Hair is not as simple as it looks. It has rather a complex structure made of a tough protein called keratin. A hair follicle anchors each hair into the skin. On average hair grows half to one inch per month.
Aside from ethnicity, the simplest way to describe how we get our natural color of hair is the type of pigments that we get from our parents. In a nutshell hair has two types of pigment – eumelanin (black and brown) and pheomelanis (orange and yellow). These two pigments are responsible for the color of hair. If eumelanin is the predominant pigment, the color of hair is darker or black. And, if pheomelanis is dominant or an individual has a combination of eumelanin and pheomelanis the color of hair is lighter – blond or auburn.
Your hair texture and shape (straight or curly) is also genes related. In order for your hair to maintain its strength, shine and luster it is imperative to choose a shampoo and conditioner that corresponds to your hair type.
Don’t over-wash your hair. Over-washing will dry out your hair. Shampoo is an emulsifier and its purpose is to strip hair from dirt and excess oil. If your hair is dry, you only need to wash it every three or four days. For oily and fine hair you may need to wash every other day. But for normal hair, it boils down to your preference and lifestyle. Massage your scalp with the tip of your fingers to stimulate blood flow to you hair follicles. This important practice makes your hair stronger and healthier.
Brushing in moderation is necessary for healthy hair. It is a good idea to brush your hair gently without pulling it. This will help to untangle your hair and spread its natural oil (sebum) evenly throughout your hair.
In order to keep your hair healthy you should trim it regularly, every six to seven weeks to get rid of split ends.
Lastly, keep in mind that for healthy hair you have to take a few extra steps:
- Keep yourself hydrated.
- Eat healthy food rich in vitamins and nutrients.
- Reduce your level of stress
- Get daily exercise, a simple walk in the park or yoga will help.
- Wash your hair with warm, not hot water.
- If you need to use a hair dryer, set the temperature to warm or cold, not hot. Hair doesn’t like too much heat. The best method is to let it dry naturally.