5 Steps to Healthier Hair!

Today I'm pairing up with Hollee, from HolleewoodHair, to share our top 5 tips to healthier hair! It's so funny that she chose this topic because I was literally planning on writing one very similar. After reading her's I completely agreed with them and so expanded with some of my own as well!

In today’s world of ever-changing hair color and daily heat styling, healthy hair tends to fall further and further out of reach. When the split ends start multiplying and the breakage becomes abundant, it may seem like a lost cause. The good news is that there are a few tried and true methods that can substantially improve the quality of your hair. Join me on the quest for healthy hair by taking these 5 simple steps to healthier hair today.

1. Trim It Up
Hollee says: "I know it sounds cliché, but trimming your hair often is the single best thing you can do to improve your hair quality. It’s a common misconception that trimming hair makes your hair grow faster, which isn’t true, but it does eliminate damage.  

Think about a piece of frayed rope or string. As it continues to be used, the fraying will get worse and eventually travel up the rope, leading to a break in the rope. If you cut the rope off above the fray and burn it to stop the fraying, it will be back in top condition.  

Hair works the same way. When you trim the hair often, it prevents split ends from splitting further up the hair strand. When you stop breakage in its tracks, the result is shinier, smoother and much healthier hair."

If any of you follow me on Instagram, you may have recently seen my drastic hair transformation. I can't believe I cut it all off again but I really do love it and it feels amazing! Can you see the 6 inch difference?!

2. Limit Heat Damage
This is a huge one for me. I used to blow dry my hair and straighten it almost every day. Over the last few months, I've made some big changes. My hair is super thick so it really never dries thoroughly naturally. Instead, I wash it as soon as I get back from the day and then I towel dry it, wait at least 4 hours before bed, then go to sleep with it damp. When I wake up, it's roughly dry so I just finish it off with the hairdryer. This way, I don't have to straighten it, because it dries straight when blow dried.

I no longer straighten it everyday and especially as I now wear my hair up for work, it is actually much easier as I rarely need to do anything to it. I've also perfected my hair curling routine so instead of doing it everyday, I just curl it on day 1 and it usually still looks pretty decent until day 5/6 which is great!

Of course, when you do use heat products, it's important to remember to use heat protectant. I've used the same one for years and I love it because it lasts forever and it's cheap which is always good. I personally love sprays but I know some people prefer mousse so it's up to you.

Hollee as an expert says "The more you use a straightener or curling iron, the weaker your hair will become.  Intense heat breaks down the protein bonds in your hair, which make it harder for your hair to hold moisture.  The result? Dry, damaged hair.

Here's what you can do: limit heat damage and always, ALWAYS use a heat protectant and quality hot tools.  Take advantage of the trendy braided hairstyles and buns to give your hair a break.  It is a good idea to limit the heat styling to a few days per week, or even less if you can bare it.  

Quality tools are also beneficial to preserving the hair quality.  Look for tools made of titanium, ceramic or tourmaline, which will help preserve moisture in the hair and seal the cuticle."

I always use prefer quality over price and while that isn't possible for everyone, I swear by my GHD Straighteners, Treseme Curling Wand and John Frieda Hair Dryer. I love them all and they are defintely worth the price!

3. Be Gentle
One of the worst things you can do is rip through your hair with a brush.  Each time you do, you literally break off multiple strands of hair and leave them susceptible to more damage.  When the hair strands are ripped, they will continue to split further up the hair shaft, leading to serious split ends.  Furthermore, when your hair is wet, it is much more likely to break (which is when we usually rip through our hair with a brush).

What you should do is use a wide-tooth comb when the hair is wet, and gently comb through your hair.  Work your way up from the ends to make it easier.  If you encounter a tangle, gently comb it out.  Oh, and remember that leave-in conditioner or detangler is your friend.  You can use a brush when styling, but please be gentle, and make sure your hair is detangled first.

A few years back, I used to brush my hair in the shower. I've since learnt the error of my ways so trust me, STOP! The warmth of the shower softens the hair follicles meaning the hair falls out more easily. When it is brushed, they literally come away and I for one, want to keep as much of my hair as possible.

4. Deep Treatments
I always feel like I have a dry scalp but in reality, it's not THAT dry. Nevertheless, I love pampering myself and treatments are one way to do that. After receiving samples in my Birchbox, I fell in love with the amika Nourishing Mask and then I found John Frieda's Deep Conditioning Treatment. I still love them both but recently I've been using Senegence's Nangai Oil more and that makes my hair feel and look so soft and smooth!

I totally agree with Hollee when she says "you should always use conditioner each time you wash your hair since it smooths and detangles your hair." and I've seen the benefits an added deep treatment step brings. I probably don't do it every week but when I have the time and remember, I defintely notice a difference.

"Deep conditioners contain unique ingredients that are meant to penetrate deep into your hair and heal it from the inside out.  To get the best results, do a treatment on clean, towel-dried hair and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.  Heat will also help it penetrate deeper into the hair shaft, so you can wear a plastic cap and apply heat with a blow-dryer if you want the absolute best results. Olaplex makes a treatment that you can use at home, that will actually rebuild the broken protein bonds in your hair.  It's a bit pricey, but worth every cent."   

5. Vary Ponytail Positions
"A lot of people probably don't realize that if you wear your hair up often, you can cause more breakage.  I am personally guilty of this, since I always use bobby pins in the nape area when I wear my hair up.  The bobby pins rip through my hair, leaving me with short pieces on my neck… which is why I wear bobby pins in the first place.  

The same thing tends to happen with clips and hair ties.  When you wear a ponytail in the same place every day, the hair tie will eventually weaken the hair and cause breakage.  The simple solution to this problem is to vary hairstyles.  High ponytails, low ponytails, braids, and side-buns are all fun styles you can try to keep your hair happy and healthy."

Given that I now wear a high pony tail to work most days, I've never even thought about it causing damage. I will defintely have to consider this in the future. Another tip of mine though would be to use scrunchie's instead. They're much bigger so distribute the pressure of a wider area and usually don't leave a mark. 

If you have any more tips, please share them below! I would love to read and find out more.

Hollee is a licensed cosmetologist with over 9 years of experience in the hair industry. She loves sharing her extensive knowledge of hair and beauty tips to empower women around the world. Be sure to visit her blog for more tips.