8 hair crimes you had no idea you were committing.
I like to think that overall I take pretty good care of my hair. I see the hairdresser as often as the budget allows, I try to use good products and I even chuck in a treatment when I’m feeling a bit fancy. It turns out though that each day we are causing irreversible damage to our hair without even realising. These are the nine follicle failures you could be committing (ahem, I’ve ticked off about four in the past 24 hours) – avoid them like the plague.
The charge: Too hot, too often.
Using heating tools daily will see you end up in the hair care slammer. Even with the use of a protectant (which you should be using before stepping anywhere near a curling iron, straightener or even hair dryer) you risk zapping the essential moisture and natural oils from the follicles, leaving you with stressed out, frizzy hair. Doing this daily equals breakage and snapping of the hair strands. (Post continues after gallery.)
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Natalie Hybner, a senior hairstylist based in Sydney says: “Generally thin hair doesn’t need to same degree of heat as thick or curly hair does when it comes to styling” so don’t automatically assume you need to crank it in the heat department.
The charge: Over-washing
If you already have dry, stressed out hair (I’m looking at my fellow bleach lovers) then washing your hair too frequently could make its condition worse. This is because washing strips the hair of natural oils which help protect and soften the mid-lengths and ends.
While there is no 'one size fits all' answer for how often you should be washing your hair, hairdressers generally recommend that one 'poo session every couple of days is more than enough for most of us.
Just like your face and body, your hair needs some protection from the elements. This is particularly the case when it comes to the harsh Australian summer sun. Not only does the sun weaken the hair follicles, but combined with salt water and chlorine it can lead to colour loss and frizzy, dry ends.
Before you venture outdoors, apply a leave in moisturiser with added SPF to help protect your locks against the rays, and always wear a hat where possible.
The charge: Using filthy tools
When was the last time you cleaned and washed your hairbrush? Yeah, you're supposed to do that. Guilty as charged. Using dirty tools can lead to product build up and possibly even infections on your scalp. Not something you want to be dealing with.
Tend to rip your brush through your hair when it comes to knots and tangles? Being too rough with your hair will lead to breakage, especially if you try to tackle the job while you hair is wet. Instead, use a good leave in conditioner and a wide-toothed comb or tangle teaser brush. Start your mission at the ends of your hair, and work your way up the hair strands to detangle small sections at a time.
The charge: Not getting the right vitamins
Restricting your hair's basic needs will get you a night's stay in the big house.
Vitamins A, C and E are all essential to growth and condition as are iron, protein and omega three. Make sure you eat a well balanced diet consisting of foods like lean meats, fish, leafy greens, nuts, and fresh fruit to keep your hair in peak condition.
The charge: Overdoing the dry shampoo
Who would have thought something we all love so dearly could be causing us so much damage? But sadly, it's true. (We can organise a cry session together later if anyone else feels the need.) Overusing dry shampoo can lead to product build up (which for you means limp, lanky hair), dried ends and possibly even scalp infections and dandruff.
"If you use a dry shampoo daily then I would recommend getting yourself some clarifying shampoo. You can use it each wash if you want to but even using it once a week should help you get rid of any build up that you might experience," Natalie warns. (Post continues after gallery.)
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The charge: Tight hairstyles
Consistently wearing your hair pulled back in a tight style could be putting unnecessary pressure on the strands which can lead to breakage and snapping. This is particularly the case if you tend to have one go-to style that you wear each day.
To combat this, try to mix it up in the style stakes and try something new. Swap your tight hair elastics for something more forgiving on the hair, such as an invisibobble.
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The charge: Sleeping on cotton sheets
You've made your bed, now lay in it. Just make sure you get yourself some nice satin sheets before you do.
Cotton sheets zap the moisture out of your hair, leaving it weakened and dry. Satin sheets don't and allow the hair to glide with ease, leaving you with less tangles and frizz in the morning.