Hair breakage is a problem that never seems to go away but a lot of people don’t realize that there are many things they do every day which harm their hair. By avoiding these common causes of hair breakage, you can preserve the integrity and strength of your hair, reduce fly-aways, and keep yourself (and your stylist!) happy.
Hot hair appliances are the long-term enemy of your hair. While they make us look beautiful and style our hair with salon-quality styling, blow dryers, blow brushes, straightening irons and curling irons all share something in common: heat. This heat can cause damage and breakage the hair when used in excess and especially without protection from products specifically created to minimize heat damage. Talk to your stylist today about which products you can use to protect your hair when applying heat is a necessity. The rest of the time, try to air-dry as often as possible and save the styling tools for when you really need them.
Your stylist will be able to help you with this, but there is something to be said for wash-and-wear haircuts that do not require the daily application of heat to be styled. Pick something a bit lower maintenance to avoid having to blow dry or straighten your hair constantly, thereby exposing it to unnecessary heat which can cause breakage.
It might surprise you to know that not all hair brushes are created equally! Plastic brushes are among the worst styling tools you can use on your hair because they can pull and cause breakage which leads to frizziness, knots and other hair trauma. The right brush will massage your scalp to stimulate hair growth and help distribute natural hair oils – both of which will help you grow longer, stronger locks. Talk to your stylist today for recommendations.
Even if you manage to get the best brush, following the “100 stroke” rule from your great-grandmother actually does more harm than good for your hair. Running a brush through your hair a couple times per day is good practice to stimulate follicles distribute natural oils and eliminate tangles; however, a few strokes does the job. Anything else can lead to breakage and no one wants that!
Another archaic hair practice that needs to go, wet combing is a hair disaster. While it might seem like it helps conditioners distribute throughout the hair by combing it through after application in the shower, the combination of a plastic comb on wet hair that might be tangled is actually a recipe for breakage. Pulling on the hair roughing to get conditioner combed through it is almost guaranteed to rip hair out or cause it to break away. Avoid at all costs.
You finally have an excuse to get silky pillowcases – your stylist orders you to! Rough materials for pillow cases causes hair to catch on it and can be ripped out will you sleep. If you do not want to invest in softer pillowcases, you can wrap your hair in a silk headscarf before bed but be sure to avoid tight elastics to hold it up (which we will talk about below).
How many times have you removed an elastic from you hair only to have a whole chunk of hair go with it? That is not normal hair falling out – you have broken your hair. Make sure you get elastics covered in soft fabrics, avoiding all rubber band-like materials. They should not have those little metal clasps which hair can get stuck in, tearing it out. The more you can avoid tying your hair up with these, the better. Aim to get a cut that is easy to style and low maintenance so ponytails are less of an occurrence than they might otherwise be.
Contrary to what some people think, more showering and washing of the hair is not better for it. In fact, it can lead to heavy damage of the hair quickly because of the stripping of natural oils which aid hair growth and increase the strength of the hair.
Sulfates in Shampoo
On a similar note, if you are over-washing and your shampoo contains sulfates, the chances of hair breakage are even greater. These sulfates strip the hair and remove nutrients leaving it weak and susceptible to damage. Make sure you check your labels, ask your stylist and only use professional grade salon products for the very best quality.
People who only shampoo in their hair baffle us as stylists. Conditioner is one of the easiest ways to nourish your hair on a regular basis to keep it strong and supple. Conditioner is one of your first lines of defense when it comes to preventing unnecessary breakage. Go for professional salon products recommended by your stylist so your conditioner can be tailored to your hair style and composition.
Skipping deep conditioning treatments
This is a big no-no. If you stylist is recommending a deep conditioning treatment for you, they know what they are talking about and you should trust them. Deep conditioning treatments can be tacked on to virtually any hairstyling appointment and are one of the reasons you always leave the salon feeling fabulous with vibrant, shiny hair.
Chemical treatments of any kind that are done with increasing regularity need to be controlled because they do cause proteins in the hair to break down for the sake of styling them. Perms are one such treatment that need to be done sporadically and accompanied by a host of conditioning treatments to ensure that your hair stays as healthy as possible. Your stylist will know all the best tips for keep your hair luscious on this front.
Bleaching is another chemical treatment that should be done in moderation as it can also cause breakage when done excessively. Talk to your stylist to see if it is right for you. If you have black hair, it is probably not going to work very well to try to go platinum blond as the amount of bleaching it would take will severely damage your hair. There are options for lightening that might work better for you.
First of all, if you already have an appointment, don’t cancel it unless it is an emergency. Save time by booking your next appointment when your last one is finishing. That way you can ensure that your stylist has the time and space to fit you in. Stylists are usually booked well in advance and calling the same day you want an appointment can be a long shot. All of that shouldn’t prevent you from getting haircuts though as regularly trimming your hair will help keep your style beautiful and prevent split ends which are a form of breakage.
In a similar vein, you might make it to an appointment but it can be pretty inconsistent about when this happens. Talk to your stylist about a schedule that is good for you based on your hair type and style.