Ways you damage your hair without knowing
By Josephine Agbonkhese
It takes very minimal effort to keep your hair healthy and beautiful. In fact, you‘ve probably been doing too much with washing, straightening, curling, and putting all manner of products in it.
Little wonder your hair begins to show signs of damage, from split ends to breakage, uncontrollable frizz and thinning, over time.
Find here common mistakes that may be damaging your hair, stop committing them and you will notice your hair behaves and looks better.
You wash too frequently
You risk stripping your hair of its natural, protective oils that help to keep it shiny and healthy if you wash it more than 2 to 3 times a week. For people with processed or coloured hair especially, overwashing can dull the hair’s vibrancy. Keep things in moderation by avoiding both over-washing and under-washing which can also clog your scalp’s pores and trigger both hair loss and stunted growth.
Conditioning from the roots
Conditioners should be applied to the ends of the hair where hydration is truly needed— not the scalp. This application, also, should be done sparingly.
The fact is, conditioners, which are typically thick and heavy, cause blockages in the pores of the scalp and leaves you prone to ingrown hairs, damaged follicles, and excess oil.
Rinsing with hot water
Hot showers have the same effect that hot tools have on your hair. The excessive heat and steam easily strip your hair of its essential oils and leave it vulnerable and susceptible to added damage. It is advisable to take mildly hot showers which allow your hair follicles to open and clean themselves. However, after conditioning, it is crucial that you switch the water to cold so that the follicles close again and avoid the risk of developing ingrown hairs or irritation.
Rough drying with a bath towel
For a lot of people, this is the normal way to dry up their wet hair. But experts say roughly towel drying your hair is extremely harmful and could result in breakage, hair loss, and overall damage.
Next time you wash your hair, try out using a cotton T-shirt or a microfiber hair wrap. Simply place your hair inside of the shirt and tie it up as you would in a bath towel. However, if you have the time and patience, try out air drying.
You can use a paper towel for its absolute gentleness if you want to go the extra mile.
Skipping heat protectants
When using hot tools on your hair, it is imperative that you apply sufficient heat protectant. A protectant will create a barrier that prevents the heat from attacking the substance of your hair altogether.
Without one, your hair will suffer damage and become dull over time, and strands will split and dry out too.
Coconut oil is a good heat protectant, in case you didn’t know.
Sleeping on cotton instead of silk pillows
Cotton pillowcases are known to absorb the essential oils in your hair that promote hydration. Without these oils, your hair is prone to breakage due to dryness and your skin can be similarly affected. Swap your cotton pillowcase for a silk one.
Overusing hot tools
The easiest way to damage your hair is to overindulge in hot tools; heat contributes to split ends, breakage, and dryness. Sadly, using a heat protectant doesn’t completely free you from the damaging effects of hot tools. It is therefore recommended that you limit your usage of these tools as much as possible or cut them off completely.
Skipping deep conditioners
You probably have always taken deep conditioners for granted. But do you know experts recommend using a deep conditioner— especially if your hair is dry, damaged, or split from colouring or heat styling, at least once a week?
If you’ve got coloured or processed hair, this is non-negotiable. Use a deep conditioner the week leading up to and after any chemical process— it will help prevent breakage.
Using too much chemicals
Get it, chemicals are chemicals and can never be entirely harmless. So, the more frequently you use them, the greater the chance of breakage or damage.
Cut down drastically on your use of relaxing and straightening treatments. Invest more in heat protectors, irons, and conditioning treatments but use them also in moderation.