Forget Narcissus. Absalom was the king of beauty in ancient times, described in the Bible as the most handsome man in his kingdom, with a mane of hair so long that it snagged in the branches of an oak tree, where he hung until his death at the hands of his enemies.
Ok, so he died a little harsh. But Absalom had some serious hair growth that most of us would love. While it’s safe to say that flowing locks strong enough to hang from are beyond what most of us can expect, we can minimize damage to the hair we’ve got and encourage healthy hair growth with good hair habits and a gentle touch.
This is an article about hair growth and healthy hair. And though it’s doubtful the tips you’ll find here will produce the free-flowing locks of our favorite prince of pride, they’ll minimize hair damage and loss you might otherwise sustain, and encourage the hair you’re genetically programmed to keep to be healthy and vibrant.
Resist the Itch – When you scratch your scalp, you scratch your hair. One estimate suggests that the average person with dandruff scratches for 90 minutes a week. That’s potential for some serious hair breakage, and serious loss.
If you’ve got dandruff, switch to a dandruff shampoo with any one of ketoconazole, salicylic acid, zinc, selenium sulfide or tar as an active ingredient. Use the product for a month, and switch to another dandruff shampoo with another ingredient if it’s not working. Still got dandruff? Time to see a dermatologist.
Handle Long Hair With Care – Long hair is weaker at the ends and is therefore prone to damage and loss from excessive stroking, combing, pulling or brushing. Excessive is more than 100 strokes a day, by the way. If you’ve got long hair and it’s damaged, switch to a shorter hair style, which should improve overall appearance.
Choose Good Styling Tools – Use a broad-toothed comb with smooth, round teeth that glides gently through your hair. Avoid combs with jagged teeth that are close together, which can snag hair and are particularly stressful on tangles.
Also, be cautious with hair clips and rubber bands, as anything that strains hair can do damage. Use loose-fitting fabric scrunchies to hold ponytails in place.
Pay For a Good Stylist – Sometimes it’s good to splurge, and it’s worth splurging for a good stylist that’s well-trained and uses sharp scissors, as defective or blunt blades can damage hair and cause split ends. And get regular trims
Avoid ‘Long-Lasting Hold’ Products – They reek of hair-damaging chemicals and can start the breakage process, made worse when styling with a comb.
Avoid Frequent Color and Bleaching – Blondes may have more fun, but get your kicks in other ways if you’re brunette. Hair color and bleaching agents add more chemicals to your mane that healthy hair doesn’t like. Ditto for permanent waves.
If you insist on coloring, stay within three shades of your natural color, and remember that hair thins with age, and it’s therefore advisable to use products with fewer chemicals as you get older.
In addition, know that diet plays as much a role in hair growth as good hair habits. Salmon, nuts, leafy vegetables and carrots all burst with nutrients for a healthy scalp and encourage healthy and vibrant hair.