21 Nov Five Ways to Protect Your Hair from Damage
There’s nothing worse than shelling out for a gorgeous new hair cut only to find your locks looking less than fabulous a couple of weeks later. There’s no doubt that healthy hair is the look that’s always in but damage can be hard to avoid.
Everything from heat styling, to weather and even our diets have an impact on the level of damage our hair suffers leading to split ends, dryness, dull colour, unmanageable texture and hair that’s missing its natural shine.
To help prevent dreaded damage, here’s our top five tips…
- Always use a heat protecting spray
As someone who heat styles their hair every day, using a heat protecting spray has been one of the biggest contributors to the prolonged health of my hair after a fresh cut. When you’re applying heat up to 230 degrees to your mane, it only makes sense that you should be using a protectant that works as a barrier between your delicate hair cuticle and the heat styling tool.
A favourite is Schwarzkopf’s Osis+ Flatliner Heat spray. It’s a fine mist that doesn’t leave your hair feeling drenched in product or like you’ve got an oily residue left behind. It’s weightless in your hair and aids lustre and shine when heat styling. All while protecting your hair from damage such as breakage and split ends.
- Minimise the amount you brush your hair when wet
When your hair is wet, the chemical and physical structures of your hair shaft are altered leaving it at its most vulnerable for breakage, split ends and dullness. Brushing your hair when wet creates excessive tugging and pulling that can cause serious damage.
To help, always brush it before you wash it to get any tangles out and use detangling serums or sprays after washing if you’re particularly prone to knots. These should allow you to detangle your hair and help to manage it simply by running your fingers through it.
KMS Tame Frizz Curl Leave-in Conditioner is a great choice. Though it’s defined to moisturise curly hair, it works well to smooth, soften and detangle any hair type. And because it’s for curly hair, it’s particularly lightweight and there is absolutely zero residue, stickiness or crunchiness when your hair is dry so straight hair will love this too.
If you must brush your hair before it’s dry, use a wide toothed plastic comb.
- Use nourishing shampoos that won’t strip your hair of its natural oils
Too many shampoos focus on stripping all of the natural oils from your scalp in an effort to give you that squeaky clean feeling. Although super clean roots are goals for most of us, those super strong ‘oil absorbing’ shampoos are doing you more harm than good. Our hair needs its natural oils to be healthy and grow, without them, our hair is susceptible to drying out and breakage.
Instead, choose a shampoo like Eleven Hydrate My Hair Moisture Shampoo. It’s specifically formulated to leave your hair feeling fresh and bouncy without stripping it. It provides a good boost of hydration and always works to restore proteins in your hair that keep it strong and shiny.
- Only wash your hair when it really needs it
Speaking of using shampoo, you should only be washing your hair 1-2 times per week allowing those natural oils to do their thing. Excessive washing leads to dry and dull hair and the longer it’s wet, the more likely you are to cause breakage that gives you flyaways and lacklustre locks.
Dry shampoo is a hero for those in between days to absorb excess oil and provide a bit of volume and lift. And if you’re a regular at the gym and feel that you can’t have a sweat sesh without washing your hair afterwards, a personal trick I love is to blow dry my hair as soon as I can after a workout to dry the sweat (using a heat protection spray of course). I’ve found that I can go longer without washing than I did when I let it dry on its own and the saltiness of the sweat provides a nice texture and lift.
- Use silk accessories such as silk scrunchies and a silk pillowcase
If you can’t help but toss and turn all night long, this point particularly applies to you. The friction that is created when we sleep on cotton pillowcases can cause your hair to dry out, frizz and become more prone to breakage. The same applies when you’re using elastic hair ties. They put a lot of pressure on your locks and it’s not uncommon for that pressure, combined with friction, to cause your hair to snap.
Silk accessories are much gentler on your hair and a silk pillowcase won’t absorb all of your hairs’ natural oils, or those products you spend so much on to protect it. Slip pillowcases are a great choice because you can be confident you’re investing in genuine, 100% silk products.
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Photo: Steven Popovich
Make-Up: Bonnie G Oz Beauty Expert