Having a deep red lipstick or perfect cat-eye can drastically change the way you look but nothing can change your look more than your hair. We always spend time pampering our skin but forget to spend the time caring for our hair, too.
Some of our bad hair care habits cause hair damage but we don’t know we are damaging our hair because we see these habits as normal. Some of these bad hair habits can seriously affect our hair and cause hair loss.
Before we get into it, it’s important we discuss the composition of the hair.
The hair is a non-living tissue formed from the outermost layer of the skin. What we see is the visible strand referred to as the hair shaft. The follicle (the root of the hair) is embedded in the outer skin layer. The fact that the hair is embedded in the outer layer is the reason why tugging on your hair can be painful.
The composition of the hair makes you understand how important the hair is and why you need to abstain from some bad hair habits.
The hair shaft is made of three layers (the outermost layer called the cuticle, the middle layer called the cortex and the innermost layer called the medulla). The term hair damage occurs when the cuticle snaps or breaks. The good news is that there are things you can do to prevent hair loss.
Let’s take a look at some bad hair habits and healthier alternatives that can be adopted.
Bad Hair habit: Over-shampooing
If you don’t participate in mud racing, there is no reason for your hair to get THAT dirty easily. The amount of shampoo used on the hair should be minimized as much as possible. This is because most shampoos are too harsh (they contain chemicals) and can strip the hair of its natural oils and damage the hair follicle and shaft. Hair shaft and hair follicle damage results in impaired hair growth.
Healthier alternative: Treating your scalp
If you feel there is a need to wash your hair every day, opt for natural and chemic free shampoos that will keep your hair clean and won’t cause harm to the hair. Don’t forget the scalp is the target for your shampoo and not the hair, as the suds are okay to clean the hair.
Bad habit: Overusing a heat protectant
Using heat protection sprays are similar to physical sunscreens. They form a protective barrier over the outer most layer of the hair to protect the hair strands from the heat of hair tools. However, using too much heat protectant can really hurt your hair really bad. One of the mistakes people make is using the heat protectant when the hair is really dry.
Healthier alternative: Go natural
Avoid using a heat protectant every time. Opt for other natural hair protecting measures.
Bad Habit: Over-conditioning
The major role of the hair conditioner is to protect the hair from the abrasion and grooming. Hair conditioners also repair cuticle damage by adding protein. Over-conditioning, however, can result in protein imbalance and make your hair prone to dryness and breakage. It can also make your hair heavier and weaker.
Healthier alternative: Use a light hair oil
Use oil as a good alternative for weekly deeply conditioning.
Bad Habit: Towel drying
Using a towel for hair drying will make your hair dry faster but the bad side is that most towels are made from cotton. Also, the towel will make your curly hair frizzy and cause damage like breakage and split ends. It can also absorb too much moisture and rough up the cuticles.
Healthier alternative: An old t-shirt
Dry your hair with a t-shirt out of the shower, it's gentle and absorbent and won't be as rough as a regular towel that causes breakage. Avoid using comb or brush while drying your hair.