30 Ways You’re Damaging Your Hair Without Realizing It
Hair can be very resilient because it can endure and withstand so many damages. However, as you age, hair can become weaker and more prone to breakage. You may not realize it immediately, but there are certain actions or habits that can damage your hair. It is important to know these habits or practices so you can avoid it in the future. Don’t worry too much if you are a victim of these practices, because damaged hair can be fixed easily. So here are thirty ways you can damage your hair without you knowing it.
Putting On Too Much Conditioner
Most women and men practice putting conditioners from the roots down to the tip of the strands. This makes them put more conditioner on their hair. The truth is that the end part of the hair is the only area that needs the conditioner. A dime-sized amount of conditioner on your hands is enough to cover your hair. You can add more if needed, but you should never apply more than the size of a quarter. This is not really too much damaging to your hair, but it can help you save money. You can prolong the life of your conditioner so you won’t have to buy all the time.
You Wash Your Hair Every Day
You’ve probably been taught by your parents to wash your hair every day. However, studies have shown that it is better if your hair is washed every 2 to 3 days. When you wash your hair daily, you are stripping your hair of its natural oils that keep it shiny and healthy. Washing colored or dyed hair frequently will only make it dull and lifeless. There are people who wash their hair daily because they work out or have a very busy lifestyle and they need to clean up. If you cannot avoid washing your hair, just rinse it with water, then apply conditioner to the hair ends. Dry shampoos are also great options and they can even match your hair color.
Too Much Sun Exposure
Being outdoors, especially during summer, is always fun and exciting, but it can also be damaging to your hair and scalp. Being too much exposed to UV rays and the wind can strip your hair of moisture, which leads to hair dryness, split ends, and breakage. You can have dry and itchy scalp with dry flakes and dandruff. You can consider wearing a hat, scarf, or cap that would cover your hair and hide it from direct sunlight exposure. For dry scalp, you can try the white vinegar rinse in the shower to relieve you of the itchiness and irritation. You can fix your dry and damaged hair by using special shampoo and conditioners, or you can make your own hair masks to bring back that beautiful, soft, and shiny hair.
Using Heat Styling Tools
Most women use heat styling tools to curl or straighten their hair. Too much heat can strip away all its moisture and natural oils, which can result in a dry and damaged hair. What you can do is adjust the heat settings and allow only the lowest amount of heat that would work for your hair. It is recommended that you start with 300 degrees, and then gradually increase it until you see great results. Please remember that these hot tools should never be used on your wet hair. If you can’t avoid using these heat styling tools, you can always use a heat protecting product.
Using the Wrong Shampoo
Using the wrong type of shampoo is another reason why your hair is always easily damaged. Check your shampoo if it includes Sulfates. This cleansing agent has gained popularity in recent years and it has no serious health hazards. However, sulfates have the tendency to dry out your skin, hair, and scalp, and strip away the colors. You can switch to a milder shampoo if your hair gets frizzy and dry all the time. And pick a shampoo that is sulfate-free to avoid split ends and tangling of hair.
Brushing Your Hair When Wet
Wet hair is not as strong as dry hair. Each strand of your wet hair is much weaker and more prone to breakage. If you try to brush your hair and forcibly remove the tangles while it is still wet, you may not realize it but you are seriously damaging your hair. What you can do is brush your hair before you get into the shower so it won’t get tangled. Another technique is to use a wide-tooth comb while you are in the shower, and gently work the conditioner through your hair to remove the tangles and knots.
Even if you are trying to grow your hair long, it is still recommended to have your hair trimmed after 3 months. Don’t let your hair grow too long and develop split ends. If you ignore it, the damage would grow because the split ends will continue up to the shaft, and you would eventually have to cut more of your hair than you may want to. So it’s better to have a trim to immediately cut those nasty split ends.
Too Many Chemicals
Getting frequent hair treatments can expose your hair to so many chemicals, which can only lead to damaged hair. It is recommended that a person should only be getting 2 hair treatments per year, not including the hair coloring treatment. The chemicals in these hair treatment products can harm your hair, and it can also affect your overall health if they are used often. When your hair undergoes frequent relaxing process, then it becomes weaker and more prone to breaking. So try to limit your hair treatments to only two per year.
