90 Days to Beautiful Hair - Part 2 : Hairstyles, maintenance and nutrition for healthy growth
The previous part covered the ingredients to look for in the products for your routine. Now it’s time to style your hair.
There are so many options and styles you can try on. From everyday protective hairstyle, to glamorous bun for a night out, the choice is yours! But make sure it doesn't pull on your hairline as it could lead to hair loss in the long run.
Wearing tight hairstyles can definitely affect your hairline as it pulls it out and may gradually move the hairline backward.
Dr. Aguh’s recommendations
Tight hairstyles or frequent touch up on dreadlocks can affect your hairline. Make sure to give more time between touch up sessions to preserve your hairline.
You should avoid applying extensions right after you relaxed your hair as it is more fragile. This would reduce the chances of hair loss.
Avoid clip-in or limit their use to few hours at the time to limit breakage.
Sewn-in weaves may lead to hair loss when they are applied too often or left for too long. The lack of moisture for keeping a weave for too long may lead to breakage. You may apply a leave-in to keep your hair moisturised, especially for naturally dry hair or damaged hair.
Ideally, weave should be kept for 2 to 4 weeks, with a maximum of 6 weeks if hair is washed every 2 to 3 weeks.
Weaves that are glued to own hair are known to cause the most damage so be careful when choosing this method and make sure it is professionally done and removed.
It is strongly advised to give time between styles by taking care of your hair with deep conditioning or protein treatments.
Wigs can be attached with either glue or tape which puts stress on the hairline, resulting to potential hair loss. Make sure to use satin lined wig caps when installing a wig.
There are many alternative to tight hairstyles that you could wear to protect your ends. Low buns, loose ponytails or braided styles (Dutch or Halo braids), faux ponytails or faux buns are great options and allow you to try versatile hairstyles.
Trim your hair
If your goal is to grow healthy hair, you have to say goodbye to your split ends. You may think it is length but in the long run it would affect your hair growth. Split ends are just the signs of repetitive trauma on your hair shafts where the cuticles are missing, leaving the cortex exposed. Split ends may bed caused by the use of chemical treatments such as relaxers, hair dye, or using heat excessively.
Dr. Aguh summarise it perfectly when she writes“If you want long hair, you have to get comfortable with cutting your hair.”
But how often should you trim your hair? That would depend of your hair growth. If your hair grows quickly, it is recommended to trim them every 6 to 8 weeks. For a slow growth, you may trim ¼ to ½ inch every 3 to 4 months. We strongly recommend getting your hair trimmed by a professionally trained hairdresser.
Another option is to regularly cut off the very end of your hair by going through each strand. This practice is called ‘dusting’ and can help for length retention.
Prevent breakage with satin or silk accessories
Satin or silk accessories are your best allies to retain hair moisture, minimise breakage and keep you hairstyle tidy overnight.
The reasons why is because satin and silk do not absorb moisture unlike cotton.
So you may switch to satin or silk pillowcases, bonnets or even scrunchies.
NUTRITION AND HAIR GROWTH
Growing healthy hair is not only about using the right products, but it is also giving the right nutrients from the inside.
It is one of the most important vitamins in hair health. Having a healthy diet or taking supplements can help you to increase your Vitamin D intake. Based on studies, a low level of Vitamin D has been linked to hair shedding. Consulting your GP to check your Vitamin D level could be your first step in your healthy hair journey.
Hair shedding may also happen if you have a low level of iron in your blood. If we compare the iron levels of men and women, women have naturally a lower iron's level due to their monthly menstruations. This may seem unfair but eating certain types of food can help you to keep a good Ievel of iron in your blood. Eating meat (beef, chicken, pork), shellfish, spinach and tofu could be a good start.
Otherwise you could check your level of iron by consulting your GP for a blood test.
Following a healthy and balanced diet has definitely an impact on your hair growth. Dr. Aguh explains that our hair follicles are surrounded by healthy fat, therefore “fat is essential to healthy hair growth. The hair is uniquely sensitive to fat loss and nutritional deficiencies”.
Crash diets are very popular, especially when getting close to summer and you want to look at your best in your bikini. These diets imply that you reduce your calories intake to lose weight quickly, but for your body it seems like starvation. A period of prolonged starvation can lead to hair thinning.
Dr. Aguh writes that hair loss from a crash diet may manifest 3 to 6 months after you stopped dieting. So loosing slowly, but surely weight through a balanced diet and exercising should be the way to go.
We hope you enjoyed getting these advice from a medical point of view.
Are your going to make some changes in your routine or even your lifestyle?
Let us know in the comments and don't forget to check our final review here.
About the author:
Crystal Aguh, M.D FAA,is a board-certified dermatologist as well as director of the Hair Loss and Scalp Disease clinic and Ethnic Skin Centre at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore (USA).
She wrote various articles on ethnic skin and is the co-author of the textbook "Fundamentals of Ethnic Hair-The Dermatologist's Perspective”.
Crystal Aguh M.D.