Even if youâ€™re trying to lose inches from your middle, chances are you never want to hear the word thin in reference to your hair. But if youâ€™ve been shedding more than usual, itâ€™s not too late save your strands.
There are many aspects of our lifestyleâ€”from what we eat to how we style our hairâ€”affect the strength of hair fibres. And thatâ€™s good news: Thicker hair is just about making a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle. Here, the 10 worst strand saboteurs, and how to get them out of your routine for good.
1. Taking steamy showers
Hot water dehydrates strands just like skin, leading to dry, brittle hair thatâ€™s more prone to snap and fall out.. Not only are you washing your hairâ€™s protective oils down the drain, but the heat throws your scalp’s pores into overdrive to keep up with oil production, which can damage the root and lead to additional shedding.
Save your strands: Take the temp down a few degrees. Opt for a warm shower, and try to rinse hair with the coolest temperature possible.
2. Using hot styling tools
Scorching temps damage the proteins that make up your hair and its protective cuticle. Once the cuticle is damaged, the moisture balance is disrupted and your hair is more prone to breakage.
Save your strands: Limit your hot tool usageâ€”even your blowdryerâ€”to two or three times a week, and start with the coolest setting possible. Always apply a heat-protection spray, which creates a thermal barrier to reduce friction.
3. Crash dieting
Starving yourself forces the body to direct its energy towards essential functionsâ€”like helping your heart and brain workâ€”rather than making hair. In fact, when diagnosing anorexics, one of the top symptoms is severe hair loss.
Save your strands: Eat a healthy diet with plenty of lean protein like fish, chicken, lentils and beans. Hair is primarily made of protein, itâ€™s the one thing that can make or break your hair if youâ€™re not getting enough. Aim for 46 grams per day (or about 25 to 30% of your total calories).
4. Mishandling wet hair
Our strands are never more fragileâ€”and prone to breakageâ€”than when theyâ€™re saturated with H2O, since the protective cuticle is slightly raised. Brushing or combing locks in the shower, then following with aggressive towel-drying, create the perfect storm for snapping it off.
Save your strands: Minimize post-shower brushing by combing before hair gets wet. Then, blot (donâ€™t rub!) hair with a soft towel after your shower.
5. Wearing tight hairstyles
If a tight ponytail or braid is your go-to, beware: Sporting these styles puts excessive tension on the hair follicles, damaging them and creating scars that destroy them permanently. This can lead to traction alopecia, a condition that permanently weakens the follicle and makes it impossible for hair to grow.
Save your strands: Loosen up! Try wearing your hair down whenever possible (especially while sleeping; rolling around on a pillow can create even more friction). When you do tie your strands back, keep it softâ€”if itâ€™s pulling on your skin, itâ€™s way too tight.
6. Scratching your head
Itchy scalp Â may result in hair loss due to scratching-induced hair damage. Once the cuticle is damaged, the hair fiber is prone to breakage.
Save your strands: Relieve the itch with a shampoo that contains selenium, zinc pyrithione, or tea tree oil. If over-the-counter products donâ€™t help, your doctor can prescribe prescription antifungal shampoo or cortisone foam.
7. Not washing hair often enough
Now that dry shampoo is a staple in most of our beauty arsenals, itâ€™s easier than ever to skip a few days between washing. Convenient? Yes. But not so great for your hair: A build-up of product or excessive dandruff on the scalp has been shown to clog hair follicles, and if itâ€™s bad enough, it can be difficult for hair to grow.
Save your strands: There’s nothing wrong with skipping shampoo for a day. But if it becomes a habit, product residue, dirt, and oil can clog pores in the scalp. Be sure to wash your hair every two days, especially if youâ€™re sweating or using lots of products. To prevent excessive dryness, switch to a sulphate-free shampoo.MYNEWSHUB