As we get on in years, we start to learn the importance of basic self-grooming habits, and what they signify exactly.
Smiling too frequently, for instance, would ultimately land you a pair of smile lines and wrinkles to boot.
Frowning too much could epigraph a couple of lines on your forehead, while excessive squinting could mean crow’s feet.
In a society as looks-based as the current one, the aforementioned results are the worst any human being would want, and things people would do well to avoid.
And of course, the same applies to the crown of one’s head: hair. For to any self-respecting individual, hair represents much more than a couple of strands on your head: it’s a symbol of how you carry yourself, a hallmark of your self-esteem level as well as a taste of what your personality has to offer.
Truly, it’s as they say: hair maketh the man/woman (unless it’s a whole different ball game).
But that also begets the question: how exactly do you take care of your luscious crown, so that it won’t slowly disintegrate and make you look like Krillin?
Well for starters, there are the usual healthcare routines: use the right shampoo, apply conditioner, etc. etc. Stress would undeniably play a part as well, as it does for everything else. But there’s one aspect people have been sleeping on, and it seems that to the vast majority of people…
They might not even be aware of it.
6 Harmful Hair Habits You Are Doing Unknowingly On A Daily Basis
Yes folks, I’m talking about things you do on a day-to-day basis that aren’t just sabotaging your hair’s evolutionary prowess, but downright causing harm to it. And what better point to kick off that dreaded list than one of the most ‘valuable’ skills known to mankind:
Styling with hair products
Hair products might get you the glorious hair shape you so crave for, but they actually come at a terrible price in the long run:
According to steadyhealth.com, chemicals used for hair styling can “remove oils on the hair cuticle” and cause “loss of moisture from the hair and scalp”. Some styling products also leave residues in the hair for long periods and might result in cumulative effects.
Hair gels, mousse, wax and sprays, for instance, may contain alcohol, polymers and other ingredients that cause potential build-up in the scalp.
Because the hair has an acidic pH level, and because many styling products tend to be on the alkaline side, the cuticle scales of the hair shafts may swell and be “lifted away from the hair cortex”, rendering the hair cortex vulnerable to the “harmful effects of chemicals”.
As a result, frequent use of hair styling products could result in “excessive damage” to one’s hair cortex.
“Can I still use hair products?”
Fortunately, you can still use hair products. Notwithstanding the risk of damage, one should make sure to use hair-styling products such as gels, sprays or mousse sparingly.
And to circumvent the alkaline levels of hair styling products like hair gel and hair dyes, one can opt for hair care products that contain dimethicone, which acts as a moisturiser that helps to “reduce static electricity, increase manageability and enhance hair shine”.
Should your favourite hair styling product lack dimethicone, you can still work your way around it.
Rinse your hair with a relatively weak acid solution such as vinegar (acetic acid) or lemon juice, and your swollen hair cuticles should be healed alongside the restoration of smooth hair texture.
Staying in an Air-con room
Air conditioners might be a godsend in the summer, but they come at a price:
The dryness of your skin, as well as the loss of your hair.
Yes folks, strange as it sounds, air-conditioners might actually be doing more harm to your hair than good. According to regrowz.com, air conditioning causes hair loss through a series of steps:
- The air-conditioner sucks away humidity from the air, as well as moisture from your body
- Your scalp starts to dry up
- When you leave the cold atmosphere and stand again in the sun, your scalp’s greeted with a sudden change in temperature that could prove extremely harmful in the long run
“Can I still use air-conditioners?”
Given Singapore’s killer weather, it would be a real dummy move not to. But fear not, because there are ways to circumvent an air-conditioner’s dry spells:
- Place a bowl of water in the room
- Keep yourself hydrated at all times. It might prove to be a pain in the bladder, but soldier on for the sake of your scalp and skin.
- Keep a balanced, healthy diet to ensure maximum healthiness of your scalp
Prolonged exposure to the sun
You’ve long been aware of the sun’s destructive effects on one’s skin, and as such have stocked up on every sunscreen brand available in order to nullify that notion. But here’s the thing;
Do you know that UV radiation from the sun could damage your hair as well?
Indeed, according to The Daily Beast, research has suggested that the sun could actually damage your hair: its UV rays are allegedly capable of degrading the proteins that make up your hair strands.
