Sunday, November 29, 2015

Basic Hair Care and Maintenance

     In this section, the best practices with hair will be described. I will discuss washing, conditioning, cutting and other random tips I learned about keeping the hair healthy.
  • Cutting the hair and why it's important: The hair should be trimmed every 2 to 3 months. This helps keep the ends healthy and stops split ends from forming or splitting up the follicle. Split ends are responsible for creating tangles and destroying the appearance of hair. 

  • Washing the hair: I only wash the hair when it is necessary. This may depend on your hair type, but I have found that washing every other day is the best for us. We often skip 2 days if we weren't that active. The temperature of the water is not as important, but really hot water can irritate the scalp. When researching for shampoos, you may be overwhelmed. I recommend trying a few and seeing what works best for your hair type. I good shampoo will have your hair feeling clean and it should rinse clean as well. You should only shampoo the roots and sometimes you may need to do it twice to help wash away dirt/oil. 
  • Conditioning the hair:  Conditioner should be used when needed to help keep the hair healthy and tangle-free. I recommend buying a few and researching what works best for your hair, with so many hair types, it is hard to give an opinion on a particular product. What I can say about conditioner is that you should condition the hair, not the roots, and leave it in a few minutes if possible. I would often use a detangling comb during this process to help work out the tangles.

  • Things to consider when swimming with hair: Most people don't consider this, but your hair is like a sponge. When you jump into a pool with chlorine water or an ocean with salt water, those chemicals and minerals are absorbing into your hair. Chlorine will damage the texture of hair along with turning it a shade of green in some instances. If you can put your hair into a bun and get it wet with purified water first, it will help reduce the possible damage while swimming. I have my daughter get her hair wet using the pool shower before she gets in and I have her rinse when she gets out. This saves us from the headache of repairing the hair when we get home. 
  • Protecting your hair from the sun:  If you spend a lot of time in the sun, you should consider wearing a hat or investing in a product to prevent the UV rays from damaging your hair. 
  • Shower filters:  Something to consider when washing is the quality of your water. I recommend getting your water tested and at the very least, get a showerhead filter. Reducing the chlorine can help keep the hair healthy and not so dry. A shower filter also helps keep your shower free of water spots and leaves your skin feeling clean after a rinse. 

  • Brushing routines: We found it best to brush the hair once in the morning and once in the evening to keep the hair free of tangles that build up over time. It helps you catch little tangles before they leave you with painful knots that are difficult to remove.
  • Hair is delicate when it is wet: A healthy strand of hair can stretch up to 30% when it is wet, so it is important to be gentle when brushing. If you style wet hair, do it loose so the hair has the opportunity to shrink. Tight hairstyles with wet hair can cause breakage especially when you are doing tight braids or other styles that are typically tight to the head. 

  • Braiding before bedtime: I found that braiding before bed helped prevent tangles that would come from a night of sleep. It is important to consider how your child sleeps and position the braid in a comfortable spot for them. 


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