The secret to healthy hair is taking care of your tresses the right way. Here are some tips that we can all benefit from.
#1 Take care of the scalp
The scalp or the skin covering the head is like the skin on the body, but with a greater number of large, terminal hair follicles. Diet and nutrition, hygiene practices, type and usage of hair care products, etc. affect scalp health, growth of follicular units and hair.
Start with keeping the scalp clean to avoid build-up of natural oil or sebum, which can otherwise cause dandruff and clog hair follicles, further leading to hair loss and thinning. Cleansing the scalp regularly can clear blockages and help hair grow better. All the same, cleansing too often can strip the skin of natural oils, causing the scalp to become dry and triggering the sebum or oil glands to produce more oil. Strike a balance by picking hair care products that work for your hair type and build a routine that works for your lifestyle. For example, if you lead an active lifestyle and must shampoo every day, pick a mild cleanser. If you can go without shampooing every day but still feel the need to freshen up between washes, use a dry shampoo.
When choosing hair care products, go for those with natural ingredients or mild ones and try to keep away from harsh chemicals. Don’t be afraid to mix brands as long as you’re not using anything that’s damaging for your scalp and hair health. Remember to use a shampoo that’s slightly acidic as one with a basic pH level will neutralise the natural acidity of the scalp, damaging scalp health.
Additionally, massage the scalp regularly to stimulate blood circulation. This will help channel more nutrients to hair roots and follicles, improving the growth and quality of hair. Scalp massages also help relieve anxiety and stress which are known to cause hair fall.
Your scalp as well as hair strands need to stay moisturised, hydrated, and nourished. Use a shampoo that’s moisturising or follow up your shampoo with conditioner. Remember to not use conditioner on the scalp. Hair care products containing natural oils like olive or coconut or ingredients like glycerine or shea butter are your best bet at keeping moisture locked in. Products like leave-in conditioners and deep hydrating treatments can be used once or twice a week depending on your scalp and hair type.
#3 Prevent hair breakage
Treat hair gently to avoid breakage and hair fall – detangle hair before shampooing and avoid combing hair when wet. Brushing or combing can disrupt the hair cuticle, stretching it and causing breakage, so avoid the activity, indulging in it only when you need to style your tresses. Choose your comb or brush wisely – go for a wide-toothed non-static comb or a boar bristle brush that will minimise breakage, reduce frizz, and work to distribute natural oils evenly across the scalp and hair shafts.
Frequent use of hair ties and clips that are too tight can make roots weak and cause hair fall. Note that friction caused to hair while you sleep also damages the strands and leads to breakage. Tie your hair in a loose braid or use a bonnet or hair cap. You can also switch your cotton pillowcase for a silk or satin one.