If you’re looking for fuller, thicker, and all around *healthier* hair, then read through this whole article for my top 3 tips :) I think that healthier, thicker hair is something we all really strive for as men and women. It’s that one thing we ALL can probably agree we want to figure out how to master.
Let’s first go through some of the causes of what makes our hair damaged, thin out, or just change throughout life. As you age, your hair gets a little bit thinner so you can lose some hair. We all know this is a part of life, I mean it’s not uncommon for this to happen as early as 30 years old. When I was a kid, my hair was much thicker and shinier and healthier than it is now.
Do I eat healthy and take care of my hair? YES. But there’s more to it than that. Environmental pollution, for example, can take a toll on the hair. Just being outside in certain weather conditions, like if you’re around smog, can damage the hair and scalp. There are, however, things we DO have control over, so let’s get into those:
One culprit is products (*eyes-widen*). Products that make your hair look really amazing in the moment do not mean its good for your hair long-term. In fact, sometimes the better it can make you look really quickly, the WORSE it can be for you long-term especially if you’re overusing product, constantly spraying, and not letting your hair breathe or have a chance to grow.
Also – be weary of overstyling. I know when I go get my hair blow-dried or done, it looks so smooth and soft and pretty. You would almost think that it’s healthier afterwards because it looks soooooo beautiful. However, the more heat you apply to it and the more product and tools you use on it, sadly you’re going to damage it. This doesn’t mean you can’t EVER do your hair or get it done, but just be mindful of it. If you’re just running around the house day-to-day or have a few days off from work, maybe take that time to avoid any products and heat tools.
Nutrition is something that we have to pay attention to no matter WHAT the instance. Whether we are looking to improve our energy, fitness levels, physical appearance, skin health, hair health, or anything in between…what we are eating is fuel to our bodies (or lack thereof if we eat the wrong things)! Food is literally meant to make us thrive, so if you’re not getting the right nutrition, your hair and skin *will* suffer.
People often ask what supplement they should take to get the proper nutrition for their hair. But honestly, it’s difficult to recommend something when I don’t know what you’re deficient in or what your diet looks like.
Also – I want to be super ethical on anything that I would recommend so my number one recommendation is always to go ask a doctor or nutritionist for a micronutrient test. This is different than an actual blood test because the micronutrient test checks levels in your cells, not just in your blood. Sometimes your blood can have certain levels of vitamins or minerals from things you eat but how much you absorb into your cells is what *actually* matters because if we’re not utilizing it, it doesn’t matter what’s circulating! So, make sure to ask for this specific type of test if you’re going to get blood drawn :)
Another thing to consider is water quality. If you are, let’s say, at home and you have a water filter for the water you drink. Well if the water alone isn’t healthy enough for you to drink, why do we often think it’s healthy enough to shower in and wash our hair in? I KNOW, quite the conundrum …
How to battle these issues:
Let’s first talk about scalp health–there is so much you can do to help this, and it can even be inexpensive to fix (yay)! Your scalp is the home and the hub of where your hair grows out of. This is where your hair follicles are, so when we think about it it’s actually really important that we be aware of the masks, shampoos, and conditioners that we put on our hair. Often, we’re not thinking about where the hair actually grows out of … but just like a pore on your face can get clogged up with oil, so can the hair follicles on your head! Gross :)
Think about what an ingrown hair follicle looks like: it’s not pretty! When the hair can’t grow out of its follicle, it gets stuck, it looks gross, and the result is an ingrown hair. NOW, if you have hair follicles like this, it’s the same thing. Not only is it clogged by oil but it can be clogged up by shampoo byproducts (*shook*). Don’t get me wrong, a little bit of oil is good for your hair … some oil IS healthy, but too much oil is bad, so you want to make sure that you find that balance.
Let’s get into some tips to help!
