Hair Tricks & Trinkets

7 ways you’re damaging your hair

We’ve heard a lot of these before, but we still need reminders! Hair is my business, but I still find myself guilty of these from time to time, too. It’s always good to refresh our memory on ways to keep our tresses healthy and beautiful.

The top seven ways you are harming your hair are:

#7 Brushing wet hair or vigorously brushing dry hair… When your hair is wet, it has more stretch to it, but it also has more friction and grabs the bristles of your brush. This means it is much easier to stretch that hair to the breaking point. Likewise, vigorously brushing dry hair can break or rip hair out when that brush finds a tangle that hasn’t been worked out. TIPS: If your hair is wet, use a leave in conditioner and gently work through your hair in sections with a wide tooth comb. If your hair is dry, you can still use a leave in conditioner spray and gently brush, beginning at the ends and working your way up a little at a time. You can find my fave leave in conditioner HERE:

#6 Neglecting a regular trip to your stylist to remove split ends… It may be tempting to stretch that appointment out, but don’t do it! Split ends DO NOT heal themselves and the longer you let them go, the more damage they can create. The only way to stop the split from traveling up the hair shaft is to cut it off!

#5 Using hair elastics… There’s a thing called “ponytail fringe” for a reason. Wear your hair in a ponytail elastic and your hair is sure to pay the price. Elastic is popular because it “grabs” the hair and thus holds in place well. The problem is that the same beautiful hold also breaks and pulls out hair no matter how carefully you try to remove that elastic. For a pretty alternative that won’t damage your hair, try a FLEXI CLIP.

#4 Using no conditioner at all… I mentioned leave in conditioner above, but especially in the winter time, you will want to use a conditioner after shampooing. A good conditioner helps smooth the hair cuticle, aids in preventing tangles, and preserves the ph and moisture balance in your hair. For this last reason, it’s a good idea to use when your is freshly rinsed (after shampooing).

#3 Washing too often… even if you don’t use a hair dryer to dry your hair, water itself is drying. (this is why our hands also dry out when we wash them often) By washing your hair every other day or even twice a week instead of every day, your hair will be able to retain more of it’s natural ph and moisture.

#2 Too many chemicals…color and/or perm, chlorine, ocean water. I am the first one to admit, I do in fact color my hair. This means I have to be mindful and treat it with a little more care. Make sure you use hair shampoos and other products specifically designed for color treated hair. If you’re going swimming, chlorine and salt are very hard on hair that is already dealing with chemicals. Be sure to wet your hair in pure water (unsalted & untreated) first before you dive in. This allows the hair to absorb the pure water and greatly reduces the amount of salt and chemicals it can take in. The sun can also be hard on chemically treated hair…when possible use a sun hat to keep your hair happy and healthy.

And the #1 way you are harming your hair is by using hair dryers and styling tools that are too hot. Remember that your hair is not a living thing and cannot repair itself. Once the damage is done, the only way to “fix” it is to cut it off or grow it out. Avoid using heated styling tools every day when at all possible or at the very least, use a low heat setting!

Do you have any other tips for maintaining a healthy head of hair? I’d love to hear them!

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