Surprising Habits That Are Destroying Your Hair
A common haircare dream is this: a set of hair that is lustrous, healthy, shiny, and full. Unfortunately, there are many haircare misconceptions that may set a person back from achieving that dream. The essential Do’s and Don’ts- which are backed by hair care specialists and scientists- have been completely replaced by hearsay, leading to blunders which deem your hair dull and lifeless. Today we’ll be focusing on common hair care actions to avoid.
Many of these Don’ts are so commonly committed that this entire list may come across as a surprise to most people. Fortunately, this list will give you a chance to completely restructure your hair care routine, offering ample opportunity to revitalize and nourish your hair from roots to tips.
The DON’Ts of Hair Care
1) Hair Processing
We know that processed food can be bad for our health, but did you know that processing your hair can be bad for, well… your hair?
Your hair contains three layers: inner fibers which make up the medulla, the cortex which surrounds the medulla, and the cuticle which is the outer layer to surround and protect the hair. Hair processing exposes these layers to damage which can lead to dull and dry hair. So what exactly are the forms of hair processing, and how do they damage the hair?
You may have considered this option if you have dark hair and wanted to switch up your hair color. While we understand your need to switch up your style, it may be worth considering gentler options. This is because bleaching completely penetrates your cuticle, making your hair more porous which enables the loss of moisture from the hair. If done repetitively, bleaching can completely damage your cuticle, making the inner layers of your hair follicle susceptible to further damage.
If you have hair that feels untameable, hair stylists may have recommended perming your hair. A perm, which refers to either chemical straightening or curling the hair, is another form of hair processing which completely restructures your hair follicles. This process works by breaking the inner bonds of your hair to structure them, weakening your hair over time. The chemical damage along the hair shaft can lead to loss of moisture, split ends, and hair thinning.
C) Highlights and Coloring
Okay, we know practically everyone has attempted highlights or hair dye at some point in their lives. And while these forms of hair processing aren’t as damaging as bleach, they still have their consequences, which include damage to the proteins and oils in your hair. The key here is moderation- if you feel like you absolutely must switch up your hair color, choose a semi-permanent or natural dye and avoid doing it often.
D) Hair Straightening and Blow Drying
While using a flat iron or blow drying may help you achieve a temporarily nice looking ‘do, the continuous act of heat processing is actually counterproductive over time. The more you straighten, the drier your hair gets, making it frizzier and puffier over time.
2) Ponytails and Braids
Now, don’t worry, we’re not telling you to never style your hair in a ponytail and braid. This section is referring to hair that is pulled back tightly, which can ultimately damage and tear your hair if done repetitively, leading to traction alopecia. This is particularly true if you style your hair when it’s wet as wet hair is much more fragile.
If you’re over brushing your hair, this may cause too much friction on the hair follicle, which in turn damages the hair. Gentle brushing twice a day should suffice, but any more than that will be counterproductive.
4) Frequent Washing
Most people wash their hair every other day, and some even do it everyday. Shockingly, this frequency is actually damaging to the hair. Washing your hair too often will strip your hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness and brittleness. It is recommended to wash your hair no more than 2 or 3 times a week to keep your hair shiny and healthy. While this may make your hair feel greasy at first, the levels of oil production balance out over time… and you’ll find that your hair will be looking softer and healthier in no time!
5) Rough Towel Drying
We can picture it now. You’re in a rush, so you hop out of the shower and grab your hair to roughly dry it. This seemingly harmless action can unfortunately be damaging to your hair follicles. Instead, try to gently wipe your hair with your towel and let it air dry. If you’re in a rush, we would recommend only using a blowdryer from a distance and at its coolest setting.
6) Combing and Styling Wet Hair
While we’ve already discussed the effect of styling wet hair into a ponytail or braids, did you know that simply combing your wet hair can also be damaging? When your hair is wet, it’s at its weakest point, meaning it becomes much more susceptible to breakage and split ends. It’s best to wait until your hair is dry to comb through to avoid any damage.
7) Combing From Scalp to Bottom
Brushing your hair from your scalp all the way to the tips can cause breakage and split-ends. Gently brush your ends to work out your tangles first, then you can move your way up in sections, and continue brushing down until all tangles have been removed.
8) Excessive Hair Teasing
Combing your hair backwards or excessively teasing your hair can disturb your hair cuticle and damage the hair. There are many other ways to promote volume and fullness in your hair, such as using a hair growth serum.
9) Bad Hair Brushes
And finally, not all hair brushes are created equal! To promote healthy and lustrous hair, you may need to invest in a better hair brush. A bad hair brush can damage the cuticle and cause tears within the hair follicle, meaning a high quality, gentle hair brush can spare your hair from further damage.
Moderation is Key
Alright, we know this lengthy list isn’t always completely unavoidable, and that is entirely fair. The point here is to attempt to restrict these hair care foes as much as you possibly can, so that you avoid further damaging your hair in the long run. What you’ll find is that, simple changes in your routine can make the biggest difference in promoting shinier, healthier, hair.