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20 Tips for Healthy Hair

From scalp-soothing shampoos to frizz-fighting formulations, instant-volume blow-dry tips to super-pampering salon treatments, here’s our guide to restoring healthy shine to your crowning glory.

 

1. Seek professional help – Most hair loss conditions can be treated.

2. Load up on protein-rich foodsYour hair is 95% protein (the rest is water), so a diet that’s high in protein helps.

3. Choose a shampoo that suits your scalp condition – Poor scalp care can lead to clogged pores, leaving your scalp oily, itchy and vulnerable to dandruff.

4. Get your hair checked – If you are losing more than 100 strands of hair a day for one or two weeks, it may be necessary to consult a dermatologist.

5. Dry your hair before bedWhen water accumulates on hair, the hair shaft can swell and become porous, making it prone to damage. Also, as damp hair forms and dries into tangles and knots, breakage can occur. Damp hair in a warm environment can become a hotbed for bacteria already present on pillows and bedding, which eventually gives rise to dandruff and hair loss.

6. Establish a hair care regimen, even when expecting – Some mothers experience substantial hair loss up to six months after delivery.

7. Schedule regular cutsIf you have short hair, get a trim every one and a half months to maintain the shape and style. For long hair, three months between appointments is fine.

8. Allow hair to dry naturallyExcessive heat can weaken your hair, especially if it’s coloured. Blow-drying removes moisture from hair and can cause hair cuticles to become dry and brittle. If you must, work quickly with styling tools – keep the curling iron to three seconds or less for each section of hair. And when blow-drying, aim the nozzle downwards on the hair shaft – this flattens and smoothens hair cuticles, allowing them to reflect more light and appear shinier and healthier.

9. Have a deep treatmentConditioners, masks and other leave-in products can hydrate and soften tresses, but for longer-lasting benefits, salon treatments work best.

10. Shield your strands from the sunUV exposure can discolour your hair and leave it more brittle. Wear a hat or style your hair with products that offer UV protection when going under the sun.

11. Shampoo every day Given Singapore’s warm and humid weather, sebum and dirt accumulate easily and quickly in skin cells.

12. Switch to cool waterHot water can leave hair limp and slack. When used on coloured hair, hot water not only dehydrates hair but speeds up colour loss. So while warm water is preferred for a more effective lather and shampoo,use cold water during the final rinse – it seals your hair cuticles and imparts more shine.

13. Keep scalp healthy with a massage – During shampooing or rinsing, massage your head using your fingertips. These circular motions increase blood flow to the scalp, delivering nutrients to your hair follicles more quickly.

14. Clean your hairbrushesStray hairs and styling product can build up on the bristles of your hairbrush, which can easily be transferred onto your scalp and strands during brushing. As a general rule of thumb, wash your hairbrushes every week.

15. Change the way you style your hair If you keep your hair in a ponytail, for example, avoid pulling it into the same spot every day to minimize breakage. As strands weaken, they can break and leave you with flyaways. If you love this season’s romantic braided styles, refrain from pulling hair too tightly to avoid damaging it. Instead, try tucking hair into loose braids to create soft waves instantly.

16. Remember, less is more Hair can feel heavy and look greasy when you overdose on styling products. To avoid using more than necessary, rub the product in your hands first instead of applying it directly on hair.

17. Replenish moistureIf your hair is dry, it is likely to become frizzy. To rehydrate it, apply a few drops of serum on hair before brushing. Serums are usually made with silk protein to help moisture bind to hair, boost volume and improve manageability.

18. Use the right pillowcase – Satin is best but 600 thread-count Egyptian cotton pillowcases also do a credible job of keeping your tresses in tip-top condition. These cause less friction than regular cotton ones so your hair is less likely to break when you toss and turn during slumber.

19. Brush. Brush. Brush.Brushing your hair boosts blood circulation in the scalp and ensures more efficient delivery of nutrients to the follicles. The healthier your follicles, the healthier your hair will appear. Start several inches from the hair ends, and work your way up the shaft, using fingers to gently detangle any knots along the way. However, when hair is wet, use a wide-toothed comb instead of a brush as hair is more fragile and will snap easily when force is applied.

20. Pump up the volumeA buoyant mane always looks youthful. To create additional volume in a flash, blow dry wet hair upside down to redirect the root. Got extra minutes to spare? Spritz on a volumising product.

 

…or you could see a professional. Try these amazing salons.

 

By Mary Lim, Simply Her, May 2015

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