Hair Care 101: Seven Everyday Habits That Are Destroying Your Hair
Hair is, no doubt, amazing.
You can dye it, cut it, twist it or braid it however you wish. It is also one of the quickest things you can modify that would result in a significant change in your physical appearance. With that said, it is no question that hair is what most people would consider their crowning glory and would take the necessary measures to take care of it. In fact, having beautiful and healthy locks is probably one of the beauty goals of most women. As a result, most women would routinely do hair treatment regimens to ensure their hair’s health. Unfortunately, no amount of hair treatment can substitute good everyday habits that would make for stronger and healthier hair.
In the same way, no amount of hair treatment can result in beautiful hair if you practice bad habits that result in dry, damaged and frizzled hair. With that said, it is best to develop an awareness on what hair-damaging habits you may have so that you can immediately correct and rectify them.
Below is a list of habits that you may be inadvertently doing everyday that could cause potential damage to your tresses:
1.) Bad hair brushing
Hair brushing itself does not necessarily damage hair. However, if you utilize an improper brushing technique (which you might be), you may be causing stress to your locks. Most people brush their hair starting at the top and working their way down but according to hair experts, this is not the best way to brush. Brushing downward pushes all of the hair tangles down resulting in one big knot at the ends of your hair. To get rid of this, most people tend to tug in order to undo it which makes it prone to breakage. Change your brushing technique by starting at the tips first and working your way to the roots. It may seem strange at first, but it works best for getting rid of the snarls.
2.) Hot showers
Hot showers may be relaxing and the only way to take a bath during cold mornings or nights. However, bear in mind that scalding hot water can lead to breakage and frizz. This is because you are washing out all the natural oils in your hair. This does not mean that you should forego hot showers altogether. Just try not to overdo it. If you love your hot showers so much, try going for the alternative which is bathing in lukewarm water. It is less damaging and the water helps close your hair cuticle resulting in shinier hair.
3.) Overly tight ponytails
Some women might want to keep their hair out of their face when they are doing various activities or working out on the gym which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, if you pull one extra-tight, you are causing tension on your hair. Overly tight ponytails can put a lot of stress on the hair which results in breakage–particularly at the hairline where your delicate hairs are found. Some people may even find that overly tight ponytails can cause headaches at some point of the day. In fact, it can get so bad that this may lead to traction alopecia, a type of hair loss. With that said, try an alternate style and ease the tightness on the ponytail. Going for a low braid or low ponytail once in a while is an excellent alternative to keep your hair out of your face.
4.) Excessive shampooing
We get it. You want clean and fragrant hair which is why you tend to over-shampoo. However, you might actually need less shampoo than what you are actually using on your hair regularly. Excessive shampooing dries your hair and scalp. It also strips your scalp of the natural oils that create necessary moisture to keep your hair healthy and shiny. With that said, use only a small amount of shampoo on your palm in washing your hair and wash it only every other day. Similarly, opt for sulfate-free shampoos which are gentler on your hair.
5.) Using a cotton pillowcase
Most people might overlook the importance of their beddings but it can actually be an issue–particularly with your hair. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with cotton, it is not the best type of pillowcase for your hair–particularly if you have coarse or curly hair. Cotton tends to rough up your hair which creates more knots, flyaways and frizz. With that said, you would need to use more product and heat to style your hair in the morning which results in more damage. With that said, invest in a good silk pillowcase. While it might be a bit more expensive than their cotton counterparts, it allows your hair to glide through it leaving less friction and resulting in smoother and shinier hair.
6.) Wrapping hair in a towel
After stepping out of the shower, most people tend to wrap their wet hair with a towel akin to a turban. However, this may be damaging your hair as towels are not, by nature, that soft. Wrapping your wet hair with it can lead to more breakage. Rubbing and drying it off with one is even worse. To avoid breakage and damage, use something lighter like a jersey material which is better and more absorbent.
7.) Blow Drying
By now, you should know that any kind of heat applied to your hair can be damaging to it. Any kind of heat can dry out your hair which leaves it prone to breakage. Having a heating tool such as a blower applies direct, concentrated heat to your hair and if you are exposing it daily then you are stripping your hair of its natural moisture. As an alternative, you can opt to air dry your hair but if that is not an option, use a heat protectant. Alternatively, you can use the diffuser or extra nozzle attachment on your dryer to create space between the hot air and your hair. Similarly, you might want to consider capping the temperature of your blower at 300 degrees max.