You Don’t Use Deep Conditioner
Hair stylists and hair experts recommend using deep conditioners for your hair. It is very effective if your hair is damaged from coloring or heat styling. Pamper your hair and use a deep conditioner once a week to gain the best results. If you are planning to have a major hair treatment or hair coloring, you should use deep conditioners one week before and after the chemical process. Putting deep conditioners before going through any chemical process can help prepare your hair and seal the cuticles to avoid breakage and dryness. Look for a deep conditioner that is most suitable for your hair type.
Using the Same Shampoo and Conditioner for a Long Time
Are you the type of person who never changes shampoo and conditioner since you were a teenager? Many experts believe that hair can get used to a shampoo or conditioner, and then these products start to leave residue behind. You can try to look for anti-residue shampoos that you can use once a month to give your hair a clean slate without any residue. If you are the type who doesn’t stick to one hair product, then it is better to keep a few different formulas in the shower so you can use them depending on the condition of your hair.
Rubbing Hair Vigorously with Towel
After your shower, you should never rub your damp hair vigorously with towel. Instead of rubbing, you can just gently blot the dampness away. Blotting the hair will not damage the cuticle and cause it to be frizzy and dry. If you really want to take extra care of your hair, you can use paper towel to dry out your hair. This is the gentlest way to dry out your hair.
Using Too Many Styling Products
Many experts say that you only need three styling products, and these are the protectant, styling products, and the finishing products. Your styling product could be a mousse for volume or an anti-frizz cream, while your finishing products could be a texture spray. Don’t use too much oils or creams in your hair. If you are using these styling products, it is much better if you just apply them mid-shaft through the ends, and only a small amount goes a long way.
You Skip Heat Protectant
Many people don’t bother using heat protectant products. These heat protectant products are very much recommended by hairstylists because it does not only protect your hair from heat damage, but it also keeps your hair from becoming too dry, seals in the shine, and calms the frizz. This is a must-have hair product, if you are always using heat styling tools for your hair.
You Don’t Correctly Describe What You Want With Your Stylist
You and your stylist may not always be on the same page when you are just describing what you want to be done to your hair. It could be much better if you just bring photos to show your stylist what you really want. You should also listen and trust your stylists when they give advice or they are saying that this is not good for your hair type. You should believe them because they are usually right. Don’t forget to ask them about the upkeep involved in a particular hairstyle or color. You can also inform them how much time you are willing to spend for this upkeep, and whether you agree on using different products.
Too Much Stress
By exposing yourself to stress, you are causing so much harm to your health, and also to your hair. Stress can even lead to hair loss. When you are under stress, your hair goes into a telogen phase or fall-out phase. The hair loss phase can last up to three months after the stressful event, but it will grow back again in 6 to 9 months. During stress, the neurohormones, neuropeptides, and neurotransmitters can influence the cyclic activity of the hair follicles, which can cause hair loss. Sometimes stress could not be avoided but it can be overcome by practicing deep breathing, meditation, anti-stress exercises.
You Have a Poor Diet
Whatever you eat will directly affect your hair and skin. Your hair requires certain vitamins and minerals to maintain good health. If you are eating less nutritious food, then it will show in your hair and skin. Deficiency in nutrition can lead to hair loss, hair thinning, dry and brittle hair, and hair that is prone to breaking and split ends. In order to have a healthier hair, you should include natural foods that are rich in vitamin E and iron. Pick foods that contain trace minerals such as zinc and copper. Avoid junk foods, processed foods, too many sweets, and other unhealthy foods that can only lead to nutrient deficiency.
Swimming In Chlorinated Water
Most people love to swim in the pool. Others swim to stay fit and healthy. However, swimming in a chlorinated pool can damage your hair. Chlorine is used as a disinfectant in pools, but it can be harsh for your hair, causing it to become dry, fragile, and frizzy. Chlorine can strip away the natural oils that cover the hair shafts, which makes your hair lose its flexibility and shine. Your hair becomes weaker and more prone to breakage. When swimming in chlorinated pools, you can wear a protective swim cap and make sure to shampoo your hair immediately after your swim. Allowing the chlorinated water to dry up in your hair is a very bad idea.
Reckless hair teasing or back combing of your hair will definitely damage your hair and cause it to tangle up. It will also lead to split ends and breakage for several months. Teasing the hair lifts up the cuticles and damages the natural fibers that make up the cuticles. If you can’t give up hair teasing, you should just do it occasionally and use a fine-tooth comb. Remember to be gentle while teasing your hair and don’t be too vigorous or reckless. Before you end the day, make sure to comb out the teasing gently, and start from the ends up to the roots.
