We treat our hairs like they are a part of our clothes. As such, we cut it, color it, and style it, sometimes over-the-top just because it’s fun. However, we also have to keep in mind that our locks are a part of our bodies, not simply an accessory to play with.
If you notice dandruff or falling hair on your clothes lately, chances are your hair habits are starting to take their toll. But what if you never style your hair, yet still get brittleness or itch? Well, our hair care products aren’t the only ones affecting our tresses. The food we eat also plays a role in our hair’s health. Just like any part of our body, our hair also suffers the impact of an unhealthy diet.
That said, these are the daily habits you should stop to let your locks renew their luster and strength again:
1. Shampooing Too Much, or Too Little
You don’t need to wash your hair every day. It may feel strange to skip the shampoo when you’re used to applying it daily, but your scalp will thank you for it. A shampoo’s function is to remove oil, grime, and product buildup. Hence, using it every day strips off your scalp’s natural oils, drying out your hair and causing dandruff in turn.
If your scalp’s still pretty dry, wait a day or two before washing it again. And to get rid of the itch, choose a natural anti-dandruff shampoo. Follow the packaging’s instructions on how much to apply. Don’t put too little of it, or you won’t completely wash off the oil, grime, and product buildup from your scalp.
2. Daily Hot Showers
Hot showers may be a lifesaver during cold weather but go easy on it if you don’t want your locks to fall out. In fact, if you see a lot of hair strands clogging your shower drain, take it as your warning. Hot water dehydrates the strands of your hair, making it brittle and more prone to snapping off. It also strips off your scalp’s natural oils, leading to dandruff.
You don’t need to endure cold baths, though. Contrary to popular belief, there’s not enough scientific evidence that cold water seals the hair cuticle. Instead, what’s proven true is that warm water is best for the hair. Water temperature that’s a bit above your body temperature opens up the pores in your scalp, allowing your shampoo to clean them thoroughly. So keep your water heater thermostat to warm levels, and enjoy a comfortable, hair-friendly bath.
3. Eating Sugary Foods
If you have a sweet tooth, tone down your sugar cravings from now on before your hair starts to fall out. There’s hardly anything good in sugar, other than the energy boost it gives. But often, sugar is your body’s enemy.
Instead of munching on sweet treats, go for protein bars, nuts, or any other protein-packed food, because they speed up your hair growth. It’s crucial not to combine sugar with protein, because sugar hinders your body’s protein absorption, rendering them useless on your falling locks.
4. Skipping the Conditioner
A conditioner counteracts the drying effects of shampoo. As such, you should always use it after shampooing, and every day, regardless of how often you shampoo. Applying conditioner is especially important if you deal with a flaky scalp.
5. Brushing or Combing Wet Hair
While wet hair tends to be tangled, it doesn’t need to be de-tangled right away. If you really need to loosen the knots, opt for a wide-toothed comb. It won’t snag your hair, preventing it from falling off. Brushes that are specifically designed tode-tangleare good choices, too, but avoid using them on your wet hair.
6. Tightening Your Pony Tail
A high ponytail that almost gives you a facelift is another recipe for hair loss. If you do it often or every day, you may increase your risk for traction alopecia, a condition that permanently weakens the hair follicle, making regrowth impossible. If you need to get your hair out of the way, just wear a headband, and gather the rest of your locks in a loose bun.
7. Eating Starchy, Refined Grains
White bread, white pasta, croissant, and your other favorite bread are also possible culprits for your unhealthy hair. These starchy and overly-processed grains turn into sugar, which – again – disrupts your body’s protein absorption. Swap them out for whole wheat instead, and watch your waistline also thank you for it.
8. Not Using Sunscreen
A lot of people forget that their scalp is also their skin. Thus, it needs the same nutrients their faces and bodies consume. Next time you apply sunscreen, don’t forget to put some on your scalp, too. If you don’t want to deal with the stickiness sunscreens tend to give, choose a product specifically designed for the hair.
Doing the opposite of these habits can result in an amazing difference fast. Don’t take your crowning glory for granted, and start treating it with TLC now.