Monday, December 29, 2014

Are Ponytails and Topknots Damaging Your Hair? Know Here.

How often have you taken your hair out of a ponytail, only to cringe at just how much hair came out with it? And ask your hairstylist—we’ll bet you a bottle of nail polish that she’ll tell you to lay off the topknot. But is there any truth to the idea that wearing your hair up actually damages your locks? Or is this just another urban beauty legend? A quick call to celebrity hairstyling legend Howard McLaren resulted in great tips to prevent updo damage:

Use easy accessories:  And by “easy,” McLaren means using elastics that are gentle on your hair. “Damage really depends on what you tie up with; it’s about the accessories. It’ll cost a bit more but buy gentle cloth elastics. Elastic bands just pull, rip and tear your hair.” 

Get a better brush and technique: Speaking of tools, your brush really matters. “Plastic brushes are really bad for your hair,” McLaren says. “Anything with boar bristles is great, especially when you brush your hair at night. Pure boar is great: it’s not abrasive against the hair and scalp and can reduce damage. You’ll pay a little more but in the long run, it’s worth it not to have broken hair.” McLaren also says to watch the wet styling for those of us who throw our hair up after workouts. “Don’t brush it too much or too hard when it’s wet when it can stretch and break if you put too much tension on it. Make sure your hair is more on the dry side before brushing.”

Switch up your style: “If you do it every day, it’s sort of like having extensions: there’s too much pressure around the hairline, which can cause breakage.” McLaren says not to wear your hair up or back every day, and the type of haircut you get also helps. “Get a haircut with lots of layers of different lengths so that some of the hair falls softly around your face. It reduces tension on the hairline and gives you a soft, romantic look that also prevents breakage.”

Lean back: “Tilt your head back when you’re creating the ponytail shape,” says McLaren. “That way, when you bring your head upright it creates that beautifully-centered close shape without forcing too much tension around the hairline.” 

Perfect your products: Don’t just throw your hair up without any styling aids. “For evening, a little bit of balm helps with control and shine and helps manage flyaways around the hairline. A touch of hairspray around the face can help with control and means you don’t have to pull your hair so tightly to get it to stay.”

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