8 Common Haircare Mistakes You Might Be Making
Haircare is a crucial aspect of every man’s grooming routine (whether you have a full head of hair or not), yet it is often overlooked or not executed properly. From over-washing to using unsuitable products for our hair type or scalp, we can (without realising) make a myriad of haircare mistakes that lead to unhealthy or lacklustre hair. Although haircare may seem like a straightforward task, there are some essential do’s and don’ts which every man needs to know in order to keep the hair and scalp healthy and protected from damage.
We take a lot of pride in our hair and hairstyles, whether that’s a sharp crew cut, shaggy mid-length style, or shaved head. Keeping it in tip-top condition isn’t always that simple, especially if we are experiencing some hair loss. And there are some grooming slip ups we can all make which can, unfortunately, cause damage. We’re going to look into some common hair care mistakes which all of us can be/become victims of, and provide you with some tips on how to avoid them. Whether you’re dealing with dryness, breakage, or an irritated scalp, read on to discover how to give your hair some TLC.
1. Washing your hair too much
Yep, you read that right, you can wash your hair too much! As much as we need to cleanse our hair, overwashing it can strip the natural oils from our hair, leaving it vulnerable to damage. Overtime, hair follicles can become weak and result in hair becoming loose and fall out. Not only can you strip the oils from the hair, but oil can be stripped from the scalp resulting in dandruff. This is potentially problematic if you have a sensitive scalp.
To avoid overwashing, it’s essential to pay attention to the oil levels in your hair, and whether you have thick, thin, fine, or coarse hair. Men with fine hair are known for being more prone to becoming greasy due to there being more hairs per square centimetre. Each hair has a sebaceous gland attached to it, and therefore it’s more likely to become oily more quickly. For this type of hair you might want/need to wash it every other day.
There are no exact rules as to how often we should be washing our hair, but barbers tend to suggest we should try to wash it every three days. If you’re a guy who has an active lifestyle and likes to work out everyday, instead of using a shampoo each time you hit the gym, try washing it with plain water on the days you don’t need to fully cleanse. This will still help to remove sweat and dirt, and prevent any build up (source).
Ultimately, the key is to find a washing frequency that works for your individual needs and to use gentle, nourishing products that support the health of your hair and scalp.
2. Using the wrong shampoo
Using a shampoo which isn’t suited to your hair type can have a negative impact on the health of your hair as different shampoos are formulated for specfic hair types and concerns. A shampoo that is too harsh, or contains potent chemicals, on sensitive hair or scalp, can cause irritation and also strip the hair of essential natural oils. On the other side of the grooming coin, if the shampoo is not moisturising enough for thick or coarse hair, it can leave hair looking frizzy and feeling unmanageable.
Any shampoo which does not efficiently deal with certain hair concerns such as an oily scalp, colour-treated hair, or hair loss can actually make the situation worse overtime.
The best advice we can give is to make sure you understand your hair type. You can ask your barber for advice on this, just ask them on your next trip for your next haircut. They will also be able to advise you on the best products to use for your hair type and concern, including the best shampoo.
A suitable shampoo will help balance the oils levels on your scalp and hair and leave your hair looking and feeling its best.
3. Neglecting your scalp
Looking after your scalp is just as, if not evenmore, important as looking after your hair. The health of hair comes hand in hand with the health of your scalp, and if you neglect your scalp, it’s highly likely your hair will suffer as a result. Your scalp is the foundation from which your hair grows and if your hair follicles become damaged or irritated, it will negatively impact your hair growth (source).
An extremely common issue with the scalp is when it becomes dry, itchy, oily or inflamed. And one of the most common scalp concerns is dandruff. A lack of scalp care can lead to a build-up of dirt and product which causes hair follicles to become clogged. This results in an overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands, as well as hair follicles becoming suffocated.
Therefore, taking care of your scalp is essential for promoting hair growth, preventing hair loss, and maintaining the overall health and appearance of your hair. Using shampoo helps to cleanse the scalp, but we highly recommend incorporating a scalp treatment or exfoliator into your routine, which can be used once a week as a deeper cleanse.
