Hair care

Your hair can change as you go through your teenage years, so you may need to adapt the way you look after it.How to do this will depend on your specific hair type, how much sport you do, whether you’re spending a lot of time in the sun or in a swimming pool, and how you style your hair.

  • Oily, or greasy, hair
    It’s common during your teenage years for your hair to become greasy/oily a day or so after you have washed it and your hair may be extra oily if you do a lot of exercise. Washing your hair twice a day can help. However, if you do wash your hair twice a day, use a mild shampoo instead of one that specifically removes oil. Shampoos marketed for oily hair can be too harsh on your hair if used more than once a day.
  • Dry hair
    If your hair is only a little dry, using a moisturizing shampoo daily could help make your hair less brittle, but if your hair is very dry, washing every day can damage it. Try washing your hair every other day instead and apply some conditioner (for dry hair) to the ends.
  • Combination hair
    This hair type is oily on top but often dry at the ends and can be difficult to care for. Oil-removing shampoos can be too harsh but moisturizing shampoos can make the top even oilier. A mild shampoo can help and there are shampoos that are designed specifically for combination hair.
  • Problem hair/scalp
    Read more about scalp and hair problems that are common during teenage years here.

No matter what hair type you have, it can be more easily damaged when it is wet, so treat it gently and don’t rub wet hair vigorously or drag a brush through tangled, wet hair. Drying your hair with a blow dryer can be especially damaging to your hair. There are protecting serums and leave-in conditioners that you can put on your hair while it is still wet to help protect it from the dry heat of a dryer while you style it. Read more about hair styling here.

Having a good hair cut every six to eight weeks will help to keep your hair healthy and looking good, and get rid of any split ends. And eating a healthy, balanced diet with a good range of nutrients is also important to maintain healthy hair. You can find out more about eating well for healthy hair here.

Dyeing your hair
You may like the idea of dyeing your hair but most health advice is to wait until you are at least in your late teens (after puberty). Hair dyes contain harsh chemicals and these are much more likely to cause a bad reaction on young hair and skin. If you do decide you want to dye your hair, it is important to do a patch test first to check for allergies. Go to a hair salon and get it done professionally rather than using a home kit. If you use a do-it-yourself kit, make sure you follow all the instructions carefully. Read more about allergic reactions to hair dye and how to do a patch test on the NHS website here.