Small changes to improve and protect hair

Princess Beauty Corner: A “royal” take on healthy and beauty

By Princess Gabbara | THE EASTERN ECHO

Do you dream of having beautiful, healthy hair? Who doesn’t? Whether we realize it or not, the little things we do on a daily basis can have a major effect on the overall health of our hair. Over styling and lack of care can take their toll over a period of time.

Here are some helpful tips for maintaining healthy hair:

Healthy Diet

 For healthy hair, you should follow a healthy diet. Don’t depend on dietary supplements to replace key nutrients. Try to get nutrients from foods whenever you can. According to WebMD.com, there are 10 foods believed to promote healthy hair: salmon, dark green vegetables, beans, nuts, poultry, eggs, whole grains, oysters, low-fat dairy products and carrots. These foods provide a good source of calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, protein and vitamins A, B-7 (biotin), B-12 and C.

Calcium promotes hair growth, omega-3 fatty acids promote a healthy scalp, iron prevents hair loss and zinc prevents hair shedding. Protein prevents loss of hair color, vitamins B-7 and B-12 also prevent hair loss and loss of hair color and vitamins A and C produce sebum, an oily substance that acts as a natural hair conditioner.

Trim Split Ends

On average, hair grows about ¼-½ inch each month. That ¼-½ inch of hair is old, which means it’s more likely to be damaged compared to the rest of the hair. To maintain healthy hair, it’s important to trim your split ends every 6-8 weeks. If your hair is processed, you might want to trim it every six weeks since it’s more susceptible to damage. If your hair hasn’t been processed, then trimming it every eight weeks should be fine. If you have short hair, you might have to cut it more often (4-6 weeks) to maintain the style. Trimming your hair often is necessary to keep it healthy.

Heat Protectant

Are you guilty of blow drying or flat ironing your hair without using a heat protectant? If so, you could be causing some serious damage to your hair. Styling devices can reach up to 450 degrees, so it’s important to take the necessary precautions when it comes to styling your hair.

Not all heat protectants are created equal. That means a heat protectant formulated for the flat iron won’t protect your hair against the blow dryer and vice versa. You’ll need two different types of heat protectants. Typically, heat protectants formulated for the flat iron are in the form of a spray, and heat protectants formulated for the blow dryer are in the form of a serum. Skipping a heat protectant during the styling process could cause major damage to your hair.

Hair Mask

Use a hair mask to revitalize your hair in between visits to the salon. A hair mask is essentially a deep conditioner that you leave in your hair for about 15-20 minutes. It adds moisture and shine back into your hair. For the best results, apply once a week after shampooing your hair. Many people find applying the mask once a month is enough. Remember, some hair masks are protein-based, so using it too often can cause your hair to become brittle and break off. Hair masks are a great way to restore your hair, especially if your hair is processed or if you use heat appliances on a daily basis.

Comb Your Hair

Be gentle while combing your hair on a daily basis. Raking through the hair can cause friction, which can lead to breakage and more split ends. When combing through your hair, divide it into small sections and comb it starting from the bottom and working your way up to the roots. Take extra caution while combing your hair when it’s wet since the hair is most delicate during this time. Be sure to use a wide tooth comb while doing so. Many of us don’t realize combing our hair the wrong way can cause a lot of damage.

Note: Since everyone has different hair types and concerns, I didn’t recommend specific products. However, I’d suggest meeting with a professional hair stylist to find products that work best for you.


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