If you follow me, you will know I’ve had my hair just about every color there is. Green, Blue, Purple, Red, Brown, Black, Multicoloured, Split Pink and Purple and I’m currently purple. I’ve done most colors over the years and something people often seem to assume about my hair is that it must be in terrible condition, that I must have no hair left and that I must bleach it all the time. Nope, nope and double nope. My hair is in better condition now than it is when I have it natural.
Let me explain the basics before I tell you what I do to keep my hair healthy. When dying my hair I use Vegetable Based, Cruelty-Free hair dyes with no nasty chemicals. I mix the hair dyes with conditioner which creates a deep conditioning mask for hair whilst also dying it. That stays on my hair for as long as I can take it before washing it off. So when I take the hair dye off I have super shiny, brightly colored hair.
Now, let’s focus more on what to do and what not to do in order to keep your hair healthy. Most of these are things I’ve learned over the years since I started coloring my hair bright colors.
Bleach – Only when you need to
I bleach my hair whenever I can be bothered to do my roots which isn’t very often at the minute. I would say maybe once every 3 months or so. When I bleach my hair I’m only ever bleaching the roots which is the virgin hair so there’s not really any major damage other than what bleach generally does to natural hair.
So, the first tip for healthy hair, don’t bleach your whole hair unless it’s a last resort. Try to use natural lightening methods and color removers where possible. If you do need to use bleach, use a low volume peroxide and make sure to take extra care of your hair after as it will be having a bit of a paddy.
Argan Oil VS Coconut Oil
Argan Oil is a life saver for good condition hair. Many people love coconut oil but, fun fact, coconut oil is great for hair growth when used as a mask if you massage it into your scalp. Argan Oil is a better choice for the condition of your hair. I use a small amount every day in the morning on my hair and I also put a little extra in my hair after it’s been washed either when it’s drying or when it’s completely dry.
Hair Masks instead of conditioner
This is something I started doing recently. Conditioner never left my hair feeling like I wanted it to. So, I started using hair masks as my conditioner. It’s more conditioning on the hair and my hair feels soft and shiny for longer which really gives my hair an extra helping hand in crazy weather.
Chemical free shampoo
Have you ever looked at what chemicals you’re putting on your hair? Most of them are actually doing more harm than good in a lot of shampoos, including big name brands. Shampoos bars are great, but, if like me you can’t get on with them. Try shampoos with minimal chemicals. I mean, no parabens, no sulfates, no nasties. There are plenty out there and chemical free ones are generally Vegan which is a bonus.
Natural ingredients are gentler on your hair and don’t strip your hair of any good things.
Speaking of shampoos. Make sure you’re using the right type for your hair if you’re not using natural shampoos. Curly shampoo for curly hair. Colored shampoo for colored hair etc. Your hair will love you more if you use natural shampoos but at the very least give your hair help for things it needs help with.
Hot things are bad
This is one of the things to avoid that you probably are fed up of hearing but it still needs a place in this post. Hair straighteners, curlers, hair dryers, even too much time spent in the sun. Heat is damaging to the hair. It dries it out and causes damage.
I never use a hair dryer on my hair and I only straighten or curl my hair for special occasions or if I want to feel a little more dolled up.
Be gentle with wet hair
Speaking of drying hair, don’t towel dry it either, pat it dry with a towel yes, but never rub it and handle roughly with the towel. Hair is fragile when it’s wet and breaks easily. So, don’t be rough with the towel and try to avoid brushing it until after it’s dry. If you do need to untangle wet hair then use your fingers or a wide tooth comb. My hair dries wavy naturally so I usually just run my fingers through it. I generally don’t brush my hair every day unless it really needs it as my thick hair is prone to frizz.
Another of the more obvious ones for healthy hair, but sometimes it can be overlooked or people don’t realize the extent to which they need heat protection. Most people know about heat protection sprays and cremes before blow drying, hair straightening etc, but, you also need to consider heat protection or UV protection during the summer months.
I am yet to find products that are cruelty-free with UV protection but I often use heat protection spray if I’m out in the sun a long time. It’s also good to wear hats to protect your head where you can.
There’s a toolkit of items to make your hair healthy. You use some of the tools and you end up with a less than perfect final product. You use all the tools and you give your hair the best chance of being healthy and maintaining that level. A healthy diet is one of the tools. You eat healthily, give your body plenty of nutrients and drink plenty of water, your hair gets what it needs to thrive. Pretty easy for me these days on a Vegan diet I must say.
Regular Trims – Breaking a myth
Another given but time to also debunk a myth. Trimming your hair does not make your hair grow quicker. Your hair grows at the same rate. The truth is, trimming your hair keeps it healthy and by trimming off dead and split ends you make your hair look fuller and shiner which then makes it seem likes it’s growing quicker. It’s an illusion. You can save some money and trim your hair at home. It’s super simple to do and you only need to trim the very ends every 6-8 weeks, sometimes longer.
Tying hair back
Tying your hair back too often is bad for your hair. It’s damaging, especially if it’s tight. Wear your hair in a bun when you can. If like me, you’re crap at hair buns and don’t like how they look on you. Then just try to make sure you wear your hair a different way each time when you tie it back i.e. high ponytail one day, low ponytail another.
Protect at night
It’s important to protect your hair at night just as much as during the day. Sleeping with your hair down can cause it to knot and get roughed up a little too much try to sleep with your hair in a bun or loose plaits. If like me you can’t do that most of the time, buy yourself a Silk or Satin Pillowcase. Silk is technically best but I only use Satin ones for a cruelty-free option.
Washing your hair – Find the right balance
We all know we need to wash our hair but you have to find the right balance. Washing your hair too much can cause it to try out, flake and become brittle. Whilst not washing your hair enough can cause grease, breakage and irritated scalp. You need to try and find a balance. Usually, this means washing your hair every 2-4 days. 2/3 is the magic number for my hair and scalp.
Also, another note, cold water is great for your hair, it’s also great for your skin. So, wash your hair and shower in cold water where you can. The colder the better. Cold water also helps keep bright colors looking brighter for longer.
Go easy on the dry shampoo
Just like finding the balance washing your hair, you also need to find the balance with dry shampoo. Too much can cause buildup which causes inflammation and an itchy scalp but not using it at all makes your hair dirtier quicker. Most people use it to give their hair an extra 1-2 days without needing to be washed if it’s struggling. Personally, I never use dry shampoo because I am prone to dandruff and an irritated scalp but each to their own, I can see the appeal, just don’t use it all the time.
Don’t rely on hair extensions
So many of us want long flowing hair and most of us choose extensions to get that length easily. What you don’t realize though is that no matter what type of extensions you use, they’re damaging to your hair, especially when you use them over a long period of time. Your hair becomes weak, thin and brittle so it gets to a point where you have to use extensions because your hair looks crap without them.
So, before you rush to the extensions, consider being a little more patient and growing your hair naturally rather than using someone’s else’s hair. At the very least it will save you a lot of money.
Unless you’re going in for a trim, a lot of salon treatments damage your hair such as keratin treatments. I’ve not been to a hairdresser in 6 years. I trim it myself, color it once a month, bleach it once in a blue moon and that’s about it. My hair is super healthy because I just take care of it and look after it. Save your money and your hair will thank you.
It sounds like a challenge to keep your hair healthy but it’s really not. Most of it is just common sense and to be honest, it’s more things you should avoid doing which makes your life easier, less hassle and cheaper in the long run. Save some pennies and achieve some beautiful locks in the process. Let me know what you think and if you agree with all my points. Also, let me know if I have missed anything off.