There are many forces that can make your hair look listless, dull and unhealthy. From sun, chlorine and blow dryers to an unhealthy diet, any number of hazards can conspire to damage your hair. Fortunately, whether your hair is long or short, straight or curly, thick or baby-fine, there are certain habits that will help keep it looking its best.
1. Regular Shampooing
When you massage your scalp as you shampoo, it stimulates the oil glands to work more efficiently and brings natural oils into the hair, promoting bounce and shine.
2. The Right Products for Your Hair
Use a shampoo that is pH balanced and that is formulated for your hair type. Conditioner should be nourishing but not heavy. Rinse with cool water for extra shine.
A good choice is Mane ‘n Tail shampoo, which won the Cosmo Girl 2003 Kiss of Approval award for best moisturizing shampoo. This gentle, pH balanced formula is fortified with moisturizers and emollients providing body and shine. It cleans without stripping the hair of its natural oils. Pair it with Mane ‘n Tail conditioner, an exclusive protein enriched formula which maintains, nourishes and conditions hair and scalp to aid healthy hair growth.
As the name suggests, Mane ‘n Tail products were originally developed for use on horses. They worked so well, “groomers started using the products on themselves to achieve the beautiful results they saw with their horses,” explains Devon Katzev, president of Straight Arrow Products, Inc., the parent company. The results spread by word of mouth, and the company introduced a line formulated for people in 1993. Jennifer Aniston and Sarah Jessica Parker are some of the many celebrities who have been quoted as counting Mane ‘n Tail products among their “beauty secrets.”
3. Proper Hair Care
Never brush wet hair, which can lead to breakage; instead, use a wide tooth comb after you shampoo and save the brush for later. The tried-and-true “100 stokes a night” really is a good way to bring out the shine in your hair.
4. Protect Your Hair from Damage
Using a blow dryer, curling iron, hot rollers or straightening iron every day can take a toll on your hair. Use a shampoo and conditioner designed to protect your hair from these everyday assaults. Coloring, perming and relaxing your hair can also strip it of essential moisture and nutrients.
Mane ‘n Tail products help defend hair from the effects of styling tools. The conditioner’s essential moisturizing corrects the drying effect caused by sun, wind and use of bleach and peroxide lighteners. Both the shampoo and conditioner are safe on permed, relaxed or color treated hair. The conditioner is especially effective on thick or coarse hair. “Remember, horses’ hair is three times thicker than human hair, so if it works on manes and tails, just think how soft and silky it will make your hair,” says Katzev.
5. A Healthy Diet
What you eat is reflected in the state of your hair. A hair-healthy diet includes a wide variety of foods, including lots of fruits and vegetables, and plenty of water. A daily multivitamin will ensure that your hair is getting all the nutritional support it needs. Stay away from processed foods, alcohol and cigarettes.
You’ll want to be sure that your hair products are pure and healthy, too. Mane ‘n Tail products were originally manufactured on the family farm (they’ve been around since 1970).
“While we don’t make the products on the farm today, we do manufacture them in a state-of-the-art facility at our headquarters in Bethlehem, Penn.,” says Katzev. “All Mane ‘n Tail products are designed to stand the test of our family tradition of quality and 100 percent customer satisfaction.”
The company has a full line of innovative hair care products that promote healthy hair growth, including a detangler formula for hard-to-comb hair and a hair strengthener that nourishes and repairs. Katzev is looking forward to the newest addition to the line, called Barrier, which will help achieve longer, stronger, healthier hair. “I consider this a revolutionary daily styling protection treatment,” he says of the new product, due on store shelves this summer.