Do you ever watch those TV commercials for shampoos and conditioners and feel like your hair more closely resembles the model with dry, stringy strands rather than the beauty with shiny, luscious locks? Sometimes, it can seem that the pursuit of healthy hair is a never-ending battle with split ends and frizz.
Men and women alike can deal with less-than-healthy hair. A lot of factors can affect your hair, including your hormones and diet. You can’t control everything that goes into the way your hair looks and behaves, but there are some ways to support your hair health and give it a little more moisture and shine.
Try these tips to help make your hair a little more vibrant:
Feed your hair
Your hair needs a healthy diet as much as the rest of your body. If you want shiny, voluminous hair that grows well, start by giving it some nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, protein and vitamin B. Protein helps your hair grow, and fatty acids give it some shine. Vitamins like A, B and C keep your hair moisturized and strong. Eat fish and lean meats for protein, and fruits and vegetables for beneficial vitamins.
Relax a little
If you find that you are losing more hair than you should, you might need to reduce the stress in your life. When you are severely stressed, your hair might suffer as a result. Stress can cause large amounts of your hair to enter a resting phase and later fall out. It can also lead to the immune system attacking hair follicles, with the hair falling out as a result.
Stay out of the sun
Just as it hurts your skin, Spending too much time in the sun can damage your hair. Ultraviolet rays damage the cuticle that protects your hair, making the hair more dry and prone to breakage. If you have light or fine hair, you have a higher chance of having sun-damaged hair. Protect your hair by staying out of the sun during peak hours and wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
Wash your hair less
Should you wash your hair every day, every other day, or once a week? The answer varies from person to person, but washing too often can be detrimental to your hair health. Washing too much dries out your hair, which makes it more likely to break. How often you should wash depends on your age, hair type, activity level and other factors. Watch for dry hair and scalp as a sign that you may be washing too much.
Change your hairstyle
Does your hair ever feel uncomfortably tight when you’re done styling it? If so, your ‘do might be damaging your locks. Putting your hair in a ponytail once in a while is fine, but pulling your hair tight every day could eventually lead to hair loss. Avoid using hairstyles frequently that put tension on your scalp, like ponytails, buns, or even weaves and extensions. Give your hair a break so your scalp can relax.
Visit the doctor
When your hair is falling out more than usual, it could be a sign that something is going on with your overall health. If you don’t know why your hair is falling out, it is important to talk to a doctor to figure out what is going on. Your hair loss could be occurring as a side effect of a medicine you are taking, or even a serious medical condition.
“The way your hair looks and feels often has more to do with your overall well-being than you might realize,” says Cynthia Oliva, director of nursing at Cedar Crest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. “Maintaining underlying medical conditions will not only keep your body healthy, but it could benefit your hair as well.”
Getting your hair from a dry, frizzy mess to a lustrous mane can take some work, and you may need a doctor’s help to get there. Start by eating a healthy diet, being gentle with your locks and protecting your strands from the sun.
A version of this article was published by The Daily Herald. It has been republished here with permission.