Daily care for healthy hair
For many people, hair is not just an extension of their bodies – it's an extension of their personalities, as well. The style, cut and color they choose reflects their lifestyle and is part of the image they present to the world.
While certain aspects of our hair (color, curl, thickness) are genetic, these days, a number of products and technologies allow us to have pretty much any kind of hair we want. But whatever kind of hair that is, the one thing all hair types have in common is the need for proper care.
Hair Care Products
The main staple of hair care is shampoo. Clean hair is the first step to healthy hair. Shampoo works much the same way as soap – that is, by removing oils, dirt, skin particles and other contaminants – but it's formulated particularly for hair.
Shampoo formulations are further specialized for certain types of hair – thin hair, colored hair, permed hair, curly hair, dry hair – it can be a little overwhelming trying to choose. Your doctor or hair care specialist can tell you what type of hair you have and how best to care for it. You don't necessarily have to buy a $30 bottle of salon shampoo, but knowing which ingredients to look for can help you choose the best product in your budget.
Conditioner is another important hair care product. Today, many companies offer two-in-one products designed to wash and condition your hair at the same time. These are convenient for long trips when you don't want to carry a lot of bottles, but generally, hair care specialists recommend a separate shampoo and conditioner, each formulated for your hair's specific needs.
Once you have selected the mainstays of your hair care regimen, you can begin looking at styling products. Here, the choices are even more abundant – mousse or gel, hair spray or finishing wax, shine booster, curl enhancer – the list goes on and on. Again, your hair care specialist can help identify any particular ingredients your hair or chosen hairstyle requires. After that, it's simply a matter of what you like and find easiest to use.
Hair Care Medication
For particular hair issues, such as hair loss or chronic dandruff, you may want to see your doctor for a prescription medication. These are usually more expensive than any off-the-shelf hair care treatment, but they contain stronger ingredients and are often more effective in addressing in the problem.
Only your doctor or medical professional can determine which product is best for your particular situation, so make an appointment to discuss your options.
Black Hair Care
African American hair has a texture all its own, so it requires some special care. The basics are still the same – keep it clean and condition it regularly. However, other hair care treatments – namely relaxing or perming – are popular because they make the hair easier to style and manage.
Finding a salon or a hair care professional who is knowledgeable and experienced in black hair care is the first order of business. From there, you can discuss your particular hair (not all black hair is the same!) and the products and treatments best suited for it.
Natural Hair Care
Many products claim to be all-natural, organic, botanical or plant-derived. Often, these shampoos still have some form of detergent in them, since this is really the most effective agent for cleaning hair. However, they tend to use chemicals that are less harsh (and fewer of them), so they are better options for those who prefer a more natural approach to hair care.
While there is really no way to effectively clean hair without some kind of chemical agent, there are natural ways to add body and shine. Eggs, mayonnaise and beer are common, natural products that can be used enhance hair's fullness and luster. Olive oil makes a great conditioner for dry hair, and lemon juice brightens up blonde locks.
Anti Aging Hair Care
Hair can change as you age, but hair's age actually has little to do with biological age. The age of your hair is determined by its length and by its exposure to chemicals, heat and environmental pollutants.
The recent boom in anti aging skin care products has carried over to the hair care industry, with a number of products now promising to slow, stop or even reverse your hair's aging process. Some of the ingredients in these products may be beneficial for your hair, but it's best to discuss your hair's needs with your doctor or hair-care professional before you shell out big bucks on the promise of younger-looking hair.
Like our skin, nails and teeth, our hair is a key component of our overall health and fitness. Healthy hair isn't just about looking and feeling good – it's about being healthy from the head to toe.
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