Caring for Your Hair the Natural Way
By Joanne Troppello
In 2016, the average annual expenditure in the US on products for hair care was $83 per person. That averages to approximately $6 per month per consumer in the household.
Anyone who cares about personal hygiene cares about washing their hair. However, we may not always consider that there is a more natural way to care for our hair. Consider some of the following ways that you can help your body in growing healthier hair.
A healthy lifestyle promotes healthy hair. If you exercise, eat right, reduce your stress, get enough sleep, and don’t smoke, your hair will thank you—as it grows in healthier. Using styling products that have alcohol as an ingredient will dry out your hair. Styling products that get onto your scalp can clog up your pores, which is a deterrent to promoting healthy hair.
For those who swim daily or at least a few times a week, it is vital to wear a swimming cap. If you’re not going to wear a cap, make sure that you wet your hair before entering the pool. Getting your hair wet beforehand prevents your hair from soaking up all the chlorinated water since your hair is already wet. Always make sure that you shower and wash and condition your hair after swimming in chlorinated water. The best defense for healthier hair is to swim in a pool that is not chlorinated, but rather swim in a saltwater pool or one that is kept clean through natural filtering methods like pool ionizers. We seldom think about it, but chlorine is great at killing bacteria in the pool and hot tub; however, it is harmful for our skin and hair.
Did you know that hot air from the hair dryer can damage your hair?
It’s important to keep the blow dryer at a good distance from your hair, about arms’ length, rather than holding it a few inches away. Of course, it may take a bit longer to dry your hair, but that is better than drying out your hair and getting split ends. The best option is obviously to towel dry your hair and let it air dry. However, not everyone can do that since that takes time. Most people have to be at work at a certain time, don’t have much time to get ready, and don’t want to leave home with wet hair. Using a blow dryer on the cooler setting or one with a diffuser will definitely help to protect your hair from drying out and becoming damaged.
As far as combing your hair goes, use a brush that is made from natural bristles like animal hair.
Those bristles will be softer on your hair and do less damage than a plastic-bristled brush would do. It is best to brush your hair after it is mostly dry. When your hair is wet, it’s more likely to be damaged by hard brushing. Wider spaced bristles and teeth on combs are better, since the sharper ones will damage your hair—and the sharp ones are a major cause of split ends, not to mention a culprit in scratching your scalp. Remove the hair from your brush or comb daily so that it’s easier to manage when brushing. Clean the brush or comb in soapy water a few times a month.
Regarding shampoos and conditioners, natural is always better. Regular shampoos and conditioners have chemicals in them that damage your hair and scalp. We all want to protect our hair, so why not use natural shampoos and conditioners? Find products which use natural blends of vitamins and minerals, such as ginger, copper, zinc, and manganese as well as tea tree oil—which helps to protect hair from free radical damage and stresses from the toxic environment that we live in. Don’t be afraid to not wash your hair every day either. Sometimes giving your hair a break from shampoos and conditioners and just rinsing it with water is good.
Again, our bodies are only going to do well if we are promoting healthy living. Prevention is the best medicine. Exercise, eat right, reduce your stress, get enough sleep, and don’t smoke and your hair will thank you by growing in healthier.
What are you doing to care for your hair the natural way?