Millions of Brits are risking long-term damage to their hair by sunbathing, eating junk food - and wearing hats
Experts have revealed some of the everyday activities which could be having an impact on your locks, including touching it too much - which creates grease and can even cause hair to thin.
Putting it up in a ponytail or bun which is too tight is also considered to be bad as it can cause tension as the hair pulls, possibly leaving bald spots after constant wear.
Excessive use of hats can also rub against hair, as well as stopping oils being produced leaving the ends dry and damaged.
A poor diet can weaken your hair, while sitting in the sun for too long can dry it out as the UV light weakens the bonds of the hair.
Not washing your hairbrushes, showering too often and even towel drying your hair can also cause breakage and leave your hair worse off.
Knowing what is good and bad for our hair
It comes after a study, commissioned by hair supplement Vitabiotics Perfectil, found just 14 per cent of women are confident they know what is good and bad for their hair.
Four in 10 admit to roughly towel drying their hair when they get out of the shower while more than a third (35 per cent) often twist or play with their locks.
Celebrity hair stylist Sarrah Hamid, who is working with Vitabiotics Perfectil, features in a video highlighting the unexpected things women are doing to their hair.
She said: “To many of us, our hair plays a huge part in our appearance and how confident we feel.
“We often feel good when we know our hair is looking it’s best – think about that moment you step out of the salon with a freshly coloured or cut style.
“But while we might think we are doing everything we can to keep our hair in great condition, there are so many things we all do every day without even realising which
could be having an impact.”
The study also found skipping trims is bad for your hair, as a regular cut every 6-8 weeks is good for growth.
Despite this, the average woman leaves it 11 weeks between trips to the salon.
The research of 2,000 women revealed 46 per cent feel their hair is very important to their appearance, with 84 per cent more confident when their locks look good.
More than four in 10 feel happier when their hair is in great condition while 23 per cent have a ‘bounce in their step’.
And 71 per cent admitted their hair can have a real impact on their mood.
During the average 104 bad hair days the average woman will have a year, 18 per cent have worn a hat to cover it up while almost one in 10 have kept the camera turned off on video calls.
One in twenty have even been known to cancel a date or call in sick to work.
Better hair after lockdown
The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found 16 per cent think their hair is better off as a result of the lockdowns.
A quarter styled their hair less often with heated straighteners or curling tongs while 23 per cent used fewer products.
Others washed their hair less often (34 per cent) and spent less time in the sun (34 per cent) as they didn’t get chance for a hot break abroad.
A spokesman for Vitabiotics Perfectil said: “A bad hair day can have a real impact on your mood and how you feel.
“We all want our hair to look and feel it’s best, especially now we have greater opportunity to be out and about more and socialising.
“Taking great care of our hair has never been more important for our inner and outer confidence’
Vitabiotics Perfectil has created a quiz to allow you to find out whether your lifestyle is affecting your hair.
TOP HAIR MISTAKES, ACCORDING TO SARRAH HAMID:
Towel drying roughly or excessively
Towel drying can roughen up your ends, and cause even more breakage to split ends
Touching/ playing with your hair too much
So many of my friends do this and I always tell them off. It creates grease, it’s a dirt transfer, it causes frizz, and can cause hair thinning
Excessive wear of hats is bad. Hats can be good for your hair, especially in the sun, as they protect it from direct sunlight, but constant use of hats can stop the oils in your hair, leaving your ends dry and damaged. They can also rub and the sweat absorbed underneath the hair is not good, especially if you have extensions.
Tight ponytails or buns
Ponytails or buns might be easy, but when you have one, you’re pulling tension on your hair, causing stress on certain spots - especially with constant wear - which can cause balding. If you love your hair tied back, try swapping elastic hair bands with a silk scrunchie as a kinder alternative.
Not washing hairbrushes
Cleaning your hairbrush is so important and just hygienic. All the breakage hair caught in your brushes can cause more damage to your split ends before you even used the brush.
Sunbathing/ sitting in the sun
Sun isn’t all bad for your hair, but it can dry the hair out. UV light also breaks down the bonds of your hair, creating dull or dry looking hair. I always recommend my clients to use oils or masks in their hair as they sunbathe, but the sun also has a lot of benefits, it can naturally lighten your hair, it helps with hair loss
Home haircuts and colours
Proceed with caution! Home hair dye kits, are not designed especially for your hair, so are unlikely to come out like the colour on the box. Always ensure you patch test before using any home colour. And home haircuts are best avoided. Let your hair grow, you’ll appreciate the professional cut so much more. And don’t touch your fringe!
Having a poor diet, such as drinking more alcohol, having more junk food
Our hair is the first to suffer along with our skin. A poor diet can weaken your hair. If you’re concerned that you’re lacking certain nutrients from your diet, consider a daily supplement to support your nutritional intake. Look for products containing biotin and zinc which contribute to the maintenance of normal hair.
Styling with straighteners/ curling tongs
The least amount of heat as possible is always good for the hair, allowing it to grow. Constant heat on your hair causes breakage. If you can’t stay away from heated appliances, protect your hair with a heat spray before using them.
Washing your hair too often
It’s never good to over wash your hair, twice a week is the best for me. Your hair will eventually clean itself, and you can train it, into holding out.
A regular trim every 6-8 weeks is always good to avoid bad breakage. A regular trim is actually good for growth.