6 Common Things That Damage Your Hair
by Angela Cartigiano 0 Comments
If you’re here on our website reading blog posts about hair health, it’s probably safe to assume that your hair means a lot to you. And why shouldn’t it? For many people, hair is a part of their core identity. Hair is a major factor in your appearance and self-image, and it’s fun trying out new styles.
That’s why it’s important to be cognizant of your hair’s health. While it may seem flowy and luxurious, hair ages just like everything else in the body does, and if you’re not taking care of it, there can be major repercussions down the line.
Unfortunately, there are many things we do on a day-to-day basis that can actually damage hair health. If you want to give your hair the care it deserves, ask yourself if you practice any of the following habits — they could be having negative effects on your beautiful locks!
Ponytails and Tight Hair Styles
Look, there ain’t nothing wrong with rocking a ponytail. Every woman (or long-haired man) knows how much of a boon they can be, and it’s nice to be able to move around without hair falling in your face or getting in the way.
With that being said, be careful to not overdo it with ponytails, especially if you tend to tie them tight. That’s the main culprit — pulling your hair tight tends to put stress on the roots, leading to irritation, thinning, and itchiness. For hair to be at its healthiest, it’s best to let it flow loose.
Are you the type of person who just can’t give up ponytails and updos? That’s okay — you don’t have to completely abandon them, but consider tying them more loosely. Messy ponytails and loose buns are a style unto themselves, and when done right, you get both utility and good looks. That’s what we call a win-win scenario.
Bad Brushing Technique
Brushing your hair can, in fact, be good for its overall health. But it’s prudent to make sure that you’re doing it right. Bad brushing techniques can actually have the opposite effect, pulling your hair tightly and putting strain on it.
The general consensus is that it’s best to start low with your brushing. You know what it feels like to start brushing at your roots, only to hit a snag, which suddenly cuts your motion short (often painfully). This sudden jerking is what you want to avoid, for the same reasons we listed above with ponytails; hair doesn’t like to be forcefully pulled because it causes breakage and weakens the hair at its roots.
Want to improve your brushing technique? Our advice is to start low. Brush down gently, and with your next stroke, start a little higher. This helps you to catch snags and tangles more organically. Keep doing this until you reach your roots, and then you can brush to your heart’s desire knowing that your brush won’t get caught.
We admit that, for many people, it’s fairly common knowledge that bleaching harms hair. But not everyone is aware of this, and even if they are, they might not understand how exactly their hair will react to bleaching.
Bleach, in a nutshell, burns your hair follicles and forcefully removes nutrients and essential oils that keep your hair healthy. One of these oils is sebum, something your hair produces which gives it its natural shine. Have you ever wondered why bleached hair looks dry, and even frizzy? That’s why — you’re literally killing the natural components that keep it healthy.
By stripping away oils and nutrients, it also leaves your hair more vulnerable. Hair dryers, flat irons, and other tools will wreak more havoc on your hair after a bleaching job, so you have to be careful.
Does that mean you should never, ever bleach your hair? Not necessarily. For many people, it’s the only way to transition to a bold new hair color, and that’s a lot of fun. But we recommend you do your research beforehand and take every measure to prep your hair beforehand and make sure you’re not overdoing it.
One of the best things you can do before bleaching is to see a nearby scalp health professional for a hair analysis appointment. At Pro|Gen Probe, we create scalp analysis machines which can examine your hair at a near microscopic level. This service can give a detailed look at what’s going on with your scalp and hair follicles, and it will allow you to get all the important information you need to ensure that the bleaching process is done with as minimal damage as possible.
Too Much Washing
For many folks, this is a hard pill to swallow. As it turns out, washing your hair too often can cause damage. Shampoo, while useful for its cleaning properties, sucks some of the moisture out of your hair. Said moisture is an important component in keeping your hair strong, so when it’s stripped away, it leaves your hair more vulnerable to breakage.
In reality, your hair only needs to be washed about three times a week, or every other day if you sweat a lot or use a lot of products. In addition to that, it’s wise to use quality shampoo that’s designed for your type of hair. Need help determining what that is? As we mentioned before, a scalp analysis appointment is one of the best ways to learn about your hair and its specific needs.
The bottom line is that most people wash their hair every day because it looks and feels good, not because they’re deeply concerned about its health. Even one day without washing can lead to greasy hair, which feels unpleasant and can look unsightly. But consider giving it a try — greasy hair isn’t as noticeable if it’s still being thoroughly rinsed in the shower, and there are other means to reduce the oiliness, which is something you can ask your local scalp health professional about.
Extremely Hot Showers
Did you know that it’s not uncommon for women to prefer much hotter shower temperatures than men? While there is little research that has been done to statistically prove this, there is scientific evidence that women generally run cooler than men. While we don’t want to generalize too much, it’s safe to assume that if you prefer your showers to be scaldingly, death-defyingly hot, you’re not alone.
And alas, we agree that standing in the vapors of lava-hot water can be as soothing an experience as they come. Unfortunately, you’re not doing your hair any favors by showering in these exceedingly hot temperatures.
Hot water causes the same problems that some of the other things on this list do — it strips your hair of natural oils that your scalp produces. Without natural oils, your hair breaks more easily, dries out faster, becomes more frizzy, and produces more dandruff. Yikes!
Don’t be afraid to use blazing hot water from time to time, because it does feel good — no denying that. But try to spend the majority of your showering time with water that’s warm rather than hot, as cooler water doesn’t have the same adverse effects.
Not Knowing Your Scalp’s Health Needs
For our last point, the old adage says it better than we ever could — knowledge is power. While there are universal tips and tricks that can keep one’s scalp healthy, ultimately, everyone’s scalp and hair is different, and they all have different needs. One product may work amazingly well for one person’s hair, and be destructive to someone else’s.
By understanding exactly what your hair and scalp need, you’ll be two steps ahead of most other people. The small things really can go a long way, and that’s why we encourage you to head to your local hair health professional for a scalp analysis appointment. Scalp analysis machines can examine your hair at an extremely magnified level. You’ll be able to get a read on how healthy your hair is, the strength of your roots and follicles, and so much more.
At Pro|Gen Probe, we provide hair analysis machines for health and beauty professionals all throughout the country. These devices can be a major boon to the longevity of your hair. Want to learn more about what’s in store for you at a hair analysis appointment? Click here to learn more about our scalp analysis devices, and be sure to contact us if you have any questions!