We all want to take good care of our hair. We buy nice brushes, we avoid hairbands with metal pieces, we carefully condition our hair, and we haven’t even said the word “perm” since the early 90s. So we’re good, right?
Not so fast. It turns out there are some subtle ways you could be damaging your hair. Let’s take a look at a few sneaky culprits…
Too Much Shampoo
Unless you have exceptionally oily hair, or spend a lot of time in the gym, chances are you are using shampoo more frequently than you need to. The harsh cleansing agents in shampoo can dry out your scalp, and the individual hair strands, making them easier to break. Look into sulfate free shampoos, dry shampoos, or simply rinse your hair thoroughly with water every other day.
Ponytails and Braids
Pulling hair back into very tight ponytails or braids can actually cause hair strands to break. What’s worse, you’re probably causing them to break very near the top of your head. Too many damaged strands this close to your scalp can lead to hair that looks dry, frizzy, and feels unmanageable. Loose braids and gentle ponytails are much kinder to your hair.
Sleeping on Cotton
Cotton pillowcases can wreak havoc on your hair overnight. As you toss and turn against the rough fabric, you are causing tangles, breakage, and over drying. A simple silk pillowcase can do wonders for your hair.
We know… you’re trying to grow out your hair. It’s okay, lots of people are, but there is a right and wrong way to go about doing this. Skipping haircuts is the wrong way. Splits or frays in the hair shaft will get longer, and travel further north towards your scalp. Your hair should get at least a small trim every three months just to remove split ends.
Too Much Sun
You protect your skin with sunscreen, but so many of us forget to protect our hair. Sun hats are one way to do it, but there are also leave-in products that contain SPF. These can help protect not only your hair, but the delicate skin on your scalp that is very prone to sunburn.
Rubbing your hair roughly with a towel, or twisting your hair tightly and then piling the towel on top of your head is actually putting a lot of unnecessary stress on your hair follicles. When your hair is wet, it is more susceptible to breakage. All this rough handling may be causing you to lose more hair than you naturally would in a day.
You’ve been out in the sun and humidity all day, and the hair that was rubbing against the back of your neck has turned into a rat’s nest of a tangle. Whatever you do, don’t just start attacking it with a brush! More often than not, your brush is not undoing the tangle so much as it is breaking the hair strands around the tangle. A bit of patience, a wide tooth comb, and some de-tangling spray are what you need to get through it.
We could all stand to be a little kinder to our hair. Avoiding these behaviors are a great way to start!