50 Surprising Things That Are Seriously Damaging Your Hair And Scalp

Linda White

We don’t often think about what might be affecting our hair on a daily basis. That is until we start noticing things like frizz, breakage, thinning hair, or even dandruff and flaking. Your hair and scalp are often good indicators of your overall health. Many things can affect the health of your hair in general, whether you have thicker hair or thin hair.

Some of these factors are more ‘natural’ than others. Unfortunately, those are typically the things we don’t usually think about. Other aspects of what could be harming your tresses include what you use every day to wash, style, or treat your hair. You can exfoliate the scalp and keep your harm clean without causing further harm.

Finally, hair damage can be caused by certain lifestyle choices and even psychological factors. There are so many possibilities, and it’s important to know which of these factors might be affecting you.

Does your hair look dry or damaged? Do you want to recover from frizzy hair? The first step is knowing what might be causing the problem in the first place. Once you understand the issue, you can take the right steps toward treating it.

50 Things That Damage Hair the Most

You might be surprised to learn there are so many factors that can affect your locks. But, they can all cause harm in one way or another.

Thankfully, most of these causes have treatments, or they can be reversed with a few simple changes. We’ll not only cover the causes themselves but what you can do to put the shine back in your hair and restore it back to health.

Some of these factors may do more damage than others. When not taken care of, some can lead to hair loss or hair thinning. Others may affect your scalp as well and cause flaking or dandruff. Let’s dive into some of the most surprising things that may be affecting your hair. You may not realize how many of these factors might be damaging your hair on a daily basis.

  1. Ponytails

If you have long, thick hair, you probably tie it up fairly often. People with longer hair often pull it back to get it away from their face, or as a styling choice. Unfortunately, tight ponytails can cause hair damage.

Have you ever removed a ponytail after a long day of having your hair up? If your scalp feels sore or itchy, there’s a good chance you had your hair pulled back too tightly. When you pull too hard on your locks, it can affect the roots near your scalp. This can cause hair thinning and irritation. You might notice your hair starting to pull out easier.

When you do tie your hair back, choose a low, loose ponytail instead. Or, opt for looser styles like a messy bun. Different hair accessories can also be beneficial. Some people wonder if claw clips damage hair. They are much safer than a tight hair tie if you clip your hair loosely. Head scarves and cloth head bands can also help. As long as you’re not pulling or tugging on the hair in any way, you’re making a healthier choice.

  1. Hairspray

Some over-the-counter cosmetic products can be harmful to your hair and scalp. For as popular as hairspray is, it can also be incredibly damaging. It all depends on the ingredients used in your Hairspray’s formula.

The more chemicals involved in a formula, the worse it likely is for your hair and scalp. Sprays that contain the following can be harmful:

  • Ethanol
  • Parabens
  • Alcohol
  • Fragrances

Most people associate hairspray with alcohol. Unfortunately, it’s the alcohol in these sprays that can dry out your hair. This gives it the appearance of looking frizzy and broken. It can also dry out your scalp. Does hairspray cause hair loss? It can if the scalp dries out too much. It can also clog the pores of your scalp, making it harder for new hair to grow.

Sprays like Free & Clear can give you the hold you need without all of the harmful chemicals. If you have to use hairspray to style your hair, try to choose one with ingredients you can trust. Avoid as many of the chemicals listed here as possible.

  1. Hair Dye

Hair dye is one of the driving forces of the salon industry. Whether you choose to dye your hair at home or have it professionally done, it’s not uncommon to want a fresh color or highlights. Unfortunately, dyeing your hair can cause a lot of damage.

Many hair dyes contain ammonia. The ammonia is needed to lift the cuticle of your hair and allow the dye to seep in. While it makes the color last longer, it weakens the hair. It can eventually make it look brittle, or even straw-like.

There are safer ways to dye your hair. There are even alternatives to permanent colorings, such as sprays and hair gel or chalk. One of our favorites is the SOOKOO 6 Color Hair Chalk Set. Sets like these allow you to add some funky colors to your hair without damaging it.

If you want to dye your hair permanently, or get highlights, it’s best to go to a professional salon. Talk to your colorist beforehand about different ways to protect your hair, and which coloring options are the safest.

  1. Bleaching

Bleaching your hair and dyeing it tend to go hand-in-hand. Not everyone bleaches hair before adding color, but if you do, it could be causing even more lasting damage. Bleach is meant to strip your hair of its color. Unfortunately, bleach strips essential oils and nutrients.

Your scalp naturally produces sebum, which gives your hair its shine. Bleach can strip away those oils and leave your hair looking frizzy and dry. It can also lead to scalp irritation like itching and redness.

Finally, when you bleach your hair, you make it more susceptible to damage from styling tools such as flat irons and hair dryers.

If you do decide to bleach your hair before coloring it, try using a deep conditioning treatment beforehand. This will help to protect your hair from any extra damage the stripping may cause.

