There are some facts of hair life that we simply have to face. Breakage, damage and loss.
Fortunately, we are, to a large degree, in control of what happens to our hair by way of how we care for it. While these arch nemeses constantly lurk, we can indeed fight them and get the luscious, healthy locks we so desire.
First Things First
You may be tired of hearing this, but, to prevent unhealthy hair you have to first determine what your hair likes and what it doesn’t. You have to know your hair.
Knowing its type and porosity can tell you a lot about what products you should use and how best to prevent hair woes like breakage, damage, and loss.
After becoming an expert on your hair, you’ll need to understand the causes of hair damage.
For starters, we do not always treat our hair with its best interests in mind. The combination of knowing how to properly care for it and understanding what causes it damage, is key to changing the bad habits behind so many forms of hair grief.
Culprits of Breakage, Damage and Loss
Breakage, damage and subsequent loss mostly happens unintentionally from poor, excessive hair care habits.
These are some of the key culprits:
You’ll probably have gotten the message by now, if not, excessive heat is bad news!
Rushing the drying process by using your blow dryer’s highest heat is not a great idea. Straightening your hair every day is also not the best. These habits will fry your hair causing it to become brittle and break. There go your dreams of gaining length or retaining healthy locks.
If you’re looking for a solution, try the RevAir Reverse Air Dryer. You can dry and straighten without the frying that occurs with other hot tools.
Plus, RevAir is designed to help smooth cuticles which promotes healthy and shiny hair.
While experimenting with dyes, relaxers, perms and highlights may be fun, it is not wonderful for the overall health of your hair. Exposing hair to chemicals strips it of natural oils causing cuticles to lift (when they should be flat), and ultimately leading to split ends and breakage.
Bleach solutions can be even harsher than standard dyes since they are designed to actually open the cuticle to remove colour from your hair's cortex. The more you bleach and lighten your hair, the dryer and more damaged it will become.
This is why most stylists recommend against "going blonde" in one appointment and instead use a more gradual approach.
P.S. Keep in mind that damage is much more likely with all of these processes when doing them yourself.
Styling your hair can be frustrating, but don’t aggressively take it out on your locks. Tight hairstyles, using uncovered elastics, and forceful brushing, are all ways to cause hair breakage.
Brushing Hair When Wet
A lot of us reach for our brush once out of the shower, instantly trying to get rid of any and all knots (sometimes not gently). If you do this, know that hair when wet it is in its most fragile state making your beloved brush somewhat an instrument of hair torture.
Stress seems to affect pretty much everything about our health, and, in turn, our appearance.
Emotional and physical stress are linked to types of hair loss and an overall decrease in the quality of hair.
Treating yourself to relaxing activities to decrease stress levels will not only improve your mental health, but also the health of your hair.
Washing Your Hair Too Much
You should refrain from washing your hair more than necessary. Shampoo strips your hair of its natural oils and therefore moisture.
How often you wash your hair depends on your hair type. Types 1 and 2 have to wash their hair more often to get rid of buildup from the natural oils their hair is producing. Types 3 and 4 have to wash their hair less often because their hair produces less natural oils.
How To Deal With Breakage, Damage, and Loss
Please, Go Get That Haircut
Haircuts are definitely one of the easiest ways to avoid damage and breakage. It is a great way to make sure that your hair will grow back healthy.
Holding on to hair that has breakage will just promote unhealthy hair growth that will eventually lead to hair shedding.
You should visit your stylist for a trim every 4-8 weeks. Your stylist will remove the damaged ends of your hair, preventing splits from traveling further up your strands. If your hair is badly damaged, your stylist may recommend a bigger chop.
Once the damaged ends have been removed, you can work on growing it back out again.
After chopping off damage, getting regular trims will prevent future damage. You can even schedule regular hair appointments in advance so you don’t have the hassle of remembering when you should get your next cut.
Improve Your Diet
Like stress, your diet and exercise habits affect a lot about your physical health. As with your skin, your hair loves when you eat a healthy, vitamin-rich diet.
Here are three foods that you can incorporate into your diet to help your hair stay healthy:
Eggs are a great source of biotin and protein, both of which promote hair growth. Protein is important for growth because the follicle is made of mostly protein. Biotin is needed to produce keratin which is a hair protein.
Spinach is one of those terribly healthy greens. It is loaded with iron and vitamins A and C. Vitamin A helps skin glands produce sebum which helps moisturise the scalp to keep hair healthy.
Berries are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins that can promote hair health and growth. Antioxidants help to protect hair follicles from damage. Strawberries, as an example, contain Vitamin C which helps produce collagen, another protein that helps to strengthen and prevent it from breaking.
Wash Your Hair Less
Being that shampoo strips hair of its natural moisture, you want to try to wait for a longer time in between washes. Again this all depends on your hair type, but to try and wash your hair less you can look into dry shampoo and protective styles.
Use Cold Water When Rinsing
Cold water is a great way to keep moisture in your hair because the cold water actually closes the hair shaft. After using shampoo and conditioner in your hair try rinsing with cooler water to refresh your scalp and lock in all that moisture.
Try Deep Conditioning or Using a Hair Mask
A great way to repair hair damage is to add hair masks or deep conditioners to your weekly hair routine.
With these, you can help hair stay hydrated, promote growth, repair damage or all of the above, depending on the type of mask or conditioner you use.
Protective Styles Are Your Friend
Protective hairstyles aim to limit the stress of environmental factors on natural hair by keeping the ends of hair tucked away in order to discourage tugging, pulling and manipulation.
This is a great way to protect hair after chopping off damage to prevent any more and to promote healthy hair.
Protective styles include things like wigs, buns, two-strand twists, box braids or cornrows... the styles are honestly endless.
Love Your Hair
The best way to take on the efforts of maintaining healthy hair is to fall in love with it. Like a significant other, your hair needs care and attention. The more you give it, the healthier its potential.
If you make sure to understand your hair and create a routine that it will love, mitigating hair negatives will be a whole lot easier.
Contact us if you have any questions about how to create your perfect hair care routine. Our support team loves to help you learn more about your hair.