I love big, fluffy, hair.
And in the past few years I have learned a couple of tricks to keeping my hair long and healthy. But even an expert will benefit from more knowledge, so I tracked down the 10 best tips for healthy, beautiful hair. Although I may not practice all of them (I will never stop teasing my hair) some of these tips are even backed up by doctors. If you want great hair, here’s how you can get started:
1. Stop Washing it So Much
Washing your hair every day dries it out and strips it of its natural oils. Some dirt is OK. “Hair produces natural oil called sebum, and shampoo is an emulsifier that captures and traps excess oil, dirt, and product residue, which you then rinse out to clean the hair,” Angela Lamb, MD, said.
2. Use Coconut Oil
Coconut oil provides added moisture, which will make your hair luscious, strong, and soft. It also fights against insect bites, lice, and dandruff. Start by combing your hair and then dampen it with warm water. Massage the oil into the scalp, leave it overnight, and then wash it out with shampoo in the morning.
3. Avoid Certain Hair Care Products
Avoid silicones, sulfates, and alcohols in your shampoo and conditioner. This can be tricky because most shampoos contain silicone and sulfates. These ingredients actually dry out your hair and can weigh it down.
4. Don’t Brush Wet Hair
One of the biggest causes of breakage is combing your hair when it is wet. Wait for it to dry and then comb through it.
5. Rinse and Condition In Cold Water
Rinsing with cold water closes the cuticles and seals the moisture in each strand. Some call this the holy grail of hair washing
6. Don’t Over-Apply Heat On Hair
Heated styling tools can leave hair feeling dry, dull, and prone to breakage. It’s important to hydrate and protect strands before using heat tools on it, so put a few drops of oil on wet hair to protect from damage.
7. Wear Your Hair Down More Than Up
Tight hairstyles can cause hair loss due to too much tension. Pain means it’s too tight. Wear your hair loose to reduce the amount of tension on your scalp.
8. Avoid Teasing Your Hair
My co-worker, Danielle Teigen, and I disagree with this tip—bigger is always better (in terms of beautiful hair), but in terms of healthy hair, teasing can cause breakage. If you must tease your hair make sure you’re using the proper products and not just your natural oils.
9. Eat Enough Protein
Your hair is primarily made of protein and amino acids. Eating protein strengthens and repairs your hair. “Iron and protein are really important for hair health. We always try to make sure people get adequate protein for whatever they’re lifestyle is. If they’re sedentary, they don’t need as much. If they’re active, they need more,” said Roopal V. Kundu, MD of Dermatology.
10. Wait a While to Dry Hair After Showering
Drying your hair immediately after you get out of the shower is not the most effective approach because it takes longer to dry and you’re exposing it to too much heat. Let your hair air dry for a few minutes and then blow dry it.