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The new year is a perfect time to kick those bad habits to the kerb, and make a change for the better! Going to the gym and getting healthy is usually high on everybody’s list for the new year, but what about hair health? When it comes to your hair, here are five good habits to stick to in 2018 – regardless of hair type.
If you’re running a race, you put in the right fuel. You’re probably not going to complete a marathon if you gorge on ribs and wings beforehand. Your hair operates on the same principle. A healthy, balanced diet contributes to healthy hair.
Look at increasing the amount of lean protein you eat, as protein is a big part of your hair, strengthening and repairing it from within. Also, make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B, and omega-3 and 6 essential fatty acids, because they’re major contributors to skin, hair and nail health. You can find these hair helpers in lean meat, fish, eggs, dark leafy vegetables, yoghurt, seeds and nuts.
We’d rather have a soda too, we admit, but aim to drink at least 6–8 glasses of water every day (a good guideline is one glass for every 10kg of body weight). This will help your hair and scalp to stay hydrated, as well as improving overall body function. Increasing water intake is especially important in summer when it’s easy to slip into a state of mild dehydration.
For the record, African hair is more prone to dryness, and craves hydration. By drinking more water, you’ll be providing that hydration from the inside out, helping to guard against brittleness and breakage.
A healthy body and a healthy mind go hand in hand. Admittedly, you don’t have much control over the stress in your life, but you can adopt some strategies to lessen its impact. You want to do that, given the havoc chronic stress plays with your hair. Think hair loss, hair thinning and going prematurely grey.
Try to get 7–8 hours of sleep a night. Aim for daily 20-minute walks that get you away from your desk. Develop an emotional support network of people you can talk to. Also, try not to overload your schedule with voluntary activities. Learn to appreciate some quiet “me time”. Your hair will thank you for it.
The sense of post-holiday chill is real, so you’re probably tempted to slack off a bit in terms of your haircare regime. Perhaps you haven’t washed and nourished your dreads in a while. Maybe you’ve had that weave on for over a month. Just… don’t. Much like an exercise routine, haircare requires commitment to show results.
At the same time, don’t be lazy when it comes to reading the instructions on products for haircare at home. You need to follow the how-to carefully to enjoy maximum effectiveness.
Scheduling an appointment at a reputable salon is a great first step to take on your 2018 Hair Journey.
Maybe you’re embarrassed, but really, don’t be. If you have a question about your specific hair type and style, ask a haircare professional. Not only are they knowledgeable, they also love hair – and want to help you get the most out of yours.
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