If you’re wondering why your hair always looks dull, lifeless, frizzy and out of control, it could be the little, everyday habits that are preventing you from having the hair you always wanted. The first step is to take a look at your hair care routine and check if you’re doing something that could be causing your hair to become dull and lifeless. Even small things like not rinsing your hair thoroughly or not using a heat protectant each time you style your hair could be robbing you of your chance at smooth, silky hair. Here’s a list of hair mistakes you should avoid making if you’re looking to have a good hair day, every day.
Tying Your Hair When It’s Wet
Wet hair is wet the internal structure is extremely wet making it fragile and prone to damage. Hair is also very elastic when wet, so when you pull it back to tie it in a top knot or a high pony tail, it is more likely to break. Plus, wet hair is also more likely to tangle since wet strands tend to have increased friction, also causing hair breakage. All the breakage and hair damage then shows up in the form of frizz, flyaways and dry ends, all of which are the opposite of smooth hair.
Blow-drying Your Hair When It’s Soaking Wet
If you reach for your hair dryer as soon as you step out of the shower you could be inadvertently ruining your hair. As mentioned above, hair is extremely fragile when wet so running a brush through it to style it will cause some breakage. Plus, the wetter your hair the longer you will have to expose it to heat to dry it. It’s best to leave hair to dry naturally till it’s 70 per cent damp before blow drying. And wait till it’s completely dry before you take a curling wand or straightening iron to it.
Washing Your Hair With Hot Water
Stepping under hot shower after a long day or even first thing in the morning feels so shiok, but it’s probably one of the worst things for your hair. Hot water dries out your hair and dry hair is more prone to frizz. It’s best to wash your hair in tepid or lukewarm water to avoid drying out your hair while you’re showering.
Using Too Much Shampoo
We all love a rich lather when we’re in the shower, be it washing our face, our body or our hair. Yet, most of us are using too much product, especially shampoo, because we don’t take the time to wet our hair thoroughly first. When your hair is not sufficiently wet, the shampoo won’t lather into a rich foam. Hence, we over use shampoo. Not only is this a waste of product, using too much shampoo can also dry out your hair. So the next time you’re in the shower, make sure you wet your hair thoroughly before applying shampoo. And if you’re tempted to add more shampoo to create a rich lather, add more water instead. A rule of thumb: you will need only about two teaspoons of shampoo for mid-length hair, or slightly less if you have shorter hair, and slightly more if you have longer hair.
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Not Rinsing Off Conditioner and Hair Mask Thoroughly
You know how your hair feels slippery and smooth after you’ve left conditioner or a hair mask on for a few minutes? It’s essential to keep rinsing till your hair loses this ‘slip’. This is because the ingredients added to give your hair that slippery and smooth sensation are often silicones, which when left to accumulate on your strands, can strip and dull your hair over time. Plus, conditioners and hair masks are rich in emollients that can over-burden your scalp and cause it to become oily and prone to congestion. To avoid all these, make sure to rinse your hair clean, which is to say, until you don’t feel any residue left.
Not Taking Aftercare Seriously
Hands up if you subject your tresses to chemical processes like colouring and retexturing treatments like perming or straightening multiple times a year. When your hair undergoes such treatments, the core structure of your hair can be damaged, and if moisture and nutrients are not replenished adequately, you end up with brittle hair that’s prone to breakage and split ends. For those who have bleached hair, it is important to use a blue or purple shampoo to neutralise any brassy undertones that might develop, to keep your hair colour fresh and vibrant. They are usually also enriched with conditioning botanical oils and butters to nourish and strengthen hair. You can also look out for products that are formulated with proteins as these help rebuild and restructure damaged hair shafts to increase hair resilience. If you’re unsure, just consult your stylist and stick to the products he or she recommends.
Underestimating The Power Of Hair Primers
Despite the frequent use of heated styling tools, many women skip on prepping their hair properly with a thermal protectant or a hair primer. Without an essential protective barrier that helps smooth down hair cuticles, your hair is subjected to heat damage every single time you style it with heated tools like a flat iron, curling tongs or even a blow-dryer. And over time, not only does hair become dryer, rougher, more tangled, hair colour also starts to fade and look dull.
Washing Your Hair Too Often
Living in the tropics mean it’s inevitable that we end up feeling sweaty and grimy at the end of the day, virtually every day. However, the habit of shampooing daily or in some cases, twice daily, can end up creating problems for our hair. First of all, even though shampooing your hair frequently keeps it clean and fresh, it also exposes your hair and scalp to potentially harsh cleansers in your shampoo, which are not only effective against eliminating perspiration, dirt and sebum, they also strip your hair and scalp of natural oils. Moreover, clean hair doesn’t hold style as well as day-old hair. Try cutting down the frequency of washing your hair by using a dry shampoo instead. They are often made with charcoal powder to absorb impurities and excess sebum, give limp locks a root lift and feature a refreshing scent to eliminate odours.
Text: Joyce Cheo, additional text Smita DeSouza
Images: Shutterstock, Unsplash