Gerry Cupido advises how we can avoid damaging our hair
WOMEN spend many hours and much money maintaining and trying to achieve healthy, strong, red-carpet ready hair. Many go to great lengths to research and find the right products, then blow-dry and flat-iron their hair into submission. It’s not always possible to get it right all the time and there are a few common mistakes we often make without realising it. Here are a few you should look out for. How often do you wash your hair? You could well be shampooing your hair much too often. You shouldn’t be washing your hair more than three times a week. If you have naturally curly hair even less so. Washing your hair too often strips your hair from its natural oils, which leads to dryness. If you are active and perhaps go to gym every day and feel you want to rid your hair of sweat, simply rinse off your hair with water only instead of using shampoo or soap. This will cause far less damage. Do you brush your hair while it’s still wet? Stop! That is when your hair is most fragile, which could lead to breakage. To avoid this while you get those stubborn knots out, use a de-tangling spray (for very knotty hair). Then using your fingers, work through sections of your hair to get through the knots. How many of us reach for a towel to dry our hair? Even worse to rub the hair dry. Using a towel incorrectly to dry your hair can lead to frizz and breakage. Before reaching for the towel, use your hands to squeeze out as much water as you can. Then you can use the towel to gently pat and squeeze your hair, avoiding rubbing and wringing. Trying to get your hair as dry as possible before using your blow dryer on it, is a necessity. The less time you spend using heat on your hair the better. To avoid this, make sure your hair is at least 60% dry before you start going at it with any heat. This, of course, is where your towel-drying technique comes in handy. Now that your hair is 60% dry you’re still not ready to start with that blow-dryer. There’s one crucial step that people tend to leave out. Don’t forget to apply a heat protector to your hair. Heat styling products not only help to prevent damage to your hair, but they also help to get the most out of your heat tools. This might be obvious to most, but going overboard with your flat iron and curling tongs is a one-way ticket to damaged hair. Too much heat causes dryness since you are stripping your hair of moisture. To avoid the problem of dryness, try using your tools on the lowest temperature instead of burning your hair with extreme heat. This might take a bit longer but it’s worth it to avoid the damage. Applying heat to one place for too long can lead to serious heat damage and burn. When using a blow-dryer you should brush through the length of your hair instead of focusing on one area at a time for too long. When you use your flat iron and curling tongs you shouldn’t be holding it on the same area for longer than 10 seconds. So you have a shelf or two filled with a variety of hair products. Yes of course using hair products has its benefits but you shouldn’t be using too many different kinds or too much of it at the same time. This can lead to greasy hair, which of course means that you will want to wash your hair more often and that’s not a good idea. Simply use less. In this way your products will last longer as well. Applying your products in the right places is just as important. Some are meant to be used on the length of your hair while others are only meant to be used at the roots. For example, smoothing creams should be used at the ends while products meant to create volume should be used closer to the roots. When it comes to styling you hair you might be being too rough on it. Especially when it comes to those braids, buns and ponytails. Wearing your hair too tightly pulls hair at the hairline and yanks out hair from the root. If you can, let your hair down as often as you can.
Tying your hair up in a tight bun or a ponytail is bad enough for your hairline and it will cause strain to your roots, but doing so while your hair is still wet causes even more damage. Also, sleeping with wet hair is bad for you and sleeping with wet hair knotted into a bun is even worse. To avoid frizzy and dried out hair while sleeping, change your pillow cover from cotton to satin. Cotton covers draw moisture from your hair. Satin covers work especially well for ladies with naturally curly hair.
Too much heat damages hair by drying it out.