What do we want? Healthy hair. When do we want it? Now!
There are quite a few questions and variables to consider when maintaining a hair routine, some of which can be long-term solutions to achieving healthy hair. In a world of instant gratification, however, we know that waiting 2-3 months to see the fruits of your labor can seem like a lifetime, which is why we've created a list of 25 things you can do now, to achieve the hair of your dreams today.
Thick, bouncy hair with high shine has always been the goal for many girls, but maintaining healthy hair sometimes seems like a much larger feat than it really is! To use oil or not to use oil? To wash every day or only a few times a week? Follow along below for all our go-to tips for how to get healthy hair.
1. Book an appointment with your hairstylist
Although some people cringe at the idea of cutting their hair, this is actually one of the best steps you can take in maintaining the health of your hair! Getting regular trims will help to improve both the look and feel of your hair by getting rid of the dry, damaged areas and split ends, and reducing breakage. If you’re someone who has haircut phobia, keep in mind that the trim doesn’t have to be very significant. A good standard to follow is to trim half an inch to an inch every 2–3 months to keep your hair looking fresh. If you fall into a scenario that your hair stylist trims too much, (it happens to everyone!) Luxy Hair extensions can always be your back up.
2. Put the hairbrush down
Old wives tales have always told us that brushing your hair 100 strokes a day will lead to shiny, healthy hair, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Over-brushing your hair can actually cause the opposite effect and lead to damage and split ends. We recommend putting the hairbrush down ASAP and using it as little as possible since over brushing can be rough on the hair by pulling and tugging.
3. Postpone your color treatment
We totally get that it’s tempting to experiment with new hair colors and styles like balayage and ombre, but we recommend making a cautious effort to use bleach and dye as little possible to achieve shiny, healthy hair. Cutting out dye altogether might not be an option for some, but if you are looking to change your look (especially in the colder months), opt for a darker shade or a hair gloss that doesn't require bleaching. Better yet, opt for a style that requires little maintenance and use heavy hydrating treatments between colors to maintain healthy hair. Another great option is to use Luxy hair extensions in an ombre set to fake the look of highlights with zero damage!
4. Make a trip to the health food store
The vitamins and nutrients you put in your body have a direct relationship with the look and feel of your hair. If your hair lacks life or looks dull, it could be because your body is lacking certain vitamins. The key vitamins that reap benefits for your hair are fish oils, zinc, iron as well as vitamin B-complex, C, and D. Plan a trip to your local health food store ASAP!
5. Pour yourself a glass of water, right now… yes now!
Drinking enough water is key for your overall health, but it’s also directly related to your skin and hair. Just like how a plant requires water to grow, so does your hair. Water makes up almost 25% of the weight of a single strand of hair, so it’s recommended to drink 8 glasses a day to keep the hair strong, healthy, and hydrated.
6. Cook yourself a protein-rich meal
Your hair’s anatomy is made up of protein fiber, which means that it requires a certain amount of protein to grow. If you do not have enough protein in your diet, your body will ration the amount available and cut off the supply to the hair follicles. The result? Your hair will likely become dry and brittle. Make a conscious effort today to eat one protein-packed meal whether it be lean meat, dairy, eggs, or even a protein shake!
7. Purchase a silk pillowcase
Another common irritant to the hair is the material of your pillowcase. We suggest swapping out your cotton pillowcase and making a stop today to purchase a silk one if you struggle with morning bed head or frizz. Cotton can pull and tug on the hair while you sleep, but silk’s smooth texture allows the hair to flow freely, and in turn, creates less frizz and tangles.
8. Try out a heatless hairstyle
Intense heat styling is one of the number one causes of damaged, dry hair. Try to minimize the amount of heat you use in your hair routine to keep your hair looking and feeling it best. We suggest opting for heatless curls today, leaving your hair natural or styling in a ponytail or braid to let your hair breathe. Not convinced? Check out our friend Daryn's week without heat for inspiration on the diversity of heatless hairstyles out there.
