The goal for many females is to grow long hair but in order for this to happen the scalp has to be healthy and breakage has to decrease. There are a few simple things that one can do and not do to achieve a healthy scalp and hair.
Sulfates, a type of surfactant, are the cleansing ingredient in shampoos but can be drying to the hair and scalp. If using sulfates remember to moisturize the scalp and hair to compensate for the drying factor of sulfates. Sulfates are often mixed with other moisturizing ingredients in a shampoo. There are surfactants that can be used to cleanse hair that are less drying than sulfates such as decyl glucose which is derived from a plant.
Perms, Relaxers, and Hair Dye
Perms, relaxers, and hair dye can make the hair look great but can be very drying for the scalp and hair. If the hair is colored or dyed get regular treatments for your hair. Remember, relaxers and perms place many drying chemicals on the hair that is followed by additional chemicals of the hair dye. Alternatives to chemical hair dyes are vegetable dyes and henna.
Henna only comes in a reddish-brown color. Henna dyes that come in a variety of colors have a synthetic chemical added to the product. Vegetable hair dye does not color as strongly as the typical dye job because it only works on the top of the hair strands.
For the same reason vegetable dyes and henna do not last a long time either. Vegetable dyes enhance or brighten the color of your natural hair. It will not change black or brown hair to blonde hair or anything dramatic of that nature. It will help to lessen the appearance of gray in hair, too.
Massage your scalp with finger tips at least once a week to increase blood circulation. It is believed that this helps hair grow. Massaging the scalp will also help to loosen dead skin that is beneficial before washing hair.
There is a lot of different things that we should consume in our diet on a consistent basis that will help our hair and scalp. The list includes fatty acids, zinc, Vitamin B, and a whole lot more. The best thing one can do is just to eat healthy the majority or all of the time. Eat lean meats such as fish, chicken, seafood, and turkey and drink adequate amounts of water. Don't forget fruits and vegetables have a lot of the vitamins and moisture that we need for healthy skin, scalp, hair, and body.
Avoid crash diets since they can cause hair to become dry and thin out. This is due to the lack of nutrients the body is being deprived of when on a crash diet. You can't grow hair if it keeps falling out!
Moisturize the Hair and Scalp
Keep the hair and scalp moisturized - remember to moisturize the ends of the hair strands and new growth. It is claimed that the scalp can be moisturized too much, if using oils or butters, that will result in clogging the pores of the scalp. So, moisturizing the scalp will just be an issue of trial of error for everyone. Hydrosols and liquid extracts can provide moisture and nourishment to the scalp without clogging pores as the two products are very light.
Although, some individuals feel that hydrosols and liquid extracts are too light to adequately moisture their hair. Hydrosols and liquid extracts feel light as water. These two ingredients are often used on the scalp in place of oils for this reason and due to the lack of irritation. Essential oils should be diluted in carrier oils or butters to prevent irritation such as burning or stinging due to the strong potency. Also, oils that have high amounts of oleic acid may create acne or make it worse if consistently placed on the scalp.
Trim Your Hair
Trimming is important and should be done periodically which is different for everyone. As the hair grows it becomes weaker and more susceptible to breakage and damage from every day wear and tear and other elements. So, if the hair never reaches past a certain length chances are that you need to trim above this length since this is where the hair has consistently become so weak that it is breaking off rather than growing at this point. Find this point of growth and snip it off.The hair needs to grow faster than it breaks which is how trimming promotes growth.
Knowing how much and when to trim varies with each individual. For one person it may be every three months while for another it could be every four month that the hair needs to be trimmed. It's a process of trial and error but well worth it.
Avoid breakage by wearing protective hairstyles such as cornrows or some sort of bun. These hairstyles keep the hair from getting tangled that will lead to knots. If protective hairstyles are not worn during the day be sure to wear it before going to bed to avoid tangles. Many times knots have to be cut or combed out. A simple protective style to wear at night is a french braid. Don't forget to wear a satin cap to prevent breakage as well. The cap helps to prevent the hair strands from getting snagged by bed linens.