How healthy is your hair? Are you sporting tresses that would look at home in a glossy magazine or are you suffering from dry, brittle hair that’s loaded with static courtesy of your favorite winter hat and all those lovely woolly winter jumpers?
At this time of year, most of us are probably closer to the latter. But with so much emphasis on New Year’s resolutions at the start of the year, there’s plenty of scope to boost your hair’s wellbeing. As such, when you’re thinking about ways to get fit and healthy, don’t forget to make your hair health a priority as well as your body.
Bad hair habits that are easy to kick
The way that you care for and style your hair on a daily basis can have a major impact on its overall condition. According to a recent survey from All Things Hair, 15.67% of people style without heat protection, while 15.67% also confessed to washing their hair too often. These are very easy hair habits to break. Going an extra day in between washes and investing in a bottle of heat protection spray can make a surprising difference when it comes to the overall health of your hair.
These two simple steps can leave you with stronger and glossier hair with minimal effort and minimal expense. If you haven’t used one before, it’s worth experimenting with dry shampoo in between washes, particularly if you have naturally oily hair. Doing so can keep the oil under control while keeping your hair looking lovely until the next wash. Cutting down on the amount of water that you use for washing your hair can also benefit the planet, so you can feel good about your improved environmental impact as well as the condition of your locks.
The same survey found that 13.67% of people go to sleep with wet hair. Doing so can result in broken strands and increases your risk of fungal infection and bacteria build-up. Yuck. It can also tangle your hair more than sleeping with dry hair can, which means you will then need to perform additional styling in the morning to sort it out. Thankfully, this is an easy habit to break, simply through a change of routine.
Good hair habits to introduce
As well as kicking any bad habits, there are some simple good habits you can introduce when it comes to boosting the wellbeing of your hair. Even something as simple as patting your hair dry with a towel when you jump out of the shower, instead of rubbing at it vigorously and risking breakage, can make a difference.
Let’s start by talking about heat styling. Whether you’re using a blow dryer, curling irons, a straightener or any other means of applying heat to your hair to dry and style it, you are damaging your hair. Being realistic, you may need to use some heat to achieve the style that you want but that doesn’t mean you can’t try to minimise the damage.
If you plan to curl your hair, for example, then let it dry naturally first. Don’t put it through the trauma of blow drying it on a hot setting and then using heat to curl it too. The same applies if you’re straightening your hair – let it dry naturally before you straighten. And if there are days when it really doesn’t matter whether your hair is straight, curly or anywhere in between, just let it air dry and embrace the beauty of your natural look.
It’s also worth considering the products that you use to wash and condition your hair. Experimenting with different products until you find those that work best with your hair is key to boosting its long-term wellbeing. This applies to the shampoo and the conditioner that you use. Remember there’s nothing to say that you need to use the same brand for each, so have some fun with trialling different products and seeing what difference they make to how strong, soft and glossy your hair ends up.
A weekly hair mask is also a must. In the winter, this can do much to nourish hair that has become dry as a result of the colder air, while in the summer months it can help to protect your hair against harmful UVA and UVB rays. For your hair mask – and your regular shampoo and conditioner too, for that matter – you might find that different products work best at different times of the year.
In the winter, for example, hair is more prone to appearing greasy and may be more at risk of conditions such as dandruff flaring up as well. The warm environment around your scalp that is created by wearing a woolly hat or hood during colder weather is to blame for this. Before you ditch your hat and end up with a cold head, however, experiment with different products. You should be able to find a haircare routine that protects the health of your scalp and the health and appearance of your hair with a bit of experimentation.
Trim, trim and trim again
How healthy your hair is can have a significant impact on your overall wellbeing. Consider how many times a day you pass a mirror. If each time you look in that mirror you are happy with your appearance, you will likely feel more positive generally than if looking in the mirror instead makes you recoil in horror at the state of your locks.
One simple way to keep your hair looking its best is to trim it regularly. If you’re a dab hand with a pair of hairdressing scissors, you can do so at home. However, if you’re not confident enough to cut your own hair, head to the salon regularly to keep it in tip top condition. Doing so will boost the wellbeing of your hair, which can positively impact your mood. You could also opt for a head massage, a conditioning treatment or both while at the salon to enhance the condition of your hair and leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.