If you have had a consultation at Medi Tresse or have read our blogs, you probably know how strongly we feel about the importance of a hair-healthy hair care routine. While this may seem obvious, the truth is that many of the most common styling techniques can actually cause damage to our hair. When some of these styling techniques are used over and over, they can actually cause hair loss. Today we will review 4 of the most common styling techniques that we see from patients in our office and why we have concerns about their overuse.
For women experiencing hair loss, hair extensions often seem like a quick fix. Extensions can be clipped, glued on hair strands, or sewn around other strands. Extensions not only damage the hair itself, but if left in for a long period of time, they can actually damage the follicle leading to traction alopecia. If you want to put in extensions for a single event or a few days and have them taken out, that should be fine, but they should never be left in for more than a week and should not be used repeatedly.
We are all guilty of using heat to style our hair. Whether it is a blow dryer that we turn up a little extra to dry faster or a straight iron to free us from all those frizzy hairs, we all have used heat. The problem for our hair is that all of this heat actually damages the keratin making it more fragile. The hair has no way to repair itself so continued use of heat with no repairing products will cause your hair to be brittle and lead to breakage. While we strongly recommend turning down the heat, for those that do style with heat, it is so important to add moisture back to the hair with hydrating serums and deep conditioners.
It is estimated that 70% of women have their hair colored at some point. Going from darker to lighter color requires bleaching which is hard on the strands leaving them brittle and dry. It strips the pigment from the shaft via “oxidation”, which opens up the cuticle so the chemicals can fully penetrate. The break in the cuticle leaves the hair more porous and therefore more prone to other things to damage it including styling, hot combs, dryers, straighteners, etc. The results can be dry, brittle, stiff, split ends, and breakage. While it is best not to bleach the hair, if you do, it is important to have a good conditioning routine to repair the hair.
A tight ponytail is a very common hairstyle. For those of us with young daughters, you know that a ponytail is sometimes the only way to keep their hair out of everything. However, we need to be careful about utilizing this hairstyle every day, especially if it is a tight ponytail. Over time, the constant pulling on the hair away from the follicle can actually damage the follicle and lead to hair loss. It is usually seen initially along the frontal hairlines and margins or edges where the most pulling is exerted. Initially, the hair loss should be reversible if the styling method is changed. However, it can become permanent if not corrected as it causes atrophy or shrinkage of the follicle, and the hairs get smaller and then stop growing. Wearing a tight ponytail once in a while is not a problem, but it is best to refrain from wearing one every day.
How to Recover?
For some of us, these hairstyling techniques are a necessary evil and we are not expecting anyone to get scared straight but there are some practices that can help your hair stay healthier and stronger.
Give your hair a break from time to time. We all need a little R&R and our hair is no different
Give your hair a little extra love and support. Hair that has been colored, or is styled often will love the extra hydration and moisture. Our Keratin Deep Conditioner or the Hydrating Serum is infused with natural ingredients that help your hair recover faster.