Maintaining that gorgeous, post-salon glow is easier than you think. Follow these five, easy tips from the expert image consultants at YGallery Salon in SoHo and your hair (and your stylist) will thank you for it.
1. Don’t Pile on the Damage
Shampoo commercials have brainwashed you into thinking that the best way to shampoo your hair is to pile it all on top of your head and rub, rub, rub. False, false, false!
Rubbing your tresses together in a messy pile can lead to breakage and other damage. Instead, says YGallery Salon stylist Lissette Abreu, “Work up the lather with a light massage on your scalp, and then coax the suds straight down the hair from root to end.” You still get a luxuriating scalp treatment, which helps improve circulation, but without the damage to your hair (or that yucky hairball in your drain).
Then, says Lissette, “Concentrate the application of conditioner on the hair follicles and ends, not the roots, to avoid flattening your hair’s natural volume.”
2. Say No to the Pony
One of the worst things you can do to your hair is to throw it up in a ponytail or bun while its wet. “When hair fibers are wet, they’re at their most fragile,” says YGallery Salon stylist Omar Otero, who cringes when he sees women leaving the gym with wet hair wrapped together in an elastic band.
If you really have to wash and dash, finger comb your hair after removing as much excess water as possible. Refrain from tying it together until it is dry. Better yet, says Omar, avoid damage-causing elastic bands altogether, and opt for silicone hair ties or a fun, trendy hair accessory. “Your hair is still kept out of your face, but without the breakage and damage from cheap elastics,” he says, “Plus, hair gadgets are such a fun way to express your style!”
3. Don’t Stress Your Tresses
Stress and negative emotions can contribute to hair loss, flaky scalp (read=dandruff) and excess oil production (read=greasy head). Finding ways and time to relax and de-stress is not only essential for your mental health, but for your hair health, too.
Whether you feel most rejuvenated from an invigorating yoga class, like YGallery stylist (and part-time yoga instructor) Fallon Fitzpatrick, or from something you can do at home by yourself, like YGallery Co-Creator Yaniv’s dedicated zen meditation practice, the key to beauty is health and balance. “There is seemingly no limit to the benefits of exercise, and the practice of breath and controlled movements,” says Yaniv, “Stress isn’t beautiful. Tired and worried isn’t beautiful. Real beauty comes from a living balanced, healthy lifestyle.”
4. Your Hair’s What You Eat
Products can sometimes work wonders, but one of the best ways to promote hair health is to have a healthy body. Healthful foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients promote stronger and healthier cell growth, inside and out.
Aim to regularly eat foods that are rich in vitamins A and C, like green, leafy vegetables. Spinach, kale and collard greens help your hair follicles to produce an oily substance called sebum, which acts as Mother Nature’s hair conditioner. Omega-3 rich foods like salmon, beans and olive oil not only likely reduce your risk of heart disease and arthritis, but, this supercharged fatty acid is needed to support scalp health and vibrancy. You can reduce and prevent hair shedding with a regular intake of zinc, found in nuts like cashews, walnuts and almonds, meats like beef and lamb, as well as the world’s most renown aphrodisiac: oysters.
5. Time to Trim
Whether you’re looking to maintain your short crop or grow your tresses to luscious lengths, you should trim your hair every 6 weeks, on average. A regular trim not only keeps your locks from splitting at the ends, but, says YGallery Salon Co-Creator Yoni Kreger, “It prevents other damage and breakage that can occur with everyday styling.”
Yoni tells us to look at the science of it: most hair grows about ½ inch a month. If you trimmed ¼ inch at your six week appointment, you’re still gaining length. If you want to keep it at its current short length, you can go further with your trim. But, if you forgo your six-week trim, the ends can split even further, which then means your loving hairstylist will have to lop off more than ¼ inch, resulting in a more noticeable change to your hairstyle and look. If you chemically treat your hair, or if your hair’s naturally dry and damage-prone, it may be better to schedule your trim once a month.
If you have a question about the health of your hair, contact us at the salon, or leave us a comment on our Y Blog!