Whether it’s using Hers hair products or the concoctions that your mother swears by, most women (and men) think of their hair as their crowning glory and a key part of their identity. Whether long, short, straight or curly, your hairstyle often plays an important part in how you express yourself. As such, most people are keen to keep their luscious locks in as good a condition as possible.
In most cultures, a full head of healthy hair is generally seen as a sign of youth and vitality which makes it extremely desirable. We can see this is everything from the ancient herbal remedies to promote hair health to the more modern solution of repeatedly covering up greying roots. Whichever way you cut it, healthy hair is a big deal in most places and has direct links to one’s self esteem and how others perceive you.
How Do I Know That My Hair Is Healthy?
This is a deceptively simple question once you consider all the different hair types out there. While many of us imagine long and shiny locks, the fact of the matter is that not all people have hair that naturally looks like that. For example, people with curlier hair may not necessarily have the hair type of models that we see in an advertisement, but that doesn’t mean that their hair is unhealthy.
Generally, hair specialists and dermatologists agree that healthy hair should be able to retain moisture, should not be brittle and is soft to the touch. In order to achieve these goals, there are a variety of measures and practices that one could take which will not only help their hair appear healthier but will go a long way towards preserving the longevity of their hair.
Do Not Expose To Direct Heat
Hair, just like many other structures in the body, is made of proteins. This means that it’s also very sensitive to sudden changes in temperature and if heated past a certain temperature it will denature (meaning that the proteins will change their structure). This is especially important for people who either enjoy or have to frequently style their hair using heating appliances such as hair straighteners and curling irons.
Most flatirons for hair can reach a temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius) which is twice over the temperature of boiling water. Therefore, it’s no surprise that if done incorrectly, such styling tools can actually be a major source of hair damage. Heat can destroy the keratin in hair which prevents the hair from being able to retain moisture and leads to breakage and a dull appearance.
The best way to correct this is arguably to stop using such methods of styling whenever possible and instead try to use no-heat methods such as curlers. However, if that’s not possible, then the next best thing is to make sure that you use a heat protectant on your hair before you style it. Heat protectant works by providing a barrier between the what source and your hair which shields it from the worst of the damage.
Just as with the rest of your body, a hydrated head of hair is a healthy head of hair. While most of us already use conditioner and maybe the occasional hair mask to help sneak some moisture into our hair, there’s also more we could be doing to build moisturizing our hair into our daily routines.
Depending on your hair type your hair may need a little more help with retaining moisture. A good way to do this is through the use of plant oils which also contain nutrients that will nourish your hair and scalp. There’s also plenty of DIY recipes for hair masks that are relatively inexpensive and applying once every two weeks or so is a great way to show your hair a little TLC.
Some practices that can actually lead to dry hair (other than frequent styling with heating tools) also include over-shampooing, using shampoos with particularly harsh chemicals and dyeing your hair often. If you find yourself partaking in such habits, you should also consider investing in a good hair serum as that can help to rebuild the hair structures and fix some of the damage caused.
Additionally, eating a diet that’s rich in natural oils and proteins can also help to contribute towards your hair health. Nutritious food gives all the cells in our body (hair cells included) the building blocks needed to produce healthier products. As such, food that is rich in biotin, protein and vitamin compounds can help to improve your overall health and this will also be reflected in the condition of your hair.
For many women and men, hair plays a part in establishing our identity and sense of self. As such, it is unsurprising that so many of us want to do the best we can to maintain the beauty of our crowning glory. Therefore, it is important to take the necessary steps to reduce damage to our hair whenever possible and to find ways and means to improve its health.