How to Harness Healthy Hair

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by Lauren Chung, Lifestyle Staff Writer

If you have ever openly gawked at the condition of your ends in public, a disappointed frown sinking into your face, yet still cannot manage to chop off the locks you spent months growing, this article is for you. We have all been there. From the moisture-sucking, dry months to the sun-damaging, chlorine-filled seasons, your hair goes through a lot. Thankfully, there are a few helpful guidelines you can follow to achieve and maintain the healthy, strong hair we desperately desire.

A common problem is that proper hair care typically takes place only in the shower. However, this is not the case. Before stepping into the shower, there are a number of changes you should consider making to your hair care routine, starting with a simple brush. Taking the time to brush your hair thoroughly from ends to roots can help prevent tearing out any strands of hairs when you are showering. Save yourself from the pain of sorting through knots while conditioning by making sure to brush your hair beforehand.

Another pre-shower consideration to make is swapping out a store-bought conditioner that contain harsh chemicals with something more natural, such as coconut oil. The significant amount of hype surrounding coconut oil exists for a reason! Its natural components are a great, organic way to provide moisture to any dehydrated strands. Before showering, lather the ends of your hair for a few minutes in the same way you would with conditioner. This quick swap will allow you to achieve visibly, touchably soft locks.

Once you are in the shower, keep there are a few tips in mind when choosing your shampoo. First, avoid purchasing shampoos that contain parabens and sulfates, as those harsh chemicals can ultimately lead to more hair harm than good. Moroccanoil’s Hydrating Shampoo is paraben, sulfate and phosphate free. For a wallet-friendly option, check out Garnier’s Whole Blends collection!

Getting out of the shower, try to avoid rubbing your hair with your towel to soak up the excess water. Instead, pat your hair dry! This protects your strands from unnecessary wear and tear and, again, avoids future tangles. After drying your hair, try switching out your usual brush for a comb or a Wet brush. When your hair is wet, its strands swell and stretch further from its dry state. This creates a vulnerability for breakage if roughly brushed or towel-dried. Using these alternative techniques will get the job done while being gentler and increasing the longevity and preservation of your hair.

Another common thought amongst those of us in pursuit of longer hair is the aversion to getting our hair cut. I am one of the many that fell victim to this trap, constantly insisting to my mother that I did not want or need a haircut, only to have the hairdresser cut off practically all of the hair I had “worked so hard to grow.” In reality, you are bound to have a some natural wear and tear on your hair from everyday activities. Setting appointments for a trim and touch up every three-to-four months helps prevent those tears from becoming larger split ends that will further rip your hair and create more damage. From personal experience, I found that these regular appointments have increased the speed at which my hair grows, not to mention its overall look and appeal.

Also consider following basic healthy habits to improve the state of your hair. Exercising regularly, getting ample sleep and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet all work wonders on your hair. The latter tasks on this list are especially important in obtaining the essential vitamins your body needs to grow and support healthy hair follicles. A multitude of different companies and brands are introducing supplements to aid in this area and promote healthier hair (not to mention practically every celebrity flooding our Instagram feeds with their promotion of the Sugar Bear Hair gummy supplements). I recommend taking the time to read reviews about any supplements you choose to use, as well as taking a look at their ingredient list. As a general rule of thumb, Vitamin B increases the amount of oxygen to your blood flow, promoting proper cell growth and supply of nutrients to your hair follicles and scalp, whereas Vitamin A helps promotes the growth of sebum, a natural oily substance that aids in moisturizing and protecting your hair. Vitamin C is also popular in many supplements, considering its aid in creating collagen, a main structural protein that aids in keeping your hair (and skin) strong and elastic.

So there you have it. Sometimes the most basic beauty habits make the biggest difference. Do not let your locks go another day feeling dry and weak. Instead, let them bathe in natural substances and vitamins and catch yourself admiring your ends in the mirror.

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