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Beauty Geek: It Can Only Take So Much! 7 Damaging Things You’re Unconsciously Doing to Your Hair

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BN Beauty - BellaNaija - November 2015 When it comes to hair, it’s really those little foxes that spoil the vine.

The effect our everyday habits have on our tresses is much worse than the effect those weekly or monthly treatments have. They not only do harm, they also nullify the results we hope to get from our hair products.

There are a lot of things you do everyday that cause major and possibly long-term damage to your hair, and I am going to list 7 of them. Check them out and don’t be shamed to raise your hand if found guilty.

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1. Over Combing
You see that image above – chances are you’ve done that exact thing a few times. Maybe even this morning.

Hair doesn’t like to be stressed and excessive combing can do more harm than good. For those with long hair, people fawn over your hair and they just love combing it. For those with shorter hair, you keep combing hoping to see the results from your hair supplements after a few hours. Step one to recovery? Stop it!

Excessive combing of hair is a major reason why split ends tend to spread upwards on our stands of hair, and this could lead to you cutting off chunks of your hair to fix the problem. In truth, you need to comb your hair maybe twice or thrice daily if you have to. For example, let’s say you tried a new hairstyle and it didn’t work out so well. Then you can comb it. Otherwise just run your fingers through your hair gently during the day.

2. Relaxing Your Ends
This is one of the most dangerous things anyone can do to their hair.

Hair is made of living cells, excessive use of chemicals can kill or weaken these cells. In our attempt to make our hair look sleek, we think relaxing our ends is the way to go. But it’s not. Relaxing your ends damages the hair and causes heavy breakage.

First of all, you must realize what relaxing does to the hair – It strips the hair of its natural proteins and nutrients. Only new growth i.e: natural hair can withstand the harshness of relaxers. So it’s best to relax just the new growth. You can still achieve the sleek look by blowing drying your hair.

3. Overworking Your Hair
Hair can only withstand so much. And like every other part of our body, it needs to rest. Some of us relax our hair and then immediately do braids or fix a weave! That is so not good for your hair.

You should leave your hair to rest after relaxing for at least 3 days. It’s also wrong to bleach, dye or flat iron your hair back to back. If you intend to flat iron after relaxing, then the hair must be relaxed for 15 minutes or less then wrapped over night. Imagine going through a chemical bath and then being ironed immediately after. You won’t enjoy it much and your hair doesn’t too! You can risk it but if you are on a healthy hair journey it’s not worth it.

4. Wrong Use if Heating Tools
Sometimes we think we are straightening hair when in reality we are actually frying or roasting the hair.

Heating tools don’t have to be crazy hot or smoking before you use them on your hair. Always makes sure its temperature is 350F or less. Never use heating tools with exposed metal. Rather it should have a ceramic coating.

5. Using Wrong Products
Always make sure the products you are using for your hair are authentic and actually meant for hair. Especially shampoos! Dish washing liquid soaps do not qualify as shampoos (I know for a fact some people use it) and products that contain alcohol are not the best.

Also a very good conditioner goes a long way so try to invest in one. We all have different personalities, and so does our hair. Whatever relaxer or hair cream works for you might not for me. Try to find those products that leave your hair feeling and looking good and healthy.

6. Blanketing with Pomade
Imagine wearing 5 layers of clothing in this hot weather. Unbearable right? Well that is what some of us do to our hair. Attempting to make it lie flat or look shiny, we apply too much oil and cream that our hair can’t even breath…poor thing. Hair creams are meant for your scalp mainly but you can also use it sparingly on your ends.

7. Towel Drying Wet Hair Aggressively
Almost everyone does this, even at salons. Wet hair is very fragile and it doesn’t take much to make it snap. Towels may be fluffy and innocent looking to you, but you hair doesn’t think so. Especially when it’s being attacked so aggressively.

The issue is, most people think the harder they rub, the faster the hair dries. True but at what cost? The friction between the towel and hair causes a lot of damage. It’s best to pat hair dry and then carry on with the drying process with a blow drier.

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Are you guilty of any of these hair sins? No need to worry. Just remember that only health hair can grow long.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime/Sam74100

Ojuolape Asekun is a beauty enthusiast with a degree in Chemical Engineering. She is also  the founder of Beauty Geek, an online platform through which she expresses her passion for helping others become beautifully confident Website: www.beautygeekng.com

15 Comments

  1. Nemyinspired

    January 27, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Thanks so much for the educative article. But what are the solutions for someone with a natural hair since we are not suppose to comb our hair too frequently.

