What damages hair?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
It's all too easy to damage your delicate hair, especially when it's exposed to the cruel world -- and a bunch of harsh, everyday practices that people partake in without realizing how hostile they're being to the innocent (and precious) hair on their head. Specifically, many people damage their hair during the maintenance and styling process, often without even knowing it. Here are the four major damagers:
  • Excessive combing -- Over time, excessive combing and brushing, especially on wet hair, can cause the delicate cuticle scales to lift and, in extreme cases, peel away. Forget those 100 strokes a night. The idea was to move oil from scalp into hair to give it shine. But if you comb aggressively when hair is wet, it will be damaged.
  • Using the wrong tools -- Using the wrong combs and brushes (a wide-toothed comb is best), especially on fragile, chemically treated hair, can remove the cuticle layer in large portions, creating porous and dull hair strands.
  • Backcombing and teasing -- Backcombing and teasing are extremely harmful, since they tug in the opposite direction of the cuticle scales, which can eventually rip them off, leaving the inner cortex exposed.
  • Heated Appliances -- When too hot, or used on wet hair, heated appliances can actually cause hair to boil, creating permanent welts that weaken and dull the hair shaft and set the stage for breakage. Never use ceramic appliances on wet hair. If possible do not blow dry hair.
YOU: Being Beautiful: The Owner's Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.