10 hair-care habits that can damage your hair
How to style hair without damage
How you style your hair can cause hair to look brittle, frizzy and lackluster, or even fall out. Follow these tips from dermatologists to help style your hair without causing damage.
In our quest for beautiful hair, we often do things that damage our hair. Damaged hair is fragile, so it tends to break. Hair breakage can leave us with frizzy, unhealthy looking hair. If we continue to damage our hair, we may eventually see thinning hair or even bald spots.
The good news is that simple changes can prevent further hair damage. Here you’ll find 10 common hair care practices that can damage hair and dermatologists’ tips that can help you to stop the damage.
Washing your hair by rubbing shampoo into the length of your hair. Changes that can help prevent hair damage:
Gently massage shampoo into your scalp.
Skipping the conditioner. Changes that can help prevent hair damage:
Use conditioner after every shampoo.
- Wear a swim cap.
- Rinse hair immediately after swimming.
- After rinsing your hair, wash your hair with a specially formulated swimmers’ shampoo and follow with a deep conditioner.
Drying your hair by rubbing it with a towel. Changes that can help prevent hair damage:
Wrap your hair in a towel to absorb the water.
Brushing your hair while it is wet. Changes that can help prevent hair damage:
Do you have straight hair? Let your hair dry a bit before you gently comb it with a wide-tooth comb.
Using a blow dryer, hot comb, or curling iron. Changes that can help prevent hair damage:
Let your hair air dry when possible.
Applying styling products that offer long-lasting hold. Changes that can help prevent hair damage:
Try a hairstyle that does not require this product.
Pulling your hair back tightly, such as in a ponytail, bun, or cornrows. Changes that can help prevent hair damage:
Wear hair loosely pulled back.
Wearing a weave or hair extensions. Changes that can help prevent hair damage:
Wear weaves and extensions that are light, so they do not pull.
Coloring, perming, or relaxing your hair. Changes that can help prevent hair damage:
Try to add more time between touch-ups, especially when the air is dry. In the winter, try to stretch the time between touch-ups to every 8 to 10 weeks or longer.
Brushing your hair 100 strokes a day or tugging on your hair to style it. Changes that can help prevent hair damage:
Brush and comb your hair only to style it. Hair never needs 100 brush strokes a day. That’s a myth.
When you rinse the shampoo from your scalp, let it flow through the length of your hair and resist the temptation to rub it into your hair.
Dermatologists' recommendations for swimmers
Pool chemicals can be hard on your hair. The following can help protect your hair:
Let your hair air dry.
Do you have textured hair or tight curls? Always comb your hair while it is damp, using a wide-tooth comb.
Use the lowest heat setting.
Limit the time a hot comb or curling iron touches your hair.
Use these tools less frequently, aiming for once a week — or even less often.
Use covered rubber bands made especially for styling hair.
Try a different hairstyle that does not pull on your hair.
Get weaves and hair extensions at a salon that specializes in these services.
Wear a professional weave or hair extension for 2 or 3 months at most.
Keep up your scalp hygiene when wearing a weave or hair extension.
Switch hairstyles, so you don’t always wear a weave or hair extensions.
Have only one service — a coloring, relaxer, or perm. If you want more than one service, perm or relax your hair first, and do it 2 weeks before you color your hair.
Use conditioner after each shampoo.
When in the sun, protect your hair by using a leave-in conditioner that contains zinc oxide or wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
Use a wide-tooth comb, and use it gently to comb your hair.
Avoid pulling and tugging on your hair as you brush, comb, or style it.
Remove tangles gently, using a moisturizing conditioner if necessary.
When to see a dermatologist
If changing how you care for your hair does not help you see healthier hair, you may want to see a board-certified dermatologist. Your hair care may not be the root cause of your problem. Seeing a dermatologist is especially important if you are concerned about thinning hair or hair loss. Most causes can be stopped or treated. The sooner the problem is addressed, the better your results.