If You Do this to Your Hair, You’re Damaging it
Maintaining long, lustrous tresses isn’t as easy as it sounds. Just like your skin, your hair requires special attention and quality products to keep it healthy. Certain habits could also be damaging your hair without you even realizing it. And the problem with damaged hair is that it’s much easier to prevent it than cure it.
Luckily, simple changes can prevent further damage. Once you establish the habits that are harming your hair, you can quickly quit them and pave the way for a strong and silky mane.
Here are some habits to look out for if you want to keep your hair looking and feeling fabulous.
- Brushing wet hair
Your hair is especially fragile when it’s wet.
When hair is wet, cuticle scales can lift, leaving strands more delicate and susceptible to breakage and split ends.
Siobhan Quilan of Art + Autonomy Salon warns, “Don’t tear through it with a brush after the shower if you don’t want it to break.” To de-tangle hair, Quilan recommends brushing it before showering when your hair is dry, then using a wide-tooth comb when it’s wet. Alternatively, just wait until it’s fully dry before brushing.
Truly’s Rose Gold Hair Comb has widely spaced teeth which help to de-tangle strands without snagging.
- Shampooing into the lengths of your hair
When you wash your hair, you should only be putting shampoo into the roots of your hair – not the lengths. The goal of shampoo is to clean away oils on your scalp. Because these oils do not occur in the mid-lengths of your hair, you are actually damaging your hair by rubbing it into your strands.
Instead, gently massage shampoo into your scalp. When you rinse, let the shampoo flow through the rest of your hair without rubbing it in.
- Wearing a tight ponytail
“Keeping your hair pulled too tight, too often will cause breakage, especially if your hair is highlighted,” says Eliut Rivera of Eliut Salon. “A lot of time you can see the breakage on the crown area.”
The traction from pulling can even harm your hair at the follicle, causing gradual hair loss which can become permanent. To prevent this from happening, celebrity stylist Richard Marin advises you to “Move it up a half inch one day, then down the next.”
Using a scrunchie will minimize damage even further. Or try pulling your hair back using bobby pins or claws to prevent breakage. The looser your hair, the better.
- Turning the heat up on your hairdryer
Excess heat is never a good thing for your hair. That’s because heat causes cuticles to dry and snap off, which leads to dehydrated-looking strands.
To keep your hair healthy, try setting your hairdryer to medium instead of high – or even better, low. The less heat the better. Also remember not to blow dry when your hair is dripping wet. It’s always best to blow dry damp hair – not wet.
Before using heat, wrap hair in a towel for five minutes then let your hair air-dry for another several minutes.
- Skipping conditioner
Regardless of how busy you are, always make time to condition your hair. As a rule of thumb, use conditioner after every shampoo.
“Conditioner refortifies the cuticle with a protective coating, allowing the hair to keep growing and not break easily,” explains D.C.-based board-certified dermatologist Adam Friedman. “When the hair is exposed to the outside world, the cuticle, or outer lining, gets damaged until it ultimately breaks; the conditioner fills in those injuries and coats the hair to assist the cuticle.”
After shampooing and rinsing your hair, squeeze out excess water then slather on a nourishing conditioner or mask like Truly’s Rainbows in Mirrors to the ends of your hair. Leave it on for 3-5 minutes before washing out.
- Not cleaning your styling tools
Hairy brushes are breeding grounds for germs and old residue. That’s why it’s important to keep your brushes and styling tools clean if you want to maintain healthy, glossy, grime-free strands.
“Remove the hair from the brush after each styling session,” advises Elizabeth Cunnane Phillips, a New York-based trichologist.
Clean brushes and combs with a teaspoon of baking soda and water, leaving them to soak in the mixture for a couple of minutes before rinsing well. Baking soda is a superstar at removing oils, grime, and residue that gets stuck in the bristles.
Has your brush seen better days? Upgrade to Truly’s “For Luscious Locks” Hair Brush, made with vegan boar bristles, which detangles without damaging your hair.
- Using the same old shampoo
You might have a favorite shampoo, but according to the experts, it’s good to switch your shampoo from time to time.
Using the same shampoo year after year only builds up a tolerance to the product and eventually it stops working as well as it used to.
“It’s good to have a few different shampoos with different purposes, like a moisturizing shampoo, shine shampoo, color-safe shampoo, and volume shampoo. Then alternate,” says Rivera.
And according to Phillips, you should “Change your shampoo when hair circumstances change, for example, if color or highlights have been added.”
- Wearing hair extensions
The secret to gorgeous tresses? Wearing it au natural – in other words, no extensions.
As much as we love them, weaves and extensions tend to pull on the hair which in the long-term causes shedding and hair loss.
To prevent that from happening, wear weaves and extensions that are light and get them done at a salon that specializes in these services. Wear it for no longer than three months.
Alternatively, just wear your hair how it is without extensions. We’re sure you look just as stunning without them! Plus, your mane will thank you for it!
If following these haircare tips does not improve the health of your hair, try seeing a dermatologist for advice. There may be a root cause of your problem. The sooner you treat the problem, the better the outcome will be for your hair.