A good hair day can set you up for a positive day, but what about when you don't have a good hair day and the horror of this is down to your bad hair care routine!
In the lead up to Halloween, we look at the most common haircare horror stories that damage your tresses.
How many Haircare Horrors are YOU guilty of committing?
Hair is tough stuff. We wash it, curl it, straighten it, colour it, bleach it, blast it with hot air, tie it in knots and drench it with chemical cocktails. It's a wonder it stays attached to our heads at all! Despite its miraculous resilience in the face of all the abuse, we throw at it, hair isn't indestructible and repeated mistreatment in the name of fashion will eventually leave you with less to play with. It's also worth remembering that hair isn't living tissue, it can't heal itself so any damage you cause to a hair strand is permanent. Of course, you can disguise damage, stop it getting worse, cut off the damaged bits and of course grow new hair, but the best way to avoid damaged air is not to damage it in the first place.
Overdoing the Shampooing
It's possible to have too much of a good thing and shampoo is one of them. Washing your hair is essential for good hygiene and ridding the build up of grease and dirt from our hair and scalp, however, it's possible to overdo it. A layer of natural oil is essential to protecting the outer layer of each hair strand and excessive washing can strip this away, leaving hair dry, dull and without shine. Not all shampoo is created equal either, typically the better quality products will contain less harmful ingredients. Shampoo containing parabens and sulphates may well be worse for your hair than better quality shampoo..
Generosity with the Brushing, Stinginess with the Bristles
Brushing your hair keeps it tidy and manageable, it also distributes the healthy natural oils from the scalp to the hair tips, however, too much is too much. You've probably heard that hair should be brushed 100 times, this is almost certainly far too much for anyone. Hair should be brushed until you can run a brush through from scalp to tip without hitting tangles and no more. Correct technique involves brushing the tips first and working back gradually until the brush can be run all the way through your hair without snagging. The type of brush you use can also make a difference. Artificial bristles may do well tackling the tangles, but a boar hair brush is much better at distributing your natural oils from scalp to tip and is probably well worth the investment.
Tying it Too Tight
Whether you're scraping your hair back or plaiting it into a tight braid, be aware of the stress you're exerting on your hair and scalp. Hair has a certain amount of elasticity, but it won't stretch forever without breaking. Equally, your scalp will eventually release a hair that's being tugged too firmly. It'll probably grow back, but hair grows about a quarter of an inch a month, so that's going to take quite some time to replace. A neat style is one thing, but be aware that your hair has its limits and try to be more gentle. If you're starting to notice the gaps, then perhaps Toppik hair building Fibers can help you keep the look you want while you regrow.
Brushing While Wet
Your hair is a porous structure and that shampoo you just washed your hair with has stripped away the oils; its natural defence against the ingress of moisture. Waterlogged hair will stretch further than it would normally, but it is much more susceptible to breakage too, so the last thing you want to do is to drag a brush through your locks when they're at their most vulnerable.
If you've washed your hair, the last thing you want to do is sit around all day with a great wet weight attached to your head. You may have heard that natural drying is the kindest way to dry your hair, but you'll be pleased to know this isn't strictly true. While your hair's wet it's more vulnerable than when it's dry, so it makes sense to dry it off as soon as you can. However, hair is also vulnerable to extremes of heat and friction, so your best compromise is to dab with the towel rather than rubbing vigorously and if you must use a hair dryer, dial down the temperature.
High Heat on your Hair
Hair shafts are made from keratin, the same substance as your nails and the surface layer of your skin. You wouldn't hold your hair tools at the hot end though! The only living part of your hair is deep within your skin, so thankfully, hot tools and haircuts don't cause you any pain. However, that doesn't mean that boiling your barnet isn't bad for it. A scorching hairdryer, a scalding shower and tongs anywhere above tepid are going to cause damage, so be conservative when you use high temperatures on your head and consider using a heat protecting spray to minimise the damage caused if you do.
Skimping on the Salon
Your hair will benefit from a trim roughly every 6 weeks or so. Split ends left unchecked will continue splitting back up the shaft of the hair unless nipped in the bud. Snip the splits early to keep your hair long and luscious.
Be Careful with the Colour
It can be tempting once in a while to completely transform your appearance by changing the colour of your hair and it seems like everyone is doing it. Be careful however, dyes and bleaches are packed with chemicals and can be very harsh on your long suffering locks. As with many things in life, you get what you pay for and if you really do want to recolour your coiffure, then invest in the best quality products you can find or get your trusted salon to do the job properly, either option is likely to be kinder than the cheap kits sat on the supermarket shelves.
If this advice has come too late to take heed, never fear, Toppik has an entire range of premium quality products to look after the hair you have, make it look fuller and disguise the gaps. We can't reverse hair loss, but we can prevent you losing your confidence as a result.