By Julie Williamson
I had a friend in college who had long hair. She told me that when she washed her hair, she shampooed twice – once with the shampoo concentrated on the scalp, and once with another dollop of shampoo concentrated on the length and ends. I was puzzled by this process. I thought concentrating shampoo on the scalp was all that was necessary, as that’s where the oil is. Turns out, I was right! That tip, along with some others, will help keep your hair – whether it’s long or short – looking healthy and lustrous.
- Shampoo Goes on the Scalp
Your scalp has glands that secrete an oily substance called sebum. Sebum is a natural moisturizer that keeps your skin and hair moisturized. Thick or curly hair might have dry-looking ends, as it’s harder for the sebum to travel down the hair shaft. Fine or straight hair tends to look oiler.
If you feel your hair is looking a bit too oily, it’s okay to wash it daily as long as you use a quality shampoo formulated for your hair type. Cheap shampoos can dry your scalp, which may actually cause it to overproduce oil, but a good shampoo used daily can help reduce oil. Concentrate the shampoo on the scalp, where the sebum is produced, and give your scalp a good massage. When you rinse, the shampoo will flow through the rest of your hair and give that a good cleansing, too.
- Conditioner Goes on the Ends
Take the opposite approach here. Your scalp doesn’t need any more moisture, as it already produces moisturizing sebum. But if your ends are looking a bit fried, use a good conditioner and concentrate it on the length and ends of your hair. You can use a regular conditioner that rinses out or a leave-in conditioning balm or spray. Leave-ins are sometimes easier for targeting dry trouble spots.
- Keep a Cool Head
The hair shaft has an outer protective layer called the cuticle. Take a strand of hair between your fingers and run your fingers up the hair instead of down. That roughness you feel is the cuticle. When this cuticle gets roughed up by chemical treatments or environmental damage, your hair can look bushy and frizzed. Rinsing your hair in cool water will help flatten and seal this cuticle, leaving your hair looking smoother and shinier.
- If You Can’t Stand the Heat...
Heat can dry out your hair and weaken the hair strands. If your hair is looking damaged from daily blow-drying and curling irons, consider going heatless for a while until your hair recovers. Or change up your hairstyle completely and get a cut that’s natural and effortless. There are some hairstyles that look great with a simple wash and go!
- Trim Those Ends
Dry, split ends can make your hair look not so great overall. If you fear your head is looking like a tumbleweed, trim off that damage. Getting your hair trimmed every 6 to 10 weeks will make your hair look healthier overall. Plus, it helps maintain your desired hairstyle.
- Eat Your Way to Healthier Hair
As with all things health, our diet can affect our hair. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to brittle, breakable, dull-looking hair, and can even contribute to thinning and increased shedding. Protein, omegas, and zinc are great for hair health, so be sure you’re eating things like nuts, avocado, and yogurt.
Trying a supplement with biotin, keratin, and zinc can also help. The problem? These ingredients – particularly keratin – aren’t always bioavailable, so if you’re looking for a hair supplement, be sure to read up on the bioavailability of the ingredients.
Hair Regeneres contains crucial nutrients to help regrow thicker, fuller hair, lashes, and brows. It includes a hair regrowth complex with bioavailable keratin plus vitamins and minerals for a formula that regrows thicker, stronger hair, improves hair brightness and luster, and reduces breakage.*‡ You can learn more about it here.
‡Due to hair loss associated with aging.