For many people, their hair is one of their defining features. Hair not only protects your scalp from a harsh environment, but it can also be styled to describe one’s personality. Nowadays, the focus on color and cut by hair stylist makes one’s hair a focal point for fashion and self-expression. Unfortunately, today’s hair styling techniques coupled with the damaged global climate has disastrous effects on a person’s hair. This article will discuss the impact of environmental damage to a person’s hair and how to protect your hair from this damage.
What Are The Different Environmental Factors Affecting One’s Hair?
When one considers hair loss and damaged hair, it is common to think of over-use of dyes or hair products. Yet, environmental factors may be the most dangerous when it comes to hair damage and loss. Statistics have shown that exposure to the sun, desalinated water, and even air conditioning can be bad for the hair on your head. Below is a description of each of these factors.
- The Sun
Research has found that damaged hair is particularly noticeable among individual’s living in dry and hot climates. When exposed to the sun, the heat will dry the oil from the hair follicles; thereby, creating a brittle hair strand. If one continues to expose the hair to sunlight, the hair will become thin, and the scalp will experience sun damage. This is why wearing a hat is so important in warm and sunny climates.
- Desalinated Water
If your country’s tap water is safe to drink, then the chances are likely that it is desalinated water. When water is desalinated, it has undergone a procedure where the salt from seawater has been removed. This may be safe to drink; however, it can have side effects on a person’s scalp, hair, and skin. A common response to drinking desalinated water for men and women is hair loss and brittle hair.
How does this happen? When water undergoes desalination, it is exposed to chemicals and the use of chlorine. The chlorine can have a negative effect on a person’s body and can result in brittle hair. The water can also trigger scalp build-up that can result in hair breakage, hair loss, and dandruff. It’s a difficult truth to manage knowing that drinking water can cause hair damage.
- Air Conditioning
While many people enjoy the effects of air conditioning during both the summer and winter months, it can be a detrimental item to use. The heating and cooling mechanisms dry the air removing moisture from a person’s hair. Moreover, using an air conditioner will expose one to environmental extremes when moving from hot conditions outdoors to very cool air indoors. The change may be pleasing to your body, but can be damaging to your hair.
What Techniques Can Be Used To Protect Hair From Environmental Damage?
- Shampoo With Care
Regardless of whether you have dry or oily skin, a person’s hair can become greasy in the summer. This is typically due to people sweating during the summer and the perspiration being “caught” in their hair. During this time, most people feel the need to wash their hair every day – particularly if you live in a hot climate and have long hair. However, washing each day can be detrimental and may result in other problems if you are not careful.
Contrary to popular belief, washing your hair on a daily basis can be damaging if you do not use the correct hair care products. Constantly washing your hair can place the hair at risk of breaking and the drying action of shampoos can, in fact, make the hair oilier. To avoid these problems, it is recommended that you opt for mild shampoos that regulate sebum production. Sebum is the oil within hair strands and needs to be controlled to avoid hair damage.
- Avoiding Hot Tools And Styling Techniques
As is mentioned above, the heat from the sun can greatly damage one’s hair; as a consequence, the use of hot tools to style one’s hair can be as detrimental. This being the case, it is better to reduce any additional heat by avoiding hot styling tools. For example, by using a blow-dryer at a high setting, you will remove the oil from the hair and increase brittleness. If you feel the need to use a blow-dryer, it is recommended that you opt for the lowest setting available.
It should also be noted that excessive heat can result in scalp infections which can trigger hair loss. If you find yourself facing infections, such as psoriasis, it is necessary to use suitable scalp treatment options. Try to avoid scratching the area and use oils or shampoos to moisturize the scalp.
- Using Home Remedies
Many people who can afford to do so will attend hair spas and have a hair mask applied to deal with potential hair damage; however, there are several home remedies that are just as effective. The popularity of organic treatments has made natural oil-based therapies easy to access and simple to use. To treat damaged hair, it is recommended that you condition the hair with beneficial ingredients including almond oil, coconut oil, or aloe vera.
- Tips For Protection From Sun Exposure
While shampoos and deep conditioners can be beneficial to treat hair damage, there are some daily tips that can help reduce sun damage. Firstly, it is recommended that people who color their hair attempt to wear hats or scarves when in the sun. Colored hair is more at risk than non-colored hair and taking this precaution can reduce the risk of hair damage.
It is also advised that one avoid perspiration by styling the hair in a specific way. This does not mean going “all out”, but merely using a ponytail or braid to avoid any frizz that comes with sun exposure.