  1. Getting a Perm

Getting a perm or hair relaxer may give you the style you want, but a perm could severely alter the health of your hair in the process. The chemicals used in this particular treatment can leave your hair dry, brittle, and prone to breaking off easily.

After getting a perm, you may be expecting new, healthy hair growth. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. The ammonium thioglycolate solution used in the process can inhibit new hair growth and change the overall texture of your locks. Some people even experience permanent frizz after getting a hair relaxer.

Finally, a perm can be painful. Not only can the chemicals irritate the scalp, but you’re winding your hair into tight curls throughout the process. As you already learned from having a ponytail, pulling the hair too tightly can cause damage and even hair loss.

An apple cider vinegar rinse can help your hair and scalp to recover.

  1. Blow Drying

Direct heat of almost any kind on the hair can cause damage. Unfortunately, many of the tools we use to style our manes take heat to work. One of the biggest culprits is blow drying. Blow drying causes your hair to dry out quickly. It helps to get rid of the moisture on the surface (which is what you’re probably looking for). But, it also sucks away moisture that is needed to hydrate your hair.

This process causes the cuticles of your hair to become dry. When the cuticles are dry and brittle, it doesn’t take much to cause them to crack. Simply combing your hair or styling, it could cause a lot of breakages.

Ideally, you should let your hair air-dry. If that isn’t always a possibility, use a leave-in conditioner that can help to reduce water evaporation whenever possible. Heat protectant sprays are also useful. But, be sure to look at the ingredients before using one. Don’t use a heat protector that contains harsh chemicals.

  1. Washing Too Often

This is a commonly known reason for dry hair. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop many people from washing their hair almost every day. It’s understandable that you want to make sure your scalp and locks are clean. If you sweat a lot, washing your hair might be a necessity.

But, frequent washing leads to hair that is much easier to break. The shaft of the hair swells with moisture. This elasticity can lead to breakage.

If you can, try to use a dry shampoo for dark hair or a mild shampoo most days. Avoid products that suggest they are for deep cleansing, as they can strip your hair of oils when used too often. When you do wash your hair, focus more on the scalp and roots where there is typically a build up of oils. There are things you can do to keep your scalp healthy without washing.

  1. Brushing Your Hair Wet

You might think that brushing your hair offers the same effect no matter what. Brushing your hair when it’s wet, though, can cause damage. The reason is similar to the process behind showering too frequently. When your hair is wet, it becomes more elastic and is easier to break.

When you run a brush through long, wet hair, you’re more likely to experience breakage and frizz. Even brushing or combing dry locks can be damaging, but it’s worse when wet. If you can, use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to get rid of any tangles.

  1. Smoking Tobacco Products

Among the long list of problems that can be caused by smoking, hair damage is one of them. The smoke from cigarettes causes damage to the follicles. It makes them shrink up and reduces blood flow. When your follicles aren’t healthy, they can’t produce healthy hair. Any hair that does grow will likely be brittle, flat, and dull.

Because the follicles weaken, it can also lead to thinning and hair loss. When blood flow is restricted to the hair follicles, it can cause premature graying. If you’ve ever heard the expression that ‘smoking ages you,’ this is a perfect example. It can lead to gray hair, even in someone young.

As a final note, your hair and skin (including the skin on the scalp) tend to hold onto the smell of smoke. While this factor may not necessarily cause damage, it can be unpleasant for those around you. Unfortunately, people can also get a dry scalp when they quit smoking.

  1. Towel Drying the Hair

When you get out of the shower, the first thing you probably do is reach for a towel, right? That’s fine for your skin, but when it comes to your hair, towel drying could be harmful. Again, your hair is more susceptible to damage when it’s wet. When you rub wet hair with a towel, it can rough up the cuticle.

Since the cuticle is the outer layer of the hair, disturbing it can cause a lot of frizz and breakage. If you feel like you’re constantly battling fluffy, wavy hair, you may need to look into more resources on how to stop hair from going frizzy. In addition to not towel drying, specialized over-the-counter products may be needed. Instead of rubbing a towel across your head, blot your hair dry after a shower.

How to avoid damaging the hair and scalp

  1. Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol can wreak havoc on your tresses, and not many people know it. Alcohol of any kind dehydrates your body. Not only can it leave your skin feeling dry, but it can dry out your hair as well.

Dry hair, as you now know, is more susceptible to breaking, split ends, and frizz.

The obvious solution here is to limit your alcohol intake. Any time you do choose to have a drink or two, follow it up with as much water as possible to flush out the toxins of the alcohol. Try to pay attention to how it affects your skin and hair, as it can hit everyone with a different level of severity.

Many people who smoke often do so when drinking. Since we’ve already covered what smoking can do to your hair and scalp, it’s best to avoid drinking altogether if it leads to lighting up a cigarette. The combination can wreck your hair.

