Once in a while, I like to do a “hair care” post. This will cover a few things that would damage your hair and how to avoid it.
1. Heat Over-Use
You’ve probably heard of heat damage on hair; split ends and weak strands to name a few problems. I’ll be the first to say – I love using a curling iron or blow dryer on my hair. I’m not going to say NEVER use heat EVER, but only use it SOMETIMES. Here’s why.
As you apply direct heat to your hair (especially a curling iron or straightener), you’re actually burning it into a different shape.
Don’t let your hair smoke. That’s the worst! If you do that, you have great potential to burn the hair completely, and it will fall off. By doing that, you’re actually burning off the sulfur bonds that make your hair strong. Once those are gone, it’s only a matter of time before you burn through the entire hair, and then it falls off. If you don’t let your hair smoke, you won’t be as likely to burn the sulfur bonds off, and your hair also shouldn’t have that “burnt” smell.
Solution: Use heating tools only on occasion. I use my blow dryer about once a week, and a curling iron 1-3 times a month. After you’ve used a heated tool, be sure to condition your hair the next time you wash it.
Ponytails? Yes, ponytails. Beside making your head ache if you have thick hair, they actually break it. Especially if you do a ponytail in the same spot on your head every time. This one doesn’t make as many drastic problems like heat, but they certainly aren’t helping your hair along to healthiness. Here’s how it works: let’s say you put your hair into a ponytail in the middle of your head. Day one – it’s fine. The next day you do it, a few hairs break off. Each day you put it in the same spot more and more hair breaks, and you never allow it to have time to grow back.
Solution: Don’t wear ponytails often, and definitely don’t wear them in the same place every time.
3. Product Use
There are SO many products out there to buy to “make your hair grow faster,” make it “shiny and soft,” “heathy and strong,” and a whole host of other things. What’s good for your hair and what’s hurting it?
Here’s a rule of thumb that I (usually) follow: if you can make it, don’t buy it; if it isn’t shampoo or conditioner, you probably don’t need it; and if it’s laden with chemicals, use organic products instead.
There are, of course, a few exceptions to this rule, such as hairspray. I like a good hairspray. But be careful in choosing and using it. My go-to brand is Pantene Non-Aerosol Hairspray. With the “non-aerosol” kind, you’re not breathing it as much as if you had an aerosol one. Also, if you color your hair, you’re a lot more susceptible to hair damage, especially if you go and dye it every few weeks to cover the roots. Here is where you can save time and money by buying another product to keep the color longer.
One more thing. Perming. I personally don’t see why you really need to do it at all. While some perms look lovely for a while, they, like dye, grow out. And with all the tools we have now, you can often recreate the look you want at home without all the chemicals. Perms also have a great potential to burn the hair off because of the heavy chemicals. So my advice is skip the perms all together.
Solution: It all boils down to this – don’t feel constrained if you want to dye your hair or use products, just keep in mind what it’s doing to your hair. Always be sure to deep condition your hair to add moisture back into it – your hair will thank you.
Be sure to eat heathy, excercise, and take care of your hair! 😀