Unless you happen to be that person with the beautiful, perfect locks, you’ve probably envied the few who have somehow managed to maintain a gorgeous head of shiny, lustrous hair. If you’ve wondered how they do it, most likely they practice most, if not all, of these healthy habits.
Just as your diet affects your overall health, it also affects your hair. Eating a nutritious, balanced diet is essential for beautiful hair. Omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods like wild caught salmon are especially important. Your body is unable to make these fatty acids, which are needed to grow hair; they must be obtained from food.
Omega-3s are found in cell membranes of the skin of the scalp as well as in the natural oils that keep the scalp and hair hydrated, and in the hair shaft itself. Foods like walnuts, Swiss chard, spinach, eggs and Greek yogurt are also beneficial.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, as it helps to flush out toxins which can improve hair strength, and keep it healthy inside and out.
Exercise for better hair? It’s true! Regular physical activity is not only important for a strong, healthy body, but also for hair. It helps to increase oxygen in the blood, which circulates around the body and can increase hair growth by providing an extra boost of oxygen to hair follicles.
Shampoo hair every other day, or less frequently
One habit common to women with the most enviable hair is that they only shampoo every other day, or as infrequently as twice a week. Washing too often only serves to dry hair out. When you shampoo, avoid washing hair in really hot water, as it can cause it to lose its luster and bounce. During your final rinse, use a blast of cold water, which helps to close the hair cuticles so that light bounces off of them, making your hair extra shiny and lustrous.
Go easy on the brushing
Brushing too often can lead to breakage. Ideally, you should use only a comb to remove any knots just after washing. Never use a brush on wet hair, as this will almost always lead to breakage as well as flyaways. Not brushing your hair frequently also helps it to maintain volume. If you must brush when it’s dry, use only a natural fiber brush.
Let it dry naturally
Heat styling tools like blow dryers, curling and straightening irons are really hard on hair. Limit your blow dry time to once a week if possible, and if you have to do it more often, use a cool setting. If you’re in a hurry and don’t want to go out with a head of sopping-wet hair, dry it just a bit with a diffuser, but never completely dry.
Color infrequently or not at all
As you probably already know, conventional hair coloring products are not only toxic, but they can severely damage your hair. Unfortunately, most of us don’t really want to go grey (50 percent of us will have a full head of grey hair by the age of 50!) – even though women can look stunningly beautiful with silver or white hair. If you just aren’t ready for that yet, dye it as infrequently as possible and try to cover just the greys.
There are also some safer, non-toxic alternatives that will leave your hair looking and feeling better instead of worse. You can find them in our July 2013 article here: 22 Toxic Hair Product Ingredients and 3 Safe Alternatives.
-The Alternative Daily