  1. Flat Irons and Curling Irons

We’ve already talked a little bit about how heat can harm your hair. So, imagine what direct heat from a flat iron or curling iron can do. Irons can hurt your hair differently than blow dryers. They can also cause different types of damage depending on whether your hair is wet or dry when you use them.

If you use an iron on wet hair, the moisture within the hair can burst, causing steam. This can make the cuticles get tiny ‘blisters.’ You can’t see the blisters with the naked eye, but it does cause breakage and split ends.

Using an iron on dry hair can crack the edges of the cuticles. Again, this can lead to split ends and breaking, and even ‘cracking’ of the cuticles.

Not using an iron at all is the best option. But, if you have to use one for styling purposes, be sure to use a heat protectant spray or a strong conditioning product that makes your hair harder to break.

  1. Dehydration

The effect of water on your hair is often overlooked, but it can make a big difference. Every single shaft of hair on your head is made up of ¼ water. When your body doesn’t get enough water, the hair becomes weak. This can lead to your hair looking limp, dry, and dull.

Getting enough water also helps your body to flush out toxins. If you don’t get enough and those toxins remain in your system, it can lead to insufficient hair growth and even hair loss. It shouldn’t be a surprise that when you aren’t hydrating yourself sufficiently, your hair will look and feel dry as a result. Try to drink as much water as possible for your overall health. The skin of your scalp will look and smell better, and so will your hair.

  1. Hard Water

While hard water isn’t harmful to your overall health, it’s not good for your hair and skin. Hard water has a high mineral content, specifically containing large amounts of calcium and magnesium. Unfortunately, these aren’t minerals that are going to make your hair strong and healthy.

When you wash your mane with hard water, the minerals can create a film on each strand of hair. This scaly build up prevents the hair from getting the moisture it needs. When moisture isn’t able to adequately get into the hair shaft, hair can appear dry, dull, and become tangled easily. It may even affect the color.

The best way to keep your locks looking silky is to use soft water if possible. If you have a water softener at home, make sure it’s in working condition. If you don’t, don’t worry. You can fight back against hard water with several home remedies. One of the most popular solutions is to use a vinegar rinse once a week. Simply mix one tablespoon of vinegar with three cups of water. Massage into your hair after shampooing, and then rinse away.

You can also use a clarifying shampoo as a weekly treatment option.

  1. Swimming

You probably wouldn’t want to swim in a pool that hasn’t been treated with chlorine. And, short periods of time in a pool likely won’t do much damage to your hair. But, if you regularly go swimming, the chemicals used to keep the area clean can do more harm than good to your scalp and hair.

Chlorine is used as a disinfectant. Disinfectants get rid of dirt, bacteria, and oil. Unfortunately, our scalp produces oil, and it’s necessary for healthy hair. Chlorine, much like the chemicals in certain hair products, can strip away those oils.

When your hair is stripped of its natural oils, it dries out. It also becomes more porous, which can make it more susceptible to breaking. The more porous your hair is, the more chemicals it can also absorb. That could lead to even more damage.

To help prevent chlorine damage, wear a swim cap and make sure to rinse your hair thoroughly with clean water after getting out of the pool. If your hair has already been damaged by this chemical, it’s likely that your scalp is dry, too. You may need to find a dry scalp treatment product, or use essential oils to heal your skin.

  1. Too Much Stress

Stress and hair loss can be directly related. Stress and anxiety can also cause dry scalp. When you are feeling anxious or stressed out, your blood vessels begin to constrict. This makes it impossible for your follicles to get the oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy. When your follicles aren’t getting what they need, they can’t produce healthy hair growth.

Additionally, when your body is tense, it burns more energy. That means more vitamins and nutrients are needed to keep it functioning properly. It will naturally use whatever nutrients it gets in areas that need it most, like the heart and brain. Unfortunately, the scalp isn’t a priority for this type of nutrient distribution, so it loses essential vitamins needed to be healthy.

It’s not always easy to avoid stress altogether. But, it’s important to take whatever steps you can to limit it. It’s not only damaging to your hair, but to your overall health. Find something that relaxes you, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises. Use them regularly to manage your stress levels, and you’ll likely notice a difference in the health of your hair.

  1. Too Much Time in the Sun

Sun damage can happen to anyone. However, people with light-colored or fine hair are even more susceptible. The sun contains UVA and UVB rays. If you spend too much time directly in these UV rays, they can cause problems for your hair. Some of the common issues caused by sun damage include:

  • Discoloration
  • Brittle strands
  • Split ends
  • Frizz
  • Thinning

Think of the rays of the sun working on your hair the same way bleach does. The best way to avoid sun damage is to protect your hair from the sun’s rays the same way you would protect your skin. Try going out earlier in the day, and wear a hat or use an umbrella to block out as much of the light from your head as possible.

