The style you choose to wear your hair in affects the health of your hair in some interesting and important ways. Many people do not realise the effect they are having on their hair when they choose to style it with hair dryers, straighteners, curling tongs, use hair spray, gel or mousse, or wear their hair in a ponytail or plait. This article will explore the different ways your style can affect your hair’s health and how you can improve the state of your hair by choosing certain styles over others.
Your hair is always growing from the scalp and it needs nourishment to be strong and healthy, just like the rest of your body. When you use hair styling products on your hair it can weigh it down, causing it to become more brittle, coarse and dry, while it can also look lifeless with split ends and a lack of shine. Heated styling aids such as hair dryers and straightening irons all add to the damage by breaking the fibres in the hair down causing further dullness.
Using even small styling aids such as clips, combs and pins also causes damage to the hair shaft, breaking fibres and creating a rough texture with broken ends. Hair is especially fragile when it is wet with many people brushing their hair straight out of the shower causing hair to be pulled out of the head because it is so weak.
How to protect your hair
There are many ways to protect your hair from styling damage. Always treat your hair very gently when it is wet and protect it with a towel in this weakened state. Wait until it is dry or drier before styling. It is a good idea to avoid brushing your hair too much throughout the day too, as the more often you brush your hair the more breakage occurs.
Limit the number of days a week you use a hair dryer. It is best to let it dry naturally sometimes, or dry it a little and leave it to dry off on its own. If you do not have the time during the week while getting ready for work then give your hair a break from the hair dryer at weekends.
Reduce the amount of heated styling aids you use. When using straighteners, use them on a lower heat setting and do not let the hot irons sit in contact with the hair for more than a few seconds at a time. Similarly for curling tongs, only use them now and then for special occasions. Heat damages the hair fibres so it makes sense to limit the use of heated products on your hair.
When you style your hair in a ponytail the hair must be gripped strongly at the base in order to keep the strands together. Keeping your hair styled in the same place all day can cause the hair to become stiff and brittle, while forcing the hair into the same shapes and styles every day in the long term can even cause hair to fall out.
Simple tips for hair care
Keep your hair trimmed regularly to remove split ends and keep it in good condition. You should wash hair at least twice a week to remove dirt and grime and any build-up of styling products. It is always best to use a gentle shampoo and conditioner. If you go to the beach or the swimming pool always make sure to wash your hair afterwards to remove salt and chlorine.
When washing your hair, wash with warm water but not hot water. When rinsing, ensure you rinse thoroughly to remove all the shampoo and give it a final rinse with cold water to seal the cuticle and improve circulation to the scalp which will help strength your hair. It is also good to use hair masks regularly.
While caring for your hair is important to most people, did you know that the way you style your hair can say a lot about your personality? Wearing hair long and free is supposed to mean you are romantic and intense, classic in style and elegant; wearing your hair shoulder length reflects intelligence, while short hair indicates risk-taking, bold adventurousness and athleticism.
Many women style their hair straight with straighteners but those who choose to leave their hair wavy or curly are seen as more approachable and friendly in personality. Totally straight hair can appear more aloof and serious, while finger-combed hair that has more movement is seen as more relaxed and fun.