When it comes to hair, I’m all over the place—I’ll grow it out and then decide out of nowhere to chop it off into a bob. I did that not too long ago, and decided that I really wanted to let it grow out. I love having long hair during the summer because my hair naturally waves and it makes getting ready so much easier and faster.
Honestly, I never thought too much about my hair until after having Owen. I thankfully didn’t experience too much hair loss, but still lost some. I noticed it most around the area where my face meets my hair. If you’ve had a baby, you know those annoying little baby frizzies that come in the first year! Mine are still growing out!
Since those are still pretty short, I’m aiming to be more consistent about practicing these healthy hair tips so that my hair grows healthier and stronger. Honestly, these are all things you might have heard, but when practiced consistently, they can make a big difference!
8 Healthy Hair Tips
1. Stress Less
This one is first because in my mind, it’s the most important! Did you know that stress and hair loss are often connected? The Mayo Clinic says that major stress can push lots of hair follicles into a resting phase. Then, within a few months, the hair from the affected follicles might suddenly fall out when combing or washing.
Maybe a good reason why a lot of us mamas lose considerable amounts of hair post-birth—hormones also play a role, but you can’t argue that giving birth is stressful for the body, even if it’s magical!
But, nowadays, we have busy, stressful lives, so much so that we sometimes don’t even realize we’re stressed! Taking time for yourself to practice self-care, exercise, get out in nature, meditate, or simply practice gratitude on a daily basis can be so beneficial to our stress levels and overall happiness!
Point in case, having less stress can help us all maintain healthy hair and help boost hair growth by avoiding this pattern!
2. Wash Less Often
I think we’ve all heard this one before, but there’s truth to it! Plus, washing your hair every day is time-consuming, no thanks! Depending on your hair type, you’ll have to decide how often works for you.
According to Lush, if you wash your hair too often, it can strip your hair of its natural oils, which leaves it brittle and more prone to damage.
If you’re like me and exercise regularly and feel like not washing it is not an option, try dry shampoo—I love Living Proof’s and Primally Pure’s (no aerosol can for this one #green)—or, rinse your hair with water or apply a little bit of conditioner, just don’t wash it! I aim for 3-4 times a week!
3. Use Better Products
I’ve noticed a big push in salons and from friends switching to safer, cleaner hair products that are free of sulfates, fragrance, and parabens among others. According to hims.com, sulfates (sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium dodecyl sulfate), a common foaming agent in products like shampoo can be very damaging to hair with repeated use. Yet another reason, these ingredients are on Beautycounter’s Never List, a list of 1500 potentially harmful ingredients we’ll never use in our products.
Repeated use of harsh ingredients like these can strip hair of natural oils, and can potentially cause damage to cells and hair proteins. No one wants to be left with dry hair!
A few months ago, I switched to this Daily Shampoo & Conditioner and I absolutely love them. You don’t need much as they’re pretty concentrated and you still get a nice lather that some natural shampoos don’t give you.
Personally, I don’t use hairspray, but if you do, make sure to avoid the ingredient ethanol as it can be very damaging to your hair!
4. Use Less Heat
I struggle with this one during the winter, but in the summer months, beachy air-dried waves are my go-to. I love to air dry my hair and only use a little bit of sea salt spray when I do this (I’ve got a whole tutorial here).
Based on NaturallyCurly.com, heat, especially high heat can damage our hair by dehydrating it, which can cause it to get brittle and break more easily. It can also damage the protein structure and even the pigment of our hair!
5. Protect your Heat
We can’t all air dry our hair, and sometimes heat is necessary! Whenever you’re using heat, try a heat protectant spray before you start drying, curling or straightening. I’ve questioned whether they actually work or not, but Lab Muffin showed me that they do work by evening out how the hair heats up, but they don’t protect it completely. So, you should still try to opt for less heat or lower heat whenever possible.
6. Do a Regular Hair Mask
This has been on my list for a while and I’m finally going to do it this weekend.
Unlike a conditioner or deep conditioner, which sits on the surface of your hair, a hair mask actually gets inside the hair cuticle according to this article. They can help to smooth and mend split ends, but can’t repair them completely (you’ll need a trim for that!). It can prevent further hair damage too.
If you don’t want to buy another product, try coconut oil, argan oil or olive oil in your hair. First, make sure your hair is washed and clean. Towel dry it and then massage your mask into your hair and let it sit for at least 20-30 minutes. Wash thoroughly again with shampoo to make sure you’ve removed it and enjoy that shiny, beautiful hair!
7. Be Gentle
I have a pretty tough head in my opinion, and remember yanking a brush through my tangly hair growing up. Now, I’m all about being gentle so that I don’t break or damage my hair as I’m brushing it.
In this CNN article, the debunk the myth that brushing a 100 strokes a day is beneficial, by stating that brushing too much can actually end up breaking your hair and causing more damage.
To avoid damage, I’ll often spray a detangler spray after I’ve towel dried my hair and then brush through it, starting at the bottom and working my way up.
8. Go Easy on the Hair Coloring
I had “virgin” hair up until college and since then, I’ve played around with color here and there. Currently, I get my hair balayaged—what can I say, I like being blonde, and sometimes think blondes really do have more fun, haha! What I like about balayage is that it’s very little maintenance. It’s designed to look natural as it grows out, which means I only go to the salon 2-3x a year, instead of every 4-6 weeks.
Coloring your hair lifts the hair cuticle, which causes damage immediately, according to The Cheat Sheet. It then uses peroxide to break down your natural pigment, causing further damage.
If you’re like me and don’t want to give up your color, try going less often to avoid more damage.
What healthy hair tips do you practice? Did I miss any that you would have added?!
If you like this “8 Healthy Hair Tips” post, also, check out how I air dry my hair, and 2 insanely easy hairstyles for when you have no time at all.