Healthy tresses

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Simple tips to inject bounce and health into your hair

Weather, UV rays, and an indulgence in hair products can cause breakage or hair loss over time. Ageing too can contribute to hair loss, turn our head to mane to grey, and cause hair to look and feel listless.

Whether we like it or not, our hair can determine confidence in our appearance. You may don your fail-proof dress but if your hair is a heap of mess, you wouldn’t feel good; emotions often get to our head and there goes the rest of your day.

Some women are experienced stylists, spending time and money at home, preening their hair. While others are the natural, brush-and-go type. Whichever type are you, effort to take care of your hair is still needed. For as we age, our hair conditions also change, and the usual routine you use might not work as well anymore. We look at ways we can ensure our tresses stay healthy over time.

Clean it well

Whether you wash your hair every day or every few days, make sure you do a good job out of it. Perfunctory washes will not do. When it comes to washing, water and shampoo is still the best choice. Dry shampoo may work during emergencies but it may cause residue and dirt build-up. Only by washing your hair with water and shampoo can you prevent the build-up of chemicals, grime, and oil, the common causes of hair breakage and hair loss.

Go easy on the comb

We want to keep our hair on our heads the more we age because it just gets thinner and lesser. Combing our hair when it is wet is not going to help. Leave the hair till it’s dry before running the comb through it. And consider getting a wide comb instead of brush and go easy when combing.

Go for regular trims

Schedule regular appointments at your hairdresser’s. You may be growing out your hair but still go for the trim because cutting your hair actually helps to inject some bounce (and life) into those locks; especially uplifting to those who are thinning at the top. Also, trimming helps to get rid of spilt ends that crop up silently over time.

Work in a massage

Just as your body would benefit from a massage –- it helps to loosen your muscles and release tension –- a scalp massage works in exactly the same way. A scalp massage can also stimulate circulation, great for encouraging hair growth. You don’t have to go to the salon for a massage. Doing it at home each time you wash your hair helps. Or purchase a scalp massage shampoo brush if you like.

Don’t skip the conditioner

Hair gets fizzy and rough if we don’t properly condition our hair. It doesn’t take a long time to see the effects actually. All it takes is a few weeks and your hair can feel like strands of straw. Condition your hair every time you wash. Consider using a leave-in conditioner for best results. And always condition the ends, leaving the scalp alone.

Avoid heat

Hot water can dehydrate follicles, causing dry and brittle hair. Dry and brittle hair can easily be tugged off, leaving you with fewer precious strands on top. Don’t go for hot showers but instead opt for warm and cool ones instead.

The same applies to hair tooling products such as blow dryers, curlers and straighteners. These products deplete the hair’s natural oils, causing them to be dry and brittle easily. Avoid using these regularly and if you do use them, apply heat protectants on. Many styling products come with heat protection among many other properties.

Use SPF

When you walk out to lunch, the brunt of the sun rays is actually on your head and face. These are the areas that are affected the most. Just as you’d use SPF on your face, neck, and body, you should also consider using SPF on your hair. If you style your hair, get styling products with SPF properties. Or consider buying a SPF-packed leave-in conditioner if you wash your hair in the mornings. Too many products? Make sure then that you cover your tresses with a brolly during work or put on an UV hat if you’re under the sun during the weekends.

Exfoliate your scalp

Our scalp, just like our skin, can accumulate sebum and dead skin cells. This is when our scalp gets oily and when flaking occurs. Exfoliating the scalp will also clear away the sebum and dead skin cells for nutrients to pass through, making the products you use for the hair, more effective. To exfoliate, consider exfoliating shampoos or hair masks. Or get an exfoliating scalp massage brush for best results. When exfoliating the scalp, be gentle and do it every two weeks for a start.

Over-dose of chemicals

Hair styling products serve their purpose of holding the hair in shape. But some hair sprays may contain chemicals that dry your hair, causing breakage when you comb through them. Hence, opt for styling products that keep some degree of moisture to your hair. Similarly, hair dyes could comprise a lot of chemicals too. Try to limit the number of dye jobs otherwise you might want to consider organic hair dyes, available in some salons.

Take a look at birth control

If you’re taking oral contraceptives, you might be susceptible to hair loss gradually. That really depends on the type of pills you are being prescribed. Women with hair loss might want to check with their doctors before continuing.

Protein eats

Your body also works to maintain the health of your tresses. Eat badly and everywhere else shows, not just your face but body and hair. Have a balanced healthy meal that is rich in lean protein. Feed on salmon and walnuts; both are also good sources of omega 3-acids. Spinach, eggs, and fruits rich in vitamin C are also beneficial in keeping your locks healthy and bouncy.

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