When it comes to a healthier head of hair, there’s only so much that product alone can do. Hair care goes way beyond what’s on our bathroom shelves.

As hair cells are non-essential tissue, they’re often the first thing sacrificed in times of stress. That stress can come from a number of sources, be it diet or lifestyle, or through unhealthy hair practices that can cause unnecessary breakage or damage. “Hair like skin can often be a great barometer of your state of health,” says hairdresser Tim Binnington. If your hair has become more brittle or dull as of late, it could be a sign that you need to slow things down.A multi-pronged approach is needed to keep hair stronger for longer. From what you eat to brushing tips to keep daily damage to a minimum, here are 7 ways to boost your hair health in the short and long-term.

1. UP YOUR PROTEIN INTAKE

Hair is made out of protein so if you’re not eating enough, it’ll become weaker, more brittle and won’t grow as fast. First class proteins that include all the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) are best such as eggs, fish (also rich in omega 3s to help boost hydration and shine), lean meats and poultry.

2. A SMALLER HEADING

If you’re vegetarian or vegan though, other good sources include quinoa, lentils, nuts and chickpeas. Vegan protein powders can also be particularly useful in this regard. Not all are created equal though. Nutritional therapist Daniel O’Shaughnessy recommends opting for ones that combine rice and pea or hemp and pea to achieve a complete protein profile and therefore a more hard-working yield.

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