1. Severe sun exposure
Your tresses are your scalp’s first line of defense against sunburn, but that doesn’t mean the sun won’t affect your hair. Hair that is exposed to the harsh sun for long periods of time can look dry, frizzy and turn brittle. Make sure to keep hair protected by wearing a hat, cap or a scarf around your hair and look for a shampoo with SPF or strengthening ingredients.
2. Fragile when wet
Hair is at its most vulnerable when wet, so make sure to treat it with kid gloves right after taking a bath. Avoid toweling vigorously. Instead, squeeze out the water and wrap hair in an absorbent towel to help dry it minus the damage potential. The same goes for detangling it while wet–running a brush or small-toothed comb through it could break the hair shaft and result in frizzy hair with split ends. Use a wide-toothed comb through wet locks or just finger comb it and leave it alone until it dries.
Better yet, finger comb and detangle when you’re waiting for your conditioner to soak through hair; this will keep locks soft and smooth. Keep hair tangle free from the start by washing it straight down–avoid piling it on top of your head and scrubbing vigorously. It’s a given that tying hair while wet is a major no-no; this will cause falling hair and will stretch the hair shaft resulting in breakage.
3. Pulling your hair back
If your hectic lifestyle leaves you always pulling up your hair in a tight ponytail, bun or braid, chances are that you see more of your hair falling out in the shower or even when you’re out and about. Too tight hairstyles may actually cause “traction alopecia”, which could result in (gulp!) baldness over time. Pulling back locks in severe hairstyles may result in hair breakage near the root and falling hair. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever tie your hair. Bolster your hair’s strength by looking for a product that also keeps hair strong at the root.
4. Hot or not
Tony Dusich, hairstylist and instructor at the Center for Aesthetic Studies always reminds clients to turn down the heater dial when washing hair. “Using water that is too hot on hair can result in dryness, falling hair, and breakage,” he confirms. Maintain your hair’s healthy state in the shower by washing it in lukewarm or cool water.
5. Using a cotton pillow case
Who knew hair could be such a diva? Using a cotton pillow case can result in rougher, frizzier hair. The friction of a cotton pillow case against fragile hair can also cause breakage, and cotton has the capacity to absorb your hair’s natural moisture, making your locks drier. Switch to a satin pillowcase and a conditioner that has smoothening properties.
6. Playing it rough
The hair experts on Facebook (facebook.com/hairexperts) recommend looking for accessories that are gentle on the hair. Using rough hats, sharp hairpins or rough elastics on the hair can also damage the hair shaft which could cause split ends and breakage, too.
7. Picking at strands
Have you found yourself picking at your hair while bored? We admit, we’re sometimes guilty of pulling apart split ends or pulling out the occasional gray hair. As much fun as it can be, pulling at split ends is the hair equivalent of picking at zits. Keep hands to yourself and leave your locks alone.
8. Forgetting to trim
Hair that doesn’t get its monthly trim will result in creeping split ends and makes you more prone to falling hair. Make sure to stop by your favorite stylist and have the ends trimmed every now and then.