When it comes to damaged hair, what probably springs to mind are the usual culprits - flat irons, bleach and the sun. But the truth is, those aren’t the only things that can damage your hair.
In fact, there are a lot of other factors that may be causing your hair to feel dry, frizzy, dull or damaged. And some of them may surprise you.
While you may think your brush is your hair’s best friend, it can also be its worst enemy if you are using it wrong. First, it’s important to always be gentle when brushing your hair. You should never tug harshly at your hair with a brush or any other type of styling tool. This is especially important when your hair is wet and the strands are more elastic and susceptible to breakage.
You can avoid damage by using a wide-toothed comb to detangle wet hair. And when you are using a brush, make sure to start at the ends first. Undo tangles by using short, gentle strokes and then work up to full strokes from the top to bottom once the tangles are gone.
Although accessories like headbands, clips and barrettes can be super cute and stylish, they can also pull on your hair and cause breakage when you are putting them in and taking them out. The best way to avoid this type of damage is to spritz your hair with a leave-in conditioner before removing the accessory, so it will slip out easily and not pull on your hair on the way out.
Yes, even something as simple as water can be damaging to your hair under the right (or wrong) circumstances. Particularly, if you are subjecting your hair to the salted water of the ocean or the chlorinated water of a pool. Although you can use pre-treatment sprays and conditioning treatments after exposure, your best bet is to limit the amount of time spent in the pool or ocean.
But even regular water out of the tap isn’t 100% innocent. Water causes your hair colour to fade and causes hair shafts to expand, which can cause splits and breakage. Of course, you can’t avoid water altogether, but shampooing less often and not leaving your hair wet all day long, will help to minimise damage.
Yes, your favourite ponytail or top bun may be comfortable, but it’s not something you want to do every day. Wearing your hair in the same exact style over and over again, can cause a ring of damage around your hair. So make sure you change your style up from time to time and switch from wearing up-do’s to leaving your hair down loose.
Okay, sleeping isn’t going to damage your hair. But your pillow might. If you find yourself waking up with frizzy hair and the infamous creases in your hair known as bed head, you may want to try switching to a silk pillowcase. Not only will it feel amazing against your face, but it will also reduce frizz and be smoother on your locks.
Playing with Your Hair
We’re all guilty of it - absentmindedly playing with our hair or twirling it around our fingers like a lovesick little girl. But even though it seems innocent enough, playing with your hair too often can cause your hair to look heavy and limp (due to the dirt and oils from your fingers) and cause breaking from the constant touching. The good news is, the solution is simple - keep your hands out of your hair.
Although this one is a little surprising at first, it shouldn’t be once you think about it. Especially if you have long hair. Think about it... how often have you tossed your bag onto your shoulder, only to trap your locks underneath the strap? Do that enough times in a row and you will cause your ends to split. You don’t have to stop carrying a purse though, just be more mindful of your hair and move it out of the way. You can also alternate shoulders to make sure you don’t subject one side to repetitive damage.