This is a continuation of my Hair Health post. You can see part 1 here.
Keeping your hair healthy can be tricky. If you have a stressful event, or unbalanced hormones, or a period of time when you’re not getting proper nutrition, there are things you can do to get back on track.
None of these things will be quick solutions. It takes several months to see changes – so why not start today!
1. AVOID HOT WATER/EXCESS HEAT ON HAIR
Never put scalding hot water on your hair. It’s fragile and vulnerable when wet, and hot water can and will cause damage. Warm water is ok before shampooing as it helps open the hair’s cuticles. When you rinse though, use cool water to be gentle, close the cuticles, and seal in moisture.
To go along with this, also be careful not to use too much heat through dryers or curling/straightening irons. If you do, it helps to use a heat-protectant.
2. DON’T BLEACH IT
This one may seem obvious. If your hair is in a very delicate state or has been falling out, bleaching is the last thing you should be doing to it. Even with “gentle” bleaching methods you’re still doing damage to it. Until it’s in a stronger state, bleaching will only make your battle back toward luscious hair harder.
3. EAT AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET/TAKE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SUPPLEMENTS
Inflammation in the body is the underlying cause of a lot of modern health problems. Acute inflammation following an injury is natural and helpful to your body, but chronic low-grade inflammation can lead to problems such as cancer, diabetes, hair loss, etc.
It’s also important to eat a wide variety of foods.
Some great anti-inflammatory foods to eat: fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, superfoods, apple-cider vinegar, seaweed
Inflammatory foods to avoid: meat, fish, dairy, processed soy, processed sugar, fried foods
Supplements: curcumin, omega supplements
4. MAKE SURE YOU GET ENOUGH PROTEIN & IRON IN YOUR DIET
Protein and Iron are essentially in building and maintaining strong, healthy hair. Iron deficiency is more common in women, so we have to be mindful to get proper amounts through our diet or through diet and supplements. Protein is essential to the health of basically every process in your body. When you don’t get enough, your body rations it. Without enough protein in your diet, a large number of strands may enter the resting phase of the cycle, and loss can result.
5. COMB HAIR BEFORE YOUR SHOWER/BATH (FOR LONG HAIR)
As mentioned above, hair is in a fragile and easily-damageable state when it’s wet. Pulling on it when it’s wet makes it easy to break. So a good solution is to comb through PRE-shower. Get the knots and kinks out when it’s in a less vulnerable state. After you wash your it, if you need to you can gently run a wide-toothed comb or brush through it.
6. TAKE A BIOTIN SUPPLEMENT
Biotin, one of the B-vitamins, is especially useful for hair, skin and nail health. There is debate about how much biotin helps and how much one should take. My dermatologist told me I could safely take 5,000 mcgs while building my hair back up. But you should check with your doctor to see what they recommend for you.
Hang upside down – this brings blood-flow to your head which increases circulation in your scalp.
Eat more foods that help build collagen/take collagen supplements – collagen is one of the most important building blocks in the body, especially for skin and hair. As a vegan, one can’t buy a fully vegan collagen supplement, but we can get collagen-building supplements such as this one that I use.
Take a supplement with MSM – helps your body build collagen, reduces inflammation.
What else have you found helps your hair health? You can let us know in the comments below!
*I am not a doctor, dermatologist or nutritionist. These are my findings, which I hope can be beneficial to you.