By Jennifer Aldrich for BHG©
I’ve always had fine, fragile hair that breaks off easily, so I’m very careful with my tresses. I don’t use heat unnecessarily, and when I do use hot tools, I make sure to spray on a protectant like the OUAI Heat Protection Spray ($28, Sephora). But despite my best efforts, I noticed some breakage around the front layers of my hair. I talked to my stylist, Maria Wheeler, who owns her own salon in central Iowa, and after going over my routine, she said it’s most likely because of how I’m wrapping my hair in a towel after I shower. I was shocked; I had just bought a fancy Aquis Hair Turban ($30, Sephora) to protect my strands. Well, apparently, I was doing more harm than good, and if you’ve noticed any thinning or breakage, you might be making the same mistake.
Why Is My Hair Thinning?
My biggest problem wasn’t necessarily my towel, but how I was putting my hair up. “Anytime you twist, pull or wrap your hair too tightly you can potentially cause damage or breakage, especially if your hair is prone to it,” explains celebrity hairstylist Harry Josh, who’s worked with Ellen Pompeo, Kate Hudson, Priyanka Chopra, and Gisele Bündchen, among others.
A lack of elasticity can also cause breakage from a hair towel, says Joseph Maine, artistic director of Color Wow. “To test your elasticity, you can stretch a strand while it’s wet,” Maine says. “It should bounce back. If it feels limp, mushy, breaks, or stretches more than usual, then it’s likely it needs protein.” He recommends adding a little bit of the Color WowDream Cocktail ($25, Dermstore) through wet hair and then blow-drying your strands. “After a single-use, it can reduce breakage by 50%,” he says.
How to Prevent Your Hair From Breaking
There are a few things you can do if you notice breakage. First, you can gently twist your hair up, being careful not to twist or pull too tightly, Josh says. “If your hair is super fragile and prone to breakage, don’t put it in a turban at all,” he adds. “Just gently towel dry.”
Plus, you shouldn’t leave your hair up too long anyway. “Wrapping your hair will trap moisture, and your hair will never fully dry,” Maine notes. Instead, gently scrunch your hair with a towel, or a turban, like the Aquis Hair Turban I use. Then, let your hair air-dry for about 15 minutes, and carefully towel dry again with a new towel, Maine says. Finish by blowing out your hair.
With just a few simple switches with your routine, you can get healthier hair and minimize breakage. For the past couple of months, I’ve just scrunched my strands and let them air dry before using my hairdryer, and I haven’t had any more thinning issues. This easy technique has really helped my hair.