Causes of Hair Damage? - Hair Care - iVillage Beauty Hair and Nail Salon

  • Chemicals: Bleach, permanent and semipermanent colors, perms and straighteners all work by swelling the cuticle to get underneath it. This leaves the scales roughed up and prone to chipping or coming off altogether. Bleaching, perming and straightening also break down some of the protein bonds in the hair, weakening its structure.
  • Physical wear: Friction is responsible for more damage than most people realize. A rough brush or comb (or even a good brush or comb used too much), salt left on the hair after swimming or working out and even pillowcases cause friction. Other physical damage can result from abrasion from rubber bands, barrettes and other accessories. Just-washed hair is especially susceptible to mechanical damage -- when wet, hair loses its ability to stretch and bounce back.
  • Heat: Too-hot blow dryers, hot rollers, and curling and straightening implements all can crack cuticles and evaporate water in hair. However, adequate conditioning can insulate hair against low and medium heat.
  • Weather: Ultraviolet rays break down some of the protein bonds in hair. A little sun won't have too much of an effect on healthy hair (particularly if it's dark), but it can be pretty tough on chemically processed hair. And wind can rough up cuticles.
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