Today is the day to give your locks some love! In honor of Hairstyle Appreciation Day 2014, a holiday of unknown origins which celebrates all hair types and styles, here are eight easy tips and tricks to making your hair both healthy and strong:
Drink more water, eat less junk food
Not only will eating healthy and drinking more water slim your waistline, it will also help you grow more luxurious locks. According to Jessica Wu, M.D., a dermatologist and skin and beauty expert, your skin, nails and hair all benefit from the foods you consume. “Both are a barometer of how well (or how poorly) you’re feeding the body,” Wu told The Huffington Post.
Get a trim
While trimming your split ends won’t help your hairs grow faster or longer, it will help combat breakage. However, according to Paradi Mirmirani, M.D., an assistant professor of dematology at the University of California, battling breakage will contribute to the illusion of longer, more luscious strands. So how often should you get a trim? According to Oprah.com’s “Biggest Hair Myths," a visit to the salon every eight to 12 weeks should suffice.
Use deep conditioner
Why spent a pretty penny at the salon to get a deep conditioning treatment when you get can similar results for less by doing it yourself? Applying products such as Aussie Most 3-Minute-Miracle ($3.99- my personal favorite), Neutrogena Triple Moisture Daily ($5.99) and Moroccan Oil’s Restorative Hair Mask ($74.40) to the ends of your hair while bathing can turn your locks from drab to fab in just one wash.
Take a cold shower
Say goodbye to hot showers! According to a hair transplant surgeon, Ryan Welter, M.D., hot water can dehydrate not only your skin, but also your hair, making it more prone to breaking and falling out. “Opt for a warm shower, and try to rinse hair with the coolest temperature possible,” Welter told Yahoo! Health.
Use a Wet Brush
While combs are easiest on your hair, those who can’t part with their paddled brushes can find excellent results from the newfound beauty guru go-to tool, the Wet Brush ($14.00). Brushing from tip and root, the Wet Brush helps combat nasty tangles while also offering sleek and shiny hair, painlessly. The brush is reportedly great for all types of hair, and also works for those rocking extensions and wigs.
Get a new towel
It may seem harmless to dry your hair off with a towel after showering, but accrording to some experts, towel-drying can actually be harmful your hair's health. According to a piece from Allure magazine, using a superabsorbent towel (such as the Aquis Microfiber Hair Turban from Sephora for $16.99), assures less damage will occur during the pre-blowdrying process.
Cut back on the heat
Blowdrying and styling your hair may offers great results, but putting your hair through extreme temperatures may actually make it less beautiful in the long run. According to hair transplant surgeon Alan Bauman, M.D., heat can damage the proteins in your hair, disrupting its moisture balance and making your hair more prone to breaking off. Cutting back on using heat a maximum of three times a week and placing styling tools on their coolest settings, as well as utilizing heat protectant spray (CHI 44 Iron Guard from Ulta.com $14.50), is said to help minimalize damage.
Wash your hair the right way
By massaging your scalp and washing your hair “the right way,” your locks are guaranteed to not only feel and look cleaner longer, but also stimulate hair growth. “When you’re not cleaning your scalp the right way, your follicle can get clogged and then that hair can’t fight through that clogged follicle which leads to balding or hair loss,” said professional hairsylist and YouTube star Kayli Butler in her DIY video “So Fresh and So Clean.”
Celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson shared similar tips on the "Today Show" last month, reporting that shampoo is most effective when first applied to the scalp, not the actual hairs. “Starting at the temples, working your way up to the top of your head, then to the nape, and then back down,” Gibson said. “Ladies, make sure that you do not put shampoo on your hair. Only put shampoo on your scalp.”