Stella’s Suggestions to Achieving Healthy Hair
Throughout the years, my clients come to me with a variety of hair concerns but the one common goal is that they want to maintain healthy hair growth in-between visits. If you have struggled with growing out long, luscious hair, then these tips are for you. These simple lifestyle changes and habits will put you on the right track to achieving your hair goals.
Haircare is often overlooked or not prioritized in our everyday routine. If you have neglected hair care, here is your reminder to look after yourself from head to toe. We all know the wonderful feeling of a great hair day, and with these tips, you can have a great hair day every day. I have compiled a list of 11 tips to help achieve healthier hair.
Tip #1: Stay Hydrated
Many of us try to hydrate our hair with products and topical treatments and forget to drink water. Drinking enough water throughout the day is crucial for hydrating from the inside out. Hair lacking hydration is unable to retain moisture, becoming weak and brittle over time. At the end of the day, your plants need to be watered, too.
Water is a key ingredient in helping the absorption of vitamins and minerals that contribute to hair growth. Believe it or not, water makes up almost 25% of the weight of a single strand of hair. Drinking at least two liters of water a day will help strengthen your hair follicles.
Tip #2: Nutrition
In addition to drinking enough water, nutrition plays a vital role in your hair growth. When your body is properly nourished, your hair with have more shine and bounce to it. We have all heard the saying, you are what you eat. So when it comes to healthy hair growth, eating nutritious food is essential.
Nutrition plays an important role in the condition of our hair. Hair is mainly made up of a protein called keratin, which is the building block for each hair follicle. Ensure you are consuming an adequate amount of protein each day paired with other nutrient-dense, whole foods. Lacking important nutrients and vitamins in your diet may be the reason behind slow hair growth or even hair loss. Many of the vitamins required for healthy hair come from the foods we eat, such as Vitamin A, C, and E. Nuts, fruits, and vegetables have abundant sources of vitamins and should be eaten regularly.
As a hairstylist, I can provide you the knowledge on what makes hair grow, product recommendations, preventative techniques, and salon hair care services, but if your diet is lacking essential nutrients then you may never see the results you are after. If you feel there is a discrepancy in your diet, we recommend consulting a licensed physician and finding the root of the issue. Our hair can give us the “heads up” about things going on with our health. If you are experiencing hair thinning or hair loss, diet may be the issue.
Tip #3 Always brush your hair
Brushing your hair provides many benefits beyond detangling and smoothing out your hair. The act of brushing hair helps to evenly distribute the natural oils accumulated at the scalp to the ends of your hair, where moisture is often lacking. Brushing your hair also promotes proper scalp circulation, encouraging blood flow and growth. Having slower or weak circulation in the scalp can cause thinning or irregular shedding. Shedding between 50 to 100 strands of hair when you brush is completely normal and helps remove the ‘loose hair’.
Choosing the proper brush and technique is also an important part of brushing your hair. Use a brush designed for wet hair when brushing your hair out after a shower. Hair in a frozen or wet state is more susceptible to breakage, so always start from the ends when detangling your mane to avoid extra pulling and limit excessive shedding. Using a detangling spray on dry hair can also limit breakage and shorten the detangling process.
Tip #4: Know your Texture
When it comes to hair types and textures, it is never one size fits all. But having a basic understanding of your hair texture will allow you to understand and utilize products designed for your specific hair type. There are many variables that come into play that can affect your hair texture, and the easiest way to manage unruly hair is to understand what you are dealing with. Different textures require different attention.
Do you have fine-medium texture or thick to coarse?
Does your hair in a dry super curly, wavy, irregular curl pattern?
Do you have pin-straight, straight hair?
Is your hair frizzy, and unruly?
Do you color your hair or natural never before dyed?
Narrow down your hair type so you can use products and techniques to further promote healthy hair growth. And understanding your texture will eliminate the need for unnecessary steps in your hair care routine.
Tip #5: Frequent Haircuts
Visiting the salon more often can promote better hair conditions and faster growth. The reason for this is because our hair naturally splits at the ends due to environmental, mechanical, and processing damage. When the split starts and does not get cut, it acts like a broken zipper and splits upwards. Deep conditioning treatments and split-end remedies are not enough to mend your broken ends. Visiting the salon every 2-3 months for trims will rid your hair of dead ends and allow new, healthy hair to take its place.
From personal experience and being in the industry, I understand the fear of getting too much hair cut off when you simply want a trim. At You Look Stella, we have a term called “FAIRY DUST.” The term “haircut” comes with the stigma that your hair is getting chopped off. I like to approach certain hair journeys with fairy dust trims, where we dust the perimeter to refresh your look and remove dead ends while still keeping the length. I recommend my clients who get fairy dusts to visit me every 10-14 weeks. When we stay in this close time frame, along with proper at-home care, we can maintain our ends and still keep our hair long and thriving.
