Sunday, September 25, 2011

How Healthy Is Your Hair?

As we head into the cold winds and heated homes of Fall and Winter, now would be a great time our hair health a checkup. If you've got lots of damage, frizz, split ends or if that perfect sunny day on the beach dried the life right out of your mane, now is the time to get it in shape---before the leaves blow and the snows fly.

But first you have to know what's happening, so get a strong light and a good mirror and check out your hair:
  • Is it dry and flyaway? Stop by Believe for a deep-conditioning treatment right now (you should also schedule one a month until we get your hair in better shape. You should also use a leave-in conditioner like AEstelance's Butter.
  • Is it broken all along the length? Consider treating your hair with kid gloves for a while. Shampoo less often and then only with a conditioning shampoo like Semi De Lino Color Protect. Don't blow dry your hair. Instead pat it (don't rub) dry with a towel and let it air dry whenever possible. Use a wide tooth comb on wet hair, never pull with a brush. And about the brush—use a natural bristle brush that has widely-spaced bristles and is gentle on your hair.
  • Does it look fried or dry? Put away the hot rollers and flat-iron and use your hair dryer (only when necessary) on the coolest setting.
  • Are you sporting split ends? Come into Believe for a trim. We will save the length while getting rid of those tired old ends (their 15 minutes in the spotlight are over...)
  • Is your hair getting thin? If you see more of your scalp then you used to (or worse—find ever more hairs in your brush) you might be having a reaction to medications or suffering hormonal changes (for example, many women suffer hormonal hair loss when they are pregnant.) Make an appointment with your doctor if you think this may be the case. If you see an actual bald spot, it could be a sign of alopecia areata, a disease that causes such patches. Or maybe you started dieting (be careful and keep eating a balanced diet. Your skin, hair and nails will be the first to reflect it if you don't.) Also watch how tightly you pull your hair into a ponytail or braid. You can literally pull your own hair out over time—it's called traction hair loss.
  • Does your hair look dull with no shine? To get shiny healthy hair (like those women on the commercials, flipping their manes in slow motion) is largely an inside job. We at Believe can recommend some shine-filled products like the Chromastics line or even apply a clear semi-permanent glaze. But when it comes to dull lifeless hair, you are what you eat. Try salmon, packed with high-quality protein, vitamin B-12 , iron and essential omega-3 fatty acids to support a healthy scalp. If you are a vegan, you can add twp tablespoons of ground flaxseed daily to get the same omega-3 fats from a plant-based source. Spinach, broccoli and swiss chard add vitamins A and C, need to produce the oily substance known as sebum—your body's own hair conditioner. Walnuts, cashews, pecans, and almonds provide zinc, which helps keep hair from shedding. Poultry (with its protein) makes hair strong and less faded (eggs work, too.) Last, but never least, low fat dairy, particularly that all-important yogurt, are great sources of calcium which is very important for hair growth.
  • Does your hair have no bounce? Get the rest of your body bouncing. Exercise gets your blood pumping and that circulation goes right to your hair follicles, shaking them out of their summer slumbers. Take advantage of the cool weather to walk daily (or even run) and see the benefits in your hair (and skin.)
Now is the moment to make your change-of-season hair appointment at Believe (soon enough, you'll have to drive through slush...ugh!) so come in and see us and share a glass of cider while we come up with a strategy to get—and keep---your hair healthy. We are waiting for you here at Believe and can't wait to hear all about your summer.