Taking care of hair is hard, especially when it is thinning, graying, or even balding. Even if you are too young for age-related hair changes, taking care of your hair should be a priority. After all, you only have about 150,000 strands of hair to preserve. Take a few extra minutes out of your day to show your head a little TLC. Here are three common mistakes you may be making that leaves your hair wanting more.
1) You avoid fat
Fat is an essential macronutrient that is required to maintain cell health. Fats don’t only keep you feeling full, but also aid with nutrient absorption. Dull hair, skin, and nails often starts from the inside out. Nutrition is directly related to the health of your integumentary system and should always come before a good beauty product. No amount of shampoo or conditioner will ultimately remedy an unbalanced diet. For lustrous hair, ditch the fried foods and focus on healthy fats. Foods that contain healthy fats include avocados, salmon, tuna, almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and olives. Dr. Apple, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health points out, “Essential fatty acids are really important. People who are on really, really low fat diets [have] hair breaking and hair falling out.”1
2) You don’t use heat protectant
Heat can be extremely damaging to hair, especially for those that have to dry their hair every day. Most of us take precautions to protect our skin, such as washing our face before bed, applying sun screen, or applying night creams. How often do we use the same precautions on our hair? Celebrity hairstylist, Cynthia Alzarez states, “Take some precautionary measures to ensure that your hair stays healthy and smooth. A heat protectant is the hair equivelet of sunscreen for your skin. A great bonus is that these products don’t just prevent damage, but often boost your hair’s shine and beat out frizz”2
3) You rather save a few bucks
The quality of shampoo and conditioner you use is vital to the livelihood of your locks. Cheap shampoos and conditioners often contain harsh ingredients that you may not really want to be putting on your body. Dan Goleman, author of —, states, “… BHA (a preservative that keeps the shampoo’s oils from going rancid) has been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, allergies and/or immunotoxicity and organ system toxicity, and it has been found to accumulate in tissue so that the more is used, the higher these risks become. On a hazard scale of 1 to 10, BHA rates a 10.”3Cheap ingredients aren’t only damaging to your hair, but your whole-body health as well. Shampoos also often contain sulfates, which aren’t necessarily bad for all hair-types, but can certainly strip hair of healthy oils leaving them feeling dry. High-end products can also contain some of these nasty ingredients, so watch out. Choose a natural shampoo that is free of dyes, fragrance, and focuses on naturally-based oils and herbs.
- Holohan M. The best foods you can eat for healthy hair. Today. https://www.today.com/style/foods-eat-avoid-healthy-shiny-hair-t5811. Published February 27, 2015. Accessed July 16, 2018.
- Granero K. Experts weigh in: Is heat styling really that bad for your hair? Today. https://www.today.com/style/hair-damage-heat-styling-it-really-bad-t17746. Published April 28, 2015. Accessed July 16, 2018.
- Goleman D. What’s Really in Your Shampoo, and Why You Should Find Out. Environmental Working Group. https://www.ewg.org/kid-safe-chemicals-act-blog/2010/05/what’s-really-in-your-shampooand-why-you-should-find-out/. Published May 3, 2010. Accessed July 16, 2018.