If you’ve ever scrolled through a celebrity’s Instagram photos and wondered, “How does she keep her hair so long and shiny?” you’re not alone. The world’s biggest icons no doubt take great care of their luscious locks. It doesn’t hurt to have a personal hair stylist, either—something most people can only dream of.
A stylist might fall outside your budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow a long, healthy mane of your own. What’s more, some of the best hair care tips are cheap and completely natural. It all comes down to feeding your body the right nutrients and practicing good hair hygiene. Before you know it, you’ll look in the mirror and see noticeable improvements in your own hair’s health!
Check out these seven all-natural hair care tips to get started:
- Add vitamins to your diet: The journey to achieving luscious locks starts on the inside. When it comes to eating healthy, remember the alphabet—but only the first five letters! Vitamins A, B, C, D and E are essential for growing strong hair. Animal products like eggs and fish are great sources of vitamin A, B and D (especially fish oil), while vitamin C is found in citrus fruits. Get your daily dose of vitamin E through nuts and avocados.
- Take a daily collagen supplement: Collagen is one of the most common proteins found in the human body. It also serves as a key building block for healthy hair, skin and nails. The molecule contains several amino acids necessary for producing keratin, which is the main component of hair. It’s also believed that a healthy scalp produces healthy hair. Collagen creates supple, flake-free skin that serves as the foundation for an equally moisturized mane. In other words, hair wouldn’t grow well without collagen!
- Increase your daily biotin intake: In addition to collagen, a form of vitamin B called biotin can support hair growth. Biotin is necessary for the production of keratin, the main protein in hair. You can get a daily serving of biotin through nuts, egg yolks, legumes and some vegetables like cauliflower. To see faster results, try taking a biotin supplement.
- Concoct a DIY hair mask: Have an avocado that’s a little too ripe to eat? Mash it with mayonnaise to create your very own hair mask! Avocados are loaded with vitamin E that’s necessary for strong hair growth. They also contain fatty oils that moisturize strands of hair, both inside and out. Alternatively, pick out your favorite store-bought conditioner and mix in a couple drops of olive oil for an extra boost of shine. You can also do this with honey, which is a moisturizer, antiseptic and source of minerals all rolled into one!
- Go easy on the styling: Hair spray, gel, blow dryers and straightening irons take their toll on hair. They might be necessary to achieve a certain look, but it’s best not to pull out every tool in your arsenal on a daily basis. High heat settings will fry your hair, making it feel brittle and frizzy. On top of that, styling products are loaded with harsh chemicals—even the ones that are supposedly derived from natural ingredients. Minimize your product usage and keep hot tools on a lower temperature.
- Trim your ends regularly: This step might not make sense at first. After all, many want to grow long hair, not cut it short! Trimming your hair on a regular basis gets rid of split ends, which inhibit hair growth. Split ends are the oldest part of hair, so snipping them off will leave you with shiny, healthy strands that aren’t easily damaged. You can trim split ends at home if you’re feeling bold or just visit your local hair salon.
- Practice good washing techniques: As you’ve learned by now, heat isn’t good for the hair—the same goes for shampooing in the shower, too. But that doesn’t mean you have to take ice-cold showers from now on! Rinse your hair with lukewarm water to prevent heat-related damage. To further protect your hair, apply conditioner solely on the ends. These are the oldest parts of the strands and need the most repairing.
Ditch all those expensive, artificial products and grow luscious hair the natural way. There’s no telling which products actually work and which don’t, so focus instead on giving your body what it really needs. Proper nutrition and a little bit of TLC is all that’s required to grow hair that’s worth bragging about!