If you want your hair to look like the finest of silk threads, then you have to treat it that way! As with most of my hacks, I like to keep things simple, using everyday items (some that you probably already own) plus a few extras if you really want to go all out. These are a few of my uncomplicated tricks that I use on a daily basis to help my hair grow and be the healthiest that it can.
Ditch the Terry Cloth Towel
Your everyday terry cloth towel has a very coarse texture. While great for drying off the body, it can be very damaging to hair, especially when your hair is wet as it is more fragile at that point. The hair shaft can be roughed up during the drying process when you wring out your hair, which can worsen split ends and can weaken the hair shaft. Microfibre towels are available for this very reason, however a 100% cotton t-shirt will do just as good of a job to absorb the excess water while reducing frizz and damage (and you probably have an old one lying around). Using the t-shirt, blot and squeeze your hair dry instead of roughly drying it by vigorously moving up and down the hair shaft. You can then put your hair up in your usual “towel turban.” Let hair air dry afterwards, or blow dry on low heat if you are in a hurry.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is considered to be one of the most powerful herbs and essential oils on the planet! When applied over the scalp, rosemary essential oil can help stimulate hair growth. There have also been claims that it can prevent baldness, slow graying, and can be used to treat dandruff and dry scalp. All I do is add 10-15 drops of the oil into my shampoo before washing it, and I leave it on for a few minutes before washing it out. As most natural remedies, for best results it must be used consistently over a longer period of time (minimum 3 months), but when combined with some of the other hacks, you will be seeing results in no time! P.S. you can also add 1 drop of rosemary oil to the brows before bed for full, healthy brows.
Sleep with Silk
Okay, so this one is a little bit more of an investment, however, you spend a lot of time getting your beauty rest and so there is no other material that comes into contact with your hair more then your pillowcase – so it’s worth it! There are many reasons to choose a silk pillow case over a cotton one (yes skin, anti-aging, less wrinkles) but more specifically for the hair as it can “slip” against the silk without any friction. Less friction means reduced split ends and less frizz! Silk retains retains moisture (rather then cotton that absorbs it) so when you lie on a silk pillowcase, the oils from your strands are maintained rather than soaked up, leaving your hair nourished rather than dry when you wake up!
By now we all know that reducing the number of times you wash your hair per week keeps it healthier – I usually only wash my hair twice a week! (yes, dry shampoo is your friend, and my personal favourite brand can be found here) But also reducing the amount of heat from blow drying and straightening/curling will also help keep the locks lush. You can get those effortless “beach waves” using a salt spray such as this one from Coast Beauty Co. by spraying a bit into damp hair, scrunching with hands and letting it air dry baby!
You are what you eat, and that goes for your hair too! We took a few tips from nutritionist Joy McCarthy on beauty foods for healthy hair and here is the skinny: Joy says “The only living part of your hair is the hair follicle. This is why topical potions and treatments will have a limited effect. Healthy hair truly is the result of the inside health of your body so that the follicle is given the nourishment it needs.” Here are the beauty foods that Joy recommends:
Hemp seeds: These little gems are especially beautifying because they contain sulphur-bearing amino acids: methionine, and cysteine which are used to make strong hair as well as skin
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO): This food of the Greek gods is a rich source of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids that have wonderful anti-inflammatory properties and vitamin E. If you have a dry scalp, you can rub the oil onto your scalp as a hair mask because it is incredibly nourishing.
Eggs: Eggs are a wonderful low-cost, high protein food with vitamins, essential fatty acids and antioxidants (all of the nutrients necessary for silky and shiny locks). The antioxidants increase the oxygen supply in the scalp and help mend rough brittle hair. P.S. eggs also make a great addition to hair treatments.
Salmon: Oily fish are one of the most beautifying foods on the planet as they are extremely rich in omega-3 fatty acids including DHA and EPA. Insufficient omega 3s manifest as dry, brittle and lack lustre hair. Fish oils provide moisture to the scalp by increasing healthy oils in the glands, which is totally what we want for healthy hair.
If you are interested in finding out more beauty tips and recipes from Joyous Health you can check out her full blog post here.