  1. Too Much Time in the Cold

While spending too long in the hot sun can be damaging, the opposite kind of weather can be just as harmful to your hair. Cold weather pulls moisture from your hair. This can leave you with a dryness that can cause a dull color, and frizzy split ends.

Harsh winter temperatures can also affect your scalp and lead to flaking. Protecting your hair and scalp from the cold starts from within. It’s important to stay hydrated in the winter more than ever, so your hair has an added moisture barrier. Use moisturizing products when possible, and work to avoid other things that can damage your hair, like styling tools.

For more tips on how to protect your hair and scalp from freezing temperatures, check out these eleven critical things you’re forgetting to do.

  1. Eating the Wrong Foods

Your diet can greatly affect not only the cosmetic appearance of your locks but the overall health of your hair. You may not often think about how what you eat relates to your hair and scalp. But, hair is a great indicator of overall health. If you’re not getting the right nutrients, it will show.

One of the biggest issues is not getting enough protein. Protein is one of the essential building blocks of each strand of hair. If you’re not getting enough of it in your diet, it can shrink the diameter of the strands. This can leave your hair looking dull and thin. For better hair and scalp health, you also need a sufficient amount of:

  • Vitamins B, C, and D
  • Folic acid
  • Calcium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Not getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals can cause thinning and hair loss. It’s another reason crash dieting is never a good idea. A healthy head of hair starts from within, so be sure you’re eating vitamin-rich foods for thicker hair. Basing your diet around healthy, nutrient-rich foods is the easiest way to encourage strong, healthy hair. Your locks will look better, and you’ll likely feel better all around just from a few simple dietary additions or changes.

  1. Dirty Hair

You already know that washing your hair too frequently can cause problems. On the other hand, dirty hair won’t do you any favors, either. There is no perfect number when it comes to how often you should wash your hair. It could be different for everyone. But there are damaging things that can happen when you go too long without cleaning it.

First, your hair will hold onto dirt and debris. It also holds onto sebum. When there is a build up of that sebum, it could attract even more dirt. Not only will that give your hair a greasy look, but it can weigh it down. That weight can cause a lot of discomfort and irritation to the scalp. In turn, you might start itching the scalp. This can cause dandruff or even damage to your skin.

Not washing enough can cause your hair to lose its luster. Dirty hair holds onto dust particles and tends to be coarser than cleaned strands. This cloudiness makes it harder for the hair to reflect light, making it look dull and flat.

Find a balance of washing that works for you by using the right products, the right styling tools, and the right water temperature. A good shampoo to use is Paul Mitchell Tea Tree and Scalp Treatment.

  1. Hot Water

Washing your hair with warm water helps to cleanse your scalp. It also washes away oils from the scalp and won’t have any long term effects on the hair. However, there is a fine line between using warm water and hot water.

Using water that is too hot to wash your hair can be extremely damaging. It can wash away too many oils, leaving your scalp feeling dry and itchy. Additionally, this damage to the scalp can affect your hair follicles and cause thinning.

When there aren’t enough natural oils lubricating your scalp, your hair is more prone to breakage and frizz. Some people may even notice that their hair starts falling out. This is typically more common for those with thin or fine locks, but it can happen to anyone if hot water is used over an extended period.

While a nice hot shower can feel tempting at times, it’s best to wash your hair with warm, or even cool water. These lower temperatures will still cleanse the scalp and can help to seal in moisture. They won’t damage your hair in any way, and you’ll still get all the benefits of clean, healthy tresses.

  1. Excessive Exercising

Exercise is a great way to keep your body in shape and improve your overall health. The benefits of exercise far outweigh the risks and drawbacks. However, the benefits are only important if you’re working out the right way and being smart about it.

While regular exercise won’t likely affect your hair, a heavy exercise routine may start to create problems.

When you exercise excessively for long periods of time, it creates chronic stress within the body. This stress causes hair follicles to go into a ‘resting’ stage called telogen effluvium. When the follicles are at this stage, they don’t grow hair properly. Instead, they shed the hair. This can lead to thinning and in some cases, bald spots.

Regular exercise can be good for your hair. It boosts your overall health and encourages proper circulation. But, it’s important not to overdo it. If you’re working out a lot, be sure to listen to your body and any signals it may be giving you that you’re pushing too hard. You’re bound to see struggles elsewhere in your body first. If you start noticing extreme signs of stress or fatigue, it’s a good idea to cut back on the severity of your exercise regimen.

  1. Wearing Hats

While wearing hats or a head scarf can protect your hair from harsh cold or the sun’s UV rays, wearing them all the time may not be as beneficial. There is a long-standing myth that wearing hats can lead to hair loss. While there is not enough scientific evidence to prove this, it doesn’t mean hats can’t damage your hair.

Hats can be especially damaging for men or women who are already experiencing hair loss or thinning. If a hat is tight, it can potentially restrict the circulation to your hair follicles. This can cause shedding, and discourage new, healthy hair growth. Additionally, if you put on and remove a hat frequently throughout the day, you could be pulling at your hair each time. This could weaken the roots, and cause thinning.

