We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but it might be time to break a few of these nasty hair habits.
1. BRUSHING TOO MUCH
Over-brushing causes friction that leads to hair cuticle damage and breakage.
Fix it: Brush hair just enough to detangle or style.
2. THE TOWEL TURBAN
It’s a classic post-shower look, which, unfortunately, is very bad for wet hair. Wet hair should be gently squeezed or pat dry with the towel, not twisted and wrung up in a towel.
Fix it: Sandwich sections of your hair in the towel and press lightly to remove as much water as possible.
3. SHAMPOOING DAILY
This is a case of too much of a good thing turning bad. While the aim is to cleanse your scalp and remove oil build-up on your tresses, over-washing can strip hair of its natural moisture.
Fix it: Unless you have an oil problem, hair doesn’t need to be washed daily – every two to three days is ideal.
4. MISHANDLING WET HAIR
Research suggests that hair can be up to 70 per cent more fragile when wet, prone to stretching and breakage when brushed or pulled harshly.
Fix it: Always smoothen damp hair with a wide-tooth comb. Don’t comb in one stroke from root to tip. Instead, work through in segments, holding hair a few inches from the bottom, combing down, then moving your hand up another few inches and combing again.
5. STYLING DRIPPING WET HAIR
Ironing wet hair causes moisture in the strands to burst out. Heat also causes changes in the hydrogen bonds that hold hair together, which while initially temporary, will lead to permanent damage if done regularly.
Fix it: Firstly, heat protecting products – never style without it. Secondly, only ever use a straightener or curling iron on hair that’s at least 90 per cent dry. Otherwise, it’s a disastrous equation of heat plus water equals cooked hair.
6. SKIPPING SUN PROTECTION
You’re diligent about slathering the SPF on your skin, yet you neglect the point of your body closest to the rays. Exposure to UVA and UVB can cause scalp to become sunburnt and make hair follicles brittle from dryness.
Fix it: Your best bet for protection is a hat. Alternatively, look out for hair products that contain UV filters as they make for an effective shield.
7. USING THE WRONG SHAMPOO
Most of us have some degree of combination hair and scalp type (dry scalp, oily hair or oily scalp, dry hair), and wrongly opt for a shampoo that addresses your hair concern, rather than scalp.
Fix it: Choose a shampoo suited to the state of your scalp, not hair, and concentrate shampooing at no more than two inches from your roots.
8. PILING ON THE PRODUCTS
We all need a bit of products to tame the mane. But too much will actually do more harm than good, sucking up hair’s natural oils.
Fix it: As a general rule of thumb, every woman only needs heat protectant, and a nourishing oil or serum for frizz and flyaways.
9. NOT WASHING POST-WORKOUT HAIR
Salt in sweat can lodge itself in your hair and scalp. The tiny pores in your scalp also get blocked by dirt and grime that mixes with the sweat, altering the balance of your scalp health.
Fix it: If you exercise daily, shampooing after every workout isn’t necessary. On light exercise days, avoid washing your hair if you can spare it, or if you must, just rinse it with water.
10. SCRAPPING YOUR SCALP
The harder you wash, the cleaner your hair becomes, right? Wrong. In fact, the harder you scrub, the more you’re damaging your hair. Follicles get ravaged and hair breaks off at random lengths.
Fix it: Always ensure hair is soaked properly with water before shampooing. This will help your product lather nicely. Massage shampoo in with your fingertips, not nails and spend about three to five minutes doing this.