Healthy hair has body, it shines, and it’s elastic, resilient, and resistant to breakage. It’s what all women want but few have. For most of us, “bad hair days” are the norm, especially as we get older. But why is this, and what can be done about it? Let’s take a look.

Chemical Damage

Chemical treatments including bleaching, highlighting, coloring, and foiling can seriously damage your hair if not done properly. Even excessive hair blowing can have a long-term effect. Why? These applications can change both the chemical and physical structure of your hair. This is not good! It dries hair out, making it look dull, brittle, and lifeless. It robs hair of its natural nutrients and in some extreme cases can lead to hair loss! The remedy? Make sure the products you use on your hair are gentle. And make sure your salon uses safe hair treatment products and techniques.

Environmental Damage

Here’s something you never thought about: If you have hard water, you can bet it’s being hard on your hair. Because just as mineral deposits can build up in your pipes and water heater, so will they build up on your hair and scalp. You might want to look into installing a water softener! Other bugaboos include exposing your hair to sun, cold air, wind, and other environmental factors. The end result is that the cuticle layers of your hair lose moisture and dry out. So, it’s good-bye to great hair and hello to the frizzies. The remedy? It’s common sense. Cover your head when you go outside as much as possible! Oh, and check into a water softener as well!

Physical Damage

Physical hair damage is essentially what you put your hair through. Style manipulations such as ponytails, afros, buns, and braids may look smart, but when done too often and too tightly, they can actually lead to a receding hair line—especially if left alone for weeks at a time. The more time passes, the greater the potential damage. And don’t forget excessive detangling! The remedy? If you do detangle, do so as gently as possible. And as for styles, keep them simple, and keep them smart!

Nutritional Damage

Yup, it’s true! You are what you eat. Pizza seven nights a week is not the way to go. Like the rest of your body, your hair needs proper nutrition to stay healthy. That means a balanced diet with the proper amount of protein, fats, carbs, vitamins, and all the rest. Like any other part of your body, your hair will suffer from the lack of proper nutrients. The remedy? Eat healthy and drink a lot of water!

Other Factors

Having healthy hair isn’t that big of a deal. Basically, it involves the thing you were born with—common sense! It comes down to this: Do right by your hair, and your hair will do right by you!