Soft and smooth locks: Tips to nourish your hair
No matter if your hair is straight or curly, thick or thin, you can get soft, smooth, manageable locks. Follow these tips to nourish your hair and leave it shiny, healthy and beautiful.
Skip a day between shampoos
Unless your hair is oily, you can usually wash it every other day, rather than daily. Skipping a day between shampoos can help to avoid stripping your hair of its natural oils. Though it might seem "dirty" to you, you'll find your hair looks and feels healthier when you stop washing it every day. If you hair is dry, you should continue to condition it every day in the shower.
What you eat can definitely affect the condition of your hair. Be sure to include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Omega-3 is needed to maintain a healthy scalp. And when you have a dry scalp, you hair also looks dull and dry. You can get plenty of omega-3 from ground flaxseed and fatty fish -- like salmon, sardines and mackerel. Additionally, your body needs vitamins A and C to produce sebum. Sebum is what keeps your hair shiny and nourished. It's an oily substance that is secreted by the hair follicles. Choose green veggies like broccoli, chard and spinach, along with brightly colored fruits that are rich in vitamins A and C and other antioxidants. Protein-rich foods, as well as those that contain biotin, zinc and iron, are also important to keep your hair nourished and healthy.
Turn off the heat
Nothing zaps the life out of your hair like the heat. Put down your blow-dryer, flat iron and other heated styling tools. Allow your hair to dry naturally whenever possible. If you need to blow-dry your hair, blot (don't rub) the excess water out. Then use your dryer on low heat for a very brief time. It's also important to keep your hair and scalp protected from the sun. Wear a hat or scarf if you are going to be outdoors for extended periods of time. Most people wear sunscreen for their skin and sunglasses for their eyes, but forget about their hair.
Read more about how to protect your hair from sun damage >>
Use natural hair color
Chemical dyes and processes can damage your hair. Instead of using chemical hair color, try natural methods instead. Many women find that henna nourishes the hair while giving it a natural, healthy color. A brewed coffee rinse can hide gray hair in brunettes. Honey can add natural highlights to blonde hair and nourish your hair too. If you are buying hair color from a box, look for products that contain natural ingredients.
To keep your hair healthy, don't dye it more than two shades lighter than your natural color. Bleaching or going lighter can cause damage to the hair, leaving it looking dull and wiry.