What damages hair? What is the impact on the hair strand?
Worried you might be damaging your hair without even knowing it? From chemicals to styling tools, we take a look at what can cause hair damage…..
If you’ve had the same hair care routine since you were a teenager, you’re not alone. And, for most of us, it’s served us quite well, up until recently. You may have started to notice some changes to the health of your hair and be wondering what’s happening or what’s going wrong. There are a whole number of reasons why this could be happening, but there are some common causes of hair, scalp and hair loss that we probably didn’t know are having an effect on the way our hair looks. Andrew Bidwell, co-founder of Swell shares 5 ways you may be damaging your hair on a daily basis….
What causes hair damage?
1 Harsh chemicals
Hair needs a gentle touch and this can be achieved by using ingredients that work in harmony with your hair’s natural needs not against it. The market is full of hair products offering promises of added hair volume, thickness, and even stimulating new hair growth. Traditionally some of these brands have a pharmaceutical aura to heighten the impression of efficacy. However, what they generally have in common is the use of harsh chemicals, which, although effective, often fall short of being a true solution and may irritate the scalp or damage the hair shafts.
Some chemicals create the illusion of shine and condition but actually leave hair flat, oily and can cause scalp irritations. Silicones create a barrier on the hair, preventing essential nutrients from entering it, starving hair of any real goodness and leaving it in a progressively poorer condition (albeit with a synthetic shiny veneer). Hair should shine naturally, not from synthetically reflected light! Certain chemicals create volume by roughing up the cuticle layer or expanding the hair shaft, so it breaks through the cuticle.
At Swell, we believe harsh chemicals are unnecessary as natural ingredients can work just as effectively, if not more so, without the negative side effects. In fact, hair and scalp quality is improved dramatically with this kinder approach.
2 Not eating the right foods
You will be amazed how making some simple dietary changes can transform your hair. The hair follicle is the breeding zone of hair growth and has its own blood supply. Therefore, for your follicles to work at their best and give you the healthy-looking hair you desire they need the right nutrients in your diet. Go big on foods containing vitamins A, C and E; plus, foods rich in Omega 3, 6 and 9 (essential fatty acids) and over time you’ll notice a difference not just to your hair health, but your skin too.
3 Your washing technique
If you like to give your hair and scalp a good scrub in the shower, there’s a good chance you may be damaging it. Over washing or washing to vigorously can disturb the structure of the hair and weaken it, not to mention over stimulating sebaceous glands, making roots greasy. Try to avoid washing the mid lengths and ends of your hair, hair is more porous and frigile here, instead focus only on washing the roots where excessive oil can build up. Swell’s Ultimate Volume Shampoo will cleanse to perfection without stripping hair.
Remember, never deliberately wash the ends! As you rinse the Shampoo from the roots, the suds will travel down to the mid lengths and ends, cleaning hair to perfection. Washing the ends dehydrates and can severely damage hair.
When it comes to conditioner, Andrew suggests applying your Swell Ultimate Volume conditioner to mid lengths and ends first and only apply to the roots if hair tends to be frizzy. Overloading the roots will lead to over softening, greasy, lank hair, no matter how good your best hair conditioner is.
4 Too much heat
Using heated styling tools has become a way of life for many of us, but there’s no sugar coating the truth – it may add to your hair woes. Straightening, curling, blowing your hair regularly with heat can lead to breakage and dryness, especially if you have fine hair that is fragile and more susceptible to damage. Always use a silicone free heat protection serum like Swell Ultimate Protect and Renew Serum, and were possible, set your heated styling tool to the lowest possible setting. Consider investing in a salon blow-dry using a volumising shampoo and hair conditioner. A good blow dry will often last for days, reducing the need for excessive use of heated styling tools.
5 Feeling stressed out
We all know the saying ‘I’m pulling my hair out’….well, it’s true. When we’re stressed, we produce adrenaline and this can be a precursor to increased testosterone, which can cause hair to thin. We also tend to make poorer food and diet choices when stressed that again can affect hair health. As well as emotional shock and prolonged work stress, there are a whole host of daily triggers that stress us out but practicing breathing exercises can really help calm and relax you before the adrenaline takes over.
Check out our blog for more hair advice or shop our award-winning hair care range designed for hair health, hair volume and growth.