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Don't Let Hair Care Lead to Hair Damage

Dermatologist explains safe use of styling products, drying methods

SATURDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Improper use of styling tools and hair care techniques can cause hair damage and loss, according to experts.

"Hair myths, such as brushing your hair 100 strokes each day, can cause split ends," Dr. Paradi Mirmirani, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco, said in an American Academy of Dermatology news release.

"Having healthy hair is possible if you know how to care for your hair before and after styling," she said.

Mirmirani offered the following tips:

  • Dry your hair by wrapping it in a towel after a shower or bath or let your hair air dry.
  • In general, people should handle their wet hair as little as possible, as wet hair breaks more easily when combed or brushed. However, people with tightly curled or textured hair should brush their hair when wet to decrease breakage.
  • Give your hair time to partially air dry before you style or comb. Decreasing how often you blow-dry each week also helps limit damage.
  • Keep brushing to minimum. Split ends can occur from brushing your hair 100 strokes daily.
  • Reduce your use of "long-lasting hold" styling products. Combing your hair after you apply the product can cause the hair to break and can lead to hair loss over time.
  • Flat irons should only be used on dry hair on a low or medium heat setting, and no more than every other day. If you use a curling iron, leave it in place for no more than two seconds. Excessive heat can damage all types of hair.
  • Braids, cornrows, ponytails and hair extensions should not be worn continuously. These styles pull on the hair and can cause tension that leads to hair breakage. Long-term tension can lead to permanent hair loss.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine explains how aging affects hair and nails.


SOURCE: American Academy of Dermatology, news release, July 9, 2013

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