Healthy Hair Habits and Tips

I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with my hair. I definitely inherited the dark curly hair gene from my mom’s side of the family, and when I was younger, I simply didn’t know how to deal with it. My mom always brushed it out (that amazing 90’s look, you can imagine), and when I started getting ready by myself, I kept doing that. From about 5th to 8th grade, I wore my hair in side braids with headbands, ponytails or badly straightened.

 

Then the summer before high school, I went to the pool with my friends. After splashing around for a while, we put our towels out and tried to get tan in the weeks before the start of freshman year. I didn’t think anything of it, but my hair dried curly, and my friends lost their minds. “Have you always had curly hair?” “Why do you straighten it? It looks so much better like this?” It sounds dumb, but keeping my hair curly for school had never actually occurred to me before. So I decided to give it a go.

 

Now, almost 8 years after that day, I’m still trying to figure out how to work with my hair. Once I got to DePauw, I stopped straightening it for important events (mostly because I didn’t bring a straightener with me), and I started to look for ways to make my hair healthier. Here are some of my go-tos now that I’ve been on this journey for a while!

  1. 1. Hair Masks 

    I really want to buy good hair products, but I’m also pretty cheap, and seeing expensive bottles of conditioner freaks me out a little. Fortunately, Walmart sells some great hair mask packets for under $2 that have 2-4 uses in them, depending on your hair length/thickness. They’re perfect for a relaxing shower or when you feel like your hair could use a boost. My current favorite is the Hask Tea Tree Oil and Rosemary mask, which smells fantastic and makes my scalp feel fresh.

  2. 2. Scrunchies

    Okay, these have been around for a while (like 40 years), but they’re cute and they’re less damaging than regular elastic hair ties. Even so, it’s important to change the place you put them every so often, because regular use in the same area of hair can cause broken and weak strands.

  3. 3. Regular Trims

    I have to admit, I haven’t had my hair cut by a professional in the last four years. Usually, my mom will trim a bit off the ends when I’m at home for a break, or I’ll get bored and try to cut it myself (as my roommates can attest to). Whether you have a hairstylist near Greencastle, at home, or try the search and destroy method for split ends in the comfort of your room, making sure the ends of your hair are healthy is an important step.

  4. 4. Different Hair Styles

    Somewhere in the past 8 years, I’ve realized that I didn’t love having my hair in a ponytail or bun every single day. Branching out into half-up half-down styles with French braids, pigtails, and experimenting with different parts can help you change up your look without making any permanent decisions.

  5. 5. Know Yourself

    I tend to run my hands through my hair when I’m anxious or bored, which breaks up the curls and makes my hair look super messy. But when I do my hair in double braids, it’s pulled close to my head in a way where it looks cute and my hands can’t get to it. Win-win! If you have any habits that are detrimental to your hair, either for looks or health, try to find a routine or hairstyle that works for you!

Hair can be so important for so many different reasons. We use it to express ourselves, feel confident and as a way to complete how we want to look. Having a good hair day can boost our self-confidence, and if your routine isn’t working for you, there’s always things to try to improve it!