Hair loss is a BIG problem and most of us end up spending a lot of money trying to figure out what’s wrong. While lack of nutrients, weather, hormones and some diseases can cause hair loss, your grooming habits can also be doing more harm than good.
Here are a few common styling mistakes that cause thinning hair and breakage.
1. Washing your hair with hot water: It strips the natural oils present in the scalp and leads to dry scalp. It also causes dehydration and makes your hair brittle.
Tip: Use lukewarm or cold water to wash your hair.
2. Combing and brushing your hair aggressively: Your hair is more likely to break when wet than dry. This is because, wet combing applies force on the roots of the hair, close to the scalp. In dry combing, the pressure is on the end of the hair follicle and not the roots, which is less damaging.
Tip: Use wide-toothed combs and brushes with rounded tips to style your hair.
3. Sporting tight braids and hairstyles: When you pull your hair too tight in a pony or to braid it, it causes pressure in the roots of the hair follicles. If done too often, this can damage the hair.
Tip: Do not tie your hair too tight and do keep your hair open or loosely braided at night.
4. Shampooing every day: By doing so, it cleanses off the protective layer of sebum that covers the hair, causing the hair strands to dry out. This causes the hair shaft to become static and thus, prone to friction and breakage.
Tip: Use mild shampoos that are sulphate and paraben free.
5. Using hair straightening tools and products: Regular use of heated styling tools such as hair straighteners and curlers can damage the hair fibre. Use of hair dryers not only dehydrates the hair strands but also makes it frizzy, increasing the risk of hair thinning and loss of hair. Products like bleaches and hair dyes also damage the hair.
Tip: Let your hair dry naturally after scrunching it lightly with a towel to drain the excess water.
Monselise A, Cohen DE, Wanser R, Shapiro J. What ages hair? Int J Womens Dermatol. 2015 Oct 9;1(4):161-166.