Living an active lifestyle is not always conducive to luscious, healthy hair. As you can see in the above photo, my hair spends a lot of time being thrown into a ponytail or braid for sport. I also spend quite a lot of time in the sun and salt water so I find that my ends are constantly dry and splitting. These split ends make it very hard to grow my hair past a certain length.
I really would like to grow my hair a little longer so I decided it was time to research some ways that I can improve the health of my hair, and today I am teaming up with TRESemmé Shampoo to share my favourite tips for healthy hair with you.
1) Nourish from the inside out
Before we begin talking about something on the outside of our body, let's make sure we are taking care of the inside by ensuring you are eating a diet rich in good-quality protein, vegetables and fruit. Not only will you feel better, but your skin will glow and over time, you may just find your hair looking healthier too.
2) Brush your hair
The jury seems to be out on whether or not it's beneficial to do as our grandmothers did and brush 100 times per night. Some say it's beneficial as it can help distribute your hair's natural oils down the length of the hair, protecting the hair and decreasing breakage. However, others say by brushing that much you will be risking more damage and split ends. I'm currently guilty of hardly brushing at all before bed so I will be meeting the experts somewhere in the middle and giving it a nice long brush (but just not the whole 100 strokes).
3) Stop Teasing
Once again, guilty as charged. I have fine hair so I do give it a tease at the roots when I am going somewhere nice to add some volume. Apparently teasing is the most damaging type of brushing and can increase the likelihood of hair damage.
4) Use soft or boar bristle brush
Boar bristle brushes are apparently much more beneficial than the many plastic alternatives available these days. The advocates of the boar bristle brushes claim that it can stimulate hair growth, help transport the oils from the root to the ends and improve hair texture (reducing the need for styling products). I haven't got one of these brushes but I have been on the lookout for one for a while now because (apart from the above benefits) they simply feel much nicer than regular brushes.
5) Wash your hair properly using a good quality shampoo and conditioner
Last year sometime I wrote a post explaining that I was trialling the 'No 'Poo' method of washing my hair (using Baking Soda to wash and Apple Cider Vinegar to rinse). I loved that method for quite a few months as it made my hair feel very clean and added a lot of body, but over time I found my ends were drying out and breaking quicker than usual so I went back to using a regular shampoo and conditioner. The hair experts around the web recommend that when washing hair, only wash the scalp, letting the shampoo just run down the length as you rinse. Conditioner should then be applied to the ends to soak for a while before rinsing out. Some recommend not rinsing the conditioner out completely, but whether this works for you will depend on your hair type.
6) Wash hair in cooler water
I love my showers very hot, but apparently hot water can strip moisture from your hair so rinse your hair with the coolest water that you can.
7) Dry hair gently and naturally.
Rubbing your hair vigorously with a towel can damage your hair and cause split ends. Instead of rubbing, gently squeeze and pat dry with a towel to get rid of the excess water. Likewise, excessive heat styling can cause damage to so, whenever possible, let your hair dry naturally. Hair dryers, straighteners and curling irons can all damage your hair but if you must dry using one of these tools, use a good quality thermal protect spray in your hair prior to drying.
8) Don’t brush wet hair
Wet hair is much weaker than dry hair and brushing hair while it's wet can stretch and damage the hair. After washing and towel drying your hair, use a wide-toothed comb to detangle only it if absolutely necessary. It is best to let hair dry before brushing.
9) Deep condition once a week
A hot oil treatment can improve hair manageability and shine while decreasing breakage. Massage your choice of oils into the hair using your fingers (you could try argan oil, jojoba oil or coconut oil). You can treat the hair from the root to the tip, but if you are like me and you are prone to an oily scalp, you may find the scalp doesn't need that added oil, and instead, massage into the tips only. Heat an old towel in the clothes dryer and then wrap it around your hair leaving it to soak as long as you can.
10) Use leave-in hair oil
If you don't have time for number 6, you can try adding a few drops of your chosen oil to the ends of your hair to give you glossy hair and tame the frizz. My hair personally gets quite heavy and greasy with the oil left in so this tip doesn't work to well for me.
11) Get regular trims.
Regular trims helps to remove and reduce the spread of split ends. You can try trimming the split ends yourself in between professional hair cuts, but be careful to use hair shears as regular scissors may exacerbate the problem in the long term.
12) Protect your hair before swimming.
This is probably my favourite tip as I have never tried this before and it makes complete sense. As I mentioned before, I feel like a lot of my damage is caused in the sun and surf, so I will be taking this advice and using a leave-in conditioner or adding a few drops of oil to my hair before heading out for a surf.
So there you have some of my favourite new tips for growing longer, healthy hair and reducing breakage. I will be trying all of the above so I will let you know how it goes. Do you have any tips of your own? I'd love you to share them below in the comments..