7 Ways you are damaging your hair
Are you doing everything you can for your hair? Even if the answer is a firm “yes”, you may actually be damaging it without even knowing. Maybe you’re overlooking some factors that can damage it, or perhaps you are using some treatment that you think is beneficial, but it’s actually harmful. Some of these hair damaging factors we already know: using too hot water to wash your hair, for instance, or harshly brushing your hair while it’s wet. Here are some of the things we unconsciously do that damage our hair.
1. Wearing the same hair style over and over again
You may think your hairstyle is the best for your hair type and face shape, and you continue to do it every single day. That’s not the best approach however, according to professionals. For example, ponytail every day is actually exhausting for your hair, it causes breaks and brittleness. Straightening your hair with heat styling tools is also harmful if it’s done continuously. Basically, you need to give your hair a break now, and the more often you do it, the better. Of course, if you have short hair, you’re most probably spared this concern, so pat yourself on the back, short-haired ladies.
2. Saving hair masks for when things get really bad
A good rule of thumb is that you should treat your hair to a nourishing mask once a week. The choice you have is huge – you can use readymade branded preparations or you can go for a homemade hair mask made from fruits (such as banana or avocado) and natural oils. The important thing is to do it regularly, because there are too many environmental factors that are exhausting your locks on a daily basis and leaving the mask for when your hair is already utterly dry and brittle is simply not good enough. Once a week is best, remember.
3. Using the same old hairdryer for years on end
Ok, so we know air drying is much better than blow-drying, but some of us feel very attached to their hairdryers or rarely have the time to let their hair dry naturally. If you’re among such people, make sure you replace your dryer every couple of years or, if this sounds too extravagant, clean its air vents, where hair and lint builds up. These buildups reduce the pressure at which the hairdryer operates, which means that you use more heat to dry your hair. Speaking of heat, set the dryer at low or medium, not high, for the same reason. An additional tip is to use some hair protective product before you switch on the dryer, that will also take care of the excessive drying.
4. Ignoring hair combing
Combing, particularly with brushes that have natural bristles, is essential to spread the oils that your scalp produces along your locks, keeping them in good shape. You also need to brush with a wide-toothed comb, if your hair is thick and long, before you wash your hair and after; and here’s the thing – don’t brush your hair while it’s still very wet. Regular hair brushing will help detangle your locks, reducing the risk of breakages and pulling out hairs accidentally.
5. Wrong shampooing technique
Shampoo the scalp, not the whole hair. This may come as a surprise but many experts recommend that when you shampoo your hair, you only gently massage the product into your scalp, resisting the temptation to rub it into the whole length of your hair. Once you start rinsing, the shampoo will flow down, supplying just as much detergent to the rest of your hair as it needs. The reason why this shampooing technique is best is that, as we’ve all noticed, hair starts getting oily at the base the quickest, so that’s where you need the shampoo. Rubbing it into the lower half of your hair will just dry it excessively.
6. Wrong shampoo choice
Some shampoos have sulfates added to them – detergent compounds that are responsible for the rich lather but are also super-drying for the hair and scalp. When you shop for shampoo, read the label and choose the one that either has no sulfates at all, or just one of them, to minimise the adverse effect. And, of course, don’t forget the conditioner or nourishing hair mask, no matter how much hurry you’re in.
7. Too frequent chemical treatments
Nobody can stop you from changing your hair colour, but since we’re all aware of how damaging permanent hair dyeing can be, the least you could do for your hair is to refresh the colour over longer periods of time. This would probably sound insane in case you’re starting to go grey prematurely and can’t stand seeing the white strand showing even half an inch; but if your hair is suffering, why not try colouring shampoos? They’re much milder, although they don’t provide the same depth of colour, that’s true. And if you’re not prematurely greying and you still love to dye your hair, wait a while between your hair colouring sessions. A while means a few months, by the way, to be on the safe side.
Your hair is a living thing, don’t forget that, and although it’s well equipped to recover from most types of damages you can cause unintentionally, this recovery takes time – time that you should give it. After all, you deserve beautiful hair, and beautiful hair is healthy hair, right?!
What are your best tips for healthy hair?