9. Use heat protectant post-shower
If you do decide to opt for heat today, it’s crucial to use a heat protectant spray beforehand, preferably a natural one. This will create a barrier between the heat and your hair which protects and decreases the amount of damage caused.
10. Check if your shampoo is sulfate-free
It’s important to be aware of the ingredients and chemicals in the products you use in your hair, especially when it comes to cleansing products like shampoo. Many drugstore brand shampoos may have sulfates in their products, which makes the shampoo nice and sudsy. The downfall to lathering up is that these sulfates can strip the natural oils from your hair leading to dry, brittle locks. Double check the ingredients in your shampoo and avoiding products with sulfates to have your healthiest, shiniest hair possible.
11. Skip on washing your hair today
Another common hair misconception is exactly how often you’re supposed to wash your hair. We recommend washing your hair 2–3 times a week, or less if possible. Water makes hair swell from the inside, which forces the cuticle up and strips the hair of its natural oil and moisture. Do your hair a favor and opt for dry shampoo over washing today.
12. Use a cotton tee to towel dry your hair
If you struggle with frizzy hair, one of our go-to tips is to skip on drying with a towel and use a cotton T-shirt instead. The grooves in the towel and its rough texture can dishevel the cuticle of the hair and cause frizz. A cotton T-shirt is much more gentle and is proven to allow the hair to dry more tame and smooth.
13. Use the cold air button
While using your blowdryer on a high heat setting will likely get the job done quicker, it’s actually much more beneficial to use the cool setting on your dryer. The coolness locks in shine and doesn’t cause damage the way heat does.
14. Do a hair mask
Keeping up with weekly hair treatments and DIY hair masks should be a necessity in your pampering routine and is a proactive step you can take for your hair today! Hair treatments bring deep hydration to your hair, which helps to keep dryness and brittle ends at bay and bring a radiance factor back into your hair.
15. Give yourself a scalp massage
While it may feel strange at first, massaging your scalp actually has huge benefits for the health of your hair. It improves blood circulation to the scalp, which can stimulate the cells and help the hair to grow and stay healthy. Incorporate scalp massages into your self-care routine and try it out for yourself this evening!
16. Stock up on nuts and veggies at the grocery store
The foods you consume and the diet you maintain have a direct relationship to the look and health of your hair. It’s important to eat a balanced diet and ensure you’re hitting all the key nutrients that contribute to healthy hair. While we totally get that cheat meals are all a part of balance, it’s important to focus the majority of your meals on healthy foods, and you can start today! Some of the most beneficial for your hair are those that are high in protein like green leafy vegetables, beans, eggs, fish, and chicken as well as foods rich in antioxidants like nuts and berries.
17. Wear a hat
Protecting your hair from the elements is essential in nearly every season. During the summer we recommend shielding the hair from damaging sun exposure and UV rays and in the winter protecting it from heavy winds and freezing temperatures.
18. Channel your inner 90s kid
While wearing your hair in a ponytail or bun is great for styling second-day hair, it’s important to be cautious of the hair accessory you are using, and how it may be affecting your hair's health. Hair ties that are too tight are notorious for causing damage and breakage, so opt for a fabric scrunchie instead, which is much gentler on your hair.
19. Oil up
If your hair leans on the dry side, one of the best steps you can take is investing in a nourishing oil to boost hydration. Natural oils like coconut oil, jojoba oil, can bring a shiny and vibrant effect to your hair without looking greasy or weighing it down.
20. Invest in natural products
We come into contact with chemicals so many times a day, why not try to go the natural route when it comes to your hair? We recommend using products with natural, organic ingredients like coconut oil, shea, cocoa butter, and essentials oils such as lavender and rose.
21. Let your hair air dry
If you’re someone who is constantly blowdrying your hair, we recommend letting your hair breathe and take the air drying route occasionally. Simply apply an anti-frizz serum and braid your hair until it dries to achieve heatless natural texture.
