Short or long, straight or curly, dry, oily, or somewhere in between, we typically care a lot about our hair. We also want to manage it responsibly and naturally, while at the same time, we often don’t have a lot of time. So how can you love your hair naturally in the most efficient and effective ways?
Best Natural Hair Care Tips
When to wash. Are you overwashing your hair? No more than twice a week is recommended if you have very dry hair and scalp. If you sport an oily scalp, every other day should be sufficient.
What to use. Most traditional shampoos on the market are chemical experiments, and your hair is the test specimen. Use chemical-free shampoos—those without parabens, sulfates, and other harsh ingredients that can damage your hair, irritate your scalp, and increase your risk of hormone imbalance, like artificial fragrances and colors. Also, wash and rinse your hair with lukewarm or cool water. Hot water can remove protective oils from your hair.
Brush your hair. Do you believe in the old adage about brushing your hair 100 strokes daily? Well, don’t. Although it’s normal to lose about 50 to 100 hairs daily, you want to minimize hair loss at the same time. Brush just enough to redistribute oils, remove dirt, or style your hair. Use a boar bristle brush and brush your hair before shampooing to remove dirt and loose hair, and never brush wet hair.
Condition properly. Choose an all-natural conditioner and apply it to the tips of your hair only—not your scalp. Thoroughly rinse out conditioner after use.
Stay loose. If you like to wear braids, ponytails, and buns, be sure they aren’t real tight, as this can cause hair breakage and root damage. Leave your hair a bit loose at the scalp. Hair extensions can also take a toll on your hair, so take a break every few months.
Forego the blow. The heat from hair dryers, straighteners, and curling irons damage your hair. Dry your hair naturally, or use a towel to gently rub it dry after shampooing to help preserve your hair cuticles. But don’t be a wet head! Don’t go to bed with wet hair; shampoo with adequate time before retiring for your hair to dry.
Sleep on a silk pillowcase. Sleeping on a silk pillowcase can help your hair and skin stay healthy and smooth and can help reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles. It creates less friction with the hair and less damage.
Use natural oils. If you oil and massage your hair and scalp, choose natural oils such as coconut, olive, almond, or sesame. The use of natural oils on your hair promotes hair growth, fixes split ends and moisturizes. You can use oil before shampooing. You may want to pamper your hair by wrapping your head in a towel after applying the oil and letting the oil better work into your hair. Keep the towel on for 10 to 15 minutes.
Go wide. After you wash your hair, use a wide-toothed comb to brush your hair. This helps reduce hair breakage.
Get trimmed. A great way to help eliminate split ends is to get your hair trimmed every six to eight weeks. Trimming helps keep your hair healthy.
Feed your hair. Hair is composed of amino acids and proteins, and some of the best foods to feed your hair properly include salmon and other fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as tuna, mackerel, and herring. Nuts, eggs, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, and berries are also great for healthy hair. These foods provide nutrients essential for healthy hair: protein, omega-3s, iron, zinc, biotin, and B vitamins. If you can’t get these nutrients from your diet, be sure to take a high-quality supplement. And don’t forget to stay well hydrated as well!
Wear protection. The sun’s rays dry out and damage your hair over time. Wear a hat when outside in the sunlight and a swim cap when swimming in a pool or other outdoor water source.
Avoid chlorine. Before you step foot into a pool, rinse your hair with nonchlorinated water. This can help you absorb less hair-drying chlorine in your hair.
Go soft. Forget bath towels and grab an old soft cotton tee shirt or a cotton wrap to dry your hair. Rough towels can damage hair cuticles on wet hair over time.
Love your hair naturally! You can enjoy beautiful, healthy hair without spending a lot of money or time. Follow these simple, natural tips, and you’ll see what we mean!