Mechanical Damage: Heat and Chemicals Are Not the Only Culprits of Damaged Hair
So you’ve said goodbye to your blonde highlights, allowed your natural roots to grow in, and you hardly ever touch that curling iron anymore… but your hair is still damaged. What’s up with that?
Turns out heat and chemicals are not the only culprits responsible for damaged hair. The cause of your breakage, frizz, and split ends may be mechanical damage. Below we’ve outlined a few common causes of mechanical damage and what you can do to prevent them from harming your beloved locks in the future.
Loving your up-do a little too much
Up-dos are the best – they can function in both casual and formal scenarios, and they make a great heat free hair style to give your hair a break from heated styling tools every now and then. However, wearing your hair up too often can cause damage on its own. Celebrity stylist Julien Farel tells Redbook Mag, “Wearing your hair up every day strains the hair at the root and can actually cause hair loss.” Let that gorgeous hair down to give your scalp some relief and air to breathe.
Braids are another one of our favorite heat free hair styles. Gently forming slightly damp hair into a loose braid before bed can result in effortless, beach waves in the morning. Braids can cause mechanical damage to the hair, though, if done incorrectly.
If your hair is wet when you’re pulling it into a braid, it is more vulnerable to damage. Even though wet hair can stretch up to 30% of its original length without any harm, irreversible changes occur when it is stretched between 30% and 70%, and at 80% the strand will ultimately break. (Int J Trichology) If you wish to create a precise and tight braided style, Lea Journo, hair stylist and owner of Lea Journo Salon, tells Redbook Mag to wait until the hair is fully dry.
Using the wrong kind of brush
The variety of hair brushes that exist seems to be almost as diverse as the different types of hair! While that might be slightly exaggerative, there are many kinds of hair brushes to choose from, and using the wrong kind can cause hair to snag and break. Matrix.com suggests to “Look for wide-tooth, seamless plastic combs and boar bristle brushes with rubber cushions to treat strands with optimal TLC.”
Wide-tooth combs are ideal for detangling hair post-shower when it is wet and highly susceptible to damage. These combs are ideal for thick, curly hair since it can detangle your curls without messing up their shape. (StyleCaster)
StyleCaster also calls boar bristle brushes a “great staple for almost any kind of hair.” The bristles can distribute the natural oils from your scalp all the way to the ends of the hair shaft, which keeps them healthier and can save your scalp from looking greasy. The type of boar bristle brush you choose is dependent on your hair type, however. One rule of thumb is the thinner your hair is, the wider the space should be between the bristles.
Fabrics that come in contact with your hair
It’s hard to imagine that damage can be done to your hair even when you’re sleeping, but it’s true! If you’re sleeping on the wrong type of fabric, that is. Highly absorbent fabrics, like cotton, absorb moisture from our skin overnight, which can cause hair to stick instead of slide. The friction caused by hair sticking to the pillowcase can lead to breakage, frizz, and split ends. Try switching to a silk or satin pillowcase to decrease friction, thus allowing your strands to slide easily across the fabric. Plus, a smooth pillowcase will prevent you from waking up with bed head!
Another way fabric can damage your hair is by the type of towel you are drying it with. Even though the absorbency of cotton seems ideal post-shower, this fabric once again can create a friction that causes mechanical damage to the hair. Redbook Mag suggests using a microfiber towel or even an old t-shirt since this type of fabric is less abrasive and won’t rough up your hair as much.
Say goodbye to damaged hair
Now that we’ve covered the most common ways mechanical damage to the hair can occur, you should be able to make the necessary changes when styling your gorgeous locks to say goodbye to damaged hair.
But we can’t forget about the other two culprits of damaged hair: heat and chemicals. These causes of damage could be articles on their own, but here’s a quick tip for you: using the right hair care products for your specific hair type can help to prevent future damage. The right shampoo, conditioner, heat protectant, and other styling products are vital when it comes to the health of your hair.
Not sure which products are going to work best for you? That’s where Shtrands can help! Shtrands is a team of passionate hairstylists and cosmetics chemists who recommend and deliver personalized luxury hair care regimens, so you can achieve salon results at home.
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