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What can damage my hair?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Many people damage their hair while primping and styling, often without even knowing it. Here are the major offenders:

• Excessive combing: Over time, excessive combing and brushing, especially of wet hair, can cause the delicate cuticle scales to lift and, in extreme cases, peel away. Forget those one hundred strokes a night. The idea was to move oil from the scalp into the hair to give it shine. But if you comb aggressively when hair is wet, it will be damaged.

• The wrong tools: Using the wrong combs and brushes, especially on fragile, chemically treated hair, can remove the cuticle layer in large portions, creating porous and dull hair strands. A wide-toothed comb is best.

• Back-combing and teasing: Back-combing 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 area exposed.

• Heated appliances: When too hot or used on wet hair, heated appliances can actually cause water under the 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 your hair.
YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life

More About this Book

YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life

A few years ago, we wrote YOU: The Owner’s Manual, which taught people about the inner workings of their bodies—and how to keep them running strong. But you know what? There’s a big difference...

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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.