Who doesn't want a luscious mane of strong, vibrant hair that shines with vitality? It is one of those things that can instantly make you feel and look beautiful no matter how you are dressed.
However, factors such as environmental stressors, heat styling, chemical treatments, and poor hair care practices can lead to weakened hair, breakage, and dullness.
If you want to learn how to strengthen hair and achieve a healthier, more resilient mane, this ultimate guide will provide comprehensive insights, tips, and strategies for promoting hair strength and vitality.
Understanding Hair Structure and Growth
Before delving into specific strategies for strengthening hair, it's essential to understand the basics of hair structure and growth.
The visible part of the hair, known as the hair shaft, is composed of three layers - the cuticle, cortex, and medulla.
The outermost layer, the cuticle, serves as a protective barrier for the inner layers. Smooth and flat cuticles contribute to shiny and healthy-looking hair.
The cortex is the thickest layer, containing the protein-rich structures responsible for hair's strength, elasticity, and color.
The innermost layer, the medulla, is often not present in all hair types and doesn't play a significant role in hair health.
Hair growth occurs in cycles with three main phases: anagen (growth), catagen (transitional), and telogen (resting).
The rate of hair growth varies, but on average, hair grows about half an inch per month, with 90% of hair follicles in the anagen phase at any given time.
Factors Contributing to Weak Hair
There isn't just one thing attacking your hair and making it brittle and weak. Not only is your hair constantly being exposed to harsh environmental elements such as sun, wind, and pollution, but you are probably using heat-styling tools every day as well.
This can weaken the hair and cause damage. It also strips the hair of moisture and weakens the cuticle.
On top of this, if you are not eating well, and consuming enough essential nutrients, especially proteins, vitamins, and minerals, then that can impact your health as well.
Chemical processes like perming, straightening, and coloring can compromise the integrity of the hair shaft. Rough handling, tight hairstyles, and the use of harsh hair care products can contribute to the breakage and weakening of hair.
Diet and Nutrition for Stronger Hair
You are what you eat. And that applies to your hair as well. Stronger hair comes from proper nutritional intake.
Hair is primarily composed of a protein called keratin. Ensure an adequate intake of protein-rich foods such as lean meats, eggs, dairy, legumes, and nuts to support hair strength and growth.
If you are vegan or vegetarian, then it is possible that you don't get enough protein in your diet. Make sure to add lots of plant protein sources to your daily intake, like tofu, tempeh, and more.
Vitamins and Minerals
Incorporate foods rich in vitamins and minerals essential for hair health, including vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, biotin, iron, and zinc. Leafy greens, berries, nuts, and seeds are excellent choices.
Also, make sure to eat the rainbow. All the colorful fruits and vegetables are filled with healthy carotenoids, flavonoids, and other antioxidants that are great for your body and hair.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to scalp health and can be found in fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. One easy way to add this to your diet is by putting a tablespoon of ground flaxseed powder into your oatmeal or cereal every morning.
Practices for Stronger Hair
Everything you do every single day either contributes to stronger hair or makes your hair brittle and weak. So pay attention to your lifestyle and routine.
Wash your hair with a sulfate-free, moisturizing shampoo to avoid stripping natural oils. Limit washing to 2-3 times a week to prevent over-drying.
If you have extremely dry or brittle hair, try to wash your hair only once a week. Your hair could probably use the rest.
Use a hydrating and protein-rich conditioner to nourish and strengthen hair. Consider incorporating a deep conditioning treatment once a week.
Avoid tight hairstyles that pull on the hair shaft, leading to breakage. Opt for loose styles, and consider protective hairstyles like braids or buns to minimize damage.
Minimize Heat Styling
Limit the use of heat styling tools, and when using them, apply a heat protectant to minimize damage. Air-dry hair whenever possible to reduce exposure to heat.
Schedule regular trims to remove split ends and prevent them from traveling up the hair shaft, causing further damage. Even if you are trying to grow out your hair, it's important to get it trimmed regularly.
Use a Wide-Toothed Comb
Wet hair is more prone to breakage. Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle gently, starting from the ends and working your way up.
Silk or Satin Pillowcases
Switch to silk or satin pillowcases to reduce friction and prevent hair breakage while sleeping. Not only is this a luxurious way to sleep, but it's also cooling on those hot summer days. And it will banish bedhead.
Natural Remedies for Hair Strengthening
There are many natural hair masks you can create at home with ingredients you have in your pantry or refrigerator. Hair care doesn't have to be exorbitantly expensive.
Coconut Oil Treatment
Apply warm coconut oil to the hair and scalp, leave it on for a few hours or overnight, and then shampoo. Coconut oil can penetrate the hair shaft, providing nourishment and promoting strength.
Aloe Vera Gel
Apply pure aloe vera gel to the scalp and hair. Aloe vera has moisturizing properties and contains enzymes that promote a healthy scalp.
Create a protein-rich hair mask by whisking an egg and applying it to damp hair. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes before washing.
Avocado Hair Mask
Mash up avocado with olive oil and a little bit of lemon juice. It's a highly moisturizing mask that will make your hair brighter and softer. Apply it to the hair and leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing.
Yogurt and Honey Mask
Combine yogurt and honey to create a nourishing hair mask. Yogurt contains proteins, while honey adds moisture. Apply the mask to damp hair and rinse after 30 minutes.
Supplements for Hair Strength
You take supplements to make your bones stronger and your brain faster. So why not supplements to make your hair stronger and healthier?
Biotin, a B vitamin, is known for promoting healthy hair, skin, and nails. Consult with a healthcare professional before adding supplements to your routine.
If dietary intake is insufficient, consider omega-3 supplements, such as fish oil capsules, to support overall hair health. This is a great supplement for your heart health as well, so it's killing two birds with one stone.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
Multivitamin supplements containing essential vitamins and minerals can help address any nutritional deficiencies that may impact hair strength.
It's hard enough to get enough greens in the day, let alone ensure you are getting all your essential nutrients. That's why supplementing is so important.
Professional Treatments for Hair Strengthening
You are not alone in your journey towards healthy, strong hair. Lots of hair professionals out there have tools to help you out.
Salon treatments such as keratin or protein treatments can provide an extra boost of strength and resilience to the hair. This is something you can do once a month to ensure your hair stays healthy and strong.
Treatments that focus on the health of the scalp, such as scalp massages or professional scalp treatments, can contribute to overall hair strength. You can do these at home as well, but there's something so indulgent about getting a scalp massage at a professional salon.
Lifestyle Practices for Healthy Hair
It's time to realize that your hair is showing signs of weakness because you are living a toxic lifestyle. It's all interconnected.
Chronic stress can contribute to hair loss and weakness. Practice stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.
Proper hydration is essential for overall health, including the health of your hair. Drink an adequate amount of water daily to keep your hair and scalp hydrated.
Physical activity improves blood circulation, including to the scalp. Engage in regular exercise to promote overall well-being and healthy hair growth.
Smoking has been linked to hair loss and premature graying. Quitting smoking can positively impact overall health, including hair strength.
How To Strengthen Hair - It's About the Little and Big Things
If you are looking at the tips above on how to strengthen hair and feeling overwhelmed, we get you. It's not easy having gorgeous hair. If it was, everyone would have it.
We wanted to help you in this journey towards strong hair. You want gorgeous voluminous hair, but you don't want to damage your hair while using styling products. VOLOOM has created straightening irons that give you volume without ruining or breaking your hair.
Check out our online catalog to find one that suits your hair and lifestyle.