Do you ever get hair envy when you watch those shampoo adverts. You know, where the girls have silky, smooth hair that is so voluminous you consider a weave just so you can achieve the same look? Indeed, getting strong and luxurious hair like the girls in the ads can seem like an insurmountable task without paying out a fortune on hair extensions, treatments or blow drys. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are some simple habits you can follow to achieve luscious locks without spending a fortune. With this in mind, here are 8 IDEAL ways to get strong and healthy hair.

CHOOSE A HIGH QUALITY SHAMPOO

Choosing the correct type of shampoo is essential to the health of your hair. If you’ve been using the same type of shampoo for many years, you should consider making a change. The condition of your scalp and hair can change as you get older so it’s a good idea to try and keep track of what products work for you. You can find shampoo formulas that are designed for different hair textures and scalp conditions. If you’re not sure what type of hair you have, schedule a consultation with a hairdresser who can evaluate your scalp and hair strands.

CONDITION YOUR HAIR FREQUENTLY

Moisturize your hair with a conditioning product several times a week. If you have an oily scalp, then buy a light conditioner that prevents flyaway hair that is frizzy. When you have dry hair, you should find a conditioner that has additional emollients to keep your hair strands from breaking. Only apply the conditioner to the ends of your hair to avoid a greasy scalp.

GET REGULAR HAIRCUTS

Visit your favourite beauty salon or day spa regularly to get a haircut that will improve the condition of your hair. A professional hairdresser understands how to trim your hair properly so that the ends of your hair strands remain in place and look attractive. It’s important to remember that hair strands don’t all grow at the same rate, so to look your best it’s wise to go for a haircut every four to twelve weeks, depending on your hairstyle. Don’t want to change your current look? Ask your hairdresser for a trim or a dusting to keep your hair from looking unkempt.

EAT A HIGH PROTEIN DIET

What you eat will affect the quality of your hair, so you should make sure to follow a well-rounded diet plan. Adding more protein to your diet can help you to have healthier, stronger hair. And while meats such as pork, chicken and beef contain a lot of protein, you can also eat other foods like cheese, broccoli or nuts to ingest additional protein. You can also have scrambled eggs for breakfast and eat snacks like almonds instead of, for example, potato chips.

EXFOLIATE YOUR SCALP ON A REGULAR BASIS

You should exfoliate your scalp to remove dry skin tissue and excess sebum that is blocking the hair follicles. Unchecked sebum can lead to greasy hair or scalp acne. Exfoliating your scalp requires using special products that contain granules to rub away the sebum and skin flakes. Apply an exfoliating product to your scalp once a week before washing and conditioning your hair. With regular exfoliation, you’ll have new hair growth that is stronger and healthier.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT HAIRBRUSH

If you have an old hairbrush, than replace it. The materials in an older hairbrush eventually degrade, leading to contamination from chemicals that can damage your scalp and hair strands. There are different shapes of hairbrushes and different types of bristles, some bristles are made from natural substances while others are man-made. After buying a new hairbrush, make sure to keep it clean by washing it once a week with shampoo and warm water.

TAKE DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS

In addition to consuming a nutritious diet, vitamin and mineral supplements will also improve the condition of your hair. Look for high quality dietary supplements that contain iron, zinc and vitamin B. You can even find dietary supplements specifically formulated for the scalp and hair at local and online pharmacies. Make sure to take them according to the directions on the label, and within a few weeks you should notice that your new hair strands are stronger.

DRINK A LOT OF WATER

When you are dehydrated, your body stops sending moisture to your scalp and hair, leading to brittle hair strands and an itchy scalp. Drinking more water every day will help keep your body properly hydrated, which in turn allows for your hair strands to grow soft and stay well-nourished. Try to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water each day to add moisture to the skin of your scalp. If you’re an active person, you will likely need more water to prevent dehydration.

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.