Tip #1: LIMIT DRY SHAMPOO. A lot of us are told its not good to wash our hair too many days a week and you should take breaks. Using dry shampoo, however, can be a HUGE culprit here. Think about constantly spraying product on your hair without actually washing it and cleaning out those hair follicles! So it’s almost like if you woke up everyday and NEVER washed your face or never washing the makeup off at night, yet instead you just kept reapplying it over. It sounds *crazy* to apply makeup over and over again without actually washing your face and giving it a clean surface. SO, it’s not the best idea to do the same thing with dry shampoo. Sometimes dry shampoo can be a TOTAL saver, but my rule is to use it maybe twice a month, if that, and only in emergencies (like you’re really russsshing out the door for something important…I’ve been there too! THOSE are the times to use it)! The idea is that you want to give your hair follicles and scalp a chance to breathe as much as possible :)
Tip #2: EXFOLIATE. When you shampoo your hair (the real kind of shampoo that is), make sure you’re scrubbing. But it’s ALSO a good idea to take a soft bristle brush and exfoliate the scalp. When you’re scrubbing with your fingers it’s not the same effect. A brush, on the other hand, is kind of like the same thing as microbeads on your face :) (Don’t worry, a video is linked below to see just how I use the brush!) But basically you go section by section, in circular motions, and make your way through your entire head.
I like to exfoliate my hair right before I shampoo, that way I can make sure the water and shampoo gets everything done and my hair is *really* clean. I actually learned this tip from my hairdresser. She did this to me one day and was like “Oh your scalp looks so much better!” And I was like “What was wrong with my scalp?!” Long story short, I have been doing it ever since and the next time I saw her she told me that my hair was the healthiest and thickest it ever looked! A.K.A., it works :)
Tip #3: SHOWER FILTER. I don’t know if you guys have ever tried putting in a shower filter but it’s honestly one of THE most amazing things I ever did. I felt like it sounded like too much work at first, but seriously, I guess I didn’t learn enough about it or realize just HOW important it is. Once I really started paying attention to all the dirt, debris, and environmental pollutants then I really was thinking about the quality of water that I was drinking. Don’t forget the skin is one of your largest organs. EVERYTHING you put on your body can get absorbed into your body so if we don’t want to drink this water because it’s got harsh chemicals, I don’t think it should be that safe for us to put on our head.
I tried using the shower filter and INSTANTLY noticed a difference. I actually go to Drybar a lot to get my hair blown out and I realllllly wanted to try the shower filter. So I used it and then went to Drybar after having my hair pre-washed. The girl who did my hair was like “OMG your hair is so soft,” she complimented it so much, both the texture AND quality. When I blow dried it, it was noticeably fluffier :)
Back to the topic of hair thinning and hair loss: one of the biggest culprits is all the stuff that builds up onto our scalp. A lot of the minerals found in water, especially not high quality water, like calcium, magnesium, silica, and iron are not great on our hair and in our scalp. It’s actually ironic because we want them in our diet, just NOT in our hair :) Having them clogged in our hair follicles makes our hair not grow as well because it stops good things that we DO want in your hair from penetrating. Necessary oils or products (shampoos, conditioners, etc.) that are really supposed to help, sadly won’t be able to get washed up in our hair because they’re getting blocked by the buildup of minerals.
Your new solution: use a shower filter so you can get RID of these minerals, chlorine, and deposit build ups. It helps if you have hard water but I know some cities are worse than others so this is something I’d really look into.
I LOVE my shower filter and the brand I use is by VitaClean. It also has essential oils built into the shower filter so you can choose a scent, like citrus or vanilla which I really like, and then you can turn on the shower and it smells *amazing*. SO good and SO fresh.
Tip #4: FOOD. If you want some tips on my top foods for healthy hair I have listed them below :)
- Dark leafy greens (for tons of iron)
- Nuts and seeds (make sure they’re raw and unsalted, great healthy fats)
- Avocado (for Vitamin E, which is super moisturizing to help with hair softness)
- Sweet potato & carrot (for Vitamin A, which is great for strengthening your hair)
So those are my top tips on hair health and strength! Hope this helps you achieve your healthiest hair :)