We are all familiar with the upkeep of our hair on a normal day to day basis; but if you have experienced hair loss or any other hair problems then we hope that these ‘handy hints’ will help prevent any further damage.
Choose the right shampoo & conditioner for your hair type
There are numerous types and brands of shampoo, and conditioner but make sure that you choose one that best suits your hair type. For example, if you have dry hair, then buy a shampoo which is designed for dry hair.
And check the ingredients as well. Many shampoos contain additives which can be too harsh for your hair. Look for ones which contain dimethicone and guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride as these will ensure that your hair stays soft and shiny.
Follow a healthy diet
Eating healthily will ensure that your hair remains in a good condition. Fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, protein such as fish and chicken and lean red meat will be appreciated by your hair as well as your body.
And include plenty of water in your diet. Drinking the recommended 6 to 8 glasses of water a day will keep your skin and hair properly hydrated. And will boost your follicles growth potential.
If you want to boost the effects of this then consider taking a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement.
Reduce your intake of fatty or fried foods, salt and sugar.
Avoid tight hairstyles such as dreadlocks or braiding
These are very fashionable hairstyles which look great but unfortunately, are not so good for the condition of your hair. Both of these styles pull the hair tightly which then strains the follicles and weakens them over a period of time. This results in hair thinning and eventual loss.
The trick is to braid the hair properly so that this risk is reduced but, sadly this is not always the case. If you are at risk of hair damage then think about having another hair style.
Avoid excessive use of hair products
Hair products such as gels, hairsprays, conditioners, mousses and colours can enhance your hair but overuse can damage hair strands or even cause hair loss.
If they are used too often then they can build up in the hair which puts too much pressure on it, causing it to weaken and break. Other risks include dry hair or ‘split ends’. The worst case scenario is hair thinning and loss.
Monitor your use of these products. Avoid using them for one or two days a week to give your hair a break. This will also enable your hair to regenerate itself.
Avoid or reduce lifestyle factors
These include stress, smoking, pollution and diet.
Diet is covered in tip number 2.
Stress, smoking and pollution are all external factors which can have a negative effect on your hair. Stress can be good for us – in small amounts but extreme or chronic stress can be bad for our health. This affects the hair growth cycle by causing the follicles to shut down which prevents further hair growth.
Reducing your stress levels will benefit your body and your hair.
Smoking is bad for our health but, also affects hair growth as well. It restricts blood flow (and circulation) to the hair follicles which impacts upon its ability to grow new hair.
Cut down on your smoking or even better, give up altogether. This can be a difficult thing to do but your GP will be able to help.
We can’t always prevent pollution, such as car exhaust fumes but we can take steps to minimise the risk. If you live in an area which is heavily polluted then protect your hair by wearing a hat, wash it frequently and use a good conditioner.
Avoid excessive heat on your hair
Hair dryers, hair straighteners and curling tongs can style your hair in a great many ways but this comes at a price. They are fine in the short term but prolonged use can dry out your hair or cause split ends.
They can even cause excessive shedding.
Minimise this risk by choosing a cooler setting on your hairdryer or use curling tongs which don’t need to be heated.
Brush or comb hair properly
This may sound obvious but it is possible to damage your hair by incorrect or too forceful brushing. Don’t brush wet hair but if have to then use a comb instead.
Protect your hair when swimming
Swimming is a good choice of exercise which benefits the body as a whole. Unfortunately, it’s not always that beneficial for your hair. Chlorine used in swimming pools can damage your hair by stripping it of essential oils and nutrients which results in dry, brittle and broken hair.
And in some cases, the high levels of copper and other chemicals in the water can cause hair to turn green.
Protect your hair against these damaging effects by wearing a swimming cap and washing it every time you have been for a swim.
Have a deep conditioning treatment
Give your hair a deep conditioning treatment once a week as this will prevent dryness, strengthen hair strands and provide extra nutrients which promote hair health.
And, visit your hairdresser on a regular basis
Arrange a monthly or 6 weekly appointment at your hairdresser to give your hair a professional grooming. This will deal with any potential problems as well as helping to maintain the condition of your hair.