Being a professional hair stylist I get asked almost 3 times a week “how can I make my hair healthier?” or “Why is my hair so blah?” I ask every one of them the same sequence of questions and what I found was pretty interesting to me. There is no one answer to the question. Each person can maintain healthy hair by learning a few simple tips.
Most clients have not been educated on how to maintain healthy hair. Others have been misinformed from YouTube or the internet. That does not mean the information is wrong. The information could be for a different type of hair other than which they have. What most people don’t know is what might work for one’s hair might not work the same for someone else. Consequently, what one article or video states on YouTube or a blog may very well be the total opposite of what they need. When clients come to me and say they saw it online and it worked for that person but for some reason it did not work for them, I just say “Well, it works for “THEIR” hair but it won’t for yours!” Here are MY three little secrets that professionals follow for what type of hair, how damaged, how thick or thin your hair is or if you wash it once a week or every day!
TIP # 1
First tip and MOST important!! Do you use any heat on your hair? A blow dryer, a curling iron, a flat iron, hot curlers, etc. If so, YOU MUST use a heat protectant on your hair ALL THE TIME. I suggest using a heat protectant even if you are not planning on using heat on your hair. When using a heat protection, it starts well before you put any heat on your hair. Hair is best protected from heat damage when it is properly conditioned with both moisture and protein. Prepping your hair with a moisturizing deep conditioner prior to using heat is crucial. Poorly moisturized hair causes the hair to quickly heat and it becomes easily damaged.
TIP # 2
Second tip – are you using a conditioner? Conditioners are used after shampooing. In the same way we use a moisturizer for our skin, we need to be using a conditioner for our hair. Most people use store bought conditioners that is rinsed out in the shower - this is the most common conditioner. It is used to nourish the outside layer of each strand of hair. You can get different strengths of conditioners and conditioners for different hair type’s e.g. curly or colored hair.
***Just make sure it's rinsed out well. Too much conditioner left in the hair can make it look greasy, not a good look.
TIP # 3
Lastly, the third tip – how often are you getting a haircut? It's important to know that hair grows on an average of half an inch every four weeks. Of course, some people's hair can grow a little faster and some can grow a little slower.
If your hair is long and you want to keep it long, it is very important to get regular haircuts in order to keep your long hair looking healthy. Long hair is very old hair. Like anything that ages, the older your hair gets the more fragile it gets. Long hair is typically more susceptible to breakage, split ends, and appearing thinner. Long hair should be trimmed every 8 to 12 weeks. If you notice more breakage or split ends it should be cut more frequently – every 6 to 8 weeks.
The same rules generally apply for medium length hair as they do for long hair. Regular haircuts at 6 to 12 week intervals are very important to keep your hair healthy in appearance. If you like the length of your hair a trim every 6-8 weeks will keep your hair at your preferred length. If you are growing your hair out opt for a trim every 8 to 12 weeks instead.
For short hair you will need a haircut more frequently in order to remain fresh – especially if you want to keep your short style. If you have short hair you already know it grows out quickly. Short hair should be trimmed every 4 to 8 weeks to keep the shape of your haircut fresh. As previously mentioned, if you are trying to grow your hair out you will want to consider haircuts every 6 to 12 weeks.
Be specific with your hair stylist when you're getting your haircut. If you'd like your hair to grow longer ask your stylist to trim off the ends half an inch or less. If you'd like your hair to stay the same length, you'll want to ask them to trim more off the ends. When talking to your stylist about how much hair to cut off remember hair grows half an inch every four weeks.
When trying to grow healthy hair most people make the mistake of not getting their hair cut regularly. Also, it is a common myth that regular haircuts will make your hair grow out faster. Let me set the record straight – regular haircuts do NOT make your hair grow faster. Rather, regular trims will prevent your hair from breakage and split ends that will make your hair appear to grow slower. The most important aspect in growing your hair out is to communicate with your hair stylist and have the ends of your hair trimmed slightly at regular intervals. This will minimize hair breakage, and maximize your growth potential! Regular haircuts will help keep your hair strong and healthy.
Finally, one last thing to consider if you color, highlight, perm, or chemically straighten your hair on a regular basis you may notice that your hair needs to be trimmed more frequently. Chemical processes can cause hair to break, split, or become very dry. More frequent haircuts may help prevent over-drying and breakage. Following these simple tips will help you have stronger and healthy hair.