A Few Tips For Healthier Hair

Yu Shing Ting
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Friday - April 04, 2007
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Jaclyn Wataoka brushes her hair the proper way
Jaclyn Wataoka brushes
her hair the proper way

When it comes to celebrities, beautiful hair does not discriminate. From Beyonce’s big, dark curls to Paris Hilton’s shiny blond locks, we all should be allowed to have healthy, beautiful hair - no matter what our occupation or salary is.

According to Joannie Rossiter, dean at Ulu Pono Academy in Kaimuki, a Paul Mitchell partner school, the key to healthy hair is to make sure you’re using the right products for your hair.

“The No. 1 reason why we have damaged hair is that we do not take care of our hair,” she says. “We put all kinds of stuff in our hair without knowing what’s in it.”

So, with that said, yes, it does matter what type of shampoo and conditioner you use. Obviously if you have oily hair you would-n’t use the shampoo labeled “for dry hair,” and vice versa.

“When you go to the salon, your hairstylist should recommend the type of products you should use for your hair,” notes Rossiter. “The hairstylist is your hair professional or hair doctor, and it’s their job to tell you what you’re supposed to use, and then you as a client need to purchase those products, take it home and use it.”

When shopping for shampoo and conditioner, Rossiter recommends buying professional products - products sold in beauty salons only.

Also, read the labels. Most products tell you exactly what type of hair it’s made for (for example: dry, normal, oily, color treated, etc.) and what it will do for your hair.

“Using the right type of shampoo is going to control or stabilize the type of hair you have,” says Rossiter. “As for the price, to me you’re going to get what you pay for it.”

Most people do not need to wash their hair every day, Rossiter says, but if you do it’s OK as long as you’re using the right products.

Also, make sure your hair is dry before you go to bed. Sleeping with wet hair won’t damage your hair, however, it could create bacteria.

“A lot of people go to sleep with their hair wet and it’s just not healthy for you,” warns Rossiter. “Anything dark and moist is going to create bacteria, which can turn into an infection. It’s bacteria settling in one area, and that’s why a lot of our children end up with ukus (hair lice) because ukus like to live in hair like that - wet and moist.”

And just like using the right hair products, it’s also important to use the right type of hair brush - and use it properly.

“When you brush your hair, what’s important is to start at the scalp and move all the way to the end,” explains Rossiter. “Go through the strands, and while you’re doing that you’re taking the natural oils from the scalp and moving it to the hair, and that is healthy.

“You really need to just brush your hair once a day. Some people, depending on how much hair you have, can do it in 20 strokes or 40 strokes. As long as you have the right brush for your type of hair and you’re not pulling, you can brush your hair all day.”

Personally, my biggest hair problem is that I seem to lose a lot of it every day. It amazes me how fast my hair accumulates on my carpet, and disgusts me when I have to dig it out of my shower drain.

“On average you’re going to lose 50 to 60 strands of hair a day,” says Rossiter. “That’s the norm. Some people can lose up to 100 a day.

“Hair grows every day, and it takes six years before it goes through its full growth cycle, but because there’s so much hair you don’t notice it. When you’re younger you go through the cycle faster so your hair is going to fall out and grow back faster than when you’re older. It all depends on your age, your lifestyle, what you’re feeding your hair, how healthy you are, and your genes.”

We all know that a healthy diet and regular exercise are good for your body, but who knew they were good for your hair too?

“If your body is healthy, your hair will be healthy,” says Rossiter. “Your blood vessels nourish the hair, so if the insides of your body is being taken care of, ultimately the blood vessels that lead to the hair follicles will help to create healthy hair.

“And it’s very important to have healthy hair because we are very vain. Everyone wants to look and feel beautiful, so it’s important that our hair is healthy so we can do all the things we want to do to our hair.”

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