Hair is the crowning glory of man and is a valuable asset that deserves good care. Gorgeous hair is the body’s natural fashion accessory that can be braided, colored, styled, permed, cut etc. Well maintained hair enhances your personality and is the most important aspect of beauty and health. Beautiful hair flatters your features, face and skin whereas damaged hair makes you look dull and unhealthy. Hair is composed of 88 percent proteins. These are of hard fibrous type known as keratin. It is comprised of polypeptide chains and has been derived from the Greek word ‘poly’ meaning many and ‘peptos’ meaning digested.
Cause of hair damage:
The underlying causes for hair damage include:
Exposure to heat: This is caused by using blow dryers, hot curlers, heat lamps, straightening irons etc.
Environmental factors: Exposure to the sun, bright lights, tanning beds and excessive humidity also contribute to damaging the hair.
Use of mechanical devices: The use of various devices that are electronic in nature such as combs, brushes, curling irons etc. also lead to dull and damage hair.
Exposure to chemicals: Excessive use of chemicals including color, chemicals absorbed from the environment, pool chemicals, perms, relaxants etc. are also responsible for dry and brittle hair.
Inadequate diet: Lack of proteins and essential fatty acids in the diet also damages the hair.
Healthy looking hair is smooth and has a tightly closed cuticle layer preventing the inner cortex from drying out. It allows the hair to maintain its moisture, elasticity, strength and luster. Damaged hair is characterized by uplifted cuticle scales leading to dullness, decrease in luster and brittle hair. This kind of hair is dry, weak and hard to manage.
How to prevent hair damage?
Never blow dry your hair when it is dripping wet. Let it dry for a while and then blow dry it. Do not dry the hair completely and leave moisture. Try not to use a dryer for more than thrice a week.
Use a thermal protector when applying heat to your hair.
Proper grooming is the first step to fixing damaged hair. You can start by going in for good hair cut by removing split ends and adding a new bounce to the dull hair.
You must shampoo you hair on a regular basis and deep condition it. This must be followed by regular oiling on a weekly basis. Oil nourishes the roots and gives a shining, healthy look to hair. You can choose from a wide range of oils such as almond oil, olive oil, coconut oil or aloe oil.
Use a conditioner with an SPF of at least 15 or cover out your head while stepping out in the sun. This prevents the hair from getting damaged by direct exposure to the sun and pollution.
Colorants, perming lotions, bleaches etc. must be avoided. It is better to air oxidize
the perms instead of using a neutralizer.
Never brush wet or tangled hair.
Diet plays an important role in the growth and maintenance of healthy hair. A shiny mane is depended upon the quality and the quantity of nutrition. The lack of any nutrient can cause hair problems. A high protein diet rich in vitamin B, A, C, D and E along with the essential fatty acids also plays a vital role in maintaining the health of hair. Yogurt, cheese, meat, liver, fish, green vegetables, butter, broccoli, tofu etc. are great for beautiful hair. You can also include various vitamins and supplements in the diet along with a cod liver oil capsule. Exercise and adequate amount of rest also help enhance the hair texture and add volume. Exercise attributes to proper blood flow and sleep promotes the overall health of the body.