You are what you wear – and that includes your hair. As Hillary Clinton once said (in happier days), “If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hairstyle.” Change your hair and you change what people think about you.A healthy looking, well groomed hair makes you look more attractive, more interesting. Dull, lifeless, unhealthy looking hair has exactly the opposite effect.
So this week I thought I’d share some medical tips on how to keep your crowning glory in top shape!
First and foremost, remember that it’s all about your diet! Protein and iron are the two key elements here . Eat plenty of both and you have created a firm platform for strong, shiny, healthy hair. Collagen drinks are a particularly good way of boosting the former while eating foods rich in iron, such as peas and beans, spinach, raisins and apricots will ensure you never become anaemic (one of the greatest threats to healthy hair).
Next check your vitamin intake and take supplements if needs be. Vitamin D and omega fish oils are critically important. Taking biotin will improve hair strength and prevent breakages.
Next, make sure you look after your hair from the root upwards; ensure your scalp is healthy. The hair roots have the same function as those of a plant – they draw nourishment into the hair and help it remain strong and flexible. Neglect the root and the rest of the hair (which is essentially dead tissue) quickly loses its vitality and lustre. Oh and be careful not to leave products on for too long. If you feel your scalp tingling its not a sign of its working well, its more likely to mean its damaging your scalp!
Then, obviously, you need to look after the hair shafts themselves. Avoid excessive physical stress, particularly when coupled with excess heat and chemicals. Never for example flat iron your hair when its wet – it makes it much more vulnerable to breakage. And be careful when styling – braiding and weaves can lead to hair loss as can very hot hair drying for too long.
Finally there’s an art to shampooing that many women never learn about. As you get older your hair produces less oil so you may not need to shampoo so often; and when you do shampoo concentrate on cleaning the scalp rather than washing the entire hair shaft. Use conditioner after every shampoo to give that extra shine. But concentrate its use on the tips of the hair where the damage is greatest.
And keep your hair professionally styled by someone you can trust. As Doors frontman, Jim Morrison once said “some of my greatest mistakes were haircuts!”.
- What to eat for healthy hair: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/what-eat-healthy-hair
- Golden rules for good hair care: http://www.stylist.co.uk/beauty/the-golden-rules-of-good-hair-care-simple-steps-to-get-beautiful-happy-healthy-hair-celebrity-hairdresser-tips-advice