While we all aspire to have rich, lustrous hair, there are moments when we simply cannot do anything to avoid a bad hair day.
Watching those enviable models’ hair on TV ads, one would wonder if it is real. Can you really achieve that kind of effect on your hair?
The answer is yes.
Common hair problems
Is your hair healthy?
You can easily answer this question if you know how to spot the most common hair problems and their symptoms.
- Spilt ends. This hair problem is very common and caused by dryness and brittleness. Once your hair becomes dry and brittle, it damages your hair cuticles, resulting to split ends. Early symptoms of split ends are knots and tangles when combing.
- Limp and dull hair. Your hair becomes limp and lifeless if you do not rinse off hair products residue properly. The kind of food you eat can also contribute in your hair’s lack of shine and moisture. You can detect limp, dull hair when you find your hair feeling heavy and sticky.
- Dry and brittle hair. This hair problem can lead to other bigger hair problems like split ends and dandruff. Dry hair is often tangled and spongy. Knots and tangles are among the early symptoms of dry hair.
- Grey hair usually occurs as you age, but exposure chemicals, heat, dirt and smoke can damage and cause your hair to turn gray.
- Hair loss or falling hair may occur due to chemical-based hair products and improper care of your scalp.
These hair problems commonly occur when your hair has lost its natural moisture, and becomes dehydrated.
Keeping your hair healthy
Frequent changes in hairstyle has become synonymous with fashion. But, with it comes an influx of hair problems.
However, it need not be a problem if you follow some simple hair care tips to keep your hair healthy
- Regular wash. Regularly wash your hair and do it properly. Massage your hair from roots to tips to wash off all the chemicals and styling aid products from your hair.
- Use products that have organic ingredients. Avoid using chemical based ingredients, as these are mostly non-water soluble and leave residue on your hair.
- Minimize heat damage. Set your blow dryer on low heat when drying your hair.
- Get a regular trim. Getting a regular trim keeps the tips of your hair from splitting.
- Eat the right food. To help keep the natural moisture and protein in your hair, eat food that are rich in protein, minerals and vitamins.
- Pamper your hair. If you do not need to style your hair, and you can get away with a natural look, do it. Give your hair a break, and let it breathe.
Keeping your hair’s natural moisture
The hair, like the skin, has a natural moisture that keeps it hydrated and pliant.
The natural moisture of the hair combines with the natural protein found in the hair strand to keep it shiny and healthy.
Lack of moisture turns the hair dry, dull and brittle.
Can the hair get over moisturized?
Over moisturizing can cause fatigue to your hair, and eventually cause it to break and get damaged.
You need to strike a balance between moisture and protein to retain your hair’s elasticity.
Is protein more important than moisture?
Your hair needs both, and neither is more important than the other.
You do not need to visit the salon to find out which one your hair needs more.
Check how your hair feels. As a general rule, limp, sticky and stringy hair lacks protein, while the opposite means it has too much protein. Dry, tangled, and brittle hair lacks moisture, while soft hair that refuses to be styled and is prone to breaking has too much moisture.
To know if your hair has the proper balance level of moisture and protein, perform a hair strand test.
Pull a strand of your hair and wet it with water. Gently stretch the strand. A hair with balanced moisture and protein level will stretch and return to its natural length, and not break.
What causes hair to lack moisture?
Genes determine the color, thickness and texture of your hair, but it is not the reason why your hair becomes dry, dull and limp.
- Improper care contributes largely on the state of your hair. Frequent styling and use of hair styling products can affect the health of your hair, causing it to lose its natural moisture.
- Prolonged exposure to heat through devices like blow dryers can also cause your hair to become dry and brittle.
- Hair product build-up can also cause your hair to lose its natural volume and turn limp. Hair products like shampoo and conditioner can leave residue that will build up in your scalp, and eventually cause the start of dandruff. Non-water soluble hair products and heavy oiled products do not wash off easily, and can cause a build-up on your hair.
- The food you eat also contributes to the nutrients that you need to retain the shine and moisture in your hair.
- Continuous use of chemical based hair products can easily damage your hair.
- Using the wrong moisturizer. Many people have the mistaken belief that oil moisturizes the hair because it makes dry hair soft. Water is what gives moisture to your hair, but water evaporates and dries. Oil can seal the water in and keep the moisture in your hair.
Keeping the moisture in
Once you have a good hair regimen going, it will be a breeze to maintain moisture in your hair.
Here are some tips on how you can lock in moisture in your hair:
- Use a moisturizer that has water as one of its base ingredients. Remember that water naturally rehydrates your hair.
- Keep the moisture in. Use avocado oil or castor oil to lock the moisture in your hair.
- Keep the heat away from your hair, especially during summer when the heat is more intense. Wear a hat to keep the sun off your hair and try drying your hair naturally without the aid of a blow dryer
- Eat food that is rich in protein and minerals.
- Do not over moisturize. Try to maintain a balance of protein and moisture in your hair to keep it healthy, strong and shiny.
Choose organic or natural hair moisturizer
To keep your hair looking shiny and healthy, avoid chemical-based hair products.
No matter how good your hair regimen is, constant exposure to hair products that are heavy in chemicals and alcohol will eventually damage your hair.
Top three benefits of using organic products are:
- The organic ingredients naturally stimulate the hair follicles to promote hair growth.
- The minerals and natural oils of organic ingredients are infused in the hair follicles thus, maintaining the hair’s natural moisture.
- Organic is safe. The natural ingredients of organic hair products suit all skin types, so they are non-allergenic.
Organic is expensive, you might say.
Not necessarily. You can make your own hair care product using organic ingredients.
Here is a quick list of the best natural ingredients you can use (and find in your kitchen) to keep your hair’s natural moisture:
- Flaxseed oil mix with water and sunflower oil is a good spritz mix that you can use when your hair feels dry.
- Banana mixed with almond oil mask applied on hair will help lock moisture in, and maintain your hair’s elasticity.
- Fresh egg and olive oil mix applied to your hair for an hour not just locks moisture, but gives your hair extra shine
- Apple cider mixed with water as hair rinse adds moisture and seals the moisture in.
- Essential oil infused shea butter helps hydrate your hair, especially frizzy hair.
- Another good hydrating spritz is Aloe Vera mixed with coconut oil, vitamin E oil and lavender essential oil. It will also leave your hair looking super shiny.
You can find many DIY hair care recipes on the internet. The recipes are easy to follow and would cost you a lot less than if you buy a ready to use product.