It’s hard to break habits. Think about your morning routine. Some people need to take a shower every morning in order to start their day. Others can just throw their hair up, sweep on some mascara, and be on their way. Even though it may take some effort to change a routine, or start a new one, making slight changes to how you take care of your hair everyday, can result in a noticeable difference on the health of your hair.
Like most women, you probably spend a lot of time and money trying to make your hair look its best. So it can be extremely frustrating when you start to notice a lot of breakage. We’re all guilty of treating our hair a little poorly at times with excessive heat styling, overuse of chemical treatments, poor moisturizing habits and just plain rough handling. Hair breakage occurs from these and other bad habits we fall into.
There are ways to prevent hair damage without throwing away your beloved flat-iron, blow -dryer and curling iron. In the battle against hair breakage, it is best to be on the offense rather than the defense. Following are a few simple tips to incorporate into your routine that will significantly reduce hair damage and leave your hair looking fabulous.
1. Don’t wash your hair every day. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but it’s worth repeating! Washing your hair every day strips your hair of moisture and natural oils. Instead wash your hair every other day, or even two to three times a week, with a sulfate-free moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
2. Use Gentle Products. When buying products for your hair, look for ones that contain gentle ingredients and are enriched with elements that nourish the hair, such as flaxseed and Vitamin E.
3. Limit your heat use! If you use heat of one sort or another on a regular basis, you need to know your strands are likely to pay the price. Try limiting the use of blow dryers, straighteners, and curling irons by switching to Velcro rollers, braids, ponytails, buns or other ways to style your hair. And always use a heat protective serum or spray when using heat styling tools.
4. Reduce your use of chemical treatments such as perms, relaxers, and hair dyes. Save the integrity of your hair AND get extra mileage from your hair color, by using a hair mascara to cover unsightly roots ($9 – $20 at beauty supply stores.) This simple step will also save you time and money with fewer salon visits.
5. Be gentle with your hair! Rough handling leads to breakage. When putting your hair up in a ponytail, be careful not to pull it too tight. Excessive tension of the band is what leads to breakage and make sure to always used covered elastics.
6. Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle your hair, especially when it is wet. Apply a leave-in conditioner and start combing from the ends and work up. Brushes are much too harsh for wet hair, and often end up stretching and snapping off weak ends, causing breakage.
7. Get regular trims. This may seem like a no brainer, but do try to schedule regular trims. Getting a cut every 6 to 8 weeks, ensures the oldest, weakest parts of your hair are getting snipped off, preventing split ends from running up the hair shaft and causing hair breakage.
8 . Apply a deep conditioning treatment every week or two, especially if your strands are dull and dry. This simple routine will be your BFF (and you hairs too!) By driving the concentrated conditioner into the hair shaft via heat, it keeps your hair supplied with enough moisture to add extra strength, shine and lots of body!
Try these simple steps as your new hair routine and soon enough you won’t notice splits, breakage, or anything but your beautiful, healthy strands.