Our hair is easily damaged. Sun exposure, harsh detergents and heating tools are just some of the things that are bad for hair. They damage the cuticle, causing the shaft to break easily and lose shine. Hair can also become dry, brittle and just a pain to handle and style. And because hair is dead, once it’s damaged there’s nothing you can do about it. Deep conditioning helps make hair look better, but you’ll have to wait for it to grow back to have healthy hair again. What you can do, instead, is preventing the damage from happening in the first place. Here’s how:
1. Avoid harsh haircare products
When you go shopping for haircare products, make sure you read the labels carefully. Some shampoos contain harsh detergents (such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate) which can strip too much natural oil causing hair to become dry. Alcohol Denat is another ingredient to avoid as it very drying and can cause hair to become frizzy.
2. Don’t use a blow dryer and styling tools
The heat from styling tools such as curling irons, flat irons and blow dryers can damage hair, making it dry and weak. Let your hair air dry whenever possible (should be easier now that summer’s approaching) but if you have to use a blow dryer, use the low-heat setting. Try to use flat or curling irons only for special occasions. And whenever you use styling tools, remember to apply a heat-protective product on your hair.
3. Wear a hat when going outdoors
UV rays aren’t bad just for our skin. They can damage our hair too. So, if you’re gonna spend time outdoors, you need to protect your tresses. Don’t bother buying hair products with UV filters, they don’t work. So, save your money and wear a hat or a scarf instead. That’s the only way to keep your hair safe in the sun.
4. Don’t perm or dye hair too often
This is so hard to do! Dying hair can be so fun and perms, when done right, look pretty. But they also use harsh chemicals and processes that change the structure of hair, making it brittle, weak and prone to breakage. If you wanna dye your hair or perm it, do so but in moderation. Go back to your natural color after a few months or a year and wait till your hair is well again before dying it again for example.
5. Brush hair gently
Even something as simple as brushing your hair can damage and break it if you don’t do it gently. And when your hair is wet and thus more fragile, comb it by using a wide-toothed comb. This will detangle hair without breaking it.
6. Don’t pull hair too tight
Styling your hair in any way, including ponytails and tresses can too lead to breakage. Tight ponytails are particularly harmful and, if worn every day for long periods of time, can cause severe (and sometimes permanent) hair loss overtime. Style your hair only once in a while and when you do, keep it as loose as you can.
7. Get regular trims
Get your hair trimmed at least every three months to prevent and get rid of split ends. Your hair will look healthier and people will notice it!
8. Eat healthily
When you eat a healthy diet, your hair (and skin) will look and feel naturally healthy, shiny and soft. All the tips above will work only to an extent if you don’t take care of yourself by eating healthily. Hair needs vitamins (A, B and C), proteins, iron and zinc so follow a diet rich in fruit, vegs and fish. Meat, especially white meat, is beneficial too but in moderation.
I know that following all these tips all the time is pretty much impossible. Never dying your hair, never curling or straightening it, never using a blow dryer… who could ever possibly do that? The key is balance. Do these things every now and then and your hair will be fine, do them too often and you’ll damage it.
Do you know any other tips to prevent hair damage?