We all have hair whether long, short or almost non existent so we all have to look after it. But perhaps there is more to looking after your hair than you realized.
How to know when your hair is less than clean
Our hair is affected by sebaceous glands. We all have these glands in our skin and they secrete an oily and waxy substance called sebum whose job it is to lubricate our skin and hair. Those same glands can play their part in the appearance of acne
too. The glands are connected to each individual hair follicle, secreting their natural oils to both moisturize and waterproof your skin and hair. Some people end up with more than others which is why our hair can feel or look oily.
The environment plays a big part in the state of our hair too. The sun and the sea can both dry it and bleach it. Harsh chemicals in the air and chlorine and others in the pool, when you go swimming, can affect it too while pollution, smoke and smoking can all dry out your hair.
How often should you wash your hair?
Many have got into the habit of washing their hair daily but less often can be beneficial. Of course, no one likes the oily look but over-washing strips off the natural oils produced by your scalp that help to keep hair in a healthy condition. Over-washing can actually make your hair over-produce oils, which can often make it feel oily just the day after you wash it. Try to gradually decrease the frequency and your hair will get oily less quickly as well as becoming damaged less quickly.
While some feel the need to wash their hair just about every day, certain hair types and textures only require washing once a week, where others find two to three times per week is ideal. The type of hair you have is also important.
Thicker, coarser hair can become too dry if washed too often. Medium curls, kinks and waves usually means two to three times a week because the curls and the texture will still work well with a small amount of oil in your hair. Fine texture, curls and waves often need to be washed every day because their hair quickly seems oily, making sure to moisturize with a good conditioner.
Top 10 tips when washing and caring for your hair
1. Keep the temperature lower as too hot can cause heat damage to your hair and even dry your skin.
2. Wait until your hair is nearly dry before brushing or combing as hair is at its weakest when wet and more susceptible to damage. Use a wide toothed comb or your fingers to gently comb though until dry.
3. In the effort to wash your hair less often, don't use unnecessary products and ensure your hairbrush is also washed regularly.
4. Washing hair incorrectly can lead to scalp irritation, dandruff
and other scalp issues.
5. As commercial shampoos and conditioners contain sulfates and other chemicals that can cause harm to both your hair and your skin, look for natural products instead.
6. Invest in a deep treatment to give your hair an extra boost, and help it to recover from any damage. Coconut oil
provides just such a natural deep treatment.
7. Be wary of heated appliances. If possible, wait until your hair is nearly dry before using on a medium or low heat. Although it takes longer, it will leave your hair looking shinier. Avoid those nozzles that come with hair dryers as they concentrate the heat onto one area only, increasing damage. Invest in more expensive types of heating appliances that are made of ceramic rather than metal.
8. Get your hair trimmed at least once every six weeks to get rid of and prevent a build up of damage so that it grows back shiny and healthy.
9. Drastic changes in natural hair color can cause damage both to your hair and your health. Look for more natural hair tints.
10. Lifestyle choices are once again paramount for good hair health. Protein, omega3 fatty acids, vitamins B6 and B12 should be among good food choices along with plenty of pure filtered water, exercise and good sleeping habits.