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Health and Fitness News

Hair Care Basics

If your hair’s a mess, here are the top reasons why your hair looks lifeless, dull, and damaged.

Some people work really hard and pay a lot of money to make their hair look like they stepped out of a salon each day. Others are just born with naturally beautiful hair. Maybe you’ve noticed your hair looks like it could use some TLC. The ends are frayed, the color is dull, and it feels dry. As you think about what your hair is exposed to, how you style it, and what products you use, could you be doing more harm than good?

Read on to learn the top causes of hair damage and how you can better take care of your tresses.

Stylish Damage

Blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons may be your go-to styling tools, but beware. Excessive heat is one of the most common causes of hair breakage. The heat from blow dryers and hot tools weaken the hydrogen bonds that keep hair strong. Changes in these bonds dull and damage hair. If you blow dry and straighten your hair every day, don’t be surprised if you get split ends.

To cut down on the amount of time your hair is exposed to heat, wait for your hair to air dry a few minutes prior to blow-drying it. Before using any kind of heat tool, apply a heat-protectant spray or product to your hair. It’s also helpful to try to limit the number of times you style your hair to once or twice a week. As you use heat tools follow the directions using the lowest heat setting that will give you your desired results, and don’t leave the heat on your hair more than a few seconds.

Colorful Damage

The chemicals used to bleach, color, perm, or straighten hair are a major cause of hair damage. These chemical processes change the basic structure of your hair. Over time, hair that was once strong and healthy becomes brittle, dry, and dull.

Frequent chemical exposure may damage hair to the point of no return. A drastic cut may be what you need for a fresh start. Certain salon treatments are available to rebuild your hair’s broken bonds and over-the-counter products can help condition and revitalize damaged hair.

Groomed Damage

You may never use heat or chemicals, but you may still be harming your hair. Vigorous towel drying or wrapping your hair in a towel leads to tangles and breakage. Wet hair is most susceptible to breaks so be gentle on your hair during the drying process. Instead of a regular cotton towel, use a special microfiber towel designed to absorb moisture from hair.

Excessive brushing is another cause of hair damage. Brushing too much or using a cheap brush snags and pulls hair, leading to breakage and split ends. To avoid excessive snags, use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair when it’s wet.

Nice as it may look, pulling your hair back into tight ponytails, braids, weaves, and extensions can cause your hair to weaken and break. Whenever possible, leave your hair down and avoid tight rubber bands and fasteners.

Over-Washed Damage

You know your hair and how frequently it needs to be washed to look its best. Many people, however, wash their hair way too often. What most people don’t know is that shampoo strips hair of its natural oils that keep it shiny, moisturized, and strong.

Plan to shampoo no more than three times a week and less often if your hair is thick. Use shampoo on your scalp and conditioner on the ends. When shopping, look for shampoos and conditioners designed for your hair type (dry, flat, damaged, or colored).

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