From a healthy scalp to the best type of heat for your hair, we give you tips on how to make your hair healthy and shiny
This article is sponsored by TRESemmé
Your hair health is about so much more than how often you visit the salon for a trim. Good hair growth depends on a lot of factors, including your hormones, your scalp health and even your diet. So, if you’re lusting after long healthy hair, read on to find out eight things you didn’t know about your hair health.
1. A healthy scalp is the secret to healthy hair
The skin on our scalp is an extension of our face, meaning it’s prone to all the same skin conditions – think lack of moisture, sensitivity to the sun and even ageing. By taking care of your scalp, you can help nourish your hair and promote healthy growth.
The two most common scalp issues are a dry scalp and dandruff, but did you know they’re actually different conditions? A dry scalp is when the top layer on the skin is lacking moisture. This can happen due to environmental factors such as hot weather or over washing, but also if your scalp isn’t producing enough oil.
Dandruff is caused by an overproduction of yeast and causes itching and flaking, but it’s much more common in oily scalps.
2. You should only wash your hair when it needs it
No matter what type or texture hair you have, your hair is unique, and has its own wants and needs when it comes to caring for it. Rather than washing your hair daily, it’s important to listen to your hair and only wash it when you begin to notice that it looks or feels greasy or overly dry.
Curly and textured hair in particular doesn’t need to be washed daily or multiple times a week using shampoo. Instead, many people with textured hair will use shampoo once every two-or-so weeks and co-wash their hair weekly just to refresh their strands.
3. Hair shedding is a completely natural process
Curled up at the bottom of the shower or wrapped around our hairbrushes, we’re all familiar with the sight of finding our stray hairs around our homes. In fact, on average, we all shed around 50 to 100 strands of hair a day. While that might sound like a lot, it’s all part of the life cycle of our hair and is normally nothing to be concerned about.
There are three phases to our hair cycle. The first stage (the anagen phase) is the growth phase, which lasts anywhere between two to seven years. Next comes the catagen phase, a two-to-three-week period where a strand stops growing and begins to detach itself from the blood supply. Finally, in telogen phase, the hair rests in the root for about three months before shedding to make room for a new stand.
There are some scenarios which might cause slightly more hair loss than you’re used to, like chronic stress, sudden weight loss or a change to your diet. This type of hair loss is different to that caused by male pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness, which is down to a genetic predisposition.
We know that thicker-looking hair can help people feel more confident, and there are a whole host of products out there that work with the natural density of your hair to give you a little boost. TRESemmé’s Beauty-Full Strength range has been designed to strengthen damaged hair, resulting in up to 99% less hair on your brush.*
4. Some forms of heat might not be as bad for your hair as you think
Our hairs are much more fragile when wet than they are dry – in fact, it’s thought that a healthy strand of hair can stretch up to an extra 30% when wet, before breaking. Leaving your hair to dry naturally will prolong the time it’s vulnerable to breakage, so to avoid this you can use a hairdryer on a lower temperature (and plenty of heat protectant, of course).
5. Your favourite hairstyles may be causing damage or breakage
A high ponytail or a sleek bun are classic styles that will never go out of fashion. But wearing this kind of tight hairstyle on a regular basis can cause strain or stress at the root of your hair, or even lead to breakage both in your lengths and on your hairline. This sort of hair loss is known as traction alopecia.
The good news here is that this kind of hair loss isn’t permanent, and you should be able to regrow hair in these sparse areas by easing up the pressure. Opt for a low ponytail or bun instead to create less pull on your forehead, and switch to a material, silk or silicone hair tie which are much gentler on your strands than a classic elastic hairband.
6. Changes in hormones can cause changes in your hair
Some women notice that childbirth is a trigger for hair loss. During pregnancy, a rise in oestrogen levels can often make hair feel thicker as the hair-shedding process is slowed down. However, after childbirth and breast feeding, this oestrogen levels return to normal and many women then experience post-partum shedding.
But it’s not just pregnant women whose hair is affected by hormones. Some people may notice some hair loss or thinning during perimenopause due to increased levels of testosterone, and raised levels of androgen caused by stress may also trigger female pattern hair loss if you have a genetic predisposition towards it. It’s even thought that low levels of iron can influence hair thinning.
7. Your diet can affect your hair health
Just like your hormones, what you’re feeding your body can affect how healthy your hair is. So, if you’re eating nothing but greasy foods, this will soon show up in the form of greasier feeling hair.
Not only is breakfast the most important meal of the day for your energy levels and overall health, but it can also affect hair growth if you’re not getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. As your hair is primarily made up of protein, it’s no surprise that a diet rich in protein, vitamin B, iron and omegas is great for thicker-looking locks.
8. Not all shiny hair is healthy hair
While a glossy shine is normally a giveaway for hydrated, happy hair, this isn’t always the case.
The shine you can see on your hair is simply a reflection of light from the hair strands. Some hair products will help smooth and flatten hair cuticles, but they can sometimes mask the damage that’s underneath them. Incorporating serums and treatments into your haircare routine is a great way to ensure you’re targeting any hair troubles at the root.
*Up to 99% less hair on your brush when using the Beauty-Full Strength regime vs Non Conditioning Shampoo