One question many people ask when they are sitting in their stylist’s chair is, “How often should I wash and cut my hair?” Their answer depends on many factors hair condition, hair care products, and how much damage we inflict on our hair through chemical processes, and thermal styling. It can also be affected by our overall health, and nutrition.
How Often Should I cut my hair?
How often you cut your hair depends on these factors: growing out from short to long, changing styles, and hair health. If you are growing your hair out depending on your hair health you might want to consult your stylist and only trim the ends when they appear dry or damaged. Normal rates of hair growth are ½ to 1 inch per month. If you feel your hair grows really slow ask your doctor to check it out, some people have normally slow rates of growth; and others might have a medical problem that needs attention.
What is Hair Health?
Hair health is the overall appearance of your hair. Your hair stylists can actually analyze the health of your hair just by looking at it and asking you a few simple questions. We can identify problems because as Cosmetologists we are specifically trained to identify aspects of concern which are visible to the human eye. Your stylist may also be looking for things you may not even realize such as, dandruff, lice, scalp and hair damage and disease, broken or damaged ends, or shaft, and overall good hair and scalp hygiene.
Hair Care Products
We ask questions like, “What type of shampoo and conditioner do you use?” We are interested because we want to understand your hair type, and the kind of product you use-not the brand- gives us an indication of what you might think your hair type is (oily, thick, thin, dry or even a combination ). If we feel you need a switch of product, this is a good way to transition into that conversation and also discuss products used to style your hair that can help provide repair, moisture, body and bounce..
Hair and Scalp Damage
As professional stylists we also look for specific damage caused by chemical processing (coloring, bleaching, straightening or curling using relaxers or perm solution). We test the density, flexibility, and water absorption or resistance when your hair is wet and dry- as an indication of damage which may be caused by over processing with chemicals or thermal heat styling.
You may need salon treatments to improve the condition of your hair and scalp. This is also an opportunity to find out if you are using the right type of styling tools (brushes and combs) and thermal styling aids to protect your hair during the blow out and curling or smoothing stage.
Hair and Scalp Nutrition
Did you know that everything you eat is reflected in the health, sheen, and condition directly related to your hair? Specialists can analyze a strand of your hair and tell what nutrients you are missing. They can also see mineral and medicinal deposits which are left behind on the hair shaft as well. Your hair is also a blue print chock full of DNA, keratin, and other proteins. Believe it or not a good balanced diet does improve your hairs overall health.
Hair and Scalp Hygiene
Hair and scalp hygiene is so important. Remember your crowning glory is one of the first things someone sees when they greet you, and if you don’t take care of your hair and scalp it shows. It is not necessary to always wash your hair and scalp daily, however it is important to take care of it by brushing away debris, pulling it back if it is longer, and noticing signs of being unclean (smelly or dirty hair and scalp).
Remember that over washing your hair and scalp may also cause damage by stripping it of its natural oil balance. If you have a thick buildup of oil and dandruff that forms a crust you may have a more serious condition called psoriasis that can only be treated by a doctor. You may also have sores and scratches which prevents your stylists from using chemicals on your scalp.
Questions concerning your hair and scalp are normal and important. Consult a professional Cosmetologist / Hair Stylist who is well educated about the hair, scalp, and skin for all of your needs. Your stylist is trained to notice any problems and make educated recommendations. Neglecting to care for your hair and scalp can result in hair breakage, or worse a bacteria or fungal infection, so it is important to pay attention to your hair and scalp needs.