Considering it is technically dead tissue, we spend an awful lot of time, money, and energy on hair care. And well we should. In addition to being fun to style and color, hair serves a valuable biological purpose: It keeps your head warm and helps regulate body temperature.
Hair, like nails, is an extension of your epidermis, the outer layer of your skin. It is composed mainly of protein. The typical hair cell stays with you for three to five years until it falls or grows out. Most of the time, it gets replaced. Because you spend so much time with your hair, particularly if you’re a woman, it deserves good care. So here are some hair care tips to help you keep your hair shiny, healthy, and beautiful:
1. Mash a ripe avocado (pit removed) with one egg, then apply to wet hair. Avocados are rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals that will help restore luster to your hair, says Stephen Sanna, expert colorist at the Pierre Michel Salon in New York City. Leave on for at least 20 minutes, then rinse several times. Repeat once a week for damaged hair and once a month for healthy hair.
2. Use one part apple cider vinegar and two parts very warm water to help balance the pH level of your scalp and bring out natural red highlights. It may be smelly, but it works, says Federico. Simply pour the vinegar mixture onto your hair, massage it into your scalp, and let it dry for a few minutes. Then wash hair as usual.
3. Mix one egg with a small amount of shampoo, apply to your hair for five minutes, and rinse well. This “shampoo omelet” helps to enhance the protein in your hair.
4. Make your own conditioner. Here are some simple tips to condition your hair using some everyday household ingredients:
- Rub enough mayonnaise into your hair to coat it, wait up to an hour, and wash it out. You’ll be amazed at how soft and shiny your hair is, thanks to this great protein source.
- Substitute condensed milk for your regular conditioner. The protein provides an extra-special shine.
- Mix 2 ounces olive oil and 2 ounces aloe vera gel with 6 drops each of rosemary and sandalwood essential oils. Olive oil is an emollient, aloe hydrates, and rosemary adds body and softness.
5. Take one to three 250-milligram capsules of borage oil, evening primrose oil, or flaxseed oil one to three times a day. All are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like gamma-linolenic acid, great for keeping hair (and nails) moisturized, says Kathleen W. Wilson, M.D., an internist at the Ochsner Health Center in New Orleans and author of When You Think You Are Falling Apart.
NEXT: Tips to get natural highlights, add gloss, tame flyaways