While most beauties will plead guilty to hair abuse, we all secretly long for healthy, beautiful hair. That’s why we are so excited to welcome guest blogger Heather Porter, author of the amazing book Body Back, who is here with the 411 on how to maintain that gorgeous mane.
What is the biggest “old wives’ tale” you’ve heard about hair care?
There are many old wives’ tales floating around. One of the most common is that cutting your hair makes it grow faster. This is not exactly true. Cutting the ends of your hair does not stimulate follicles or growth at the scalp. But, it does benefit the hair’s overall condition. Snipping dry ends off is healthier for the hair and looks neater, too. By keeping your hair in a healthy state, it will grow as it should. An amusing one I haven’t heard for years is “eat your crusts, they’ll make your hair curly.”
What do many women neglect when it comes to their hair?
When I was researching the chapter about hair for Body Back (which included information from tricologist Philip Kingsley), I found that the majority of women relate hair care to external elements – hair products, a good conditioner, a regular cut, etc. Yes, these are important aspects to hair care. However, the most important is our diet. We have to connect hair health with food and vitamins, minerals and exercise. We need oxygenated blood circulating around the scalp, we need a good nutritious diet, and we need protein. Our hair reflects what we eat!
What is your advice for women experiencing hair loss, especially post-pregnancy?
Hair loss can be a real confidence blow to women who have had a baby recently. But it is just making up for the fact that when you are pregnant, hair stays put – so your body really does need to catch up on shedding hair afterwards, unfortunately all in one go.
Hair loss is experienced by most women post-pregnancy, to different degrees. It can take up to five months to experience fall-out. Seek medical advice if you are worried that too many strands appear on your brush every morning. Increase the protein in your diet – eat eggs for breakfast (unless, of course, you have been advised not to for other medical reasons). Poaching is a healthy way of cooking them. If you have time to de-stress while your hormones are re-adjusting, take up yoga or meditation and use some simple techniques at home.
How does motherhood change your hair-care routine?
Motherhood does change your hair – and your routine. Hormones have a huge effect. You are tired, perhaps your immunity is low, and you have suddenly lost time to fuss and pamper. You may have far less time to get ready, but don’t have a drastic hair cut for ease – you will miss your locks if you are too hasty.
What is your advice for dry hair?
During pregnancy, the change in hormones can reduce sebum production. For a dry scalp and dry hair, it’s back to oils. There are various oils for moisturizing the scalp and hair ends, including almond oil, avocado oil, coconut oil or Vitamin E oil. Treat your hair to one night of being coated in oil, and sleep with a towel over your pillow. Use a good “gloopy” deep moisturizing conditioner and apply it thickly to the ends in the shower, then leave it on for as long as you can. For another treatment, coat conditioner or oil all over your hair, massage it into the roots and gently into the ends, and wander round the house with a shower cap on while you do other things. The warmth from your head and the moisture from the product will be great for your hair.
What can you do for oily hair?
Tea tree oil is good for balancing greasy hair, as it has antibacterial properties and can curb pimples on the scalp. Do not put conditioner on your roots – keep it to the ends of your hair. Brush your hair before you shampoo so that the sebum from the roots is already passing down the strands. Drink lots of water, and cut down on any greasy foods you may be consuming. A nutritious, healthy diet will help your hair. As a quick fix before you go out, there are various hair talcs on the market, even colored talcs to suit your hair. Quickly massage some talc into the roots, and it will absorb the grease for the evening.
What was your worst hair day and how did you fix it?
I have had various “worst” hair days. There was the time when a council member was shown into my office and – as I was not expecting any visitors – I had my hair in rollers! Or the time I had applied almond oil to my hair for a night in, only to learn that I was expected at a business dinner in just 20 minutes! I have learned my lesson over time, and never again will I presume I have time to wash my hair “later.” I have to wash it first thing in the shower, even if it is for a dinner that night.
What is the best thing you can do for your hair?
Combine these tips to improve the condition of your hair: Drink more water, massage the scalp to improve blood flow, treat hair kindly, and use a “friendly” brush (don’t rip a brush through your hair or tug and pull out hair bands or ties). Have a regular trim to keep split ends at bay, and use a good, suitable conditioner after each shampoo.
Many thanks to Heather for the great info! For more fantastic tips from Heather, check out the Body Back YouTube channel. And don’t forget to order a copy of the book – it’s a must-have handbook for all women.
So, beauties, we want to know: What was YOUR worst hair day and how did you cope? What old wives’ tales about hair have you heard? Sound off below!
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