How To Minimise Mechanical Damage To Your Hair

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   There are four things that make up the perfect hair: 1. correct hair care (shampoos, conditioners, that kin of stuff); 2. minimising damage to the hair; 3. eating healthy; 4. styling (which includes the cut, colour as well as actual styling). Today I'll talk about minimising mechanical damage to the hair, the kind that arises from rubbing and chafing of the hair shaft and ends in split, rough scales.
     All the treatments in the world will not help your hair if it is being constantly tangled, chaffed and pulled. If you have what looks like "surface frizz" (only the hair on the outsie is frizzy) it is very likely caused by mechanical damage!


   Here are some ways you can minimize mechanical damage. Most probably you will not be able to totally avoid everything on this list, but if you can implement just a few of these ideas, your hair will thank you. Healthy hair is much easier to style and looks good even if you just got out of bed.

* Use hair ties without metal parts:

    The metal parts snag hair. Luckily I have been seeing plenty of cute metal-free hair ties that are not scrunchies in the stores. Invisibobbles are really great. You can also cut up stockings and roll them. Also DIY twistbands are cute and easy to make.

* Hair screws make a great alternative to bobby pins.

    I have written about them here. I still totally love them they are so easy to use hold really well and never break my hair.

* Get a satin pillowcase

   It doesn't rub the hair as much as a cotton one. I explained it in detail here. This point is especially important to those of you who toss and turn a lot.

* Sleep with your hair up

   Here are some ideas. Again, very important point for restless sleepers!

* Protect your hair from collars and scarfs

    In the winter the hair gets rubbed and chafed by collars, zippers, velcro scarves and caps. Wear your hair up when wearing a coat and scarf, you can let it down at your destination. Or at least lift them up when putting on your coat and scarf, so that it doesn't get entangled between layers of fabric. Wool and cotton winter scarves / caps are also nicer to the hair than ones made out of acryl and other synthetic fibers.

* Comb right.

    Choose a comb without ridges, or a brush with soft, natural bristles. Be very gentle when detangling -- start with your fingers, then move on to a wide-toothed comb / a soft brush and always make your way from the bottom to the top. Brush hair only when it is dry, you can comb wet hair only with conditioner on it. Wet hair is very weak!

* Choose hair-friendly styles for every-day wear

   Avoid very tight pony tails, back-combing and any other style that puts stress on the hair. Again, you are allowed to relax this rule for special occasions!

* Tie up your hair

    When jogging, swimming or doing other activities when the hair gets tangled and rubs a lot against each other, wear your hair up. Buns are great for this!

* Don't play with your hair.

     Self-explanatory, really.

* Wash your hair very gently

  Massage the scalp with your fingertips (not your nails). Don't rub the hair, ever! Use the cup method to get the shampoo on the hair and scalp evenly.

* Towel-dry your hair right

   Don't ever rub it with the towel, instead squeeze the hair. Doing this really thoroughly will help you minimise blow-drying time. A microfiber towel or an old cotton T-shirt is better than a regular towel.

* Minimise blow-drying

   If you can avoid blow-drying do so. Towel-dry as thoroughly as possible first. Don't use the hottest setting and stop when the hair is slightly moist (this prevents over-drying). If you absolutely must blow-dry, try to be extra careful with not damaging the hair in any other way.

* Avoid the straightener and curler

    Reserve them for special occasions, as they are pretty bad for the hair. Your natural hair texture can be really beautiful when you start taking good care of it!

If I were to sum these rules up, it would be something I heard on a hair-care forum: treat your hair like fine, old Chantilly lace. Physical damage to the hair shaft cannot be repaired (because the hair shaft is "dead"), so you will have to wait till the old damaged hair is replaced by new hair to see the effects of treating your hair gently.

   What are the ways that you minimise mechanical damage to your hair? Do share your tips!

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