“Can I still walk under the sun?”
In all honesty, it would be hard not to. But worry not, because the sun’s not entirely out to get you (and your last few hair strands). According to the same report, the damage’s confined to the hair shaft, and not the follicle accountable for the growth of new hair.
Nevertheless, moderate exposure under the sun’s still advised, as inflammation from sunburn could potentially hurt your follicles. Alternatively, you can choose to wear a hat, or even use an umbrella when going outdoors. Hair products with sunscreen might be viable in this scenario too.
Combing your hair while it’s wet
A regular practitioner of the ‘comb your hair while it’s still wet’ mantra? Well, you might wanna think again. According to a self-care website, combing your hair while it’s wet could actually result in hair breakage. Or in other words, this image you’ve probably become accustomed to seeing:
Lest you’re unaware, wet hair’s actually really delicate, and as such should be handled with care. Soaking-wet hair, in particular, is more prone to breakage as it’s capable of ‘stretching’.
While combing wet hair can help prevent tangles, doing it improperly might do more harm than good: apart from causing damaged strands, you might just end up with a frizzy, unkempt look too.
“Can I still comb my hair when it’s wet?”
Well, you’ll be delighted to know that in actuality, you can.
Provided you comply with the following regulations, anyway.
- Comb properly to ensure healthy, shiny and smooth hair: start at the ends, and avoid combing from the roots to the ends
- Use a wide-toothed comb, and never use a brush
- Avoid drying your hair with a towel or a hot hair dryer while you’re at it too
An unhealthy diet
It seems that diet’s the in thing nowadays, what with its connection to just about everything: weight loss, mental health, cognitive abilities, you name it, your diet’s probably linked to it. As such, it’s really no big surprise that your diet, yeah you guessed it, is actually correlated to your hair-loric count.
According to Everyday Health, your genetics aren’t the only determining factor behind hair loss: poor nutrition could also contribute towards a balding scalp. Insufficient intake of protein, for instance, has been associated with hair loss; sudden weight loss, as well as eating disorders, could also lead to the dreaded condition.
“Can I still sustain an unhealthy diet then?”
Lest you haven’t caught on, the answer’s no. In order to ensure a healthy scalp, one should make sure to practice good nutritional standards. One can also choose to approach a doctor for help, should they be associated with the aforementioned conditions.
To me, getting into a shower butt naked and freezing, before turning on the heater in a bid at temporary relief is a pretty common occurrence. Sure, it might cause one’s facial pores to become larger in the long run, but anything’s better than the cold that nips at your butt.
Or so I thought.
As it turns out, hot showers are not only ‘detrimental’ to one’s pores, but also the scalp. According to Hairguard, hot water’s capable of damaging the scalp, causing dryness to occur. It could also result in inflammation, which induces hair thinning and loss.
Additionally, hot showers can also remove the essential oils from the hair and scalp, leaving the hair follicles vulnerable to damage and even death.
“Can I still take hot showers then?”
Well, they’re definitely inadvisable, so to speak. Instead, we recommend cold showers instead because they seem to constitute all the positive things hot showers do not.
“The pieces of keratin on the hair are like shingles on a roof, and a quick, 15-second cold rinse can help them line up neatly so they appear smooth and reflect light,” said respected Dermatologist Dr Piliang.
According to the report, cold water also helps to invigorate the scalp, and improve circulation. Increased circulation, in particular, helps to transfer oxygen, nutrients and minerals to the scalp and hair follicle, helping them grow; waste products are also removed in the process.
So our advice? Ditch the hot showers, and brave the cold.
Don’t Say Bo Jio Ah
The hair is often exposed to UV rays, excessive chemical treatments and styling, causing the sebaceous glands in the hair follicles to be overactive leading to excess sebum. If this goes on in the long run without proper scalp cleansing to remove impurities, sebum, etc, your hair follicles will be clogged, affecting the metabolism of scalp cells, leading to hair loss and scalp problems.
“Huh, then how?” you wonder. “It’s not enough that I avoid all 6 bad habits listed above; I still have to tahan crude hair loss?”
Well, don’t say bojio: Beijing 101 Hair Consultants is currently running a promotion where they’re offering the high-end Signature Meridian Scalp Treatment for just $42 (U.P. $482)!
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Hair loss? That’s not happening anymore!
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