10 Summer Habits That Can Cause Hair Loss
We know that our hair needs more TLC in the summer, but we might not realize that we're doing small things that can have major consequences for our hair! Little habits like sleeping with wet hair, wearing our sunglasses on our head, and letting our hair air-dry in the sun can damage our hair, leading to breakage and even hair loss.
Read on to learn more about 10 summer habits that can damage our hair and how to prevent breakage and hair loss from each one!
1. Sleeping with Wet Hair
Going to bed with wet hair is a great way to feel cool at bedtime. The extra water evaporates off our scalp, leaving us refreshed. Even though sleeping with wet hair might feel good when it's hot out, it's not good for our scalps. Leaving our scalps damp for hours while we sleep can lead to yeast and bacterial growth that can cause dandruff, scalp dryness and hair loss. Plus, our hair is extra delicate when it’s wet, so even minimal tossing and turning while sleeping puts our strands at risk of breakage.
To fight hair loss: Move your shower to the morning! Or, if you love an evening shower as part of your bedtime routine, be sure to fully dry your hair before hitting the hay!
2. Air-Drying Your Hair in the Sun
This summer hair habit is damaging on two levels. First, we know that the sun's harmful UV rays can break down the proteins in our hair and contribute to color fade. Second, while air-drying certainly beats the hot air of a blow-dryer, it’s important to remember that the longer our strands stay wet, the more they will swell and the cuticles will expand. This can lead to brittleness, breakage and hair loss, which causes our hair to appear thin and lifeless.
To fight hair loss: If you’re short on time before heading outdoors, be sure to blot your hair well with a soft T-shirt and spend a few minutes drying your hair with your blow-dryer set to warm to remove some of the water. Don’t forget to first apply a heat protectant like No Remorse Heat Protection & Taming Spray to shield your locks from your blow-dryer as well as the sun’s heat and UV rays once you step outside. For weightless frizz-fighting and hydration throughout the day, pack No Remorse in your bag if you're planning a full day in the sun!
3. Wearing Sunglasses
We love a cute pair of sunnies, and we're not telling you to stop wearing them because they definitely help protect your eyes from the sun. So, how can sunglasses cause hair loss?
When sunglasses are sitting on your nose, the risk of hair loss is small. It's pushing them up on our heads like a headband that can spell bad news for our tresses. Strands of our hair can get caught and pulled out by the hinges of our sunglasses or by the nose pad hardware (on styles like aviators).
To fight hair loss: Take your sunnies off instead of pushing them up on your hair. Or, if you can't kick the habit, wear sunglasses with no nose pads for a smaller chance of snagging your hair!
4. Becoming Dehydrated
We are made of water, and water helps nourish every cell in our bodies. So it makes sense that when we're dehydrated, we start to see issues throughout the body like fatigue, headaches, muscle cramps, dry mouth and more.
Dehydration affects our hair and scalp, too. When we are dehydrated, our scalps under-produce the necessary sebum, which contributes to slower hair growth and hair loss. We also deal with issues like itchy scalp, dullness and dryness when we're dehydrated.
To fight hair loss: It's especially important to stay hydrated as the mercury rises! Be sure to drink eight 8 oz glasses of water every day and eat in-season fruits and veggies with a high-water content like watermelon, cucumber and lettuce to supplement your water intake!
You can also fight dehydration-related hair loss by moisturizing and strengthening your locks with a deep conditioning treatment like our Hair Redemption Restorative Butter Masque. It's packed with argan oil and our proprietary plant-based butter blend that penetrates the hair shaft while locking in moisture to leave your tresses silky, hydrated and manageable!
5. Brushing Your Hair While It's Wet
Brushing wet hair stretches and breaks the hair strand more than brushing dry hair because when our hair is wet, the proteins in our strands form weaker hydrogen bonds. But brushing your hair isn't all bad! It's totally fine to brush dry hair (take caution with curly hair, however, as brushing will disrupt the curls and lead to frizz and lots of fluff). In fact, brushing helps distribute natural, healthy scalp oils down the hair shaft, which is especially important for dry and damaged locks!
