Three Ways You’re Damaging Your Hair
Many women inadvertently cause damage to their hair every day. Unless you have ridiculously easy-to-manage hair or have a wash-and-go lifestyle, chances are you’re using hot tools, coloring your hair and/or using the wrong products. And this causes your hair to go through the ringer!
Often, the signs of damage are easy to see — split ends, uncontrollable frizz or dull looking hair can be all signs of over-processing. But as we get older and our hair naturally thins out, it can be harder to take care of your hair. Here are three ways you may be doing damage.
How to Wash Your Hair
This sounds like a no brainer: get your hair wet, squirt in some shampoo, scrub your hair and rinse it out. Easy, right? Well… maybe not. Here are some things to consider. First, don’t use too much shampoo. A quarter-sized amount is enough for most people. Also, use the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair type, and avoid sulfates and parabens.
Next, concentrate on massaging and exfoliating your scalp. This is a crucial step, and just as important for hair care as exfoliating your face is important for skincare. A fresh scalp creates fresh, healthy hair. Your scalp contains glands that produce oil called sebum. The right amount of sebum makes your hair soft and shiny. But a buildup of oil or styling products on the scalp can lead to dandruff, which can clog hair follicles and cause thinning or hair loss and hair thinning. Exfoliating the scalp clears these blockages to help hair grow in better and appear fuller.
How to Dry Your Hair
Most people dry their hair in one of two ways: air dry or with a hair dryer. But again, you can cause unnecessary damage when drying your hair, and it can start as soon as you step out of the shower. If you dry your hair with a towel, do so gently. Then, use a wide-tooth comb to untangle your hair without pulls, snags or breakage. And if you use a hair dryer, use a thermal shield product first to protect your hair.
The best way to protect your hair’s cuticle is to let your hair dry naturally about 70-80% of the way. Then blow dry your hair on the coolest setting, constantly moving the dryer and keeping it about 6 inches away from hair at all times.
How to Care for Your Hair, Day and Night
To protect your hair at night, it’s best to apply an overnight treatment, and then dry and brush your hair before bed. Never sleep with hair tied up on your head — if you must pull your hair back, try a low braid or ponytail, and use a scrunchie or silk scarf, but avoid using elastic bands. You can also try sleeping on silk pillowcases.
During the day, try to avoid sun and chlorine. Use the right products and treatments for your hair type (and hair challenges), and be careful with how your style your hair (especially with curling irons and flat irons).