It was The Cowsills who famously sang, “Gimme a head with hair. Long, beautiful hair,” but they failed to mention how. And for those of us still waiting to magically wake up with Rachel Green tresses, (or, let’s face it, just a great head of hair with effortless shine and bounce that’s totally flake-free) the healthy hair fight can often feel like a losing battle.
We might nail down one part of our routine like discovering a sulfate-free shampoo that *actually* works, but then we’ve got to deal with heat styling protection, product buildup, stress-induced flaking, irritation or worse, we find ourselves in brush-clump city, population: 1.
What’s the magic formula to getting, and keeping, healthy, shiny hair that doesn’t break every time we run our fingers through it? Let’s explore what we’re doing, and not doing, that affects our overall hair health and how to repair damaged hair fast at home.
SURPRISING HAIR & SCALP FACTS
To address the question elephant in the room, can stress cause hair loss? Yes, and here’s the rub: not all stressors are visible, or even palpable. We experience hundreds of daily stressors, just by stepping outside, and because our bodies consider scalp hair as non-essential, repeated exposure to stress and stressors can stop otherwise healthy hair follicles in their tracks.
How Can You Tell if Your Hair is Damaged?
Even if your hair is in good shape, we all encounter hair-damaging elements throughout the day. Here are just a few examples of some scalp skinemies you may or may not know about:
|High-fat diet||Indoor AC & heat||Nail salons|
|Tight ponytail||Pet dander||Pollen|
|Auto exhaust||Towel-drying your hair||Coffee & alcohol|
|Lack of sleep||Unprotected UVA + UVB exposure||Hormones|
As you can see, hair stressors are everywhere, so how do we know the extent of the damages or what those look and feel like?
Signs of Unhealthy Hair
- Clogged Follicles – Byproduct of overactive sweat, heat damage or flakiness buildup and prevents hair growth.
- Hair Loss & Thinning- Happens with age but exacerbated by stress, pollution, over styling and chemical treatments.
- Itchiness - Signifies an imbalance in our scalp’s microbiome, aka higher-than-normal levels of bacteria, sweat and oil.
- Breakage – Scalp skin naturally thins over time, but excessive breakage (clump-city) shows collagen production has slowed way down.
- Trapped Bacteria - Constant shedding and sweating help protect the scalp but can also trap harmful bacteria.
Can Damaged Hair Be Repaired?
Luckily, I can give you a big euphoric “Yes” on this one. Even though the elements that stress out our scalp, skin and hair are largely unavoidable, a lot of the daily concerns can be addressed with the right cleansing agents and reparative nutrients found in some shampoos, or dare I say, a dry shampoo.
Wait, I Thought Dry Shampoos Were Bad for Hair
You’re not wrong. This beloved hair hack that’s been saving us from hours of re-styling for decades isn’t great for follicles. Most traditional dry shampoos are formulated with harsh starches and alcohols that may zap oil and greasiness but leave behind a dehydrating residue that creates weak, brittle hair, straw-like strands and a visible chalky whitecast.
Meet Our Healthy Scalp Dry Shampoo
The first 100% starch & alcohol-free dry shampoo. Designed in a breakthrough wet-to-dry formula that nourishes the scalp, roots and strands for non-greasy, nutrient-rich hydration without any harsh chemicals. Our new Flash Wash Technology deep cleans roots with every spray for that just-washed lift, softness and shine, no shower needed. Our clean, clear, and color-safe formula goes on damp and dries down in seconds. Plus, UV protection tech preserves hair’s color, vibrancy and shine in the face of daily harmful rays while also helping grow thicker, fuller hair with our FolliGRO™️ complex.
Other Healthy Hair Tips
Cleansing aside, which is a huge factor in the nutrients we’re feeding our scalps, incorporate these tips into your routine to help reduce breakage and follicle dehydration.
- Sleep on a non-cotton pillowcase (we’re big fans of silk pillowcases)
- Avoid tight ponytails, especially sleeping in them
- Cut back on heat styling tools
- Use the cool or ion setting on your blow-dryer
- Try not to brush hair when wet
- Comb hair starting with the ends first, then work your way up to the root
- Avoid washing your hair everyday with shower-based shampoos
- When using heat tools, apply a heat protectant first
The Healthy Hair Solution
Moral of the story when it comes to our hair - it’s crucial to replenish those nutrient-rich ingredients that keep it healthy and radiant, just like we do with our facial skin. The trick is finding the right balance of products that are actually good for your hair.