To fight hair loss: The name of the game is gentle detangling! When your hair is wet, only use a wide-toothed comb (and some conditioner) to gently detangle and comb through hair. Plastic combs are just fine, but using a metal wide-toothed comb means even less friction, snagging and static!
6. Overusing the AC
Nothing makes the summer heat more bearable than air conditioning! To cool the air around us, air conditioners blow cool air while drawing moisture out of the air. This causes indoor summer air to mimic the dry air we find in winter. This dry air can dry out our hair and lead to brittleness and breakage.
To fight hair loss: Raise the temperature of your AC at home. (At the office, this might not be possible without upsetting others!) Open windows for fresh air on days when it's not blazing hot, and step outside for a few minutes to get some vitamin D and to give your locks a break from the cool, dry hair.
7. Exercising Outdoors
If you've spent the last few months indoors on a treadmill, you know that there's nothing better than that first walk or jog outside in the gorgeous summer weather! But exercising outside exposes our hair to more humidity, sun and sweat, which are hard on our hair and scalp. Sweat can clog the pores on our scalp and cause slow hair growth and hair loss.
To fight hair loss: Be sure that your scalp gets a deep cleansing scalp treatment on wash days! We love our New Dawn Activated Charcoal Scalp Cleanser for a deep, pre-shampoo cleanse that clears away sweat, buildup and debris to help maintain a healthy, balanced scalp! Plus, the menthyl lactate has cooling properties to leave your scalp soothed and refreshed!
8. Spending Time in the Pool or Ocean
As we amp up our outdoor activities in the summer, we expose our tresses to more hair-damaging environmental stressors: chlorine and saltwater are major culprits.
To fight hair loss: Protect your hair from a day of swimming by applying a butter hair mask like Hair Redemption to your locks to close the cuticles and seal moisture into your hair strands before heading into the pool or ocean. Plus, with your hair now thoroughly wet with clean, lukewarm water, your strands are full of healthy moisture, leaving little room for pool chemicals or saltwater to get in!
9. Wearing Tight, High-Tension Hairstyles
It's hotter outside in summer, so we put our hair up more often to stay cool. But tying our hair back tightly causes tension on our hair at the roots, and this tension can cause breakage or even pull our hair out!
To fight hair loss: Damage-free styles should be tied loosely and toward the nape of your neck. Loose twists and braids are stylish, low-maintenance options that don't cause tension like a high ponytail or bun can. Check out our list of heatless hairstyling hacks to find a new, low-tension summer style you love!
10. Washing Your Hair Too Often
In the summertime, we're sweating more and outside more, so we tend to wash our hair more, drying it out and causing brittleness and breakage. Plus, washing your hair too often can actually prompt your scalp to over-produce its natural oils, leaving you with greasier locks. Unless you have an especially oily scalp, avoid washing your hair every day.
To fight hair loss: Extend your time between washes to at least every other day in the summer. Try rinsing your hair and scalp with lukewarm water between wash days to help remove sweat and grease without sudsing up. Applying a good dry shampoo and a volumizing product like our Lift Me Up Hair Thickener spray will provide lift and the illusion of clean, vibrant locks on non-wash days.
Pro tip: Try switching up your part for extra volume between shampoos! Our hair gets "trained" to lay a certain way day after day, so switching up your part will give a bit of lift and help camouflage oil between washes!
Tell us: Do you have a favorite way to protect your hair from damage in the summer? Share in the comments below!
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Better Not Younger knows that it's important to protect our hair from summer hair habits that cause breakage and hair loss! That's why we formulated our entire line of products to address the unique concerns of mature tresses, including summertime hair stressors like dehydration, sun and UV ray exposure, and pool chemicals that can take a toll on our hair. Let us help you find the right products for your aging hair's unique needs this summer!