These tight hairstyles, including ponytails, buns, knots, and braids, can unknowingly damage your hair. The excessive tension being placed on the hair follicles can lead to breakage and even hair loss. There are even cases wherein these braids and ponytails cause alopecia, which is a condition that weakens the hair follicles and makes it impossible for the hair to grow back again. In 2016, a study has discovered a strong link between these scalp-pulling hairstyles and the development of traction alopecia and gradual hair loss. The repeated and prolonged tension on the hair roots is not good for your hair. You can still put your hair up in buns or braids, but don’t tighten it too much and don’t do it all the time.
Taking long hot showers can be very soothing and it feels really great, but it can also damage your hair. Too much heat in the water can strip away the natural oils or serum in your hair, which leads to dryness. It can make your hair brittle and more prone to breakage and hair fall. Use lukewarm water and shower for no more than 10 to 15 minutes. For your final rinse, use cold water to lock in the moisture. This will help make your hair shinier and healthier.
If you are a smoker and you always suffer from limp and dry hair, then this habit of yours may just be the culprit. You may be taking care of your hair and consuming the right vitamins and minerals, but your hair still looks dry and damaged, then it is definitely your smoking that is damaging your hair.
You Don’t Change Your Shampoo with the Season
Many people say that you should tailor your shampoo and conditioner with your hair type. However, it seems no one is recommending tailoring your shampoo with the season. During the summer, your hair tends to become dry, so you should switch to hair products that work as moisturizers. In the winter, your hair may become limp and lifeless, which means it’s time to look for hair products that can add more volume to your hair. Do not get stuck with just one type of shampoo and conditioner.
Bleaching Your Hair
Bleaching can be very damaging to your hair. Even though highlights and hair colors are a trend today, bleaching should still be avoided. Bleaching can remove the natural hair color using the process of oxidation. It can cause your hair to become brittle, dry, inelastic, and prone to breakage and split ends. Sometimes bleaching can cause itching, discomfort, and other allergic reactions.
Pins, rubber bands, and hair bands can help in styling your hair, but it can create too much pull and tension, which may lead to damaged hair. This is also the same as putting up your hair in tight hairstyles, which can be damaging to your hair. These accessories can grip tightly on your hair or cut into the hair shafts, which causes fraying and breakage. Avoid using your hair accessories on a daily basis, and use them only for a short period of time. Metals and rubber accessories can cause a lot of friction that will damage the strands, so try to replace them with the ones that are covered.
You Never Let Your Hair Rest
Changing from one hair color to another or undergoing hair treatments every month can cause a lot of damage to your hair. Experts and leading hairstylists recommend letting your hair rest after it went through different chemical processing. There must be a long gap between your next hair color and your next hair treatment. Don’t just jump from one chemical process to another, without even taking a break.
Sleeping with Your Hair Tied or in a Bun
We’ve mentioned that it is damaging for your hair to be fixed in a tight ponytail or bun all day. Hair accessories can also cause tension and hair breakage if worn all day. Wearing your hair up in a bun or ponytail while you sleep is also not a good idea. If you don’t want your hair breaking off as you toss and turn at night, you can wear a silk bandana or use a satin pillowcase.
Sleeping on Rough Pillowcase
Have you ever wondered why there are so many loose hairs on your pillow? You may be sleeping on rough pillowcases, which tugs at your hair while you toss and turn at night. Experts recommend that you change your rough pillowcases to silk and satin. These materials are softer and smoother, which will let your hair glide gently without breaking it while you sleep at night.
Overusing Dry Shampoo
Since washing your hair every day can be very damaging, you turn to dry shampoo. However, overusing your dry shampoo can cause buildups and clog your hair follicles. Also, if you practice not using any shampoo for both your hair and scalp when rinsing away your dry shampoo, this will leave a lot of residue on your hair.
You Brush from Top to Bottom
For most people, the most common way to remove hair tangles is to brush from the roots down to the ends. This is not the ideal way to work out the tangles. Instead of starting at the roots, you can work out the tangles near the ends of your hair first. By starting at the ends or bottom, you avoid pulling too much on the strands.
Daily Blow Drying and Styling
Constantly using your blow-dryer to dry and style your hair can be very damaging to your hair. Most often, the heat in blow dryers strip your hair of moisture that leads to dryness and split ends, and you have no option but to get a trim or haircut. If you are going to style your hair, you should try to reduce the amount of time you are using your blow dryer or other heat styling tools.