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Top Causes of Damaged Hair

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Besides just plain old hair abuse, damage to your hair usually falls into four categories. Knowing the type of hair damage that you have will help you to better manage your hair, prevent future damage and understand the best method of treatment.

Everyone knows that the perms, relaxers, straighteners and colors that give us the looks we want, in this immediate gratification world, can do more harm than good to the condition and health of our hair. Chemical treatments can be damaging if they are not done right but what is really doing the damage to your hair may surprise you. Here are the top causes of damaged hair in order of severity.

chemical damage4. Chemical Damage

Most women undergo chemical treatments six to eight times per year to help improve the appearance of their color and texture or to change up their hairstyle. Chemical treatments like, highlights and coloring can have serious consequences on the health of the hair if they’re not done properly. This is because chemical treatments changes the chemical and physical structure of the hair.

Also, products with ingredients that dry out the hair can cause excessive tangles and frizziness. This can leave the hair looking dull, dry and feeling brittle. Another culprit of chemical hair damage is heat damage. Heat appliances such as flat irons and blow-dryers can remove the necessary moisture from the surface of the hair cuticles, resulting in brittle dry hair which then can cause breakage.

physical damage3. Physical Damage

This is the most common type of hair damage and it can have a serious effect on your hair. Physical hair damage is from hairstyles and manipulations that can compromise the health and strength of your hair. Although ponytails and buns are quick and easy to do, when done too often and too tight, they can cause a strain on the edges of the hair which can result in a receding hair line or breakage at the point of attachment.

Physical damage can occur when braids are too tight and heavy. Particularly braided hairstyles that are left in for too long and are not well taken care of.  Another example of physical damage occurs during detangling and styling. Excessive detangling can result in split ends and eventually, breakage. Whether you detangle with a comb or with your fingers, it’s important to keep in mind that the less you rip out tangle to detangle your hair, the more likely it will remain healthy and the less split ends and hair damage you’ll have.

sun damage2. Environmental Damage

People underestimate the power of the sun. The sun is one of the most damaging elements that your hair is exposed to. The condition of the environment that you live in can also help to contribute to the overall health of your hair. If you have hard water, it can affect the look, feel and shine of you hair. Hard water leaves mineral deposits on the hair which builds up overtime and eventually affects the amount of moisture your hair can take in.

Environmental factors, such as wind, cold air, temperature variations and changes in air humidity can also damage your hair. The static and dry winter air can contribute to moisture loss, leaving your hair dry. Also, the constant change from the cold outdoor air to the warm indoor air can cause the cuticle layers of your hair to loose moisture quickly. Environmental effects on your hair cannot be avoided, but they can be better managed by the way you adjust your hair regimen to fit the circumstances in your environment.

stress damage1. Internal Damage

Although hair is not alive, the follicles are. Proper nutrition is needed for the blood vessels to carry nutrients to your individual hair follicles. Medications and other internalized chemicals such as hormones can also drastically affect the health of your hair. When your  body isn’t receiving adequate nutrients, or is dealing with an illness or an internal change it re-prioritizes the distribution of the nutrients that it receives.

The hair follicles will be last on your body’s priority list. As a result, the condition of your hair can be compromised. This is why any nutritional deficiency typically shows first in your hair. Also, the growth and appearance of your hair can be affected by stress. Hair damage that occurs as a result of stress can only be resolved after your body has returned to its healthier stress free state.

The good news is that, although hair damage occurs in a variety of ways, the most effective way to keep the hair healthy is by minimizing damages that are in your control. You can treat your hair and body right and it will transform your hair and your life.

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