Here's how you can put a stop to hair damage

Sunday, 26 January 2014 - 8:59am IST | Agency: DNA
Are you guilty of the following bad habits that can give you a hair scare? Experts tell you why to quit them.

Have you been dealing with bad hair days too frequently recently? And you often wonder what’s the sinister reason behind it. We spoke to experts about some unhealthy practices pertaining to hair that many people knowingly or unknowingly undertake and suffer hair damage as a result.

Hot showers
After returning home from a long gruelling day at work, the prospect of having a long hot shower to ease the stress and tension seems inviting. We are not asking you to put a stop to this, but instead bathe in warm water. The reason being just like the skin, hot water tends to dehydrate the hair strands too. Some hair experts believe that washing the hair with hot water rids them of the protective oils. Also, the resulting heat from the hot water sends the pores of the scalp into an overdrive of oil production. This in turn damages the hair. “The hair shaft is made up of collagen and protein material, which can get damaged due to heat and can cause the hair to break in between,” says trichologist Dr Sonali Saigaonkar.

Tight hairstyles
Sporting a tight high pony sure does give a woman a sleek look but doing so can damage the hair too. Wearing tight hairstyles puts continuous pressure on the hair from its roots. Some experts believe that it could lead to traction alopecia, wherein the hair follicles get weakened permanently.

Blow drying frequently
There’s no denying that your hair looks fabulous after blowing drying but unfortunately, it does come at a cost. Blasting the hair with hot air damages its outer structure. Seventeen-year-old Manisha Gupte (name changed) suffered considerable hair damage due to a combination of regularly blow drying and rebonding her hair a couple of times. “I treated the problem firstly, by asking her to refrain from doing the above. Secondly, prescribed her a diet rich in proteins, supplements, hair shaft conditioner and a mild shampoo,” recounts Dr Saigaonkar who recommends not blow drying the hair more than once a fortnight.

Hair treatments that change its texture
“Any treatment that attempts to change the texture of hair causes humongous damage to it as it breaks the disulfide bonds of the hair. Getting one’s hair straightened, applying gel and mousse, colouring, etc., feels good. But these should be done once a while,” warns Dr  Apoorva Shah, co-founder of Richfeel Hair and Scalp Clinic, by adding that applying gel and mousse should be limited to once in 10 days. Also, if  one has their hair straightened and/or coloured, then oil the scalp and hair twice a week, and use a conditioner regularly.

Combing wet hair
This is a crime many of us commit as we rush out of our homes quickly after a bath to college, work, etc. since there’s no time to waste, waiting for our long locks to dry. But doing so is quite damaging. What’s the solution since there’s no time to spare? “The hair is weak when it is wet and so combing then is not advisable. What one can do is wrap a towel around the head and leave it on for five to 10 minutes. Let the towel absorb the excess moisture present in the hair. After taking off the towel, one can gently comb the hair,” advises Dr Shah.

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