Overall, hats may not cause hair loss on their own. If your genes are already working against you, wearing a hat every day could speed up the process. If you do wear a hat or scarf, be careful in how you put it on and take it off, try not to sweat too much in it, and make sure it fits properly.

  1. Not Enough Sleep

When you sleep, it gives your body a chance to restore and repair itself. You’ve probably heard that you need adequate sleep for things like muscle repair and better cognitive function. But, getting enough sleep can also affect your hair.

Without the right amount of sleep, your hair doesn’t have a chance to grow as thick, or as quickly. This can leave your tresses looking dull and flat, and can also lead to thinning and hair loss. A lack of sleep can affect your body’s immune system. Hair is often one of the first indicators of something being wrong within your body. If your immune system isn’t working properly, hair loss may be one of the first signs.

Everyone has different sleep patterns, and certain people can get by on less rest than others. You know your body better than anyone else. A night of restlessness here and there likely won’t do any damage. But, if you have a hard time falling and staying asleep on a nightly basis, consider looking for something that can help.

  1. Over-Brushing

Some old myths suggest that the more you brush your hair, the shinier and smoother it will be. Unfortunately, that isn’t true. In fact, over-brushing could be harming your locks, and it certainly won’t leave your hair looking shiny and glossy.

Brushing too frequently can cause stress on the root of the hair, and can eventually cause breakage. This can lead to frizz, split ends, and even hair loss. A good rule of thumb is to brush your hair once a day. The best time is right after waking up. Oils have had a chance to settle on your scalp overnight. Brushing in the morning will allow them to distribute throughout your hair, giving it more hold for styling.

If you can, style your hair or ‘brush’ it with your fingers instead of a comb or hair brush. This will create far less damage and potential breakage. Forget the old stories about brushing your hair for 100 strokes before bed each night. That will leave you with broken, frizzy hair!

  1. Hair Extensions

Hair extensions and weaves have become increasingly popular. They can give you longer, thicker hair, or change up your style and look completely. Most of the time, extensions are completely safe and won’t do any damage. Unfortunately, extensions that are too heavy can cause irritation and damage. A weave can cause dry scalp issues.

It’s important to avoid getting extensions that are heavier than your actual hair. If they are too heavy, they can pull the hair and cause breakage and stress at the root. If your real hair isn’t long enough or healthy enough to withstand the weight of extensions, they may not be right for you.

The best thing you can do is talk to a stylist about your different options when it comes to getting extensions. Some salons have different methods of putting them in, and some are safer than others. Choose a salon you trust and extensions that have a quality reputation before adding them to your hair.

  1. Avoiding Haircuts

You might think that getting your hair cut would cause unnecessary stress to it. Regular trims have multiple benefits for your locks, and avoiding cuts can leave your hair looking dull and damaged.

Regular haircuts can help to remove split ends, reducing the appearance of frizz. Split ends are always on the move. If you don’t get them trimmed away, they will continue to move up the strands of hair and cause even more breakage. Trimming them when they are still small can help to prevent this and leave your hair looking healthier.

You should aim to get your hair trimmed once a month or so. Between 4-6 weeks is the norm for most people. If you feel like you should get yours cut more frequently, talk to your hair stylist about different options. Ask for their opinion on how often you should trim it for optimum health.

  1. Too Much Conditioner

Using conditioner the right way, especially a deep conditioning treatment can be very beneficial to your hair. Too much conditioner, especially those that are meant for deep cleansing, can weigh your hair down. Even after rinsing it away, the residue left behind that is meant to lock in moisture can be too heavy.

You should always be sure to follow the directions listed on whatever conditioning treatment you’re using. It will work best when applied to the ends of your hair, especially if you’re prone to using too much. Always start with a thin layer. If you find you need a little more to get the deep conditioning benefits, you can add little by little each time you use it to find the perfect amount for your hair length and thickness.

Another common conditioning mistake is only using it in the shower. You can find light-weight misting conditioners that are meant to be used even when your hair is dry. These products can help to add moisture and shine to your hair (especially if you use a lot of heat tools) without adding a lot of weight and heaviness.

  1. Using the Same Shampoo and Conditioner All the Time

It is a myth that your hair gets ‘used to’ shampoo and conditioner over time. Using the same shampoo you used in high school won’t be the cause of any real damage. Your hair doesn’t get bored with certain formulas or stop responding to them.

