Little Known Facts on Ruining Your Hair

I’ve heard many a comment (I believed to be untrue, by-the-way),that one does not care how their hair looks. They may have become tired of trying to make their hair look as good as what they see in magazines, or even on their friends. So, they give up trying and decide, “It’s just hair” or “I wasn’t blessed with great hair.”

I thought I might tackle just a few reasons why hair doesn’t respond to our demands. Here, you’ll see 9 mistakes that can really mess with the final outcome.

1). Overly brushing hair to create shine

 All we need are a few strokes from that awesome brush, to spread the natural oils from roots to ends. An associate professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Amy J. McMichael, M.D., commented that anything more than a few strokes from a brush is unnecessary friction, which can lead to breakage.

2). Daily shampooing

Want to know why hair usually looks it’s best the day AFTER you shampoo? It’s because the natural oils from your scalp have had a chance to extend to the ends of the hair. It creates luster and control…just as it’s created intent. However…some of us have an excess of oil in our bodies, that excrete just a bit more than necessary. If you have trouble with breakouts, or acne, you don’t have a choice but to shampoo daily to keep the oil at bay. One more thing you could try, however, is the use of a dry shampoo. And sad to say, they are not all created equal. A really good one is, KMS Hair Play Makeover Spray. Spray at the roots and restyle with a blow dryer, on low heat setting.

3). Forcing tangled hair through a comb from roots to ends

Although a comb is easier on fragile wet hair than a brush is, tugging it from scalp to ends can cause mid-length breakage. Have you ever noticed all those tiny hairs waving in the wind? That’s from this sort of treatment, or from yanking ponytail holders out of the hair instead of gently unwinding them. If there are tangles in the hair, first spray a little leave-in conditioner on the surface, then work your way up the hair strands by combing tangles out of the hair from ends to root, not the other way around.

4). Blow-drying the hair while it’s dripping wet

I doubt many, if any, actually do this…but just in case someone might think they can skip the step of squeezing excess water out of the hair before hitting it with a blow-dryer…think again. If you are taking more than 15 minutes to dry your hair, you are setting yourself up for disaster. Heat damage will go over-the-top and styling will be very difficult. The preferred way to dry hair would be to wrap the hair in a towel for five minutes, then let the hair air-dry for another five. That would be the time to add any styling products you might want to help shape and protect. Now, you have positioned yourself for a beautiful finish!

5). Scalp ignorance

For the hair to be it’s best, your scalp needs attention. Massaging with your fingertips will stimulate blood flow, which in turn, allows the proper amount of oxygen to reach the follicle…where the hair bulb is created, and produce what we call “healthy” hair. This will also help the cellular turn-over rate to be more in line with what it’s supposed to be, creating new cells constantly for a healthy scalp.

6). Not every brush is created equal

Choosing the wrong brush can not only ruin your style, it can get snagged in your hair and cause that dreaded breakage. Generally, the longer your hair, the larger in diameter your brush should be. I, personally, find it hard to work with the boars hair bristled brush, and prefer the wire or hard plastic teeth brush…the ones with those tiny round balls on the end. And even those can get tangled in the hair, if you’re not sectioning, then blow-drying small sections at a time. A word of caution: over time the plastic will fray and become split on the ends, or lose their balled ends. Toss the brush and purchase a new one. To create volume, use a round brush; to smooth hair, a paddle shape is best for long hair. If your hair is short, and you like the “close-to-the-head” look…just style, as you blow-dry, with your fingers.

7). Avoiding hair spray

Yep…you read that right! It’s gotten a bad rap, in my opinion, and it’s all because one does not use it correctly. First, let me sing it’s praises. Hair spray contains a polymer that actually locks out humidity. Most tell me the alcohol content dries their hair, when in reality, the alcohol evaporates before it even hits your head. It’s the polymer in the spray that gives your hair that dry feeling. And that is why a little goes a long way. You want to use just enough to hold your style. And one more thing…spray at least 10-12 inches from your head. If you get closer than 10 inches, the likelihood of having “helmet head” is extremely high. This may sound extreme, but when using anything flammable, try not to breathe it in. Hold your breath, spray, and leave the room…or at least have the room ventilated and not closed in, while spraying the product. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

8). Fastening your ponytail in the same spot…day after day

Strands tend to get caught, and broken, in bands. Try alternating the fastening point. Move it up a half inch one day, then down the next. And just like everything, bands continue to evolve. I was shown a new hair band a couple of days ago, that impressed me. My daughter was wearing this really cute band on her wrist. I asked what it was. Turns out it’s a hair ponytail holder made out of a very soft, stretch material, that actually has strength to hold heavy hair (that’s another topic to address, later).

9). Masking dandruff…not treating it

It amazes me, in this day and age of technology, that anyone on the planet would think oils and pomades would mask dandruff, and  “get them by”. Too often we try an easy fix, which doesn’t address the real issue. There is a difference in those dry flakes that fall out easily when running fingers through your hair…and dandruff. The first is an issue with dry scalp and can be treated by using less styling products, shampooing frequently to loosen the cells turning over faster than they should be, and rinsing the scalp with a product called “Sea Breeze”…it’s an astringent that can be found over-the-counter at various retail stores. To identify real dandruff, scratch your head then look under your fingernails. Is there evidence of what seems to be “wet & white” stuff? This stuff will cling to your nails (and hair). It has to be either washed or scraped off. That is dandruff. If it’s dry and flakey, and easily brushes off whatever it’s on, most likely it’s an issue with dry scalp, which comes mostly in the winter months where there is just too much dry heat in our homes, and/or too much product laying on the scalp for too many days. Dandruff will not just go away when the seasons change. Since it’s an inflammatory scalp disease unrelated to dryness, a shampoo with salicylic acid, zinc, selenium sulfide or tar, will be needed to eliminate the wet flakes. If not taken care of, it will make your finished styles look droopy and oily, and you will always be scatting that itchy scalp. Healthy scalp…healthy looking hair.

There are many ways of styling the hair to make it look flattering…some more simplistic than others. They all have one thing in common, that being a healthy environment from which to grow. The skin is the largest organ our body has and the entire host needs care. Bacteria find places conducive to multiplication. The warmth they find in covered places such as the scalp, is such a place. To neglect proper cleaning and care will result in damaged hair and even hair loss.

Be passionate about maintaining the health of your hair, just as you are about the rest of your body.

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