You spend a lot of time, energy and of money on your hair and you want to look good. You don’t want to damage it.
That’s why I hear this all the time:
“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you flat iron your hair. That’s crazy. It’s so damaging.”
“Oh I would never use shampoos and conditioners and stuff like that. Those products are horrible for your hair”.
“Color? Are you nuts? Color makes your hair fall out!”
Here’s the thing!
There are some things that you’re probably doing to your hair that you don’t even know are just as bad, if not in some cases even worse, when it comes to damaging your hair.
So that’s what I’m gonna share it with you in this article.
Table of Contents
Dealing With Tangles Incorrectly
My first tip is pretty straightforward and it is something that I see all the time.
It’s simply not knowing how to address tangles in your hair.
This is what happens.
People get tangly hair. They come in and they start whacking those tangles out, combing those bad boys out, get that out.
Yes, technically speaking, that takes tangles out.
In some cases, depending on how much and how easily your hair tangles, it may not take the tangles out.
But in any scenario, it’s always more aggressive doing it this way and it’s always potentially far more damaging, especially if you have finer hair.
So instead of doing that, what I prefer to do is use my brush. It’s called a Wet Brush.
The key is you need to start coming from the bottom and then comb up your hair to move the tangles. This is gonna allow yourself to address those tangles in a far less damaging way.
You take your hair and if it gets really tangly, you grab a section and you start at the bottom and you come up, until you have those tangles out.
The reason I like this particular brush is because it’s easier on your hair, because of the way the bristles move. They’re not so rigid, they produce less stress on your hair.
Also it’s easier on your scalp and your hair in general .
I find that people that have sensitive scalps, swear by these because they do just take the tangles out a little bit easier.
Using The Wrong Shampoo
My next tip your shampoo is destroying your hair.
That amazing, incredible, stripping shampoo that takes out all of that build-up that your hair gets on a day-to-day basis, that shampoo that’s so fantastic is drying your hair out, it’s making it more brittle and it’s potentially causing more breakage.
Shampoos that are strong, that strip out all of the the dirt from your hair, also strip out natural oils. Your hair needs some of those natural oils to maintain its condition and its health.
So when you strip all of that natural oil out along with the dirt, the problem is you’re taking those oils out, therefore you make your hair more brittle and more susceptible to breaking.
I have with me two shampoos.
One is called Fresh Dirt, the other is called Silk Shampoo.
If you use Fresh Dirt every day, or every time you shampoo, your hair is gonna be dried out.
Silk Shampoo, on the other hand, is a daily shampoo. It is something that you’re supposed to use every time you shampoo to just lightly clean the hair of most of the grime and build-up that you’re getting.
And the probability is high that you’re gonna get more than enough of the oil out, more than enough of the dirt out, and you’re not gonna take out so much oil that you’re stripping your hair of necessary natural oils.
Not Using The Right Tools
Here’s a crazy thing!
You know that your blow-dryer could be damaging your hair. Even worse than a flat iron.
When I first started cutting hair, what made a good blow dryer was the air pressure that came out of the blow dryer. That was what separated one blow dryer from the next.
And then it changed and it became about the way it delivered heat or how hot the blow dryer got.
The problem with this is people don’t understand how to utilize the blow dryers correctly and therefore that heat can be very damaging when used incorrectly.
The simple question comes: what’s incorrect, what are you doing wrong?
First of all, you must understand how it’s delivering the heat.
Most blow dryers just shoot a stream of air out of the blow dryer. If you’re taking a section of hair in a brush and you’re moving the dryer quickly, the blow dryer is just indiscriminately throwing heat.
We want to be able to control where that heat is actually hitting the hair.
The way we do that is through using attachments like air concentrators. They are a great way of making sure that air is going from one side to the other side of your brush, it’s distributed more evenly and you’re able to control where that air flow is going, so you can control the amount of heat that you’re putting on specific parts of your hair.
That leads me into my next tip.
Using Blow Dryer Incorrectly
It’s actually much more concerning, if I’m being completely honest.
Hold your hand out, turn your blow-dryer on and just allow that air to directly intersect at the palm of your hand and see how long you can hold that blow-dryer before it gets too hot in your hands.
Instead do this: put your palm face down and let that air go over your palm and not hit it directly. You’ll notice that you can do it a lot longer. It’s just less direct heat in one specific spot on the palm of your hand.
We unknowingly do exactly that to our hair!
What happens, especially when people are using brushes, you don’t want to raise your arms. You want to drop your elbow, drop your shoulder, because it’s more convenient, it’s a little bit more comfortable.
What ends up happening is you hold the blow dryer directly pointing the heat to the hair in the brush. That air is concentrated on that one area and that is adding a ton of heat to that area and ultimately potentially melting it, especially if you’re not moving it.
What you want to do instead is get that round brush or that brush in the hair and get that blow-dryer up above the section, facing down the section, and constantly moving it and that is going to help to smooth the cuticle down.
But more importantly, it’s going to help to make sure that you’re not putting all of that direct air pressure onto one part of your hair and ultimately potentially melting it.
Using The Wrong Flat Iron
Now speaking of heat, let’s talk about a big one – using the wrong flat iron.
There’s a reason that there are specific irons that I like as a stylist and that I use in my salon and I recommend to all of my clients.
One of those reasons is the way they distribute heat across the plate.
What you want to pay attention to is how that heat is distributed.
This is why once the ceramic technology came out, everybody was all over it. Back in the day, the iron’s had metal plates and they didn’t distribute the heat evenly across the entire surface area of the plate very well.
That meant that there were hot spots, which would mean that when you put an iron in your hair, it’s gonna be uneven. So when you pull that section through, your hair isn’t gonna be smooth from side to side and it’s gonna look like you’re gonna need to pass through it again and again to get that all equally smooth across the entire section.
Then when they moved into the ceramic technology, which a lot of the new irons have, the ceramic plates heat a lot more evenly.
When you put that iron in hair, I’m gonna get the same amount of heat all the way across the plates. It’s gonna be a lot faster, more efficient, which means less damage.
With that said, we also want to make sure that we keep that temperature down, closer to 400 or below.
Friction Can Damage Hair
Manipulation to your hair can be a killer.
Many people pull their hair back in a ponytail. Maybe you need to get it back for work, maybe you’re working out, maybe trying to get it out of your face.
If you’re pulling it back into something, where you’re dealing with a small overall surface area, the smaller the surface area is of whatever you’re using to hold your hair back, the more stress it’s gonna put on your hair at that one point.
Therefore the more damage that it’s gonna cause.
The larger surface you have, the less stress it is gonna put on your hair in that place and the less it’s going to damage your hair. There are other times where you want to pay close attention.
When you’re sitting in the car and you put your seat belt on, is that seat belt pinching those ends and rubbing against it.
That constant irritation is splitting ends and making them look damaged.
You also want to think about if you’re wearing a purse. Where is that purse strap in your shoulder? Is your hair getting tucked under that strap? Is that strap causing more tension and ultimately causing more damage on that hair.
Or if you’re sitting in your car a lot and your hair is just long enough that it’s pressing against your shoulder blades, is that pressure constantly rubbing back and forth against those ends of your hair. That alone can be enough to start to break those ends up a little bit more and start to damage them.
All of those things are potentially damaging your hair.
Samantha is a hairstylist with over 12 years of color and stylist experience. She enjoys using her knowledge to create what her clients really want when they sit down in her chair. Her passion is creating unique looks that her clients feel great in.