22. Finish washing your hair with a cool rinse
A great tip for smooth, shiny hair is to finish washing your hair with a cool rinse by switching the water temperature. Cold water helps to seal the cuticle, which allows hair to lay smoothly and gives your hair the appearance of gloss and shine.
23. Use a wide tooth comb to brush through wet hair
Your hair is in its most delicate state when its wet, so it’s important to be cautious about the brush you’re using to comb out your hair post-shower. We recommend a wide tooth comb to untangle your hair in the most gentle way possible.
24. Skip on the plastic-bristle brush
The most common option for a standard hair brush at the drugstore is one with plastic-bristle brushes, but this actually is likely the most damaging option for your hair. While plastic-bristle brushes are often the most affordable, we recommend opting for a natural boar bristle hair brush since its more gentle and less damaging.
25. Reconsider your approach to hair extensions
Clip-ins, tape-ins, weaves, pre-bonded, fusion etc…there are many different kinds of hair extensions out there and it’s important to be fully aware of the pros and cons of each kind before taking the plunge. Many permanent and semi-permanent options for extensions may cause some damage to your hair over a long period of time by pulling at the scalp. Out of all the options, clip-in hair extensions are the safest and fastest way to get longer, thicker hair. Since temporary methods like clip-ins are worn on a selective basis, this allows your hair to ‘breathe’ when the extensions aren’t being worn and helps avoid damage.
How to get healthy hair again
If you've basically been ignoring hair advice for a few months or years and are now looking to revive damaged hair or fix damaged hair, there are a few steps you can take to return your hair to its natural glory.
The first step to get healthy hair again is to get a good (and we mean good) trim. All those dead bits and split ends need to go, and you need to allow your hairdresser to cut as much hair off as needed to be left with only healthy hair strands. Following this cut, be sure to continue seeing your hairstylists for regular trims every three months to keep those ends fresh and prevent split ends.
The next step is to figure out why your hair is damaged, and take the necessary precautions to reverse this damage and prevent it happening again.
Dry, damaged hair
If your hair is damaged due to dryness, cut down your hair washing schedule to 1-2 times per week, to allow the natural oils in your scalp to moisturize your hair naturally. Apply a deep conditioning hair mask at least once a week, and use a deep conditioner when you wash your hair, focussing on the mid shaft to ends. You can even go so far as to purchase a humidifier for your bedroom, to infuse moisture into the air while you sleep. A bonus? Your skin will also reap the benefits from more humidity in the air!
Heat damaged hair
Hair damage due to heat is likely the reason for many a fried hair strand out there in the world. From straightening to curling to blow drying, our hair takes quite the beating on the regular! Be sure to use a heat protectant every time you heat style your hair, and try to limit heat styling to once or twice a week. When blow drying, let your hair air dry half way before blasting it, and hold the hair dryer a few inches away from your hair (not right on top of it), to limit the amount of heat exposure. Finally, learn to use the right products style your natural hair, and who knows— you may ditch the heat styling for good!
Chemically damaged hair
Chemical damage can come from either dyeing, bleaching, or chemically processing hair strands (like perms or chemical straighteners). A good rule of thumb when dyeing is to stick within three shades of your natural hair color, and be realistic! If you want icy blonde hair but have deep black hair, the process will be long, arduous, and rough on your hair. If you truly love dyeing your hair, opt for ombre, balayage, or highlights to add dimension and color, as you can prolong touch up appointments to up to six months. Or, simply add some hair extensions or a wig to achieve color without dyeing!
It may seem like getting healthy hair is a thing of the future, but with just a few simple changes to your routine, you can see a noticeable difference! What are your favorite tips to get healthy hair? Drop us a line at [email protected], and if you try out any of our tips, be sure to tag us on Instagram at #myluxyhair.
Written by: Olivia DiPede