Beneath the Surface

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5 Habits That Are Damaging Your Hair

Is your hair frizzy, fragile or unhealthy looking? We’ve all been there. Hair care isn’t something that is always front of mind while we’re getting ready in the morning or prepping for a night out.

Causes of Hair Damage

To make hair care as easy as possible, we talked with board-certified dermatologists to see what common mistakes people make, and how to avoid them for healthier hair. Here are the top five unhealthy hair habits you should change now:

1. Washing hair by rubbing shampoo into the length of hair.

You should focus on gently massaging shampoo into your scalp. Many dermatologists recommend letting shampoo sit on the scalp for a few minutes to really let it do its job. When it’s time to rinse, let the shampoo flow through the length of your hair instead of rubbing it into hair.

2. Drying hair by rubbing it with a towel.

Hair is most fragile when it’s wet. Dermatologists recommend loosely wrapping your hair in a towel to absorb water. Resist the temptation to run your hair through a towel!

3. Brushing hair while it’s wet.

Once again, hair is most fragile and most prone to damage when it’s wet. If you have straight hair, let it air dry a bit before gently combing with a wide-tooth comb. If you have textured or curly hair, always comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb while it’s damp.

4. Pulling hair back tightly.

We would put wearing your hair in a tight ponytail, bun or braids into this category. Dermatologists recommend trying a different hairstyle that’s looser and doesn’t pull on your hair.

5. Brushing hair 100 strokes a day.

It seems like the image of Marsha Brady brushing her healthy-looking blonde hair 100 strokes a day has really stuck with us. But contrary to popular belief, hair never needs 100 brush strokes a day. Dermatologists say you should only brush and comb your hair to style it. A few other key points to remember are to always gently brush hair with a wide-tooth comb, avoid pulling and tugging as you brush, and remove tangles gently (using a moisturizing conditioner to help).

Still Having Trouble with Getting Healthier Hair?

If you follow these simple hair care tips and do not see healthier hair, you may want to see a dermatologist. The sooner a problem is addressed, the better your results will be. To help you fit an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist into your busy schedule, try DermatologistOnCall. Simply create a free account; upload photos of your condition; and receive a diagnosis, treatment plan, and any necessary prescriptions – all within 24 hours on average.

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