For most of my life I switched up my hair care routine and products depending on which season I was in. However, once I changed my routine to include these 10 habits, my hair stayed healthy and manageable all year around! Like the saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Our hair can be temperamental like the weather but there are many solutions that will help maintain healthy, well-tamed hair. Here are 10 ways to keep hair healthy during any season.
1. Eat More Healthy Fats and Protein – Healthy fats are essentially vitamins for our hair. Coconut, avocado, nuts, seeds and oily fish (if you aren’t vegan) are great for providing essential fatty acids to your hair to strengthen it from the inside out. In fact, you can tell if you are deficient in essential fatty acids if your hair breaks easily, you suffer from hair loss, and/or if your hair lacks luster. Eating more protein will also strengthen hair because protein is made up of Amino Acids which are the building blocks for our cells and tissue. If your hair is brittle and weak, increase your daily protein intake by eating more legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, fish, lean meats, tofu and tempeh.
Read 5 Ingredients Known to Improve Skin and Hair (you can eat them too)
2. Always Use Heat Protectant – Repeat, ALWAYS USE HEAT PROTECTANT when styling hair with high heat. Just think about it the same way as using sunblock to protect skin from damaging sun rays. Heat Protectants replenish moisture by forming a protective barrier that reduces moisture loss when heat is applied to hair. It also works to smooth the cuticle making hair tame and soft. Here is my favorite heat protectant which protects and smooths hair with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and Moringa Oil.
3. Regular Use of a Hair Mask – Hair masks are a must for deeply conditioning hair. Hair masks using natural oils like coconut, avocado, and olive oils as well as lemon, honey, oatmeal and aloe vera are excellent ways to moisturize the scalp and prevent dryness and dandruff. Using a hair mask regularly (2X a month) can repair split ends, reduce frizz and make hair silky and smooth. Check out our DIY Natural Hair Mask Recipes and our favorite hair mask for purchase.
4. Use Hair Oil – Using hair oil to make hair healthy and beautiful dates back thousands of years. Oils naturally soften and condition hair and protect against moisture loss. Hair is hydrated from the inside out which creates a healthy shine. Our scalp produces oil that spreads from the root to the tip which protects each strand however, using an oil from the middle of your hair to the tip can provide extra protection to dull, dry hair.
5. Do a Weekly Hair Rinse – Hair that has an unbalanced sebum (oil from scalp) pH level can cause hair loss, dullness, and weak/brittle hair. Using a hair rinse containing Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) mimics the healthy, natural sebum pH level and can restore hair to a optimal pH level by regularly rinsing with a part ACV/part water recipe. ACV also has potent antimicrobial qualities that kill bacteria and fungus which is a common cause of dandruff and hair loss. Check out our DIY ACV Hair Strengthening, Conditioning and Growth Recipe. We love this ACV and stock up on bottles for the kitchen and bathroom!
6. Don’t Over-wash Your Hair – Our hair needs to retain natural oils to protect it. Over washing can strip hair of natural oils and can create dry, frizzy hair. Increasing time between hair washes can protect hair from natural oil loss. If roots get oily, you can apply a dry shampoo to the scalp without touching the rest of your hair.
7. Get Regular Haircuts – Getting regular trims (every ~12 weeks) supports the growth of healthy hair. Haircuts get rid of split ends that weaken hair and hinder growth. Trimming hair on a regular basis will keep hair healthy as it grows.
8. Avoid Harsh Chemicals – The use of chemicals in hair products can damage hair at the cellular level. Harsh ingredients including, parabens, sodium laurel/laureth sulfate (SLS), alcohol, glycols, etc. strip your hair of moisture, breakdown hair proteins and can lead to severe damage and hair loss. The worst culprits can even cause health problems. Choosing the best natural hair products that are free from sulfates and other harsh chemicals will support a healthy head of hair. We love these shampoo and conditioner combo's! Read The Ingredient Watch List for Hair
9. Use a Wide Tooth Comb on Wet Hair – Combing your wet hair with a wide tooth comb can protect hair from the damage caused by using harsher brushes. Wet hair is easier to comb through which prevents excess breakage than brushing dry hair. Leave a comb in the shower and comb hair after rinsing.
10. Use a Leave-in Conditioner with Argan Oil – The benefits of using a leave-in conditioner include moisturizing, detangling, and protecting hair. Leave-in conditioner acts a barrier against heat and protects hair from environmental damage. It also makes hair more manageable for styling, adds more luster and reduces frizz. Argan oil is high in vitamin E and essential fatty acids which deeply hydrates and conditions hair. Argan oil has been proven to make hair softer, silkier and shinier and treats split ends.
Using these 10 healthy hair strategies will support the growth and maintenance of a healthy head of hair. My hair is as original as it gets, no color or perms, and I have found the products above to be the best hair products for natural hair.