Life with Lauren: My Secrets for Beautiful, Healthy Hair
I was never a huge hair enthusiast. Throughout school, I usually straightened the crap out of my hair every morning (not good), and curled it exclusively on special occasions. I took fairly good care of it, but I was no where near on the level I am now of understanding how to keep my hair happy and healthy.
I don’t do anything crazy complicated (or expensive) to keep my hair long and healthy, but I do try to stay conscious about how I treat it. I am by no means a hair expert, but I’ve had long hair for as long as I can remember, so I do have a few tips to help you grow yours longer and healthier the right way.
Don’t wash it every day
You’ve probably heard this command before, but it’s still important to reiterate why you shouldn’t be washing your hair every single day. Using shampoo every day strips your hair and scalp of natural oils that nourish your hair from the beginning. If you constantly wash it away, not only will your hair appear dry and brittle, it will have a much harder time growing and an easier time breaking off.
This was really hard for me to get into the habit of doing. What if I workout and get sweaty? What if I jump into the lake and need to get the green water out of my hair? OK, in that case, shower it off. But, I’ve found that if I do a tough workout, I can usually get away with just rinsing my body off. During the workout, I’ll put my hair into a loose ponytail and as soon as I’m finished, I take it down. After this, dry shampoo is going to be your best friend. I overload my head with the stuff, but it seriously works at absorbing oil and taking care of any sweaty smell. Plus, it helps volumize. Here’s my favorite dry shampoo.
Use a deep conditioning treatment
I used to be scared to use these types of product because I was afraid it would weigh down my hair. Boy, was I wrong. Slathering a light layer of deep conditioner over my entire head in the shower literally transforms my hair. I was shocked the first time I used this hydrating masque, and brushing through my usually difficult wet hair was easier and more smooth than ever. WARNING: only use this like once a week, unless you want a greasy and oily scalp. Once a week is plenty to keep your hair hydrated and happy, thus helping it grow stronger and longer.
Along with a hydrating masque, I always use a hair oil after I get out of the shower to make it easier to brush through and style. If I run out of this, or forget to pack it while traveling, I notice a huge difference.
Use less heat
Another obvious one, but it’s important. Anytime you can get away with using little to no heat on your hair, do it. Use a texture spray to enhance your natural waves, let it dry then throw it in a braid or messy bun, or sleep in wet braids for extra volume and wave. If you do this consistently, you’ll notice a difference in the texture of your hair, I promise. Plus, it’ll lessen frizz.
Don’t dye it too much
Spoiler alert: I dye my hair to make it blonde. Shocker. Bleaching is clearly not good for your hair at all, which is why I always choose the balayage route. Balayage is where your stylist literally paints the color on to your hair so it sort of melts down, looking super natural. It’s so low maintenance that I can go well over 6 months without any dye touching my hair. And I have naturally dark brown hair. 10/10 would recommend.
Take your vitamins
Having long, healthy hair starts from the inside. Give your hair the resources it needs to grow! I take a generic woman’s once a day vitamin, in addition to biotin. These two together significantly improve the strength, shine and length of my hair. I’m not religious about it, but I try to take them right before bed. Make it a routine.
Don’t put it up every day
Unfortunately, putting your hair up in a ponytail or bun is actually pretty bad for it. Which is super annoying. Just try to limit how often you do it, since never putting your hair up isn’t exactly an option. Check here for more information about how to lessen this damage.
Do you have something on your mind beauty and lifestyle related? Ask me in the comments, and I’ll have an answer for you next week in my column! Don’t be shy, I’m up for the challenge.