We all have friends with perfect, commercial-‐worthy hair. It has shine and luster, it bounces as she moves, it appears thick and healthy, and even her worst hair day looks better than your best hair day.
Well, I want to share a secret with you. While you may envy her gorgeous hair and it appears effortless, she usually has a few brilliant hair habits that we can learn from.
Imagine, if you will, having silky, smooth hair that swings from side to side while you walk or a big, beautiful Afro. For women with luscious hair, that’s not too difficult to achieve, but it’s not impossible for the rest of us, either.
Even if we’re not all blessed with naturally soft, long and bouncy hair, we can make a habit of paying attention to our routines and make changes where necessary. If you do, you will gain the type of hair you desire and it will be worth it in the end.
Coming up are 32 Habits Of Black Women With Healthy, Long, Beautiful Hair
1. Homemade Treatments: Short on cash, no problem. Make your own homemade treatments like banana and olive oil, almond oil and castor oil mixture that you can massage into your scalp for hair growth, or try avocado and egg if you are repairing damaged hair and want some extra sheen.
2. Protect Your Hair From The Elements: Cold temperatures, the scorching sun and wind can play havoc with your skin and hair, so just as you would take precautions and protect your skin you need to do the same for your hair. If you dont, your hair will dry out and become brittle.
3. Sleep On A Silk Or Satin Pillowcase: We sleep for one third of our lives. During that time we toss and turn and cause quite a bit of friction between our hair and pillowcases. However, by using a silk or satin pillowcase we instantly ease friction on our hair and are less prone to breakage.
4. Use Minimal Heat: Heat is one of the main reasons of breakage. If you use styling tools like curling irons, blow dryers and hair straighteners’ daily, be forewarned. If you must use heat, I would strongly suggest doing so no more than once a week. Hair needs moisture, but if that moisture is removed because of heat use, your follicles dry out and your hair shafts are less pliable.
5. Deep Conditioning Treatments: Want soft, silky hair? Blend olive oil, castor oil and jojoba oil. Next, slightly wet your hair and massage the oils onto your scalp and hair until it is absorbed. Let the mixture stay in your hair for 2 to 3 hours then wash your hair with a sulfate-‐free natural shampoo.
6. Egg Oil Hair Treatment: If you are battling frizzy hair, hair loss, hair thinning or gray hair, try egg oil, which is extracted from egg yolks. This type of oil contains Omega-‐3 fatty acids, anti-‐oxidants and cholesterol. The cholesterol in eggs is an active emollient and moisturizes dry hair strands. In addition, it helps heal and strengthen the hair shaft by reducing frizz while adding smoothness and shine to your hair.
7. Sulfate & Paraben-‐Free: Sulfates and parabens’ cause build-‐up, contain chemicals, dry out your hair, irritate your scalp, fade your hair color, and can cause hair loss. Keep in mind some companies will list “paraben” in their ingredient list, but it can also go by the name of butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben and Alkyl parahydroxy benzoates. No matter what it is called it can keep your hair strands from being silky and shiny. So, always use products that have no added parabens and sulfates to be on the safe side.
8. Use A Wide-‐Tooth Comb: Lets just say it is a no-‐no to use a comb with small or fine teeth. A wide toothcomb is always better for your hair whether your hair is thin or thick. The benefit of using a wide toothcomb is that it separates knots without pulling on the strands too much. Make sure you go easy on your hair by purchasing a sturdy comb where the teeth are wide apart enough to go though your strands on the first pass, but is able to tackle your tangles, if necessary.
9. Use Natural Shampoo: Most shampoos are made with strong cleansers also known as sulfates that strip the natural oils from your hair, which causes frizzy and frayed hair damage. Make sure you choose a natural shampoo made with cleansing herbs and oils instead. Try using no shampoo at all for the least amount of chemicals.
10. Eat Healthy: Whatever you put on the inside, shows up on the outside. Our hair health is dependent on the vitamins we get through our food. Some foods that are great for building protein and facilitating shine in your hair are: avocados, legumes, eggs, salmon, walnuts and spinach. The vitamin C, proteins and Omega-3 in these foods help lengthen and strengthen hair. Eat nutrients that nourish your hair. A well-‐balanced diet with plenty of protein, vitamin B, iron, and omega-‐3s helps your hair stay as thick and healthy as possible.
11. Excess Brushing: Brushing your hair can make you look good, but brushing more than once a day stretches your hair and can break weak ends. Give your hair a break and only brush once a day.
12. Trim Your Hair: Trimming your hair won’t make it grow faster, but it will make it healthier. A good rule of thumb -‐ trim your hair every six to eight weeks to avoid split ends. The most common source of thinning hair is split ends, which work their way up the hair shaft and break off mid-‐way leaving your hair lighter on the bottom.
13. Add Moisture: Conditioners made with aloe, coconut oil, shea butter and other pure substances add moisture to your hair and keep it looking healthy and fresh.
14. Limit Washing Your Hair: Washing your hair every day will take away natural oils from the strands of your hair and dry it out. Whereas going longer between washes helps your hair absorb its own natural oils and lock in moisture. Limit washing to once or twice a week.
