lifestyle

5 things you're doing wrong when looking after your hair.

By NICKY CHAMP

We’re all guilty of not washing our hair enough, overdoing it with the hair dye and leaving it way too long between salon appointments, but there are a few more bad habits you might have unintentionally picked up that are also damaging your hair. If your hair looks flat, lifeless and lacklustre, read on for five things you might be doing wrong when it comes to looking after your hair.

1. You wear sunscreen everywhere except your hair.

I know what you’re thinking: Nicky, do I really have to wear sunscreen in my hair? COME ON. I get it, I really do. After putting approximately 17 products on your face before you leave in the morning, the last thing you want is to have to do the same for your hair. But all that flagrant lack of UV protection is damaging and drying out your hair. Also if greys are a problem for you, you should know that UV damage also speeds up colour loss. There is some good news coming though: you don’t have to load your hair up with greasy zinc or spray on sunscreen – look for conditioning and treatment products that have UV protection built in.

2. You’ve stopped eating your greens.

When you’re about to order your weekly takeaway fix, the last thing you’re thinking about is what that greasy chicken pad thai is going to do to your hair. But maybe now you will. If the last time you sat down to a plate of three veg was when you were in a highchair I have some more bad news. Antioxidants found in vegetables like carrots, squash and broccoli and berries, nuts and seeds can help counteract free radical damage. And just like how antioxidants can protect the skin from free radical damage (i.e wrinkle formation and loss of skin elasticity) the same thing can happen to your hair, causing it to be dry, damaged and lacklustre. Moral of the story? Add some more greens, berries, nuts and seeds into your diet and look for hair care products that contain antioxidants, like Pantene’s Daily Moisture Renewal with Keratin Damage Blockers, which delivers 100% damage protection without weighing hair down.

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Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Pantene Promise. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words. 

3. Taking long, hot showers.

I know, along with telling you to put UV protection in your hair and takeaway shaming you, I’m also taking the fun out of gloriously long, hot showers. Don’t worry, I’m even starting to dislike myself, but I feel like this is something you should know now – even if you do continue down the hot water road to hair hell.  Scalding hot water can dehydrate your hair, much in the same way it can do it to your skin. When you take long, super-hot showers, you’re stripping away your hair’s protective oils. Cool down your jets, and your hair will thank you for it.

4. You smoke a few cheeky cigarettes every Saturday night.

You can’t have grown up in Australia in the last few decades of anti-smoking campaigns and not be aware of the fact that every cigarette is doing you damage. If you’re still smoking despite all the health warnings, there’s another very good reason for quitting: cigarettes are ruining your hair.

5. Your heat styling tools are set too high.

Do you pack your ghd to go on a tropical island holiday? Was the last time you let your hair dry naturally somewhere back in 1988? Well, just as those of us who don’t ever use heat protectant are guilty of committing crimes against healthy hair, so are those of us who are unnaturally attached to our dryers and straighteners.

If that’s you, then turn down the heat setting on your beloved hair straightener. Most people wrongly assume you need to set styling tools at high (around 210 degrees) to achieve the best result, but you can achieve the exact same result on a low-medium setting rather than singeing your hair everyday. Just remember even on a lower setting always, always use damage protection, try something with a lightweight feel.    (I’m looking at you, my non-heat protectant friends).

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