You know you want it. You strive to attain it. But do you know what “healthy hair” really is, and how to achieve it?
Long flowing locks, crisp cuts, vibrant colour, no split ends, super shiny hair. All obvious indicators of healthy hair. But what you might think is conducive to healthy hair, may not always be the healthiest way of caring for your tresses long term.
In essence healthy hair is that which is in optimum condition, i.e. not stressed or suffering from damage, which may be caused by external factors such as processing (straightening, blow-drying), or internal (such as poor diet). The key to healthy hair, as well as healthy-looking hair, concerns your scalp almost as much as your hair, along with both your everyday care and maintenance as well as your styling and cutting habits.
Firstly, keep your hair clean. You remove dirt by washing your face much like daily shampooing cleanses the hair. Don’t believe the myth that frequent shampooing dries your hair, as with the correct products for your hair type it actually re-moisturizes it. Find the products to suit your hair type. And if you care for your hair, then care for your scalp. A healthy scalp will produce healthy hair. Try my Scalp Cleanse which stimulates the scalp to improve hair texture, and Wheat Treatment.
DHD’s top tip: Don’t use too much shampoo as this can cause the hair to dull, making it harder to achieve healthy looking shiny hair. So just add more water to increase lather, not more shampoo.
So shiny hair looks good and indicates that the hair is in good condition. Shiny hair is simply hair which effectively reflects the light- so the smoother the hair the better. Furthermore, darker hair better reflects light, so it will always be the case that it more easily produces extreme reflection and therefore shine. All conditioners help to smooth and flatten the hair’s cuticle, creating shine.
DHD’s top tip: Reduce static and frizz for added shine by using a conditioner daily, and occasionally a deep-conditioning treatment such as the Wheat Treatment pre-shampoo treatment. For coarse textured hair, a heavier weighted product such as its a ten will help smooth when blow-drying to get shine.
Length=health. Or does it? If your hair can reach half way down your back, you may think it epitomizes a healthy head of hair. But remember that the ends are going to be a few years old, so may not be in their best condition! In fact, shorter hair that is regularly trimmed may well look healthier. Using a super-moisturizing treatment like Wheat Treatment will help to nourish and moisturize hair of all types, and is especially great for long, dried-out weathered ends.
It is also important to bear in mind that hair length can only be improved to a certain point (through care for the hair, and diet), since there is a finite length to which everyone’s hair reaches, though this varies between individual due to the hair growth cycles.
With regards to split ends, there are products on the market that create a temporary glue effect, which gives the appearance of smoothed down, un-damaged hair. But does gluing your hair daily sound like it is healthy? Best to cut them off, and lay off the over-processing to prevent further damage.
DHD’s top tip: Whatever you read, whatever you do, you cannot cure a split end. The only way to get rid of them is to snip them off. If you don’t, you risk them getting higher up the hair shaft and causing more damage.
Having considered some of the key external influences of healthy hair, don’t forget the vital area that is often overlooked when discussing healthy hair. Many a time Trichologists at the Dubai Clinic have seen clients desperate to get healthier, longer and more lustrous hair. Often the cause is as simple as diet.
If you hair is thinning or weak, look first to your diet. Hair consists of protein. A common cause of thinning hair is a lack of dietary protein. The most important meals for protein are breakfast and lunch. First class proteins for hair are meat, fish, fowl, eggs and- to an extent- low-fat cottage cheese.
DHD’s top tip: Ensure you’re taking in enough protein. If not, consider a dietary supplement such as DHD’s Hair Food which will help improve your nails as well as your hair.