www.whyville.net Nov 21, 2010 Weekly Issue

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Worth the Effort

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No matter what your hair goals, you want your hair to be at it's best. Shiny, bouncy, healthy hair is a must for all lengths. But if you are trying to grow your hair out and prevent damage, you might need to try a few unconventional methods.

Secret #1 - Take your vitamins!

Hair specialists love to remind us that it is impossible to alter the rate at which your hair grows. Average hair growth is 1/2" per month. I am able to speed up my normal growth rate to 3/4" each month just by taking supplements for my hair.

There are hundreds of bottles with the word "hair" slapped on the label, but they are not all created equal. First, take a multivitamin that encompasses all of your body's needs. Then you can worry about extra nutrition for your hair.

Hair especially likes B complex, biotin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, iron, zinc, flax seed oil, black currant seed oil, kelp and silica. If you want to be extra sure your hair is getting what it wants, take an amino acids complex as well.

Secret #2 - Scalp massage

Massaging your scalp for 5 minutes a day can make your hair stronger, thicker, and grow in faster. You can choose to do it dry, or use an oil or scalp treatment to assist you. You can even do it while you are shampooing.

Remember to use the pads of your fingers, never your nails. Spread your fingers apart and place them firmly on your head. Start at the base of your neck and work your way up to your front hairline. Move in little circles. You may feel tingly; that's your improved circulation.

Secret #3 - Wear your hair up more

A lot of people don't get this one. "What's the point of having long hair if I have to wear it up all the time?" The point is to have more beautiful, healthy, long hair. Every time you wear your hair down, you are exposing it to environmental damage. It is exposed to the air, which will dry it out. Wind will cause tangles, which in turn causes more handling and more damage. Try wearing your hair up at least 50% of the time. By the end of one month, you will notice much less breakage, and less dryness.

Secret #4 - Don't neglect your trims

This one I had to learn the hard way. "If I'm trying to grow out my hair, why would I cut it?" Big mistake. The last 2 inches of my hair always looked raggedy and thin and I could never understand why. Then I gave in and got a good trim. My ends were soft, smooth, buttery and thick. I disciplined myself to get another small trim 2 months later. My ends are still looking fantastic. Your ends are the oldest, driest and most damaged part of your hair. No matter how gentle you are to your hair, the ends split and move farther up the hair shaft. Split ends cause tangles, which leads to breakage and snapping.

Secret #5 - Find the tricks that work for you

There are so many hair tips it's hard to figure out which ones are best for you. The only way to find out is to try them. Here are some of my favorite tips that you don't see too often. Pick one or two, try them for 2 weeks to a month. Then decide if this is the answer to your most gorgeous hair.

* Sleep on a satin pillowcase to prevent damage from tossing and turning.
* If your hair is damaged, use a protein treatment once a week.
* Switch from plastic combs to wooden or cellulose acetate. Plastic combs have molded seams on them that damage your hair cuticle.
* Use distilled water as your final rinse. Tap water leaves mineral deposits on hair that can dull it and damage it.
* If your hair is very dry, don't shampoo every day.
* If you have fine, thin hair, stay away from volumizing and thickening shampoos. They dry out your hair.

No one said having great looking and healthy hair at the same time would be easy. It takes some thought and experimentation. But since having great hair can make or break your look, it is always worth the extra effort.

Author's Note: Sources: Seventeen Magazine, Teen Vogue, and Flare


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