The start of a new year is a great time to reflect on your grooming habits. If you’re looking to give your hair a boost in 2020, consider making a few easy changes to your daily routine.
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Here are 20 habits you should adopt for healthier hair. (Some may be unexpected!)
1. Wash your hair less
If your hair is looking flat, dry, getting dandruff, or is frizzy, you may be shampooing your hair and scalp too often. Shampoo strips hair of its natural oils, causing your scalp to overproduce oil to compensate. Try extending your washes from every day to every other day. Your hair will begin to produce less oils, and eventually you’ll be able to go longer between washes.
2. Do frequent hair masks
We put our hair and scalp through a lot — dust, dirt, pollution, blow dryers, flat irons, color treatments…
Hair masks act like a conditioner and can help restore nutrients, moisture, and proteins to repair fried ends and dry hair. Make regular hair mask treatments a priority in 2020. There are plenty of hair masks on the market, but you can DIY your own mask by blending one ripe avocado, two tablespoons of olive oil, and two tablespoons of honey. Apply in small sections to damp hair and let sit 30-60 minutes before washing as usual.
3. Use Nutrafol
Add a hair-boosting supplement to your routine. Nutrafol is a natural hair supplement formulated with ingredients clinically proven to improve hair growth. It’s fortified with marine collagen, which is known to promote healthy hair and diffusion of nutrients in the scalp, and amino acids, which support keratin production and add strength to hair fibers. The supplement’s silica increases tensile strength and thickness of the hair, reducing brittleness from within.
The best part? Nutrafol’s natural botanicals help support your overall health, so you may also see positive changes in your sleep patterns, stress response, skin, nails, and libido in addition to your hair.
4. Switch to a sulfate-free shampoo
Sulfates are detergents often added to shampoos. They give shampoo that sudsy quality and are exceptionally good at dissolving oils. The problem is, they are not discerning, and they strip the good oils that our hair produces naturally. Many natural ingredients help clean your hair and do not cause the damage sulfates do, so this year, make the switch to a sulfate-free shampoo.
5. Get regular trims
Aim to get several trims throughout 2020. Trimming split ends improves hair health and allows your strands to look thicker and shinier. Regular trims may even give off the appearance of faster-growing hair. (However, hair growth begins at the follicle, so hair growth rate is not affected by the frequency of your haircuts.)
6. Toss out traditional hair ties
Traditional hair ties pull on your roots and can cause breakage. Cloth (specifically silk) hair ties are not only trendy, they’re also less likely to damage your hair. Use these instead.
7. Be careful with heat
This can be a difficult one for those who have blow drying, curling, and straightening in their daily routines, but make an effort to cut back on using heat tools. Search the internet for heatless hairstyle tutorials to get some inspiration.
(And when you do use heat, choose low or medium settings, make sure your hair is well-conditioned, and use a heat protectant to prevent damage.)
8. Go on a liver cleanse
The liver plays a role in over 500 processes in the body, including bile production, vitamin and mineral storage, filtering blood, and metabolizing toxins. To support your liver, consider going on a month-long liver cleanse. Created by one of our naturopathic doctors, Nutrafol’s 30-Day Liver Cleanse involves taking the targeted Liver Support booster and Vitamin-B Booster, sweating out toxins through exercise, and switching to a plant-based, whole foods diet.
9. Support a healthy gut microbiome
Even if you eat well, you may not be absorbing enough nutrients due to an imbalance between “good” and “bad” bacteria in your gut. But when your digestive tract is well balanced, it can effectively absorb hair-building essentials. Adding more fermented, or probiotic, foods to your diet can help shift the gut microbiome and maximize absorption of nutrients. Try incorporating a probiotic food (like a yogurt) into your diet every day, and take a probiotic supplement, like Nutrafol’s Hairbiotic, to promote a healthy gut.
10. Massage your scalp
Treat yourself to a daily scalp massage. Scalp massages increase hair thickness by stretching the cells of hair follicles and stimulating them to produce thicker hair. Massaging the scalp also encourages local blood flow, which can help increase hair growth.
11. Research your products
The skin is our largest organ, and what we place on it is absorbed into our bodies. Choosing natural products for skin and hair decreases toxic load and hormone-disruptors that may get in the way of detoxification, which is essential for proper hair growth. Do your homework and research what’s in your go-to products. Throw out any that use harmful ingredients.
12. Eat more plants for hair growth
The fiber found in vegetables is critical food for the good bacteria in the gut. Colorful fruits and veggies also provide antioxidants that support cell regeneration, which is important for the hair growth process.
13. Include omega-3s in the diet
Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. The fats keep the skin and scalp moisturized, preventing dryness and flaking. They may also open up the hair follicles and promote hair growth. When planning out your meals, choose foods that are high in omega-3s, such as fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines as well as plant-based sources like flax, chia, and hemp seeds.
14. Detangle from end to root
Learn the correct way to detangle your hair. Brushing from root to tip may seem like the logical way to detangle, but it can leave hair frizzy and broken. Start at the ends of your hair and slowly work your way up to minimize damage.
15. Stop using towels to dry your hair
Friction is a hair foe, and a coarse cotton or terry cloth towel can rough up the hair shaft when used to wring out and dry hair. An easy fix is to switch out your towel with a t-shirt. The flat cotton of the shirt will absorb excess water and reduce frizz. Blotting the hair also minimizes breakage.
16. Move more
For your hair’s sake, make exercise a priority this year. Exercise boosts overall health and promotes a strong hair growth cycle. Movement also increases blood flow to the scalp, promoting circulation and improving hair growth.
17. Get your yearly physical
Hair health is a reflection of what is going on within. Many health conditions can impact hair growth, so it is important to see your primary care doctor at least once this year.
18. Try peppermint oil in your hair
Peppermint oil is a natural remedy with scientific backing. Dilute peppermint essential oil in jojoba or coconut oil, then rub into the scalp, letting it sit for half an hour before washing. The friction on your scalp increases blood circulation, activating your hair follicles and producing healthy hair.
19. Keep hair humid
Winter weather can be especially hard on the hair, but using an air purifier and a humidifier in your home can help lock in moisture and discourage disruption of the hair growth cycle.
20. Let your hair down
A double entendre for the new decade! Constant pulling, tugging, and clipping isn’t great for our strands. Make sure you give your hair a break from styling and embrace your natural texture at least a few times a month.