[By Cara Solis]
Tending to your crowning glory is a little like gardening. You got to keep it well nourished, protect it and trim it properly ever so often to make sure that it looks good. There are many common hair mistakes that many women are making without even realizing it, some being worse than others. Apart from bad hairstyles and weird out colouring jobs that may haunt you for a lifetime, some of these mistakes are going to cause severe physical hair damage that can be permanent and irreversible! Read on to make sure that you are not committing any of these top five mistakes to ensure a head of healthier hair and a happier you.
Towel drying damp hair
One of the commonest bad hair habits which women commit unwittingly, sometimes on a daily basis is to dry out damp hair vigorously with a towel as they stepped out of the shower. This is a big no-no as all the rubbing can cause frizzing, split ends and even breakages of hair. The correct way is to gently pat out excess water and put a stop to all the rubbing and towel tousling.
This will also help to prevent entanglement that require excessive combing to work out the knots. If you want to keep your damp hair out of your face, it is better to use a cotton t-shirt to wrap it up as it’s much lighter than a towel and gives lesser traction to your damp follicles.
Brushing or styling wet hair
Hair brushes are wonderful tools for setting hair into a myriad of beautiful styles but they are definitely not a good choice to use when your hair is still wet. Brushing will stretch out one’s hair and is more likely to cause breakages, especially on hair that’s already weakened with perming, straighteners or excessive dyeing. Wet hair needs your extra tender, loving care so NEVER wash your hair when you are in a rush and hard pressed for time. You are much better off using a wide tooth comb on your wet hair, working it gently through, just enough to avoid entanglement. It is also a huge hair mistake to curl or straighten your hair while it’s still wet.
You can literally fry your hair to a limping frizz with hot curling iron especially if you mix that with hairsprays. Make sure you use only thermal protection hair products and styling tools specifically designed to handle damp tresses to avoid styling mishaps.
Blow drying on high heat
One of the most frequent hair mistakes especially for those rushing to get out of the house or gym change room early in the morning is to use the hair dryer on the hottest setting available. For that few minutes saved to get your hair dry, you are actually frizzling it. Contrary to popular belief, the hot air ain’t gonna add volume to your crowning glory. If you want to prevent this common hair mistake, simply use the “warm” or “cool” settings and linger a little longer on your hair strands, holding the hair dryer approximately 8 to 10 inches away from your hair. If you position the appliance closer to your hair, you run the risk of damaging your hair or burning the skin on your scalp, face and ears.
It would be good to use a leave-in conditioner or moisturizing product on your hair to protect it from the hair dryer’s heat. Slowly move the dryer as you dry your hair to avoid leaving one section of hair exposed to heat for too long a period. Blow the air from the roots of your hair to the ends if you want to achieve a smooth, sleek look. If you want a rough, tousled look, blow the air from the ends to the roots.
Excessive colouring of hair roots
What is the first thing that most women do when grey roots or roots of their original hair colour start showing? They either speed book their hair colourist to do a touch up or stir up a DIY hair dye and slap on an extra thick coat to the newly grown roots. Applying extra dye on your coloured strands when your roots are showing is yet another common hair mistake women tend to make, giving rise to over-processing and hair damage.
You are better off applying just enough colour to cover up the roots and always follow up with good shampoo and hair serums to nourish and protect your locks.
“Regular hair colouring, streaking and highlighting can all cause cumulative damage, although it may take several years before obvious signs of hair breakage set in,” warns Dr. Chua Han Boon, aesthetics physician and head of the Hair Care & Restoration Centre of The Sloane Clinic @ ION, Singapore. “Chemical dyes may damage our hair by breaking through the cuticle shield and invade the cortex. In some cases, they may also cause an autoimmune reaction leading to excessive alopecia or hair loss.”
Are you always wearing your hair in a high ponytail, braids or a ballerina top knot? It might be a flattering signature look for you but this can spell bad news. Wearing you hair frequently in styles that require hair to be tightly pulled back can cause hair damage in the long run due to excessive traction. You might also notice breakage or damage where you wear your hair tie.
There are plenty of other hair options to choose from so be creative and make sure you add wearing your tresses loosely into your style rotation to give your hair a much needed break. Hair extensions can be great for special occasions but wearing them constantly all the time can result in excess weight and unwanted damage as well.
Preventing hair damage seem all too easy but when we are busy rushing for work or appointments, it’s easy to forget some of the cardinal rules of hair care 101. However, if we dedicate a part of our time set aside for personal grooming to our head of hair, you will find the results both enjoyable and rewarding.