In the fast-paced world that we live in today, would you take out the time to blowdry your hair? Perhaps. But—there's always a but—would you be consistent with this practice? Probably (not). While you may want to believe that you've been carrying for your tresses, let's face it: you have slacked, more than once. If you've been guilty of using a brush to detangle your hair immediately post a shower or have pulled your hair back into a tight ponytail, it's time we break it to you: these missteps are silently *ruining* your hair.
"Not many are aware that wet hair is fragile and more susceptible to damage than dry hair when pulled, stretched, bent, or handled roughly," explains Arthi Raguram, Founder, Deyga Organics. "How we treat wet hair is of utmost importance since wet hair is the root cause of a bunch of hair woes," adds Pooja Nagdev, Founder, Inatur. Below, these two haircare experts elucidate the mistakes that could be taking a toll on the health of your hair.
Combing And/Or Detangling Wet Hair
According to Pooja Nagdev, when the hair is wet, it becomes incredibly weak. Thus, combing damp hair may cause the hair to split, aggravating hair loss. Arthi adds, "Avoid brushing wet hair to prevent unnecessary breakage, split ends, flyaways, and hair fall. If you happen to have a lot of knots, use a wide-tooth comb to restore order and maintain the longevity of your strands."
Tying Wet Hair Into a Bun or Ponytail
"When your hair is wet, its elasticity is at its peak. Hence, pulling your tresses back into a bun or ponytail will cause them to stretch, resulting in tension breakage. Furthermore, it will impede your scalp from drying properly, which can lead to eczema or other skin irritations. After washing your hair, let it air dry naturally, or use a blowdryer to fasten the process," recommends Pooja.
Heat Styling Wet Hair
While exposing your strands to heat causes enough damage, damp/wet hair exacerbates the problem further. "When using a flat iron or a tong on wet hair, the heat is amplified, frying your strands and causing lasting—sometimes irreversible—damage. Make sure that your hair is entirely dry before applying heat to it, and remember to use a heat protectant," she adds.
Wrapping or Rubbing Wet Hair With a Towel
Wet hair is more prone to agitation since the outer cuticle is extremely fragile. "Wrapping or rubbing your hair with a cloth towel can be rough for your sensitive strands, encouraging hair fall. Instead, opt for a cotton t-shirt that will help absorb moisture more quickly and help the hair dry faster," suggest Arthi.
Sleeping With Wet Hair
According to Arthi, going to bed with hair that is wet is a complete no-no. Doing so can cause knots, tangles, and increase breakage, owing to friction from the pillow. To minimise this friction—that also takes place with dry hair—experts advise opting for a silk pillowcase, which is a lot less rough on your strands. The natural, smooth texture of silk prevents the hair from rubbing, thereby reducing breakage and thinning.