9 Ways We’re Ruining Our Hair
Hair can be fun, but it can also be a struggle if we don’t treat it right. Did you know that there’s a very rare condition called “uncombable hair syndrome” which most often develops during infancy? Children with fair curly hair usually have it. Their hair doesn’t grow down, but instead grows in different directions. This condition doesn’t require treatment and gets better with time. But, there are many other conditions can be helped and even prevented.
We at Bright Side don’t want you to suffer with these problems or lose your hair (it’s said that each person loses from 50 to 100 hairs every day). So we prepared a what-not-to-do list for you.
1. Choosing the wrong angle
Let’s talk posture, ladies. If up to now you’ve been washing your locks standing upright in the shower like the girls from TV ads, stop doing it ASAP. Yes it’s a comfortable position, we won’t argue with that. But the facts speak for themselves — tilting your head down is the best way to wash your hair properly.
First, it’s much easier to apply shampoo just on your scalp (remember to always aim for the roots and not for the ends). Second, it helps you wash your hair better, because the hair kind of moves away from the head and goes into a free-fall. Plus, if you wanna use some conditioner or a hair mask, keeping your head down will prevent you from putting the product too close to the roots. And we don’t want greasy roots, right ladies?
2. Turning the heat up too much
Feeling hot today? Hot water is a no-no when dealing with hair. We can’t always control the pressure of the water we use to wash our hair, but we can still be the master of its temperature. Hot water leaves your hair powerless in terms of moisture loss.
In order to avoid scalding water, make it a rule to check how hot the water is by pouring some on your wrist or elbow bend. Lukewarm or even cool water, on the other hand, makes the hair shaft close and makes your hair feel smoother.
3. Drying hard
Women tend to make the same mistake here as they do when washing hair. Air that is too hot will help you dry it faster, but will also result in longterm consequences for your hair.
Remember to always apply a fair amount of heat protection product on your hair before drying or using a flat or curling iron. Then set the hairdryer on medium heat and maximum power. Bend down in the same position as we did when washing and direct the airflow parallel to your hair. Move the hairdryer in short motions from side to side. Don’t use a big massage brush at this stage. In the end, set the hairdryer on a cool air mode to close the cuticles and give the hair a smooth sleek finish.
If you only use a towel for drying your hair, we recommend two things: either use a silk towel or never twist your hair hard in a cotton one. Wet hair is particularly prone to damage and splits.
4. Not drinking enough water
“No water, no life.” We’ve covered the washing aspect, but that’s not all we need to learn about water as it relates to hair. Everyone knows that drinking water is crucial for good health. Raise your hand if you haven’t started your Monday by pouring yourself a big glass of water at least once. Not many people know that hair actually needs water to grow too. Water makes up 15% of your hair’s total mass, so make sure to drink enough, OK?
5. Keeping it “cool”
Let’s say a few words about weather. If you live in an area with a mild warm climate, lucky you. Skip this step and just be happy about it. If you don’t, then read on. So now that we know that water is an important part of hair, we also know that water can freeze and expand. Which brings us to our point: not wearing a hat or covering your hair with something in cold weather can result in major breakage. These “icicles” that were once were our hair literally crack from the inside, tearing protein fibers apart. This is one case where super glue won’t help.
P.S. Living in a hot climate leaves you with no less of a problem. The heat is no better for our hair than the cold, and protection is mandatory.
6. Going all natural
Homemade haircare is trendy now. It becomes more and more popular with the rise and popularity of using product on our hair. But it’s one thing to use what your hairdresser recommends, and a totally different one to mix up your own secret potion.
Women especially like to include oils in their haircare routine. But beware — natural oils (coconut, argan, jojoba, etc.) don’t agree with styling devices very well. The average oil burning temperature is 160-250°С (320-482°F), and the average temperature we set our hair straighteners at is 170-230°C (338-446°F). Imagine what the result could be... Sizzling hair! Using a curling iron a couple of days after applying oil on your hair isn’t a good idea either. The oily membrane can stay on your hair for up to 2 weeks.
7. Eating lots of junk food or dieting heavily
Beautiful hair doesn’t exist without a fair amount of protein, vitamins, and nutrients. The heavy hitters around here are iron and biotin (or vitamin B7). Iron activates a very important enzyme responsible for cell division. The list of products that help us grow strong and shiny hair is long, but here’s what you should definitely include in your daily ration: walnuts, flaxseed, wild salmon, spirulina, avocado, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, almonds, sweet peppers, Brussels sprouts and raw cacao powder. Add spinach for an extra portion of iron and zinc.
8. Leaving it be
To cut it short (pun intended), having your hair cut is something you should do on a regular basis unless you are one of the lucky girls with no split ends. You might think that not having it cut will help you grow hair Rapunzel would be envious of. Unfortunately, that won’t happen.
Every one of us has a kind of “genetic ceiling” which won’t let us grow hair the length of our dreams. That means that taking care of those lifeless split ends and treating them with serums all for the sake of keeping the length makes no sense at all. It’s better to take good care of what nature and your parents gave you. It’s so easy to experiment with wigs and extensions nowadays that you shouldn’t cling to what you don’t have.
9. Forgetting to brush
Brush, brush, baby. Having a cup of coffee first thing in the morning sounds wonderful but brushing your hair while the coffee brews on the stove is something we recommend too. We often forget about this simple procedure that can do wonders for how our hair looks and feels.
For a nice dry scalp exfoliation, use a brush with natural bristles for a scalp massage before washing to get rid of scales and start the blood flow. It stimulates hair growth by bringing the nutrients to the follicles. In other cases, brush your hair with a comb and don’t touch the scalp. This way we leave the oil glands alone. Start brushing at the ends and move up slowly to the roots for 10-15 minutes.
Sidenote: If you like to wear your hair in a ponytail, don’t make it very high and don’t use a very tight rubber band. After a day with this, you’ll likely get a headache and some damaged hair too.
Which tip do you find the most useful? What else can you recommend to us for gorgeous celebrity-looking hair?
Illustrated by Ekaterina Gapanovich for BrightSide.me