Hi friends, in my previous posts I have written about hair and scalp problems as well as tips to keep your hair strong and healthy. In this post, I am going to compile a list of things that we do, unknowingly, which create a negative impact on the health of hair. These are acts which we do out of ignorance or carelessness thinking that one time act is not going to create hell but forgetting that even one time can cause considerable irreversible damage. So here goes:
Hot water hair wash: Washing hair with hot water results in dehydration of your hair and the scalp, too, becomes dry. It removes the moisture from the hair and makes it look dry, frizzy and makes the scalp itchy. It is always better to start washing your hair with warm (not hot) water as warm water opens the hair cuticles which allows the shampoo and conditioners to work properly in the hair. Further, wash the hair with cold water liberally. This will close the cuticles and the moisture will be sealed in the hair. Cold water wash also leaves your hair with a shinier look and great health
Brushing/combing wet hair: This is a wrong practice which most of us follow almost regularly thinking that wet hair is easier to tackle tangles and knots. Well, yes, it can be easier but for that, you need to use a comb with wide tooth and start combing from the end of the hair slowly working towards the roots. If you comb from the roots to the end you could get caught in a messy tangle resulting in hair breakage. Hair is actually weak when it is wet so it better to comb and style when it is dry.
Excess heat treatment: Blow Dryers, Curling Irons and Flat Irons have become almost must have tools of every woman’s hair styling kit. Its regular use on hair for styling differently for different occasions has, in turn, exposes the hair to too much of heat which dehydrates your hair leaving it dull and prone to damage. Heat causes the hair protein to change structure and weaken. Even hair stylists will linger with the blow dryer at the ends on the round brush to create a long-lasting curl. This is an example of over-exposing hair to the heat. Leaving the flat-iron on one section for too long is another example. Using these heat centric tools is an art which, if you haven’t mastered, will lead to considerable amount of long-lasting damage to the hair.
Tying your hair too tight: Tying your hair tightly and on regular basis means excess pulling pressure at the scalp which makes the roots of hair becoming weak resulting in breakage. While tying a ponytail is a fast and easy style but is not good for the hair as it pulls the hair from the root, particularly from the front of the head, which results in the hair to break. Avoid too much of twisting and pulling of the hair as the pressure damages the cuticles over time and result in premature shedding.
Using thin and tight hair ties also makes the hair vulnerable to easy breakage. We should pick hair ties that are thick and covered with fabric so that it keeps the hair protected. If you really need to get your hair out of your face, use hair clips or bobby pins instead. The quality of the accessories is equally important to keep hair healthy. Things like cheap bob pins or bare rubber bands tend to pull against the hair, damaging the hair and pulling out the fibers. Use accessories that are smooth and soft and that do not add more grief to hair.
Using several styling products: It’s easy to get caught up in the myriad of hair products available in the market, however, too many sprays, gels and creams weighs heavily on the hair, make it oily and prevent moisture and nourishment from reaching the centre of the hair shaft. While certain products like heat protectors, dry shampoo, etc. may be necessary, you need to be very stingy when deciding how many products to use at any point of time.
Not trimming hair: Regular trims can improve the look and feel of hair. By trimming the unhealthy split ends, there will be less breakage, making your hair look thicker and even shinier. The ends, which have been styled and colored the most being the oldest part of the hair, are vulnerable to splitting. When you don’t trim regularly, hair can split right up the shafts and break off, even though the follicles are still in the growth phase. If your hair is prone to dryness inspite of using shampoo and conditioner then you must trim your hair on a regular basis.
Going in the pool with open dry hair: Always wet your hair with clean tap water before jumping in the pool as dry hair will absorb the chlorine present in the swimming pool water and your hair will become brittle and dry. You should wear swimming cap before jumping in the pool as this will also protect your hair from direct contact with the chlorine water.
Not protecting your hair from the sun: We put sunscreen all over our body but we forget our hair. It becomes very important to protect your hair from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Even if these harmful rays don’t technically burn, they damage the cuticle, leaving your strands dry and frizzy. Wear a hat and apply a spray sunscreen for hair which will protect the length of the hair which is not covered with the hat.
Avoiding nourishing oil massage: When people with dryness problem avoid putting oil in the hair, they do a disservice to them for prolonged dryness is not good for hair health. A good oil massage on the scalp will enhance the blood circulation and help in blocking moisture loss and will nourish and strengthen the hair.
Excessive shampooing: As is said – excess of even good things is harmful. This holds true for shampooing as well. Washing our hair with shampoo is something we do all the time as it is part of our hair care regimen. However, shampooing your hair every day is not good as then the shampoo takes out the natural moisture from the hair. If you shampoo your hair everyday your hair will dry out and cause the hair cuticles to swell and snatch away the luster of the hair. If you already have a dry hair, do not shampoo more than once a week and people with normal or oily hair should too not repeat it more than twice a week.
So, friends, while there are numerous products in the market which are sold as products for taking care of your hair, the first thing that we need to do is not do those things which will cause damage to your hair. By taking some simple precautions, you may not even need to use many hair care products from the shelves of your hair care store.
All the best!
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