Updated: Oct 1, 2020
Welcome back to the VM Beauty Hair Blog!
We are happy to have you back and hope these posts are helpful.
Let's jump in!
If you find that your hair is loosing elasticity, and having little to no length retention and you are loosing curl definition these are clear signs your hair is damaged.
The question is do you know why?
Today we will go over the 5 things that are damaging your hair and holding you back from seeing the health and growth you want.
These are your 5 hair enemies:
1. UV Radiation / The Sun
UV Radiation / The Sun Both UVA and UVB radiation can cause photo-degradation of the hair. This means that they damage the keratin and melanin in the hair, keratin is a protein that is very important for protecting the hair shaft and melanin is responsible for your hair's colour and shine. The UV radiation from the sun can break down hair proteins used to protect hair and damage the hair strand.
Ladies, we know that summer has been marked as the season to let your hair down , but for those that have weaker hair strands more prone to breakage you must heed to this advice if you want the results.
Ways to minimize UV radiation damage: If you’re going to the beach, or for a walk to get some exercise or staying in the sun all day, be sure to wear a hat. Some will decide to do protective styling in the form of wigs or extensions which is great. Just be sure you are still moisturising your hair underneath and not leaving certain styles in for more than 3 weeks at a time.
Many people use hair dryers, flat irons, straighteners, curling irons, hot curlers and other tools that use heat in order to style the hair. These tools can heat the moisture inside of the hair to such an extent that the hair strand becomes damaged and the cuticle allows greater porosity. Making the hair drier.
Now don't get me wrong, simply using heat does not automatically mean that your hair is or will become damaged. In most cases, healthy hair will only experience heat damage with excessive use of heat or using heat appliances at temperatures of 450F or more for extended periods of time. However, there is a heat-safe zone that you need to know about so that you can be sure to keep your hair safe from damage.
Hair type heat-safe zone
For Fine hair keep the heat no higher 360 F
For Normal to Medium thickness hair, keep the heat between 360-390 F
For Courser Hair keep heat no higher than 440 F
When your hair is damaged by heat, it’s permanently damaged. High or excessive heat can permanently break the S-S or disulphide bonds within the hair strands that give hair its strength along with protein cross-links. In other words, heat damage can be prevented or treated, but once it has become serious; it cannot be repaired.
Ways to minimise heat damage:
Don’t use excessive heat on your hair, try to use cooler settings on the styling tools that you use and consider using heating tools with intervals – so consider not using a hair straightener multiple times a month, reduce the frequency with which you use certain heating tools.
Hair drying and flat ironing heating are different
If you choose to leave the flat iron alone for a while consider blow drying. I understand some have higher hair shrinkage and having it stretched is an easier way of managing it, so, by all means, blow dry your hair, but monitor the heat settings and do not blow dry your hair too frequently, give yourself a month in between blow drys. You can stretch a blow dried style for at least 3 weeks. We will show you how in a later post.
3. Mechanical Damage
The friction caused by combing, brushing and other hair styling tools has the potential to damage the cuticle layer of the hair.
This is called ‘mechanical damage’ but you could also consider it daily wear and tear of your hair as you style it. The friction caused by this mechanical damage results in ripped or damaged cuticles or split ends, which then increases porosity and can dry out the hair.
Ways to minimise mechanical damage: Find a hairstyle and keep it for a while, which in essence is protective styling.
Look, I understand!
As women, we love the next new look. It's hard to keep our hands out of our hair, but styling your hair differently every day can actually be very damaging to your hair, especially in dry seasons. Choose a style that you can wear for at least 3 days at a time, and please keep your hands out of your hair unless you're moisturising it!
4. Chemical Processing
Adding certain chemicals to your hair in order to change its colour, shape or texture, will invariably involve making the hair more susceptible to damage. When hair is coloured, the cuticle is forcefully opened in order to help pigment penetrate into the cortex. When the hair is permed or relaxed, it breaks the inner bonds of the hair and reforms them back together in a different way. Bleaching is the most damaging process, followed by perming and relaxing, with permanent colouring processes being the mildest forms of chemical treatment damage.
Ways to minimise chemical damage: Avoid permanent processing on your hair, such as bleaching, relaxing or perming. If you decide to colour your hair, go for highlights or semi-permanent dyes which aren’t quite as damaging as bleach.
5. Excessive Product Use
When you use shampoo, your overall goal is to cleanse the scalp and remove oil and product buildup on your hair. But if you over-shampooing your hair, then you are stripping away the natural oil (sebum) that is created by your scalp. Sebum is used to make your hair pliable, manageable and nourished. If you remove too much sebum from the scalp, then the body will over-compensate by making a lot more sebum – you may find that using excessive products actually causes your hair to become greasy, in some cases, it may cause dry hair and cause your scalp to itch.
This is also depending on your hair porosity.
( Read our post "Are you buying products based on your hair type or hair porosity ?" for more clarity.
Ways to minimise damage from excessive product use:
Choosing the right product depending on the type of hair that you have is advisable also consider reducing the frequency with which you shampoo your hair. Certain types of curly and coily hair will already benefit from shampooing once a week or twice a week only to avoid drying out the hair, but other hair types may also wish to consider a reduction in shampoo frequency.
If you want to care for your hair naturally, then it’s a good idea to start by doing your best to avoid these 5 ‘enemies’ of the hair.
Once the hair is damaged, there aren't many options apart from cutting off the damaged areas (e.g. cutting split ends). The best course of action is doing your best to minimising the damage you’re causing to your hair, to maximise its healthy appearance. Small changes in your hair care regiment can benefit the long-term health of your hair and scalp.
As always, we thank and appreciate you for choosing us to help you with your hair journey, and hope we have propted you into further research.