However, that doesn’t mean sticking with the same shampoo and conditioner is always a good thing. You should change your regular products based on different factors. These include things like:

  • Your age – Your hair changes as you age. It may need different things now than it did ten years ago to be healthy. One of the biggest issues with aging hair is that it can become more brittle. So, you should use a shampoo and conditioning treatment that specifically combats against dryness and breakage.
  • The weather – If you live in an area with seasonal changes, you probably won’t want to use the same shampoo in the summer as you do in the winter. Match your hair care routine to your current environment. A moisturizing shampoo might be needed during the harsher winter months. In the summer, you might switch to a volumizing formula with less moisture, since your scalp will produce more oil.
  • Your diet – Diets change from time to time. Whether you’re consciously trying to change your eating habits, or they just naturally change with different tastes, you should choose your hair products based on what you’re putting in your body. If you’re getting enough essential fatty acids by eating a lot of red meats, fish, avocado, etc., you can probably use a shampoo with fewer moisturizing properties. If you have a lean, low-fat diet, your hair could start to look dry and brittle, and you should use a shampoo and conditioner that adds moisture and volume.
  1. Using the Wrong Pillowcase

If you’ve ever woken up with a stereotypical ‘bed head,’ you could be showing signs of damaged hair. Our hair doesn’t just get messed up when we sleep for no reason. Often, it’s because we’re using the wrong pillowcase.

Cotton pillowcases are affordable and comfortable. They’re what most people have as a staple on their beds. But, cotton pillow cases don’t do anything good for your hair, except turn it into a mess.

Cotton can be quite a rough material on hair. If you notice strands of hair on your pillow each morning, it could be because the fabric is causing your hair to experience breakage. Additionally, the natural oils from your hair can get soaked up into the fabric, too. Not only can that leave your locks feeling dry, but it can also cause skin issues. When the oils soak into the pillowcase from your hair, they can then transfer to your face. Excessive oil on the face and scalp can lead to acne breakouts.

To save your hair from nightly damage, invest in a silk or satin pillowcase. Not only will it feel great on your skin, but it will keep your hair from drying out and breaking. It may cost a bit more upfront, but you’ll be saving yourself from a lot of damage control in the long run.

Things that we all do that cause damage to our hair

  1. A Wet Up-Do

We’ve already covered that ponytails and hair that is pulled back when it’s dry can cause damage. So, imagine what could be happening to hair that is pulled up when it’s wet. Wet hair is far more susceptible to harm. It can break and split easily.

While putting your hair into a messy bun when it’s wet can be convenient and is even ‘in style,’ you could be doing a lot of harm in the process. If you ever have put your hair up when wet, take a look at the elastic band you used once you remove it. If there is a bunch of hair still ‘stuck’ on the hair tie, that’s, even more, proof of the damage that could be going on.

Take the time to let your hair air dry whenever possible. If you’re in a hurry, blow drying is an option as long as you use a heat protectant spray. But, avoiding pulling your hair up at all when it’s wet. It will cause stress on your locks throughout the day, and could eventually lead to thinning.

  1. Hot Rollers

Hot rollers can cause double the amount of damage. Not only does the heat cause problems, but it’s the pulling action required to set the rollers that can make an even bigger mess. When you use hot rollers that are too tight, you’re essentially pulling on the roots. This creates constant tension for quite awhile since you have to leave rollers in for several minutes.

If you use hot rollers frequently, that tension at the roots can cause your hair to fall out. That constant pulling action combined with potential drying from heat can leave your hair looking dry and frizzy, instead of thick and curly.

Use a heat protectant spray before curling your hair with rollers, and aim for bigger, looser curls. You can achieve that look without having to pull so much on your hair and roll it up so tightly.

  1. Bobby Pins

Many people use bobby pins to keep a certain style in place. They’re great for securing pieces of your hair, but they also could be ruining it in the process. Bobby pins take hold of the hair tightly. While that keeps it where you want it, they often dig into the hair shaft and can cut it. Some people rely on these pins to keep their hair in place and style it properly.

The good news is that you don’t have to give up on them completely. To keep your hair safer from damage, just try to lessen your use of bobby pins, or move them around in different places each day. This will give your scalp and hair time to heal and won’t continuously cut at the same spot.

  1. Sweating Too Much

We’ve already covered that working out too much can cause dry hair and an itchy scalp. But, it’s also important to focus on the sweat that can be caused from that workout or simply from everyday activities and habits.

Sweat moistens your hair, which already increases its susceptibility to damage. Sweat also contains quite a bit of salt. When left to rest on your hair and scalp, the salt can pull away color from dyed hair. It can also dry out your scalp by pulling away moisture. This can prevent new strands from growing. Going too long without treating this problem can eventually lead to noticeable hair thinning.

Whenever you know that you’ve sweat a lot, whether after a workout or just a long day, taking a few extra steps to protect your hair. First, use a leave-in conditioner before working out. This will help to keep moisture locked in. Rinse your roots with cold water as soon as you possibly can after sweating more than normal. This will help to rinse away the salt that can draw moisture from the scalp.

  1. Having a Baby

Giving birth is a beautiful, natural event. However, any woman who has done it knows that having a baby is a stressful and traumatic experience. Your body recognizes that as well. When you give birth, your body can become so stressed that it essentially goes into ‘survival mode.’ All of your energy goes into protecting the basic functions of your body.

