Secrets of silky, healthy hair

By: IRENE NJOROGE-KRISTIAN

Wearing your own hair with pride is something many women long to do. Whether natural or chemically treated, good practices boost your hair’s appearance in terms of shine, growth and volume.

It is not just application of products that help, good habits also play a huge role. Here is what you should pay attention to:

SCALP CLEANLINESS

A clean scalp is the first condition for hair to grow well. The scalp contains thousands of hair follicles, sweat glands and oil glands. This means that the secretion rate of oil is quite high, along with the dead skin that accompanies it.

When this is mixed with sweat, product build-up, dust and grime, it forms a deep brown coating on the scalp.

When it is not cleaned regularly, the coating starts to flake causing the scalp to itch. Imagine how unhealthy it is to keep this grime on your scalp for up to four weeks!

Clean your scalp every week to prevent build-up, odour and flakes. Shampoo and conditioner are sufficient.

PROPER HAIR DRYING

Ensure that you dry your hair properly after a wash if you have braids or a weave. The lines often remain damp after the surface hair dries, and this could encourage fungal and bacterial growth. If you swim and you have braids/weave, use a swimming cap.

PROPER APPLICATION OF CHEMICALS

One of the chief causes of hair breakage, dryness and thinning is improper chemical application. Hair relaxer that is not rinsed out and neutralised thoroughly will continue to process the hair long after you leave the salon.

Ensure that your stylist takes enough time to wash the hair several times after chemical processing.

Running water is crucial to ensure every strand is rinsed. Hair relaxer should never be combed through the hair with a tail comb as this leads to over-processed hair, which will break in time. Chemical application at the hairline should be done last.

AVOID TIGHT PULLING

Hairline loss occurs when the hair is pulled tightly in this fragile area. Seek a stylist with a gentle touch when plaiting. Undo braids and weaves after three weeks, if you are prone to hairline damage.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION