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Fashion blogger for Thessaloniki Greece, Freelance writer and editor.

Starting the Journey Toward Healthier Hair

We put our hair through a lot. In the shower, we often use harsh shampoos and conditioners and then reach for a hairdryer and other heat tools to dry and style our hair. This is all not even touching on the other potentially drying or harmful products many use on a daily basis, including gels, pomades, and more. 

Thankfully, there are a few simple steps that you can take to start eliminating this unnecessary stress on your hair. To begin, take a close look at the products you reach for in the shower. 

Read your labels

You may think that your current shampoo or conditioner is good enough and gets the job done, but if you are trying to improve the health of your hair it could be helpful to actually take a look at those ingredient labels. 

Here are a few specific ingredients that those who care about their hair health should avoid: 

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
  • Parabens
  • Triclosan
  • Propylene glycol 
  • Diethanolamine (DEA)
  • Mineral oil

Why are these ingredients bad? The answer to this question depends on the specific ingredient. For some of them, such as triclosan, DEA, mineral oil, and parabens, there are concerns surrounding potential health risks. For others, including SLS and propylene glycol, the concern centers more around the tendency for these ingredients to irritate the scalp and dry out your hair. 

Simply reading the ingredient labels on products you consistently use, like shampoo and conditioner, allows you to identify these harmful ingredients and subsequently remove products that contain them from your hair care routine. If you do end up discontinuing the use of your shampoo and conditioner, there are several great alternative options available. Solidu shampoo and conditioner bars are great environmentally friendly options that are also free from the above mentioned harmful ingredients. They have several formulations to target different hair care needs, such as this rosemary and mint shampoo bar for oily hair. 

Avoid heat styling

Yes, it is common advice to stop constantly using heat styling tools on your hair. But it is not without good reason. Hairdryers, straighteners, and curling irons are staples in many of our beauty routines, but that doesn’t change the fact that they can dry out your hair, contribute to split ends, and ruin your natural curl pattern. 

While these tools are certainly convenient and can help speed up the process of getting ready for the day, they do more harm than good. If it feels like asking too much to completely quit using your favorite heat styling tools, then a solid step would be to simply reduce the number of times per week that you use them. For example, if you typically blow dry your hair every morning and then pick up a curling iron to complete your look, maybe you could skip the curling iron three out of the seven days per week. While this doesn’t completely eliminate the potential for heat damage, it does reduce it. 

Work with your natural hair

Whether you naturally have straight hair, waves, curls, coils, or fall somewhere in between, everyone can benefit from embracing styles that lend themselves to their natural hair pattern. 

Investing in quality leave-in products to comb or scrunch through your hair after you shower can help keep the temptation for reaching for heat styling tools at bay. Gels, pomades, and leave-in conditioners can all help tame and style your hair while avoiding the harsh effects of heat. 

However, while you are researching which products you should use for this purpose be sure to keep an eye on the ingredient list. Just like shampoos and conditioners, other hair products can also contain the aforementioned harmful ingredients. Especially when checking out holding products like gel or pomade, be sure to avoid any harsh alcohols that could dehydrate your hair and leave it dry and brittle. 

To sum it all up

Remembering to read ingredient labels, avoid heat styling tools, and reach for various leave-in products are each small steps that you can take to improve the condition of your hair. Hopefully, these ideas can give you a starting point for moving toward your hair goals, and inspire you to look into even more options to optimize your hair’s health! 

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