Cristale Adams is an online author and publisher. Her articles vary in topics and focus on real life. She always enjoys learning new things.
Having Manageable Hair Is Possible!
As a person changes and ages over time, so does their hair. Hair can change texture, type, and even strength over time. Years of sun damage, hard water, harsh styling products, and heat styling be guaranteed to eventually show on the outside layers and the ends of hair. The hair cuticle may become frizzy, brittle, and dry to feel kind of like hay. Hair may stop growing and or become thin if not properly taken care of.
Having manageable, healthy hair is possible for any type of hair with proper and consistent care and maintenance. Having healthy hair always starts from the inside before it shows on the outside. Caring for hair routinely will encourage new growth and increase shine and durability, for a more radiant appearance as well as a less unruly texture.
What Is Hair?
Hair is composed of multiple layers of the same fibrous protein called keratin. Hair grows out of the hair follicle from a bulb that is underneath. Living cells within the hair bulb grow and divide multiple times to create one single strand of hair. Blood vessels nourish those living cells that create hair, which is why blood flow and stimulation are important for the growth of hair.
A single hair strand has internally multiple layers called:
- Cuticle: This is the outer layer of hair and is where shine can be seen. Hair cuticles resemble shingles or scales that open and close with heat and cold, respectively.
- Cortex: The cortex is where the strength, color, elasticity, and texture of hair comes from. The fibrous cortex accounts for 90% of hair's total weight.
- Medulla: This is the innermost structure and is only present in large, thick, and/or coarse strands of hair. This layer is typically not found in naturally blonde or fine hair.
Hair Types & Textures
The texture of hair refers to the circumference of a single strand of hair, which is:
- Fine, does not contain a medulla
- Medium, may contain a medulla
- Thick, contains a medulla
The type of hair refers to how hair naturally looks. Some of the most common types of hair are:
How to Manage Any Hair Type
There are some facts and tips about hair care that are necessary to manage and maintain hair for healthy new growth with added shine and strength.
Often times, many people take the time to style their hair but never actually take care of it. Caring for and maintaining hair should be part of everyone's regular routine, just as brushing teeth and taking a shower/bath. Caring for hair is essential for a neat, clean, and well-groomed appearance and also for overall, general health.
Managing hair is easy and will have noticeable effects, but it must be consistent and regular. Over-caring for hair is also possible by overdoing certain things.
1. Eat Healthy Foods Daily
This does not mean to go on a diet, but rather pay attention to the foods that are being consumed on a regular basis. A healthy daily diet will consist of foods that are high in protein, antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins. A healthy daily diet is best for making hair durable, shiny, and strong. Certain foods can encourage natural, healthy growth starting from the inside out.
Things to avoid:
- Foods that are high in sugar content.
- Black tea can hinder hair growth.
- Alcohol is dehydrating which makes hair dull and flat.
- Caffeine makes hair dry and brittle.
2. Drink Plenty of Water Daily
Water is the best and most natural way to add moisture back into the hair. About 8 8-ounce cups of water per day is the daily recommendation, which may include flavored water. Hair will have increased body and shine from proper and full hydration. Try adding some fresh clean rose petals into drinking water for a more enhanced taste. Other things to add to water can include:
- Lemon, lime, orange
- Watermelon or melon
- Kiwi and or berries
3. Wash Hair Correctly as Needed
Knots and tangles after washing are not only a nuisance but also cause breakage. Even with a detangler, there are always knots and tangles to comb out.
- Brush your hair before you wash it: I have learned that if you do this, there is a drastic reduction in the number of knots and tangles afterward. Also, brushing before washing can help to properly disburse shampoo and conditioner, instead of just washing one big tangle. The strands of hair are neater and less jumbled up.
- Never pile hair on top of the head to wash: This will cause deep tangles in the hair. Instead, it is best to wash from the scalp down to the tips. The same applies when conditioning, however, do not apply conditioner directly on to the scalp because hair tends to look more oily even after just being washed.
- Never use hot water on hair: It will cause dryness, increased frizz, and unruliness.
- Pat and squeeze hair dry with a soft cloth or even a t-shirt: This reduces knots and tangles, but can also reduce static, breakage, and frizz.
How often should I wash my hair?
I recommend washing hair every other day for very oily hair and every 2–3 days (aim for 3 days) for other types. However, don't wait too long because you'll have build-up on the scalp that can clog and damage hair follicles.
This is the best and most natural way to have manageable hair with the least amount of work. The new dry shampoos are intended for days when hair is unwashed, but those dry out hair and cause more harm to hair than benefits because of all the chemicals.
This is only recommended for hair that has no styling products. Styling products cannot be left on the hair for long periods of time.
4. Close Those Cuticles After Heat
Certain elements and conditions can change the hair cuticle's movement. When heat is applied to hair, like hot water or heat from the blow dryer, the cuticle opens which makes the hair appear frizzy and untamed.
When cold air or water is applied, the hair cuticle closes which makes hair more manageable and smoother.
Rinsing hair with lukewarm water during washing and conditioning will open the cuticle for proper cleansing and moisturizing. Finishing with a quick rinse of cool water will close the cuticle further for a healthier appearance.
A cool shot of air following the completion of blow-drying hair will allow for a closed cuticle with a smoother finish. Use only warm air just until hair is dry.
5. Try to Avoid Styling Products
Styling products are not the same as thermal protectors, glosses, or oils.
- Many styling products like mousse and hair spray contain large amounts of alcohol in some form, which is very damaging and drying to the hair cuticles.
- Extra harsh styling products such as pastes and waxes will strip hair of all moisture and the scalp of natural oil along with shine and health. Plus, these are very difficult to remove from the hair unless there are multiple washes.
- The alcohol contained in many styling products is usually the first ingredient listed and will build up onto the scalp and onto the hair. This build-up will weigh hair down, eventually depleting the natural body and volume of hair.
- Sleeping with any type of styling product left in hair is definitely not advised because the hair follicles will remain covered up to reduce natural hair growth.
Styling products are optional and should always contain natural ingredients. So while the hair may look and feel great immediately after styling, the result is more damage and long-term consequences.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: Can we use hair setting spray on hair?
Answer: Too many products cause build-up and residue.
© 2012 Cristale Adams
Cristale Adams (author) on September 14, 2020:
Thank you for reading and for commenting on my article.
Eleanor P from New York on June 23, 2020:
Erin Lizzy from Ohio on June 20, 2014:
Wow! Great article and information!
dinesh hair stylish on July 05, 2013: