Our hair is not as tough as we might think. Those Garnier commercials where women tie their long hair in a knot and tug on it to show the strength of their hair is a feat most of us would not dream of attempting. What is the deal? Why is our hair so fragile? The answers may surprise you.


Dyeing your hair: The easiest way to damage your hair should come as no surprise. According to WebMD, “bleaching your hair penetrates the cuticle with chemicals and removes your natural pigment. You are changing the structure of your hair, making it more susceptible to damage.” This is a fancy way of saying that the chemicals literally rip open your hair cuticle and strip the pigmentation (or the coloring) out of your hair. Dyeing your hair, however, is not as damaging as bleaching, but the principle remains. The peroxide and ammonia strips the natural oil and pigmentation from your hair and replaces it with new ones.


Over-shampooing: This may come as a shock to some of my ultra-clean ladies out there. When hair becomes wet, the shaft swells, resulting in hair that is more elastic and easier to break. In addition, shampoos can sometimes work too well, removing the oils your hair naturally produces; this results in hair that looks dull and dry. Ladies with naturally curly hair are not supposed to wash their hair with shampoo more than twice a week, as it strips the hair of necessary oil to keep hair looking healthy and preventing breakage and dryness.


Hot Showers: Hot showers are not only bad for your skin, but it is something to avoid for the health of your hair. Although in the grand scheme of things, this does not cause the same level of damage as dyeing your hair, avoiding hot showers on your ‘do can actually help keep your hair from frizzing and breaking.


Using Accessories on Wet Hair: This goes hand in hand with putting your hair in a ponytail and going to bed with wet hair. As stated earlier, wet hair swells and becomes a little more elastic and easier to break. When you put your wet hair up in a tight pony tail, you are stretching your hair. As it dries, it will shrink just enough for your hair to break in some places — particularly around your hairline. Simply wait for your hair to dry before you use your elastic bands or pins.


Styling Tools: This means blow drying, flat irons, and curlers. The excessive heat is the culprit here, as well as tugging on your hair to get the wanted results. Although there are more than enough ladies who would rather get a pixie cut than give up their blow dryer, you might want to consider simply lowering the heat of your favorite styling tools. This simple solution can cause a lot less damage to your hair.


What do you think of these things that damage your hair? Which ones surprised you? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @kateeb790!