Tip #6: Stress Management
High-stress levels may be affecting your hair growth. Stress can cause hair follicles to move into a ‘resting’ phase where they are unable to grow. The hair begins to thin or fall out easily when our stress is not properly managed. I always preach about how the environment we let ourselves thrive in affects our hair growth. There are certain hormones and body responses that coincide with hair growth and the hair cycle. If we can lower stress levels and increase the sense of ease in our bodies, we can promote healthy, fuller hair.
Stress is inevitable in most of our lives, so finding healthy ways to manage it is necessary, not only for your hair, but your overall well being. Mindful meditation and breathing are simple techniques I use day to day when I feel overwhelmed. Managing stress looks different for everyone, but having practices in place when these inevitable stressors occur will help limit the release of stress hormones that affect healthy hair growth.
Tip #7: Stella Spa day for hair
A great way to unwind and de-stress is a Stella spa day! Make sure your next spa day includes some love for your hair. Many of us love to invest in our skincare, but when it comes to hair care, we tend to lack the same enthusiasm. Combine your skincare routine with your hair care routine so you never slack on your treatments. If you are throwing on a face mask, double up and add in a hair mask! Skin and hair combo treatments make for the perfect pamper night.
With busy schedules, it can be hard to set time aside to truly pamper yourself. Even if you have twenty extra minutes in your day, utilizing this time to nurture your hair can make all the difference in your hair game. Some of my favorite ways to treat my hair are with pre-shampoo treatment oils and aromatherapy scalp oils to lock in moisture and encourage healthy hair growth. Let your skincare be the pioneer for your hair care, and pamper yourself from head to toe.
Tip #8: Bedtime Routine
Prepping your hair for bedtime may help alleviate breakage. If you are someone who likes to shower at night and sleep with wet hair, this may be affecting your hair from growing.
When your hair is wet, the elasticity is at an all-time high. It becomes more prone to snapping or breaking because the strands are more flexible. When we sleep, we tend to move around. Between the hair being wet and friction happening against our pillow, this can create tangles, knots, and static.
One of the best bedtime sleeping habits is to wear your hair in a loose top knot, simple dutch braid, or even in a silk wrap. Silk or satin pillowcases are also a great investment because the material has less friction and conditions the hair. For textures that are curly, dry, or prone to tangles, try using a serum or hair oil before bed to help nourish ends and promote more slip within each hair strand. Using these practices will alleviate breakage and visible flyaways.
Tip #9: Product Education
Sometimes products get a bad wrap for not performing the way they promise. Heat protectants, serums, pre-shampoo oils, dry shampoo, hairspray, anti-frizz cream, deep conditioners, texture sprays, if you need to fix an hair issue there is a product out there for you. But be wary of products that contain excessive ingredients. Look for clean, natural products that do not contain harsh chemicals. Products that contain sulfates, dyes, and other harsh chemicals are most likely only concealing the issue rather than fixing it.
Finding products that work for your hair can be a journey, which is why I now offer product consultations to pinpoint exactly which product is best for you. Depending on your goals, I can recommend a personalized hair regimen that you can implement into your daily routine. Book a consultation today to uncover my favorite products recommended just for you.
Tip #10: Accessorize
Accessorizing is a great way to change up your look without breaking the bank. If you are looking for low-maintenance hair, accessories are where it's at. Using the right accessories can also help limit the amount of damage and strain we are putting on our hair. Rather than using traditional rubber hair ties, opt for satin scrunchies that only limit breakage but also add to your look.
If ponytails are a staple hairstyle for you, most traditional hair ties are too tight with tension and can promote breakage at the ponytail site. Swapping out a traditional rubber band for a satin or silk scrunchie not only preserves the integrity of your hair but also makes for a great statement piece. My go-to accessories are statement bobby pins, silk headbands, and headscarves. They are versatile and less damaging to your hair.
Tip #11: Enjoy the Journey
Sometimes certain hair goals take time, especially when it comes to drastically changing your hair color, repairing damaged hair, or growing out short hair. When it comes to coloring and dying your hair, typically professional hairstylists recommend several visits to reach your desired color. Of course, we want you to have the hair of your dreams, but we must keep in mind the integrity of your hair. So when you hear it may take 3-4 sessions, try not to be disappointed. Please take your stylist's advice on how to go about the transformation!
For instance, the journey of going blonde can be a long process, but it can also be fun along the way. As you make your way through the stages of color, you can play with different tones and techniques. Why not have five different looks as you strive for your goal! Now, do not get me wrong, I am all for instant gratification, but some transformations take a little more time than others. So trust the process and enjoy the ride.
When talking about hair journeys, it is not all about color. You can have a hair growth journey, growing out a bang, or maybe a journey of product discovery. Even as a stylist, my hair journey is ever-evolving. There are so many brands, trends, and techniques that pique my interest. Do not be afraid to try something new if your old ways are not working.
I hope these tips have brought some clarity to your hair journey. As a professional hairstylist, I find it so important for my clients to know about hair care so they can manage their hair between visits. And remember, consistency is key. So if long, luscious hair is your goal, implement these healthy habits into your routine today. And share your hair care secrets with us on Instagram @you_look_stella!