Because of this single event, many women experience hair loss a few months after they have a baby. Additionally, hormone changes can affect your hair. During pregnancy, your hormones can seem to be all over the place, because they are shifting. In most cases, your hair will return to its normal state as things within your body calm down again.

  1. Anemia

Anemia is a sign of iron deficiency. Even with a healthy diet, some people can experience it and it needs to be treated and/or managed. If it isn’t anemia can affect your hair among other things. If your body isn’t getting the iron it needs, your hair could become weak. Not only will this reduce the speed of healthy hair growth, but it could cause existing strands to fall out faster.

To help with anemia, your doctor will likely suggest a diet filled with iron-rich foods. In some cases, iron supplements may be needed, as well as Vitamin B. Again, your hair is a great indicator of health issues. If you feel you are taking proper care of it and it’s still weak and brittle, see a doctor who can make sure there aren’t other underlying health issues.

  1. Taking Certain Medications

For some people, prescription medications are needed to manage certain health issues. However, many of these prescriptions have been linked to hair thinning and loss. Some of the common medications associated with hair loss include:

If you have recently started a new prescription of any kind and you notice your hair starting to thin, talk to your doctor. Most medications have a list of side effects. If hair loss is one of them, ask your doctor what you can do to manage it effectively and safely.

  1. Using Harmful Products

Many hair care products you’ll find in big box stores contain chemicals that can cause harm to your hair. Even products that are designed to ‘fix’ a problem like frizz can end up causing even bigger problems. They might work for awhile, but they are nothing more than a short-term solution.

Many of these products will coat the strands with silicone. This gives your hair a smooth outer-coating and will reduce the appearance of frizz for awhile. But, that silicone layer is preventing your hair from absorbing the nutrients it needs.

Some products also contain alcohol, which will strip your hair of nutrients and natural oils. This leaves your locks dry, brittle, and easy to break. If you’re looking for regular hair care products that won’t cause damage, it’s best to go as natural as possible. Products that contain natural ingredients, like Christina Moss Naturals Organic Shampoo, are less likely to dry out your hair and scalp.

  1. Using Dirty Brushes

Unclean styling tools of any kind aren’t good for your hair’s overall health. Brushes can become riddled with bacteria, dead skin, and other debris. When you continue to use dirty brushes or combs on your hair, that debris can start to build up on your scalp and clog your pores. That can limit potential healthy hair growth.

Plus, if you’re unsure of the type of bacteria that could be growing on your brush, you never know what it could be doing to your hair and skin. Luckily, most styling tools are easy to clean. Soak your brushes and combs in a solution of water and baking soda for a couple of minutes, once a month, and let them air dry.

  1. Applying Too Many Products Every Day

Things like heat protectant spray, conditioners, and even shine serums can benefit your hair and scalp with regular use. Some products might feel like daily necessities. However, using too many sprays, gels, creams, and ointments all at once can weigh your hair down. This can leave it looking and feeling oily.

Hair that is too weighed down by products can cause tension against the root. Even worse, it can prohibit moisture from reaching the hair shaft. So while your hair may look glossy and shiny, it could be incredibly dehydrated on the inside. Eventually, that will catch up to you and could lead to breakage and frizz.

Decide on a few necessary products to use each day or alternate as needed. Keep the products as lightweight as possible to avoid weighing down your locks.

  1. Scratching Your Head

Many times, problems with the hair can also lead to problems with the scalp. Or, vice versa. Many of the causes of a dry scalp are similar, too. No matter the cause, don’t ignore an itchy scalp! Scratching at the skin underneath your hair too often can damage your roots and cause scarring. If your roots do become damaged, it could lead to potential hair loss.

The best thing to do is figure out what’s causing your itchy scalp to begin with. Some people simply scratch out of habit. Either way, avoid digging at your scalp for any reason. Not only could it cause more irritation for your skin, but your hair will suffer in the process.

Compulsive habits, such as scalp picking, can cause significant harm.

  1. Ignoring Your Purse

This may seem like a small and silly problem, but it actually can create more damage than you might think. If you have medium or long hair and carry a purse, think about how you toss it over your shoulder. Does it ever ‘snag’ on your hair? Chances are it does, more often than not, even when we’re not thinking about it.

This usually causes us to pull our hair to get it out from underneath the strap. The weight of the purse itself pulling on the hair can cause sudden tension to the roots. Then, trying to pull it out from the strap can create even more.

If this is done consistently, the follicles can become weak. Weakened follicles make it easier for hair to break. Be aware of how you put your purse on your shoulder, and try to avoid trapping your hair underneath the strap.

  1. Skipping Breakfast

You already know how important proper nutrition is for the health of your hair. So, be sure to kickstart your body with a nutritional boost each morning. When you don’t eat breakfast, your body uses stored vitamins and minerals to work for the most important bodily functions. Your hair often gets ignored in the process. Over time, that can lead to slow hair growth and even thin it out.

