Preventing and Repairing Damaged Hair: Maintaining Lustrous, Healthy Locks
Brushing too vigorously, especially when hair is wet, can cause split ends. This dry hair damage occurs mostly in those with a tendency for dry hair. The easiest solution is to blunt cut the shredded ends with a pair of sharp, styling shears. Follow up by shampooing and using a deep hair conditioner.
For people with normal or oily hair a nightly regime of gentle brushing is beneficial and can help stimulate oils to make hair more shiny.
Causes of Damaged Hair
Prolonged exposure to sunlight damages hair cuticles causing the keratin protein of the hair to breakdown. Over bleaching and dyeing causes similar damage to hair structure. For this problem wet hair and apply a protein-based conditioner, cover with a shower cap and sit for at least twenty minutes before rinsing.
There are also many hair treatments such as hot oil that can be applied. Be sure to shampoo and rinse thoroughly after the treatment.
Using hair dryers, curling irons, or flat irons can weaken hair by reducing the moisture content. The heat also softens the keratin of the hair, since keratin is the chief component of hair; the structure declines and this can lead to breakage.
To prevent hair breakages try to use these appliances less often and on lower settings. When hair is almost dry turn hair dryer or curling iron to cool to finish the drying process. Again much damaged hair can be repaired with addition of conditioners and oils.
Hair Condition Reflects Overall Health
Health plays a large part in the condition of hair. Conditions such as hypothyroidism which is a under active thyroid causes dry, brittle hair. The thyroid fails to produce enough hormones to keep hair healthy.
Menopause in women sometimes results in thinning hair due to the decrease in estrogen. Diabetes slows the circulatory system and can affect hair growth and damage recovery.
Stress and lifestyle excesses like smoking and drinking can also have an effect on hair health. Consult a doctor if any of these conditions are present or persist after other hair care alternatives have been exhausted.
Diet and Hair Health
One of the most important factors in maintaining a lustrous, healthy head of hair is nutrition. A poor diet not only under nourishes the body, but also the hair structures. Drinking, at least eight glasses of water a day hydrates and strengths hair follicles. Water also aids overall health and food digestion.
Healthy hair should begin on the inside. Since hair is ninety-eight percent protein, a diet rich in essential fatty acids and Omega rich foods is essential. Protein rich foods include meats, nuts, and grains.
Fish is also a good source of protein. Omega-3 fats are found in cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna. Many poultry producers are adding Omega-3 to the diets of chickens in order to generate eggs rich in the vitamin.
Although hair composition can change with age, vitamins for hair growth, maintaining a nutritious diet and following a healthy, hair care regime should result in years of luxuriant tresses.