All kinds of things can damage hair and make it break off or get too dry. To protect your hair, be careful with-
- The sun (which is one reason why you should wear a hat when you go outside).
- Chemicals (such as chlorine) in pools (so you should wash your hair after swimming in a pool).
- Products and treatments that make hair curly or straight or change its colour.
- Things you use to style your hair, such as curling irons, flat irons and hair dryers (so don’t use them too much, especially if your hair seems to be getting drier or breaks easily).
Follow these simple tips from Dr. Rachita Dhurat-
- Wash oily hair more frequently. How often you wash your hair should be based on how much oil your scalp produces.
- If your scalp is oily or you are highly active with outdoor activities, you may need to wash it as often as once a day.
- If you have chemically treated hair, your hair may be drier, so you may want to wash it less frequently.
- If you see flakes in your hair, it could be dandruff. You can use an antidandruff shampoo. Talk to your dermatologist to help you decide on the best shampoo for you.
- Concentrate shampoo on the scalp. When washing your hair, concentrate on cleaning primarily the scalp, rather than washing the entire length of hair.
- Massage the shampoo into your scalp. Gently massage but don’t scrub the scalp too hard
- Rinse really well, until you don’t see any more bubbles on your hair. When you rinse the shampoo from your scalp, resist the temptation to rub vigorously and just let it flow through the length of your hair.
- Use conditioner after every shampoo if your hair is dry. For normal hair use a “2-in-1” shampoo, which cleans and conditions hair. Using a conditioner can significantly improve the look of damaged or weathered hair by increasing shine, decreasing static electricity, improving strength and offering some protection from harmful UV rays.
- Avoid manipulating wet hair -the most essential rule of hair care is to avoid manipulating wet hair. Hair shafts are most subject to fracture when wet. Wet hair should be initially detangled with the fingers and slightly dried, before detangling with a wide toothed comb. Further, all combing and brushing should be kept to a low minimum to avoid hair damage. Hair never needs 100 brush strokes a day. Use covered rubber bands made especially for styling hair.
- Let your hair air dry whenever you can. Hair dryers can be harmful. If you have a straight hair, let your hair dry a bit before you gently comb it.
- Use an antidandruff shampoo-If your scalp is itchy and flaky, it could be because you aren’t rinsing all of the shampoo out. Or it could be because you have something called dandruff.
- Protect hair when swimming. Protect your hair from the damaging effects of chlorine by wearing a tight-fitting swim cap and use a deep conditioner after swimming to replace lost moisture.
Hair damage occurs mainly because of over-use of hair cosmetics .Youngsters fall prey to the over- hyped advertisements of hair care products.
One of the common types of hair damage is split ends. Look really closely at the end of a hair, and you might notice that the end is split apart. You can’t repair split ends; all you can do is cut them off. Other common hair damage is formation of nodes on hair due to the cumulative effect of excessive shampooing, brushing, ironing of hair, hair cosmetics, sea bathing and sunlight leading to damage to cuticles of the hair shaft. The hair tends to be dry, brittle and lustreless. It may simulate dandruff or even pediculosis. Diagnosis depends on careful microscopy.
If dandruff is not under control even with usage of many anti-dandruff shampoos, then consult your dermatologist as it could be psoriasis of the scalp.
If your head has been extra itchy lately, and you think you feel things moving around on your scalp, you might have lice. They’re very common, especially in kids. You can get rid of them with an anti-lice shampoo.
When to see a dermatologist ?
If changing how you care for your hair, does not help you see healthier hair; you may want to see a dermatologist. Seeing a dermatologist is especially important if you are concerned about thinning of hair or hair loss.
Most causes can be stopped or treated. The sooner the problem is addressed, the better your results. The best doctor to see for hair problems is a skin doctor (dermatologist). That’s because hair grows out of your skin.