By keeping your body fueled with the right nutrients, you can make sure your hair is getting the attention it needs. It can be hard to find the time to eat on busy mornings, but even something small and portable is better than nothing!

  1. Brushing From the Roots

Did you know that the way you brush your hair can affect it? A proper brushing technique can make a world of difference. Never brush the strands from the roots at the start. Instead, begin with the ends of your hair. With each stroke of the brush, work your way up a little further, until you reach the roots. Then, you can make longer, smoother strokes.

This reduces the chance of hair getting tangled and pulled on, which can lead to breakage. If you often find a lot of hair in your brush after you use it, it’s because you’re brushing incorrectly. Use this technique to avoid pulling out your hair or breaking it.

  1. Not Taking Biotin

If you’ve ever seen supplements designed to promote healthy hair growth, they probably all have one ingredient in common: Biotin. Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin. It creates necessary enzymes for your body. But, it is often used to help with hair, skin, and nail growth. It can keep your hair from thinning, and encourage the growth of new hair.

If you don’t want to take a supplement, consider adding biotin-rich foods to your diet. Supplements specifically meant for hair health can be expensive and contain ingredients you don’t need. Stick with a healthy, well-balanced diet, and increase your intake of biotin instead.

  1. Using Hair Glue

If you want to do something like keep a wig in place or secure a weave, don’t turn to hair glue. Unfortunately, far too many people use glue as a viable option for keeping things secure on their scalp.

Not only can hair glue damage your hair line, but it can prevent growth at the edges. If your skin makes direct contact with the glue, it can even become irritated and discolored. This can lead to itching, which can cause even bigger problems with the scalp.

Even though hair glue is specifically designed for this purpose, it’s best to avoid using something with the word ‘glue’ in it when it comes to your hair. Try to find a different way to secure something in place, such as a strong-hold gel. Even bobby pins can be a better choice when they are used correctly and aren’t clipped to the same spot every time.

  1. Too Much Gel

Men and women alike use gel to give their locks hold and shape. While a small amount of this thick holding product isn’t harmful, using too much can be.

New hair has to be free and clear of any blockage to grow. Because the gel is so heavy, it mixes with the natural sebum produces by the scalp, as well as dead skin cells. This quickly creates a buildup that can prevent hair from growing. It also can create an itchy scalp that requires a clarifying shampoo to treat.

If you do want to use gel, just apply a thin layer each time. Make sure your hair and scalp are completely rinsed free of the product after every use, so there is less likelihood of a heavy buildup occurring.

  1. Picking Out Gray Hairs

If you’ve ever stood in front of the mirror plucking out gray hairs, it’s time to stop! It might be a myth that more gray hair will grow faster in its place, but pulling out hairs of any kind can cause damage.

Plucking out hairs causes damage to the follicle. If the follicles are repeatedly traumatized, you run the risk of infection. Additionally, a follicle that experiences this type of trauma will have a harder time encouraging new, healthy hair growth. If you have to get rid of grays, gently cut the strand away, or use a safe, non-chemical hair dye. Otherwise, you may have bald patches in place of gray hairs.

  1. Oral Birth Control Pills

Some women are more sensitive to hair loss and thinning. This becomes especially noticeable during hormonal changes. These women are also usually the ones who are sensitive to things like birth control pills. Some pills contain androgens. If you have an androgen sensitivity, it can cause hair loss.

If you find that your birth control pills might be contributing to your hair thinning, switch to a low-androgen formula. Many times, women with this sensitivity don’t realize they have it. A genetic test can confirm whether or not you do.

  1. Your Genetics

One of the biggest factors associated with hair loss, thinning, or other issues are genetics. There’s not much you can do to change the natural makeup of your body. Some conditions and factors are simply hereditary.

You’re aware of how your genetics work, so you can take steps to prevent hair problems. It’s never a bad idea to get a genetic test to confirm what your area of sensitivity. Both men and women can carry genes that lead to baldness. Knowing if you have these genes early on can help you to take steps to fight against it.

How Can I Prevent My Hair from Getting Damaged?

With so many possible ways to damage your hair, it might seem impossible to avoid all of them. Many of these factors play a part in our daily routines. You may have been doing some of these things for years without giving them a second thought.

The good news is that most of them don’t take a lot of effort to change. With a few minor adjustments, you can live a life that promotes healthy growth and thick, full locks of hair. Just giving your scalp a massage can promote better hair.

Keep these fifty things that can seriously damage your hair in mind on a regular basis. Once you know what might be causing damage to your hair and scalp, you can put a stop to it right away. Again, your hair can work as a great indicator of your overall health. Chances are, when you’re treating your hair well, the rest of your body will respond positively, too.

Copyright 2018 by DryScalpGone.