By Tracey Berman, Head of Marketing at Harvey Water Softeners
In a recent survey of UK adults, it was revealed that almost 9 out of 10 men and women were unhappy with their hair. Importantly, that’s both men and women having confidence issues due to one singular aspect of their looks.
Hair care is a massive industry and people are now more aware that hair quality comes from good lifestyle and product choices. These decisions may not be cheap but to ensure quality, people are willing to research and make the best choices for their hair. We have worked with hair care specialists and water scientists to discover the various effects our daily decisions can have on our head of hair, the following is just some of the research and findings we’ve discovered along the way.
Most people understand that diet affects your skin, with unlucky snackers reporting breakouts when eating unhealthy foods for example. The same logic applies to hair health, but often people don’t consider it.
Omega-3s are crucial for healthy hair, you can get your fix from eating more walnuts or almonds, as well as focusing on fatty fish, like mackerel or salmon as opposed to something like cod. These can be harder to get if you’re on a vegetarian or vegan diet, as well as B12 which is needed for healthy hair growth. Consider supplements to ensure you’re getting enough good vitamins.
On top of essential fatty foods like those, you should ensure you’re getting enough protein in your diet too. Lean meats or soy products are a good place to start. But overall, the goal should be to get your recommended daily allowance of just about everything, because even things like your iron intake can affect the health and quality of your hair. The rest of your body will thank you for it too!
Soft vs hard water
Hard water is present in many areas around the world and it all depends on where your water comes from. For example, in the UK, Wales tends to have soft water due to the Welsh mountains being key sources of water for the country, therefore the water does not have much opportunity for magnesium and calcium to become diluted into the water. These minerals can then wreak havoc on kettles, pipes and boilers as limescale develops. Now you may be thinking, what does that have to do with hair quality?
Have you ever noticed that when you visit different places your hair seems less flyaway, softer, often smoother?
The fact is that minerals don’t mix well with shampoos meaning your hair and scalp retains the harshness of these chemicals, making it harder to wash. Your scalp then suffers as the skin clings onto cleaning products due to the unpleasantness of hard water. A study by The University of Sheffield actually found that soft water decreases the risk of eczema and skin conditions such as dry skin. This can also lead to the development of dandruff as the skin suffers under your scalp. A water softener removes the minerals letting you shower with soft water instead, in turn helping your hair to be far more glossier.
Oils are actually good for hair health and strength but choosing the right one can be a tough choice, especially as we don’t want to cover our head in poor quality chemicals. Argan oil is great for dry hair but can be expensive, especially if purchasing good quality oil. But if you are looking to get your hair into luxury shape, the costs definitely outweigh the sleek and lightweight benefits.
Nut oils like macadamia oil are perfect for when your hair is unhealthy and damaged. Much like having the nuts in your diet, putting them in a hair mask can have instant benefits to improve the quality of your hair. Oils should only be used in conjunction with a good diet to ensure the best results.
Whilst we’ve discussed the benefits of soft water and how that can help with washing hair, it’s also crucial not to wash your hair too often. Some people do it every single day and this strips the natural oils your hair so desperately needs. This should be every other day at most, with more and more research highlighting the benefits of washing twice a week instead. A Colombia University health expert previously stated that if your hair is dry or normal or anywhere in between, you are a prime candidate for letting your hair go greasy and only washing twice a week.
Ultimately, much like the rest of your body, your hair will reward you for a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Luxuries such as installing a water softener, or splashing out on expensive imported oils are bonuses that not everyone can have. They can, however, help you to be more confident and become the 1 in 10 person that has a happy head of hair.