There is no denying the fact that hair dye and heat styling can take a toll on your hair over time, however, despite my personal hair dye addiction I get regular compliments about the condition of my hair. What’s my secret? Healthier hair starts with the little daily decisions you make each and every day.
Often when people are researching options to keep their hair looking shiny, vibrant and healthy, they find themselves in a sea of haircare products, each making the promise that they alone can take your dry damaged hair and magically transform it into the hair you’ve always wanted. However, of course, it comes at a premium. It wouldn’t take long to rack up a serious bill.
What these companies don’t want you to know is that in most cases, a specialized product isn’t what’s needed at all. Sure, you could throw your money at these quick-fix solutions and you may even see a change. Unfortunately, these are merely band-aid solutions that won’t stand the test of time, and before long you’ll be right back where you are right now, but with a little less money in your bank account.
Before you bust open your wallet, let’s take a step back and look at the little decisions that you make each and every day. Did you know something as simple as which shampoo you choose or how often you
Take A Look At Your Shampoo
One of the biggest offenders is the shampoo that we select each time we head out shopping. Every shampoo is different, and you need to find the one that works for you. That being said, there are a few red flags to watch out for when searching for that perfect product.
Sulfates are incredibly harsh on our hair, so selecting a sulfate-free shampoo should be on the top of your list. While many products are now rocking a ‘sulfate-free’ label or ‘all-natural’, many of these labels are nothing more than an attempt to cash in on the marketing buzz as consumers are being educated on the concerns of many of these items.
Don’t just take this at face value, take the time to check the ingredients of your shampoo. Watch out for: ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium chloride, polyethylene glycols (PEG), diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), formaldehyde, dimethicone, cocamidopropyl betaine, triclosan, retinyl palmitate, alcohols, parabens, and synthetic colours and/or fragrances. Interested in learning more? Check out the Think Dirty app to find out what’s hiding in your shampoo, you may be surprised.
Turn Down The Temps
Let’s cut to the chase. Ladies, if there’s one common stereotype when it comes to ladies and showers and that’s the fact that we LOVE our scalding hot water. Unfortunately, our hair doesn’t love it nearly as much. If you’re prioritizing your hair next time you hop in the shower, turn down the temps. This doesn’t mean that you have to stick it out in ice cold water. Just shifting to room temperature water while washing your hair will have a positive impact long-term.
Focus Shampoo On Your Roots
When you are shampooing, keep in mind that even the gentlest of shampoos are still removing oils from your hair. To avoid unnecessary damage to the ends of your hair, focus your shampooing efforts on the roots, working your way to the midway point of our hair. This will eliminate the build-up of oils and dirt on your scalp. Unless you’ve been out rolling around in the dirt (I’m a camper and outdoor enthusiast, it happens) your ends aren’t going to need the extra attention.
Don’t Skip The Conditioner
A good quality conditioner is your best friend! Conditioner works to moisturize and protect your hair, increase shine, and improve strength. For this reason, it’s a step you don’t want to be skipping in your daily shower routine.
In order to use your conditioner properly, however, you need to learn how it’s designed to work. These products are formulated to seal in moisture in the hair shaft, which means they aren’t actually made for your scalp. Instead, start conditioning approximately 1-2 inches from the scalp while focusing most of your attention on the tips.
Pat Your Hair Dryer And Don’t Wrap It In A Towel
Obviously, I’m not telling you not to use a towel following your shower, that has the potential to cause a grand mess! When you get out of the shower, pat your hair down rather than drying it off vigorously as you may be causing hair breakage. In fact, cotton towels are incredibly hard on our hair. If possible, trade out that towel for an old, soft t-shirt when drying your hair. Remember, dry hair is fragile! Protect it.
Also, sorry to break it to all you ladies that love to run around with your hair up in a towel while you’re getting ready but doing so may be doing more harm than good. The tightness of the towel putting pressure on your hair in that way has been associated with increased breakage. You’re better off dealing with that hair right away and then moving on to the rest of that killer look.
Avoid The Hair Dryer/Curling Iron/Straightener
Okay, here’s one that I admit I do fail at more often than not simply because I use the hair dryer to style my hair. Depending on your cut/style, if you have the luxury of allowing your hair to air dry and it looks great, take advantage of that! Extreme heat from these style tools can be incredibly damaging to your hair over time as they, obviously, dry it out. If you dye your hair, direct heat like straighteners and curling irons can also fade your hair faster.
If you’re like me, and you can’t go without the hair dryer (no one wants to see me after my hair dries naturally, trust me) turn the heat down. You honestly don’t need it cranked up as high as it can go to get the effect you’re looking for. Not at the expense of your hair’s health!
While you should avoid bushing your hair wet (remember, wet hair is fragile), once your hair has dried its time to rock that brush. Brushing your hair regularly helps to work the natural oils from your scalp down your hair, moisturizing your hair as a whole. Get your hands on an old-fashioned boar-bristle brush instead of a synthetic bristle brush for the best moisturizing effect.
I know this isn’t technically part of the shower process, but if you’re feeling the munchies before/after your shower, choose your snack food carefully. Almonds, for example, are high in vitamin E, which ultimately means that they not only taste delicious, but they will also work to improve the health of your hair. Vitamin E isn’t the only one credited with improving your hair, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin D, and calcium are also great additions.
Another food-related consideration is your iron levels. If you are anemic or iron deficient, one highly overlooked symptom is hair loss. You can combat this by including iron-rich foods in your diet such as spinach, lentils and beans. Why not stop hair loss at its source if you have the chance?
What steps do you take to improve your hair health on a daily basis? Any secrets that you’d like to share?
7 thoughts on “Shower Your Way To Healthier Hair”
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I’m a wash and go type of gal, so I don’t put much thought into my hair. I tend to have oily roots and dry tips, which makes it difficult to find the perfect shampoo. I recently switched to a more natural brand, which makes a difference. I LOVE hot showers though, especially during this time of year! I try to keep the water a little cooler when putting my head under the water. Thanks for sharing these great tips!
Are you intentional with your conditioner? Apply some to just the roots and let it sit for awhile while you’re doing something else (shaving your legs for example)
Thank you for sharing this. I’ve always suffered from dry, straw like hair, so I’ll definitely be trying some of these ideas. I never knew using a towel could be so damaging, 🙁 what about those “hair towels” you can buy?
A lot of those are actually just smart marketing without actually solving the problem, so buyer beware!