The Skinny on Healthy Hair
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As a tenured stylist in the hair care industry, I am often asked, “What are your favorite hairstyles or trends for the season?” As simple as that may sound, that’s a difficult question for me. Why? Because I love hair. Every time I start to answer, my adrenaline is slightly elevated. I’m instantly bombarded with images of ALL the current hair trends and I think: I like hair long, medium, or short. I like textured hair and curly hair; I also like it straight. Hair can be red, brunette, blonde, or somewhere in between. I like a dazzling, ornate up-do as much as a clean side-swept ponytail. From the artistic and visually stimulating value of cornrows, to the awe inspiring afro or a classic bob; the list goes on and on. I love hair!
Many factors should be considered when determining what makes a style work. But with every hairstyle there is one thing that should always remain consistent - healthy hair! The most universal trend and fashion accessory is a healthy head of hair. So, the question is: What is healthy hair? And, how does one obtain it?
Healthy hair is strong, elastic, and resistant to breakage. Healthy hair is also soft, silky to the touch with lots of bounce and shine. Did you know that a healthy strand of human hair is stronger than a strand of copper the same width? A dry strand of healthy hair should be able to stretch 15 to 20% of its length without breaking; a wet strand should stretch about 50%. By contrast, damaged hair has a rough texture; is dull, dry, and brittle to the touch. It also breaks easily, and is spongy.
The ultimate goal is always healthy hair. Yet with every product on the shelf promising to deliver healthy hair and claiming to be the “cure all,” where does one begin? There are three influencing components to healthy hair:
1. Diet. Healthy hair always begins with a healthy diet. Because hair is nourished through the blood, it is important to incorporate into your diet hair healthy foods such as salmon, leafy green vegetables, and fresh fruit. Drinking plenty of water is also important because water encourages blood flow and helps with maintaining an optimal moisture balance in the hair and skin. Water hydrates the body, which includes the hair and scalp and creates a healthy environment for growth.
2. Quality products. Any product promising dramatic hair growth is pulling your leg. Hair grows about ½ inch month, and products can be used to both sustain the growth and protect against environmental factors. Although a lot of revolutionary products are out there on the market, it is important to use products that are specific to your hair care needs. Even a good product can be detrimental if not properly used.
3. Routine Maintenance. Like most things in life, hair requires tender loving care and gentle treatment to maintain its luster. Make sure to:
Shampoo and condition often. Dirty hair is three times more likely to burn. Once you shampoo your hair, seal it with conditioner to lock in the moisture.
Protect your hair. Heated tools deliver great looks, but they can also burn hair. Before using your flat irons or curling irons, apply a styling product with heat protectant.
Trim regularly. The ends of your hair split as they age. Get a trim on average of 8-10 weeks, and wait about the same amount of time for chemical services.
The conditioning treatments and products available today can help restore damaged hair. Even so, an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure!
About K Flewellen:
K Flewellen is a Baylor University graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications/Public Relations, Salon Owner, Celebrity Stylist, Image Consultant, and Adjunct Professor at Navarro College of Cosmetology. Building on her family’s rich history in the hair care industry, her personal studies in cosmetology, trichology, esthetics, and makeup artistry along with more than 20 years of experience, K emerges as a premier voice on all things beauty.
K has traveled extensively to provide services for Grammy award winning gospel artist CeCe Winans, Angie, Debbie, and Mom Winans, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, and a host of civic and business leaders. Having produced styles and articles for national hair magazine publications and worked as a Certified Educator for several hair care companies; K now brings her God-given gifts, writing abilities, business savvy, community service, and personal inspiration to one stage. The result: JustAskK. She now avails all of her knowledge and experience regarding all things hair, beauty, fashion, and empowerment . . . if you have questions . . . . JustAskK!
K has volunteered for several community organizations such as Girls Inc., Dallas, Pitre Vision: Girls Mentoring Girls, Brother Bill’s Mentoring, and Young Women of Excellence.
In 2008 she became a founding board member of the Rollings Foundation, an organization focusing on South Africa. The mission of the Rollings Foundation is to meet the health and educational needs of children by supplying daily lunches and school supplies for children, planting vegetable gardens, and digging water wells.Becoming a board member of the Rollings Foundation is K’s proudest accomplishment and she continues to serve the Foundation.
K recently partnered with the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) to educate stylists on AIDS awareness and prevention.