Maintaining healthy hair is often more complicated than it seems, as there are a lot of different factors to keep in mind. While genetics play a major role in your hair structure, there are still many things that we can affect. In this article, I will share my favorite products and tips which have helped me restore my hair after damaging it.
1. Choosing sulfate-free products
While not everyone’s hair and scalp are sensitive to certain chemicals contained in hair products, it is always helpful for your hair restoration to check the ingredient list before making a purchase. Shampoos with sulfate can easily irritate your scalp and promote dandruff even if you generally have oily hair. Hence, it is vital to check whether the product is free from sulfate or similar components. Here are some of the shampoos which work great for a sensitive scalp:
Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo: this has been my ultimate favorite so far: it cleanses the scalp while not irritating it. It also works great if you have thin and prone-to-frizz hair, as it helps make it smoother.
Verb Ghost Shampoo: A good alternative to the Living Proof Shampoo is this one; it is more budget-friendly, but works almost just as good.
2. Exfoliating the scalp and removing the buildup
Using leave-in treatments and hair oils is essential for promoting healthy hair, but the excess products can easily create buildup, which makes the products less absorptive. Using a scalp scrub or treatment can help remove that buildup and exfoliate the scalp to prevent dandruff. I recommend using scalp scrubs (which can often also be sulfate-free) and a shampoo massager for assistance in cleansing the scalp better. My two favorite scrubs so far have been:
Love Beauty and Planet Delightful Detox Charcoal Shampoo Scrub: this scalp works wonders, exfoliating the scalp well while not damaging it. It is sulfate-free, budget-friendly, and can be found at drugstores, such as Target.
Nexxus Clean & Pure Sulfate-Free Scalp Scrub : an alternative to the scrub above is the Nexxus scalp scrub. It is also sulfate-free, budget-friendly, and can also be found at drugstores.
Using a shampoo massager brush while shampooing can help you exfoliate your scalp properly. There are limitless options available, but I have been using this one from Amazon.
3. Starting from the inside: supplements and hair-friendly foods
Using the proper treatment can help restore your hair, but, after all, beauty does come from the inside. Getting enough vitamins is essential for hair growth and preventing hair loss. The best way to get the nutrition needed for healthy hair is through foods and vitamins.
Biotin or vitamin B7 can reduce hair loss, skin rashes and improve nail quality. It is easy to get enough biotin through your diet: egg yolks, whole grains and legumes, nuts and seeds, sweet potatoes, and liver. My favorite biotin supplements are:
Extra Strength Hair Skin and Nails Vitamins: these vitamins have helped me grow my hair AND improve my skin quality, making it hydrated and luminous. It is a great budget-friendly option that can be found at most the drug stores.
Jarrow Formulas Biotin 5000 mcg: this option is better if you’re looking to get pure biotin. It is also affordable and can be found on Amazon.
4. Leave-in treatments and hair masks:
Adding an extra step to your hair care routine can be helpful when trying to improve its quality. A great way to do so would be using a hair mask once a week and using leave-in treatments, such as conditioners and oils, after washing it. Applying a hair mask on damp hair and keeping it on for about 15-30 minutes before washing it has helped me make my hair stronger and prevent split ends. These are my favorite masks:
R+Co Television Perfect Hair Masque: this mask has been my ultimate favorite and will work great for almost every hair type. It can be purchased on Amazon or at Blue Mercury.
Oribe Signature Moisture Masque: this option is on the more expensive side but definitely worth the price. It lasted me for quite a long and was the one I saw the most improvement from. It also can be purchased on Amazon or at Blue Mercury.
Garnier Fructis Smoothing Treat 1 Minute Hair Mask: this mask is a budget-friendly option perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much time or money on a hair product. Its ingredient list is impressive, as it is also sulfate-free and is primarily made of natural components. Because it’s pretty affordable, the best way to use it would be to apply it after shampooing and keep it in for a couple of minutes. For its price, the effect is fantastic and can be seen even after the first use.
5. Finally, some other tips:
Taking your hair care routine seriously can help you see results quickly. These are my favorite tips which have mostly helped me prevent further damage and speed up my hair recovery.
- Washing my hair with cold or room-temperature water and avoiding hot water. While many of us prefer taking hot showers, washing your hair with too hot water can dry out your scalp and damage your hair. It is also best to remove conditioners with cold water to wash the excess product but not remove the product entirely.
- Using a good hairbrush. As simple as it may seem, choosing a hairbrush that works for your scalp and hair can make a difference. I prefer using Wet hair brushes, as they do not damage your wet hair while brushing and do not irritate the scalp. From my personal experience, using the wrong hairbrush scratched my scalp and caused dandruff even when my scalp was not dry.
Wet Brush Disney Original Detangler Hair Brush – Cinderella: the best part about the Wet Brush series is that it can be found in all colors and designs. They are also found at discount stores, such as Marshalls and TJ Maxx, making it possible to get a good-quality hairbrush for a reasonable price.
- Rosewater. While it may not work for everyone, it had helped me reduce irritation and itching when either using a wrong shampoo (at times when I experimented aiming to find new products) or when I was not able to wash my hair.
Heritage Store Rosewater, Refreshing Facial Mist for Glowing Skin: my favorite has been this spray, which is marketed for the skin and works well for my scalp. After brushing my hair before going to bed or in the morning, I use it and then put my hair up or make a braid. It can be found on Amazon or at drugstores, such as Target and CVS.
Featured image from Getty Images