The signs of healthy hair include thick, soft, and shiny hair. Having silky hair is something not every person is born with. Your hair may become dry and brittle if your diet is not healthy or if you use hair products that are not meant for your hair type.
When your hair fails to retain the moisture from the natural oils secreted by the scalp, they become dry and rough. Here are a few changes that you can incorporate into your lifestyle and hair care regimen to get soft and silky hair.
- Choose hair care products as per your hair type. Concentrate on your hair type while buying shampoos and conditioners from the market. The formulations of the hair care product have been decided according to the hair types, which are oily, dry, or damaged hair.
- Do not shampoo your hair daily. Shampooing hair daily strips away oil from your hair. Instead, consider shampooing twice or thrice in a week. If your hair is oily, then you can try dry shampoos. Shampoo only the scalp, not the tips.
- Always apply a conditioner. Never forget to apply a conditioner for 2-5 minutes and wash it off after shampooing your hair. Use conditioner only on the tips of the hair and not on the scalp or the entire length. Conditioners help lock in the moisture. Reduce the static electricity between the hair strands and can offer some protection from the sun.
- Oil your hair regularly. If you have dry hair, do not wash your hair without oiling your hair for at least 1 hour before shampooing. You can make use of any hair-healthy oil, such as coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, or argan oil. Massaging the scalp with oil is especially good for dry scalp. If you have an oily scalp, apply hair oil only to the strands and ends and avoid the roots of the hair.
- Use hair masks. Making use of hair masks once a week can help retain the oil in your hair. Apply any of the home-made hair masks given below, keep the mask on for 1 hour, wash it off with shampoo, and then, apply a hair conditioner.
- Do not wash your hair with hot water. Hot hair dries your hair out. You can either wash with lukewarm water or cold water.
- Rinse off the conditioner with cool water. After conditioning, end the hair wash by rinsing off the conditioner with cold water.
- Try hot oil treatments. Warm any of the oils like coconut oil, olive oil, or castor oil and gently massage into your hair for a few minutes. Tie the hair and cover them with a shower cap. Above this, wrap a towel dipped in hot water. Keep your hair in this position for 10 minutes and wash off with shampoo and then condition your hair.
- Use home-made conditioners occasionally. You can use any of the following products as a conditioner after washing your hair:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Limit the use of heating tools. Styling tools, such as hair straighteners, hot air hairdryers, make your hair lose its natural oils and can cause hair damage if used frequently. Stay away from such heating tools and use them only occasionally. Use heat-protectant before using the heating tools on your hair.
- Avoid certain hairstyles. Certain hairstyles that pull your hair tightly, such as ponytails and the use of tight hairbands on your forehead, can damage your hair. Tie your hair loosely and not tightly.
- Protect your hair from the sun. Cover your hair with a scarf whenever you go outdoors in the sun.
- Minimize the use of hair colors/dyes. Hair coloring or perming treatments can damage the texture of your hair if done frequently. Restrict their use and wait for at least 6 weeks between two hair treatments.
- Trim the hair. Trimming the hair once in 3-4 months helps in reducing the split ends and gives you healthy-looking hair.
- Make dietary changes.
- Add healthy lipids to your diet in the form of omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fishes and flaxseed oil
- Eat iron-rich foods, such as beetroot, dates, beans, lentils, spinach, jaggery (replace sugar with jaggery)
- Consume biotin-rich foods, such as eggs, spinach, almonds
- Include Vitamin C in your diet by consuming citrus fruits, such as oranges, Indian Gooseberries (Amla), limes.
- Get Vitamin D naturally by exposing yourself to the sunlight in the early hours of the morning for a few minutes. Consume foods like egg yolk, mushrooms, and fish.
If the above home remedies do not help make your hair soft, silky, or healthy, consider visiting a skin specialist or dermatologist. They can identify any medical condition, such as nutritional deficiencies, and treat your hair problems accordingly.
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Gavazzoni Dias MF. Hair cosmetics: an overview. Int J Trichology. 2015;7(1):2-15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387693/
Chiu CH, Huang SH, Wang HM. A Review: Hair Health, Concerns of Shampoo Ingredients and Scalp Nourishing Treatments. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2015;16(12):1045-1052. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26278532/
Keis K, Persaud D, Kamath YK, et al. Investigation of penetration abilities of various oils into human hair fibers. J Cosmet Sci. 2005;56(5):283-295. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16258695/