8 ways you don't realise you're damaging your hair

As slick as tight ponytails and topknots look, forcing hair into very taught styles causes breakage especially along the nape and crown area where the hair is finer and more delicate.

Black model

Ditching some bad habits in your haircare routine can be the difference between a dull mane rife with split ends and the best hair of your life. Here are eight things to avoid for strong and healthy hair.

1. Over-sudsing

Standard shampoos are generally made with sulphates which are great at cleansing but they can be extremely harsh on our hair making it brittle. You may love that squeaky clean feeling but try a cleansing conditioner instead of your normal shampoo every so often, especially if you shampoo every day. Cleansing conditioners are like a shampoo and conditioner in one which remove hair product build-up without causing dryness.

2. Conventional towels

Regular towels were not made for precious strands and the fluffy fibres can rub up against our hair causing friction and frizz. Instead swap your standard towel for a cotton t-shirt or microfibre towel as these materials absorb moisture without drying it out completely. Try to also gently squeeze moisture out without rubbing according to uk.style.yahoo.com

3. Hair accessories

Certain clips, combs and hair bands can also break our precious tresses. Common culprits include hair accessories that are made of metal or styling accessories with sharp or uneven edges that can catch and snag your hair. You can still use them but be careful when inserting and removing.

Alternatively, pick a more hair-friendly option that’s metal-free and made of non-damaging materials like silk or satin.

4. Wet styling

Styling on wet hair can be easier, especially if your hair is naturally curly. However our hair is most fragile when it’s wet which means extra care needs to be taken. Avoid detangling on soaking wet hair and if you must style your hair whilst it’s damp, wait until it’s at least 50 per cent dry before handling.

Applying a leave-in conditioner or serum too will help make it easier for your brush to glide through your tresses, and always ensure that you detangle from your ends up to your roots so as to reduce tugging and hair breakage.

If your hair is curly, try using a wide tooth comb or your fingers instead of a brush which will allow you to remove tangles gently without pulling at your hair.

5 Tight hairstyles

As slick as tight ponytails and topknots look, forcing hair into very taught styles causes breakage especially along the nape and crown area where the hair is finer and more delicate. Wearing hairstyles in the same place everyday also causes problems as it creates stress on the same areas weakening the hair. In extreme cases continuous tension can cause traction alopecia which may lead to permanent hair loss. If you feel any tightness around the temples or at your nape from your hairstyle, your hairline is probably suffering. To avoid damage, vary the positions of your ponytails and make them slightly loose.

6. Letting it hang

It may surprise you to learn that hair can get damaged even when it’s left free-flowing too. This may simply be from restless hands, rubbing up against your clothes or perhaps harsh dry winds. If you leave your hair down try to avoid ‘hand-in-hair syndrome’ and keep your hair from rubbing up against woolen scarves or clothing. You can also occasionally try wearing styles which will protect your ends like updos or extensions.

7. Bed linen

Did you know the material of your pillowcase can contribute to breakage too? Especially so if you are a restless sleeper! To protect your strands ensure you use a silk or satin pillowcase so that your hair will glide smoothly against the fibres instead of rubbing up against it. Alternatively you can wear a silk scarf or bonnet whilst you sleep according to uk.style.yahoo.com

8. Not trimming regularly

You may have patiently waited a long time for your hair to grow out to a certain length, but the longer you delay a trim, the more likely your hair ends may have grown thinner and split ends will occur. As much as it’s hard to give up your length, thinning damaged ends will only result in more hair breakage and if left alone, split ends may split further up the hair shaft.

Instead of ignoring it get your stylist to give you a fresh trim. The good news is once your hair is trimmed it will withstand everyday breakage and damage much better.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh