Hair offers more than just beauty! It serves as a protective layer against the harmful UV rays of the sun, dust, and pollution. It also allows us to express ourselves and feel confident. However, not everyone is blessed with thick and lustrous hair. Millions of people around the world suffer from hair loss, which can be attributed to a number of factors such as stress, genetics, hormone imbalance, malnutrition, dandruff, etc.
For these reasons, we should take good care of our hair and avoid damage. Here are 6 tips to avoid damaging your hair:
1. Brush When Dry Not Wet
A lot of people tend to brush their hair when it’s wet, thinking that it will untangle the knots better. However, this is actually one of the worst things you can do to your hair since it’s at its weakest point when wet. Wet hair is much more likely to break and fall out, so avoid brushing it until it’s dry.
After washing your hair, squeeze out the excess water with your hands instead of rubbing it with a towel. And when you do use a blow dryer, make sure it’s on the lowest setting. Also, try to let your hair air dry as much as possible before brushing it. Another option is to actually brush your hair BEFORE washing it.
2. Avoid Heat
Exposure to heat causes hair to drastically lose moisture, become brittle, and break. If you must use heat, be sure to use the lowest setting possible and always use a heat protectant spray.
If you are always exposed to heat, you should use a deep conditioner once a week to help replenish moisture. There are also natural hair products you can apply on your hair such as coconut oil, which can help protect it from heat damage.
3. Avoid Pulling Hair Tightly
Many people tend to tie their hair in a tight ponytail, braid, or bun which can lead to long-term damage. When you pull your hair, it can cause the hair shaft to break. This can lead to split ends and flyaways, which can make your hair look dull and unhealthy. In addition, if you pull your hair too often, it can weaken the hair follicles and cause the hair to fall out. Over time, this can lead to thinning hair or even permanent damage to the follicles with permanent baldness. This type of hair loss is called traction alopecia.
If you must tie your hair back, try a loose braid. You want to tie the hair back as loosely as possible to avoid any tight pulling of the hair. A loose braid can be less damaging than a tight ponytail. Wearing the loose braid or ponytail lower can also help minimize pulling. Finally, make sure you are using a hair tie that minimizes tight pulling or breakage.
4. Minimize Harsh Chemicals And Treatments
Harsh chemicals strip away the natural oils in your hair and can cause it to become dry and brittle. If you must use them, be sure to use a deep conditioner afterwards to help replenish lost moisture.
Some examples of harsh chemicals and treatments include bleaching, dyeing, chemical straightening, and perms.
5. Make Sure You Eat A Well-Balanced Diet
Your hair is made up of proteins, so it’s important to include plenty of them in your diet. Foods such as eggs, salmon, and yogurt are all great sources of protein. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, make sure you are eating enough plant-based sources of protein. You can also consider taking a hair-focused supplement. Also, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water as it helps keep your hair moisturized from the inside out.
6. Find A Hair Wash Frequency That Works For You
Lastly, finding the right hair washing frequency is important as washing your hair too often can strip away its natural oils. On the other hand, not washing it enough can cause buildup which can lead to scalp irritation and increased shedding.
To find the right balance, pay attention to your hair and how it feels. If it starts to feel greasy, oily, or dirty, then that’s a sign you need to wash it. For most people, washing their hair 2-3 times a week is sufficient. However, if you have oily hair, you may need to wash it more often.
If you are suffering from hair loss or breakage, it is best to see a physician specializing in hair loss and restoration to make sure nothing is wrong internally and discuss your treatment options. By doing this, and following the tips above, you can restore your hair (and your confidence)!