Hair Protection Confidential

What kind of pampering and TLC have you given your hair lately?

Hmmmm. Seems to me if you have to think about it it’s likely been too long since you lovingly cared for your mane.

Or maybe it’s more like you’ve noticed your hair for all the wrong reasons of late.

Are you seeing more split ends than usual?

Does it feel dry rather than soft to the touch?

Or does your hair seem to be breaking off more easily than it used to when you brush it?

Given all that drama I guess it falls to me to encourage you to question everything you are or are not doing to maintain the health of your locks. Because if you don’t who will?

Plus if any of those signs of hair drama we just listed sounds familiar, even vaguely, your mane may be damaged and it’s important you figure out why. That way you will be able to identify what solutions to seek or actions you need to take to restore it to health.

Sure it’s easy to understand why you maybe haven’t been taking care of business when it comes to those tresses of yours.

Sad fact is most of us really don’t. Well at least not like we know we should. We’re all too insanely busy with days packed from morning to night with activities leaving us no choice but to take our hair for granted.

Not only that, we also seem to too easily forget the most important thing about our hair – protection.

Protection? Well, okay by that I mean what you do to keep your hair from damage?

But don’t panic. Sometimes solutions are closer at hand than you might realize.

Basically what it all comes down to is this. With protection, which is really just prevention by another name, you want to prevent damage, prevent abuse, prevent product build up and the like. Reason being it’s easier to prevent problems rather than fixing them once the damage is done. Know what I mean?

Or look at it this way. See a big red stop sign or light when you are even just thinking about doing things that will damage your hair.

With that big red stop sign in mind let’s peek behind the curtain of ‘hair care don’ts’ to identify some things you want to stop doing, or at least do less, so you might avoid having hair that would be considered damaged goods.

Stop using hot styling tools excessively. Flat irons and curling irons can literally fry your hair – especially when wet. And blow dryers used on unprotected hair (read lack of thermal protection) aren’t much better.

Stop smoking. Aside from the fact that smoking is associated with so many unpleasant, life threatening diseases, fact is it doesn’t do much for your skin or hair either. I mean have you ever looked closely at someone who has smoked for a long time? Not exactly a pretty picture fit for the cover of Cosmo now is it?

Stop brushing your hair so much. Your hair is actually more fragile than you might imagine. Brushing excessively produces friction – as does over vigorous towel-drying. If excessive friction (read stress) is placed on your strands that makes them more prone to premature wear and tear. The take away here is too much friction is a bad thing. Vigorous and frequent brushing can lead to damaged hair. Damaged hair isn’t all that attractive. So next time skip the brush and use a comb instead. And is there any reason you can’t just mostly air-dry your hair instead of going to town on it with a terry cloth towel?

Stop relaxing or perming your hair. Chemicals found in hair treatments like relaxers, straighteners and perms may suck the life out of your hair if you expose it to such treatments too often.

Stop over coloring your hair. That’s right. Along the same lines hair coloring done too frequently, especially the more permanent variety, won’t do a lot for the health of your hair either. I know. Given how much we love to color our hair not exactly what you wanted to hear. Yes, hair coloring products are generally safe hair provided you don’t color your hair too often. Still hair coloring products have different formulations. Those containing ammonia tend to be the most harmful. So you might want to choose those that contain natural ingredients. Even though they may still contain some ammonia, at least, the natural ingredients are there to keep your hair moisturized and healthy.

Stop sun damage cold. If all that wasn’t bad enough sun exposure is very damaging to hair. The UV rays will cause it to dry out in no time plus it can rough up the cuticles faster than Miley Cyrus destroyed her squeaky clean image. So get extra protection by using product that has sunscreen built in. Anymore many do you know. Even better wear a scarf or cute hat when you know you’ll be spending extended periods in the sun.

Lastly stop taking your hair for granted. Give it the protection it needs and you’ll see a difference – in its health, its shine and its manageability. Give it some time and attention and your hair will give you back that natural luster and bounce to make you look absolutely amazing.

Image courtesy of domdeen at FreeDigitalImages.net.