Many of us take our hair for granted. By not practicing good hair care habits, we may be putting ourselves at risk for dry, damaged and lackluster hair. If you follow too many bad hair habits, getting your locks back on track can be difficult.
It’s no secret that putting too much heat on the hair isn’t good. But it seems almost impossible to completely avoid it. With curling irons, blow dryers and other heated styling tools, making hair look its best seems to come at the price of its health.
However, consider this: when hair is constantly exposed to high heat, it causes the cells of the hair’s cuticle to separate and eventually break off. This puts your hair’s inner core and other delicate filaments at high risk for damage. When the hair shaft is weakened, this makes it easy for your hair to literally snap off because of the missing protection of the cuticle. Other symptoms of hair that is damaged by too much heat include loss of smoothness, shine, and luster.
To correct this there are a few steps you can take. First, never attempt to blow dry hair is that soaking wet. You’ll need to apply even more heat to dry it, which will damage your locks faster. Instead, make sure to towel your hair dry by squeezing it and not rubbing, so that it is slightly damp and then blow dry.
Spritz your damp hair with a thermal styling spray so that the heat won’t do as much harm and while blow drying, point the nozzle downwards in the same direction as your hair. Blow drying in all different directions causes frizziness. Do not use high heat to blow dry your hair in less time. Use medium heat and take your time to make sure your hair is dried uniformly. Ethnic hair types and those who perm should wait to use heated styling tools at least one week after getting hair colored or chemically relaxed.
If you’re a fan of putting your hair up in ponytails, braids or using extensions, be careful of how tight your locks are being pulled. The pressure of rubber bands, extensions or braids over time can wear down the hair’s cuticle and cause breakage.
Constant tension can also pull hair out by the roots and cause the follicle to be weakened. When getting extensions or braids, make sure the style isn’t too tight. If so, speak up and tell your hairdresser. When tying hair up in a ponytail avoid using rubber bands and use flexible bands made of a protective elastic material that won’t rip your hair out when you take your hair down.
The way you handle your hair can also play a part in its health. To protect your hair’s cuticle, avoid over brushing, extensive teasing, and vigorous shampooing. These actions can wreak havoc on the cuticle and lead to hair breakage. When dealing with your hair, be sure to treat it gently. Instead of scrubbing while shampooing, use your fingertips to gently massage your scalp with shampoo. Use a wide-toothed comb on your hair before rinsing to avoid tangles.