Hair is considered the pillar of beauty, which is why hair care products are a multibillion-dollar industry. Everybody wishes to have healthy, shiny and strong hair that reflects one’s personality. For centuries, people have looked for ways to keep their hair healthy. Although a few people are lucky with naturally luxurious locks, many people complain of hair problems like hair loss, dull and brittle hair, life less hair and so on. While genetics and health problems have a direct connection to your hair’s health, there are many things that you may be doing in your daily routine that are damaging your hair.
Here are 10 habits that damage your hair:
Stress not only affects one’s mental and physical health, it can even cause hair loss.
When you are under stress, hair can go into the telogen (fall-out) phase. In fact, hair loss can occur up to three months after a stressful event. However, after the initial hair loss, it usually grows back in six to nine months.
2. Poor Diet
What you eat has a direct impact on your skin and hair health. Hair needs various vitamins, minerals and proteins to remain healthy. Starving yourself forces the body to direct its energy towards essential functions—like helping your heart and brain work—rather than making hair. Include healthy and natural foods that are rich in protein, vitamin E and iron in your diet. Also include foods rich in trace minerals, such as zinc and copper.
Avoid junk food and severely restrictive crash or fad diet, as it can lead to nutrient deficiencies that can cause hair loss, thinning, and dull and brittle hair.
3. Hair-styling Tools
Most of us use hairstyling tools frequently which damage our hair significantly. Extreme temperature damages the proteins that make up your hair and its protective cuticle. Once the cuticle is damaged, the moisture balance is disrupted and your hair is more prone to breakage.
Even blow dryer damage hair. To reduce damage to your locks, set your hair dryer on a low setting and constantly move it in up-and-down motions. However, it is always better to allow your wet hair to dry naturally. Styling treatments like straightening and curling causes more hair loss when done frequently. When using a hair straightener or curler to style your hair, the less heat the better.
4. Infusing Hair with Chemical Products
Many of us use commercial shampoos, gels, serums and other hair styling products to keep the hair healthy. Many products contain harmful chemicals that can cause great damage to your hair, which may not be reversible. Chemicals found in hair dye can cause thinning hair and hair loss. In hair relaxers, the primary chemical of concern is sodium hydroxide, which can weaken the hair and cause a scalp infection.
Avoid overloading your hair with harsh chemical-based products. Instead, opt for herbal products and homemade recipes for hair masks or hair dyes that use natural ingredients.
5. Swimming in Chlorinated Water
Swimming is one of the best activities to help you stay fit and healthy. But swimming in a chlorinated pool is not good for your hair. There are more than 100 chemical by products in pools that use chlorine as a disinfectant. These byproducts are not good for health as well as hair.
Chlorine buildup in the hair causes it to become frizzy and fragile. Chlorine can remove the natural oil that covers hair shafts, which results in loss of shine and flexibility, as well as making your hair more susceptible to breakage.
Swim in chlorinated pools only occasionally. Preferably, wear a swim cap. Make sure to shower and shampoo your hair immediately after swimming. Do not allow the pool water to dry up in your hair.
Reckless teasing or backcombing your hair is highly damaging as it tangles your hair. In fact, it can lead to split ends and hair breakage for months. While teasing, when you lift up the cuticles, it greatly damages the natural fibers of protein that constitute the cuticles. Aggressive brushing or over brushing is also not recommended as it causes too much friction and makes hair weak and brittle.
Make sure to gentle comb out the teasing, working from the ends all the way up to the roots. Use a fine-toothed comb. Be gentle with your hair while teasing and do not try to do too much at once
7. Wearing Tight Hairstyles
Tight hairstyles put excessive tension on the hair follicles, which can lead to hair breakage and even hair loss. This can also lead to traction alopecia, a condition that permanently weakens the follicles and makes it impossible for hair to grow. Wearing weaves and extensions also has a similar effect.
It happens due to the damage caused to the hair follicles from prolonged or repeated tension on the hair roots. Try wearing your hair down whenever possible and, if tying your hair back, keep it a little loose. When you do tie your strands back, keep it soft—if it’s pulling on your skin, it’s way too tight. Also, do not wear the same hairstyle every day.
8. Brushing wet hair
People often brush or comb their wet hair right after taking a bath or shower, without considering how harmful it is for the hair. When wet, your hair strands are fragile and more vulnerable to breakage. Brushing or combing locks in the shower, then following with aggressive towel-drying, create the perfect storm for hair breaking.
It is best to comb your hair before washing to reduce tangling. After washing, blot your hair with a soft towel and allow it to air dry before combing. Sleeping with wet hair is another big no-no as it causes frizziness in the morning due to friction from the pillow.
9. Over Washing
Over washing is another very common mistake people make when it comes to hair care. Too much shampooing can suck the natural moisture out of your hair and dry it out, causing breakage.
Be sure to wash your hair three times a week. If you’re sweating or using lots of products, wash your hair every two days. When washing, use the right shampoo for your hair type and texture. This will help add moisture, body and beauty to your hair. Along with over washing, people often mishandle their wet hair. You must avoid aggressive towel drying.
10. Taking Hot Showers
Taking long, hot showers may feel great but in reality it causes huge damage to your hair. Hot water dehydrates strands, leading to dry, brittle hair that’s more prone to snap and fall out. Not only are you washing your hair’s protective oils down the drain, but the heat throws your scalp’s pores into overdrive to keep up with oil production, which can damage the root and lead to additional detaching.
To enjoy healthy hair, enjoy showers with lukewarm water for no more than 10 to 15 minutes, two or three times a week only. For a final rinse, use cold water to help lock in moisture.