We can do amazing things to our hair, from twisting, braiding, straightening, dying, cutting and all kinds of other styles. However, curly hair can become damaged the more we do to it. Although, we might think that we are doing everything to keep our hair healthy, it might not be the case.
Here are some ways that you may be damaging your curls without knowing it:
Stress. Studies have shown that stress can cause problems, for the skin, nails and hair. Stress has been linked to hair loss. To prevent this, focus on implementing exercises and practices that reduce stress such as mediation and breathing exercises.
Diet. Hair health starts with a healthy diet. Without the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals in your diet, the result can be hair dull, brittle and thinning hair, along with excess hair loss.
Heat styling. Heat causes damage to the hair. From hair dryers, straighteners, curlers, and other heat tools, they all can cause hair loss and damage/breakage. So when using these tools, the lower the heat setting and the less frequent the use, the better!
Not using heat protectants. This is a massive no-no! These products are designed to help protect the hair when heat styling. Heat protectants coat hair and create a protective barrier between the high temperatures of the heat tools and your delicate hair. So why skip it? When choosing a heat-protectant anything that is water-soluble is best, since they will not dry your hair out and some have moisturizing benefits.
Chlorinated water. Chlorine is not great for your hair. So if you do swim, using a swim cap is recommended. Wash your hair right after the pool so that the chlorine does not dry into your hair.
Wet buns. Whenever you put your hair into a a bun or tight style, when it’s wet, damage can occur. This is due to the your hair being in a fragile and weak state when it is wet. The more you practice putting hair up when wet, the more prone the hair will be to breakage.
Damaging hair products. The ingredients within your hair products are very important. There are many products that contain alcohol, artificial fragrances, parabens, sulfates, and other harmful ingredients that can eventually lead to hair damage.
Teasing. Teasing or backcombing hair is incredibly damaging since it causes tangles, split ends and hair breakage.
Tight hairstyles. Research has shown an association between tight hairstyles (braids, ponytails, and buns) and the development of traction alopecia, or hair loss. Wearing the tight style can also lead to breakage and damage on the part of the hair shaft that is in contact with the elastic band/hair tie.
Wearing ponytail on the same place all the time. Always wearing the hair in this particular style (low bun, high bun, low ponytail, etc.) can make your hair prone to damage and split ends since that part of the hair is always being in contact/pulled by the elastic/hair tie. Cotton hair ties can also dry out the part of the hair they come in contact with. Wearing a specific style at all times can also weaken the hair follicles.
Detangling while wet. Hair is highly fragile when wet. Sadly, for many of us with curls, detangling when dry can cause a lot of hair loss and breakage. So when detangling the hair while it is wet, its best to go slowly, use a conditioner to add slip to the hair, and be gentle.
Picking split ends. This practice is incredibly counterproductive. Picking and breaking off those split ends can cause more split ends and uneven hair length.
Skipping haircuts. Going too long without getting a trim is not a good habit. While getting a trim too often wont lead to length retention, not getting those ends trimmed off often enough can allow dry and split ends to become worse. If you wait too long between trims, your ends can split and break off.
Hot showers. The heat from hot showers strips the hair of its natural oil, leaving the hair prone to breakage and falling out.
Box colour. It’s true that box dye is cheaper than going to the salon, but is it worth it? Box colour contains higher concentrations of dye and developer, no matter the colour of choice. (Dying the hair black isn’t healthier… it took me a long time to discover this) This can cause the hair to become dry, frizzy and terribly damaged. If going to the salon is too expensive, maybe take a look into more natural substitutes like Henna (the ones from Lush come in different colors).