Keep your locks strong all season long. After the long winter and hiding our hair under baseball caps, stocking hats, and everything else, you really want it to shine come summer. To avoid damaged hair, which, let’s face it isn’t flattering on anyone, I recommend really boosting your hair and scalp health going into the hot summer months. While many people have shifted to a natural skin care regime, they still stick to “conventional” products for haircare. Just like harsh cleansers dry out our skin, sulfate-based shampoos strip hair of moisture and can leave us with dry hair that is limp and lifeless (not to mention rid with chemicals that are damaging to our health).
Look for gentle shampoos made without sulfates and parabens that won’t dehydrate your hair. Also, remember to eat and drink well. Vitamins like iron, biotin and zinc are essential for healthy, strong hair. Eating lots of spinach, kale and beans is also great for your body and your mane. Protein is also important, as are healthy oils like olive and coconut. Lastly, don’t forget to drink water, which hydrates your locks as well as your body. My top five tips for preventing hair damage are listed below
1) Toss your tools or keep them on low heat, always using them several inches from your head. Excessive heat from blowdryers and styling tools can weaken the proteins in hair, leading to breakage and split ends.
2) Use natural hair oil on the ends of hair. This will keep your locks hydrated, healthy, add luster and tame frizz. In a pinch, use sunflower, olive or avocado oil.
3) Don’t over-wash. Use natural, dry shampoo to extend time between washes and only wash with natural sulfate and paraben-free shampoo.
4) Leave your (natural) conditioner on for a few minutes for extra moisture. Put on a face mask to bide the time while you wait.
5) Use apple cider vinegar rinses to maintain hair and scalp health. Mix 2-4 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar with 16 ounces of water and work throughout hair, then rinse.