4. Being too rough on your hair when it’s wet
It is believed that our hair is in its most vulnerable state when it is wet. This means it will be vulnerable to breakage and damage. For those of you who use a hairdryer, direct heat causes water molecules within the hair shaft to expand rapidly which can cause the hair to become brittle. Cuticles of the hair can lift and become rough causing hair to become ‘frizzy’ and the ends to split. Excessive heat directed to the scalp can also cause dryness and irritation which can result in disruption to the hair growth cycle.
To prevent unnecessary damage, if you prefer to use a hairdryer or heated tools for styling purposes, use it on towel-dried hair, on a medium or low setting and at a safe distance away from the hair. A heat-protecting spray or serum can also help to protect the hair from heat damage. For those of you who can do without a hairdryer, it’s always a better option to leave your hair to dry naturally.
When it comes to brushing your hair when it’s wet, try and not be too rough. As mentioned, hair is vulnerable when wet so we need to be as gentle as possible!
5. Using an excessive amount of hair product
The build-up of product on your hair and scalp can make hair feel heavy, greasy, and limp which can weigh it down and also make it look dull. This typically happens after using styling products that are not sufficiently washed out of the hair. Without cleansing the hair on a regular basis, products like hair gel, wax, pomades and clays can stick to the surface of the hair, as well as the hair follicle. Chemicals within these products can also cling to the follicles and clog the area where hair receives nutrients, preventing the hair from growing properly and leading it to thin or fall out.
Some hair products, like shampoos and conditioners are designed to remove excess oil from the hair. Using these types of products too often can strip the hair of its natural oils.
If you style your hair on a daily basis, just make sure you cleanse your hair properly. There’s no need to over cleanse, but be aware of how much product you are placing on your hair and try to give your hair a break every now and then. Embrace the natural look!
6. Not conditioning your hair properly
Are you someone who can’t be bothered to use a conditioner? We know it's another step in our grooming routines that we might not have time for, but actually conditioning is just as important as cleansing. After cleansing, you might notice your hair feels slightly dry, and a conditioner will help bring it back to life by replacing the lost moisture and nutrients in the hair.
A decent conditioner will seal the cuticle (the outer layer) of the hair to keep it smooth and shiny, whilst also protecting it from damage.
Most conditioners are formulated with nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and proteins to nourish the hair, and therefore it’s important you find the appropriate conditioner for your hair type. Depending on the type of conditioner you use, it may also contain ingredients that help to protect your hair from heat styling, environmental stressors, and the symptoms of hair loss or thinning.
The general rule of thumb, for short hair, is to use a small dollop (about the size of a 20 pence coin) and spread it evenly throughout the hair. Try not to place too much product on the scalp, and pay closer attention to the ends of the hair.
7. Using the wrong hair grooming tools
Different types of hair brushes and combs are designed for different types of hair. Again, it’s worth asking your barber about your hair type to make sure you buy the right tools for your hair.
Using a brush with hard bristles on delicate or thinning hair will contribute to breakage and damage. On the flip side, using a brush with soft bristles on thick or curly hair may not be effective enough in detangling and smoothing the hair. Using the wrong hair brush can also cause static and friction, leading to further breakage and split ends. If your scalp is sensitive, you also need to be aware that a hard bristle can cause further irritation.
We have a variety of hair brushes available on Humanery which cater to different hair types. Choosing the right brush for your hair will help distribute natural oils, prevent tangles and promote manageable, strong, and healthy-looking hair.
8. Choosing the wrong hairstyle
With so many options of hairstyles available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and opt for a style that doesn’t quite suit your hair type or face shape. Choosing the wrong hairstyle can lead to frustration and disappointment - we know how important hair is! For example, if you have fine hair and choose a heavily layered style, it can make your hair look limp and lifeless.
It can be hard to know which one is right for you, and your hair, and the best way to solve this is by speaking to your barber. A good hair stylist can help you select a style that will compliment your features and is easy to maintain. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles, but always keep in mind the health of your hair, and the amount of effort required to maintain your look.
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