Many of us are unknowingly guilty of a number of hair don’ts that prevent our hair from becoming as healthy and strong as it can be. This stops now! Experts Edith Mehlwana, Judy Mngadi and Abdul Banza from Jeauval Hair Salon tell us exactly which habits we need to cut out.
1. Relaxing incorrectly
Relaxing regularly is necessary if you choose to keep your hair chemically straightened, but unfortunately it's very common to do this too often. Exposing your hair to the harsh chemicals in relaxers by using them frequently, or leaving the relaxer in your hair for longer than is advised, weakens hair and leaves the scalp sensitive.
Professionals suggest relaxing hair every 10 to 12 weeks, and adding protein and moisture treatments to your hair care regime at home.
2. Ignoring braided or weaved hair
Having your hair neatly tucked away doesn't mean that you don't have to give it as much care and attention – a maintenance routine is a must and helps prevent product build up and hair breakage. Use a natural oil to moisturise daily, and wash and condition your hair every two weeks.
When washing, dry braids by first absorbing the water with a towel and then leaving them to air-dry. For weaves use a blow dryer, directing the heat first at the tracks to make sure that hair dries thoroughly to prevent mildew from forming.
3. Avoiding the scissors
Some of us try to retain length by not trimming our hair regularly, an approach that harms your locks in the long run. Age, use of heat and a lack of moisture all cause damaged and split ends, which eventually result in thin, unhealthy hair that tangles.
And although many products promise to "repair" your split ends, this is only a temporary solution and the hair will eventually break. Keep your hair as healthy as possible by getting a professional trim every six to eight weeks.
4. Applying too much heat
It's very easy to reach for a straightener or curling iron every time you want to style your hair, but doing this on a daily or weekly basis, especially to chemically treated hair which is weaker, leaves it feeling dry, rough and looking dull.
Cut down on the use of heat-styling tools, and when you do use them, make sure to apply a leave-in conditioner to retain moisture and a heat protectant. Give your hair a break by opting for heat-free styles such as plaits, twist or braid outs, and various updos whenever possible.
5. Misusing products
So you've finally found your miracle hair product, but are you using it correctly? For example, applying too much moisturiser weighs your hair down, while other bad habits such as conditioning your hair over night when the product suggests 20 minutes, or using a styling product to add moisture, can compromise your attempts at growing healthy hair.
It is very important to pay close attention to the instructions on your chosen hair care products in order to get the most out of them.
Caring for your child’s hair
As excited as you may be to start experimenting with your little one’s hair, keep in mind that some styles and treatments are not suitable for children and can be harmful.
According to the Jeuval team, many parents start braiding or relaxing too early in an attempt to give their children "adult" hairstyles. Young scalps are fragile and very sensitive to relaxers while the tension involved in braiding can harm the child's soft skin. Experts advise waiting until the age of 13 when the scalp is less susceptible to damage.
Don’t use adult relaxers on children's hair. These products contain high concentrations of chemicals and can cause lesions, burns and even scarring.
Healthy hair helpers at Clicks
1. Philips ionic hairdryer
2. Black Chic Creme Relaxer
3. Dr. Miracle’s Gro Oil
4. Safeway spiral hair curler
5. Caivil hair and scalp nourisher
6. Caivil Fusion Oil hair root nourisher
7. For kids: Caivil Just For Kids no-lye relaxer
IMAGE CREDIT: Shutterstock