    • whocares

      January 27, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      @Nemy – finger comb. I only do it once a week also. lool. but you are talking to ‘team my hair is usually in twists out and my coil definition makes my hair looks like dreds’- that might be why I am not a fan of combing my hair really cos it will just never work. What I do instead is finger comb whilst I am conditioning to untangle (sometimes I also dedicate an hour or two to untangle) and then only comb it or the tips when I am about to twist.. It will be tiny portions cos of the size of my twists, so it never gets combed together as a while if that makes sense? I have a friend who can comb hair for the Olympics. she just enjoys it.

  2. beauty

    January 27, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Nice, but I’m investing in wigs instead…

  3. whocares

    January 27, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    I don’t do any of the above, yet my hair is not growing oooo. egba mi ooooo. That hair combing business I have never understood it. I hate combing my hair. It’s a weekly thing only when I am about to do my twists and its just the ends I comb. loool. But back to my hair growth issue. I tell myself that so long as my hair is healthy I don’t care about the length (yimu) beht I CARE. I care a lot. lol. I have decided it might be internal ‘cos externally, my hair care regime is good. So good ladies, gentlemen and others in between or not in the category- help a lady out by recommending vitamins for hair growth.. Thank yu 🙂

    • Abasi mbok

      January 27, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      Have you tried Hairfinity?

    • o

      January 27, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      try and add a lot of onions to your meals. it helps. I do nothing to make my hair grow, yet it does. But i eat a lot of onions. Also just reduce all the products and let it breathe. It will grow. and also do more protective styling, braids and weaves, so you manipulate your hair less and it grows inbetween the styles.

    • Susan

      January 27, 2016 at 11:54 pm

      Please do not use hairfinity. Add onions to your diet, also add foods high in iron and calcium to your diet and drink lots of water. For supplements you can use b complex vitamins. Also, buy essential oils like peppermint and tea tree; they promote blood circulation and trigger(s) hair growth. You can get them from Estella’s Pride or Vanity Oils.

  4. halima

    January 27, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    I don’t worry about all these. Natural hair me! Just use shear butter and home made coconut oil. I always wear my hair in braids and oil frequently. My personal hair routine since 2014.

  5. Derin

    January 28, 2016 at 2:21 am

    My hair has too much dandruff. …pls help me

    • mimi

      January 28, 2016 at 4:42 am

      Oil your scalp with coconut oil before everywash. Use mentholated shampoo. Can the article writer please edit out something. Hair is made from living cells but the cells are dead before they come out of your scalp. It is the reason why hair can’t be truly repaired once you can see it, you can only do want i describe as patch work. Also simply washing your hair with water will make it lose protein, but for sure, the harsher the chemical used on hair the more damage it does.

    • A Lagos Wife

      January 28, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Rub Garlic on your scalp before washing. You can do this every week or as often as you like. Hope it helps.

    • DD

      January 28, 2016 at 3:15 pm

      Garlic !! Garlic kei?. just sounds wrong, but please explain why one should use garlic

    • whocares

      January 28, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      @Lagos wife- I have heard of this garlic thing mixed with some other things (I have a pakistani friend who was regaling me with tales of how he made a garlic and cayenne pepper mixture and rubbed it on his scalp.. Rabi is still bald as a plucked chicken. lool.
      @Susan- Thank you. Vitamins. I am def in the process of looking up good ones now and I was doing a bit of research on hairinfinity as well. Essential oil wise I do have tea tree, castor oil..
      @O-to be honest I rarely do protective styles.lol. I need to invest in a good wig, I have been saying that for a year now. lol.
      @Abasi Mbok- thank you. I am researching hair infinity now. I dunno yet. But its easily accessible so that’s good at least.

      Thank you ladies 🙂

  6. Koffie

    January 28, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    I suffer from severe dandruff and was called Flaky by a dear one ? I think you should first figure out what triggers your dandruff and avoid it. I think my triggers are sulphuric shampoos and all those oil sheen hairspray, hair mousse and other nonsense hairdressers dish out. I started using Shea Moisture’s ABS shampoo and conditioner and that’s about the only product that give me relief. For all I know, there might be nothing special about the product and it might just be the lack of sulphur in it. Dunno. You should also make a spray bottle solution with water, glycerin, tea tree oil and any other oil you like (please Goya anointing oil isn’t olive oil). Spray your scalp every morning and wash your hair every two weeks. You’ll be fine

  7. Sadia

    February 1, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Sorry,there is something i dont agree with in the article,you are not supposed to leave your ends dry.The ends of your hair are the weakest strands so they need the most moisture and care,also loading your scalp with cream is bad it causes itchiness,I’m talking from personal experience

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