Great hair needs great care, and this is by no means an easy feat. You consider your hair products, diet, and regular check-in at the salon amongst other things. While all these take a great deal of intention, you may be shocked to find out that some things you do may be damaging your hair. Yes, that’s a shocker but it’s true. Therefore, if you need to know how to prevent hair damage, it’s a good idea to put your lifestyle into consideration.
In order to get the most out of your hair growth efforts, a lifestyle analysis is important as that often determines how effective your efforts will be. Whether it’s the more obvious factors like quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy diet or the lesser-known factors such as the pillowcase you use, this lifestyle analysis will save you stress in the long run. After all, there’s nothing worse than counterproductive measures that give you double the task. Is here?
Check out 9 tips on how to prevent hair damage for fuller, healthier hair…
#1. Let your hair rest
On many occasions, all you have to do to avoid damaging your hair is to allow it to rest. Excessive combing, styling, adjusting, and the like only add stress to your hair and in turn weigh it down. The best thing for your hair is to hold it in a protective hairstyle until your next wash day as this gives it the time it needs to breathe and be its best. In other words, all that tugging does your tresses no good.
#2. Detangle carefully
Girls with 4c hair know the tangling is real. Yes, regardless of your hair length, you must have experienced those annoying “knots and bolts” your hair seems to magically develop. While the popular resort is to comb it out, that’s not such a good idea as it could lead to breakage. Furthermore, the force used could also cause headaches. (I’m talking to you). So, what should you do? First, gently detangle with your fingers and follow with a detangling lotion before combing with a wide-toothed comb. It makes the job easy and your hair (and head) will thank you.
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#3. Wash your hair
There’s an erroneous belief that dirt in hair aids growth. This isn’t true. Every day, your hair is exposed to pollutants and free radicals that only build up with time. This means that the more often you skimp on your shampooing session, the faster you let these “bad guys” damage your hair. Prolonged periods of not washing your hair will cause a buildup on the scalp, which will not only damage your hair but also stop it from growing. If that isn’t enough to convince you, how about the nasty smell associated with dirty hair? That should be reason enough.
#4. Cut down on excessive shampooing
Shampooing your hair is a two-edged sword. While on the one hand, it isn’t advisable to not wash your hair, on the other hand, it’s bad to wash too frequently. This is because frequent washing strips your hair of its natural oils which in turn can hurt your hair follicles. Generally, you should wash once per week or every 10 days. However, it all depends on the thickness of your hair as well as how active your lifestyle is. (For an in-depth guide, see this article).
#5. Avoid too much heat styling
Of course, you knew this was bound to be mentioned. All that heat will only do your hair more harm than good. Imagine exposing your hair to daily heat sessions and then being shocked when it gets damaged. What were you expecting? While we’re not suggesting completely getting rid of heat styling (which is not a bad idea), we’re only suggesting making them few and far between. In addition, ensure you use a heat protectant before styling as they help to prevent hair damage.
#6. Maintain a balanced diet
They say you are what you eat, best believe that what you eat plays a huge role in the health of your hair. A lack of the right nutrients such as vitamins A, C, D, and E, zinc, B vitamins, iron, biotin, protein, and essential fatty acids could slow down hair growth or even cause hair loss. Clearly, it’s important to load up on your fruits and veggies, as well as supplement with vitamins where necessary. Also, stay away from excessive alcohol consumption and smoking. Your hair will thank you.
#7. Switch up your pillowcase
It may come as a shock but the pillowcase you use may be damaging your hair. For example, sleeping on a cotton pillow can lead to tangled hair and contribute to breakage. That makes them a bad idea when you’re looking to prevent hair damage. However, silk pillowcases are a better option as the smaller fibers on them prevent your hair from excessive pulling as you toss and turn.
#8. Hydrate your hair
Just as your body needs water to function, so does your hair. By hydrating your hair, you provide it with the necessary fuel it needs to get running. You can hydrate by wetting or dampening your hair, and also by drinking more water. Your hair roots soak up water from your body to hydrate hair, which then boosts growth. If, however, water doesn’t get to your scalp, your hair can become dry, brittle, and could stop growing
#9. Lock in the moisture
It’s one thing to hydrate your hair and another to seal in the moisture. You can achieve this by applying a leave-in conditioner with water as its first ingredient and then sealing it with shea butter or oil. The molecules in most butter/oils are too large to pass into the hair, so they stick to the outside of the shaft, trapping in the moisturizer! You can try natural oils such as coconut oil as well as Argan oils, they work magic.
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