15. Hair Oil Treatments: To restore your hairs softness and shine, apply oil to your roots, shaft and tips twice a week. You can use oil in place of conditioner or after your hair is already dry.
16. Sun & Heat Protection: Like skin hair needs protection from the sun and heat. Heat protectant sprays and serums help prevent damage such as dryness and brittleness to your hair follicles. When the sun is strong, wear a hat or scarf over your hair to protect it from getting too fried.
17. Only The Best Hair Products For You: Maintaining your hair’s strength and length begins with your hair care routine. To keep your hair healthy and strong, look for sulfate-‐free products with keratins and oils.
18. Keep Your Hands Out Of Your Hair: Minimize tugging and pressure on your hair. When you continuously run your fingers through your hair and pull on your hair strands you can traumatize your hair. Even twirling your hair and picking at split ends isn’t a good idea either.
19. Hair Masks: If your hair is tired and just over processed, one way to regain its luster and shine is to apply a hair mask. A weekly hair mask can do wonders for your hair. It is a great way to rehydrate and soften your tresses.
20. Scalp Health: If you’re consistently scratching your head, don’t ignore it. Constantly scratching your scalp can be traumatizing to your skin. If you’re suffering with flaking, itchiness, or redness, apply olive oil to your scalp or saturate your hair with apple cider vinegar. You can also blend Dead Sea salts or Epsom salt with a coarse grain with coconut oil until you reach a paste-‐like consistency. Gently rub the mixture into your scalp then wash it off after about 15 minutes.
21. Wet Your Hair Before Swimming: Swimming pools can damage your hair. To protect your hair get it wet before you go into the pool. Imagine a sponge when it is bone dry. It can soak up a lot more water than if it was already dampened, so the same principle applies to your hair.
22. Limit Blow Drying: Blow-‐drying your hair more than once a week is a bad idea! When you do blow dry, blot out the excess moisture with a towel. Keep the dyer at least four to six inches away from your hair. Remember your hair is fragile and should be dried with care.
23. Hair Serums: Shine serums are formulated to give frizzy or unruly hair a sleek sheen. On the other hand, hair serums moisturize your hair with a concentration of oils. Be careful not to use too much serum because it can weigh your hair down and it might start looking greasy.
24. Eat Plenty Of Protein: Protein is the building block of hair because hair is keratinized protein. Hair is considered a non-‐essential tissue, so the body doesn’t send protein to your hair follicles first. Instead, it focuses on essential organs, like the heart or liver. However, if you’re eating enough, your body will be able to distribute protein everywhere it’s needed including to your hair.
25. Set Styling Tools To Low Heat: I think we can all agree that we have been hearing for years that your blow dryer, curling iron, and flat iron are culprits in causing damage to your hair. And yet, many of us still use them several times a week. If you must use that flat iron, minimize damage by using a heat protectant. Also, use the lowest heat setting for your flat iron or your curling iron.
26. Don’t Bleach Your Hair: I’m not going to sugar coat this -‐ bleach is bad for your hair. The process involves stripping your hair of its color, which can cause plenty of damage if not done correctly. So, instead of bleaching your hair, try a semi-permanent dye. Even better is using bleached clip-‐in hair extensions without having to dye your own hair at all.
27. Wear A Cute Hat: The sun oxidizes your hair and dries it out. So while a hat protects your face from the sun, it also protects your scalp from burning and your hair from dehydrating.
28. Leave-‐In Conditioner: Regular conditioners are great, but if you really want to pump up the shine and moisture, leave-‐in conditioners are the way to go.
29. Blow Dry Your Hair Correctly: As you’re blow-‐drying your hair, direct the dryer’s nozzle down the hair shaft as you hold each section of hair with a wide toothcomb. Cool air has a similar affect as a cool rinse after washing your hair. It seals the cuticle and locks in moisture.
30. Glossing Hair Treatment: If you want your hair too really shine; get your hair stylist to give you a glossing treatment. It will last for about four shampoos.
31. No Hot Showers: I will be the first to admit that it feels fantastic to take a hot shower after a long workday, but that water doesn’t do anything for your hair.
As a matter of fact, it dries it out and, for those with color in their hair, it washes out the hair color faster than cold water. So, take a lukewarm shower instead.
32. Caution, Your Hair Is Fragile: Think of your hair like a fine silk dress. After hand washing it, would you twist it and wring it out? No, that would destroy its shape and fibers. Well, your hair is likewise fragile and needs to be treated with care to stay healthy.
There you have it – 32 ideas to obtain and maintain healthy, long hair!
These habits are easy to form and don’t take too much time and effort. Women with beautiful hair make it seem so easy, and lucky for us, it is.
If your hair is dull, frayed, or damaged from the use of dyes, chemicals, or excessive heat you can start right now on the road to healthier hair. Use healthy washing and styling habits, avoid harsh hair treatments, and eat a nourishing diet. If you do, your hair will look healthy in no time.