a comb or brush. A good conditioner also helps prevent static in the winter months.
3. Use a wide toothed comb or brush with flexible ends and those with the balls on the ends. These are kinder. Don’t bother with the ‘natural’ brushes, some cost a fortune and your hair breaks off more easily.
4. Keep blow drying to a minimum. Dryers are very bad for your hair. If you still need to use a dryer then hold it at least 30 cm away from your head, increase the temperature gradually and use a brush with ventilation holes in it for the heat to escape through.
5. It is better to use a clip than elastic bands in your hair and to vary your style. And the bigger the clip or clasp, the better!
6. If you use a haircare product, then use one which doesn’t make your hair stiff. The stiffer your hair is the greater the chances are of damage! And what they also say at the salon: the less styling products you use the better…
7. Colouring is not healthy for your hair, even the gentler versions. It is better to stay close to your natural colour. In general you can say that lightening hair is more damaging than making it darker. A colour rinse is also better than permanent colour.
8. Use shampoo on your scalp and as little as possible on the hair itself. In this way you leave the protective layer intact.
9. If, in spite of all of the above tips, your hair is damaged then apply an oil or protein mask (these are made from silicones just as hydrolysed protein is) and let it absorb in for half an hour. This will provide a good layer over the hair and bring the split ends together. It will also prevent further moisture loss.
10. Cut off dead ends. Your hair will not only be fuller and shinier, but you also prevent the split ends from splitting even further.
11. You only need to wash your hair when it feels dirty and greasy. If you don’t tend to have greasy hair and lead a clean lifestyle then daily washing is really not necessary. If you can’t go a day without washing: use a shampoo for dry hair. These generally contain less detergents. Or choose an everyday shampoo, these usually contain milder cleansers. If you wash too often with a harsh cleanser this can cause your skin to produce more sebum more rapidly.
12. Under the shower always use shampoo/conditioner first of all and afterwards use your facial cleanser so that any shampoo residue is removed from your skin.
If you would like to know more than I can recommend the book “Hair Care” by Dr. Zoe Draelos. Here you’ll find the above tips written in more extensive detail!
(Dr. Jetske Ultee – Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatology)