What damages hair and how to keep it healthy? Well, aren’t these the questions that require an immediate answer! That’s why I’ve researched a bit on both harmful chemicals and everyday activities that can lead to damaged hair and decided to put together this list! Have fun reading, ladies, and I hope this post will inspire you to change a few hair-damaging habits!
1 Sodium Hydroxide
A.k.a lye a.k.a caustic soda a.k.a «something your chemistry teacher must have mentioned at least once warning you not to go near it» is actually used in hair product industry due to its ability to literally destroy hair’s texture. Yes… you’ve guessed it! I’m talking about a relaxer! And although you really want to believe this chemical is not what damages hair and that’s it’s your hair’s fault for being too weak to withstand the treatment, the actual truth is that it really is THAT bad! Abusing your hair (and your scalp) too long will literally destroy your hair causing it to grow slow, break and thin out and you can even end up having some serious burns.
This very common component of hair dyes, perms, relaxers and bleaches can also cause burns and hair fallout if left on for too long and it will most certainly degrade the quality of your hair. It’s not a good chemical to be using in the long run either as breathing it in leads to respiratory diseases as well. So if you don’t want damaged hair or damaged health definitely opt for products that are formulated without ammonia.
If you have your own pool, live close to the public one or simply live in the area known for its poor water quality you’ll want to know that «Chlorine» will be one of the answers you’ll get if you ever start asking questions about what damages hair. This chemical isn’t something you need to be seriously afraid of, especially if you come in contacts with it only a few times in a year but having your hair soaked with it on daily basis is a whole different situation as it will make your scalp flaky, dry and irritated and seriously worsen the quality of your hair.
4 Excessive Brushing and Bad Brushes
You don’t need to deliver 100 strokes to your hair every evening to get it to be healthy and shiny. In fact, doing so won’t give you anything but damaged hair! You see, excessive brushing, especially of wet hair, actually weakens it, creating small cracks here and there until the strand just breaks off. You also need to make sure you’re using natural hair brushes for your everyday hair care and only salon-grade styling brushes when blowdrying as the quality of these common tools directly influences the amount of hair damage.
5 Outdated Styling Gadgets
Do you want to know what damages hair a lot too? Heat! But, wait you probably knew that! But did you know that not all flat irons, curling irons and hair dryers are considered bad for your hair? Yup, you definitely need to go with the new tech breakthroughs and replace the gadgets you use often (or on daily basis) with super modern ones that employ new tech to make sure the moisture stays locked in your hair and no damage has been made during their use. I’m talking ceramic, tourmaline, ions… the whole shebang! Sure, it’s an extra cost but it sure is worth it.
6 Metallic Dyes
Although very rare and almost out of use today, metallic dyes can make you serious problems. They coat the hair shaft without penetrating the cortex making your hair lackluster and kind of dull. They can also mess with your natural or permed waves and oh, you just don’t want to be using a regular dye after this one because your hair might get discolored or fried all depending on the metal your first dye contains.
7 Tossing and Turning in Your Sleep
Being a nervous or simply overly frisky sleeper can damage your hair as well, especially if you use cotton, crepe or, God forbid, synthetic pillowcases! I’ve mentioned this before in some of my posts on African-American hair care but I really must warn you that it can happen to just anyone, regardless of the ethnicity. The solution here is actually pretty simple – just get a satin or silk sleeping cap and you won’t only wake up with hair that’s much easier to style but keep it healthy in the long run as well.
Do you have some of your own revelations on what damages hair? Well, do let me know! I’ve been struggling with my chemically processed, totally damaged hair for year and now when it’s finally natural and dye-free my only wish is to keep it that way.
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