Cosmetically, the longevity of hair is determined by how long it remains attached to the head. Thus, anything that causes hair breakage shortens the longevity of the hair shaft. In dermatology, we tend to focus on follicular causes of hair loss, such as androgenetic alopecia, female pattern hair loss, alopecia areata, and telogen effluvium, to name some of the most common medically significant causes of hair loss.
However, in the hair care industry, issues of grooming friction, cuticle condition, and weathering are evaluated as methods of increasing the longevity of hair. The more you dye or perm the hair, the weaker it becomes.The more you comb, brush, curl, twist, clip, tease, braid the hair, the more damage it incurs. This damage is permanent, so try to manipulate as less as possible your hair.
It is important to select a comb that decreases hair breakage by minimizing the friction between the hair and the teeth of the comb. For this reason, a comb should have broadly spaced smooth teeth, preferably Teflon-coated, to reduce combing friction. In terms of choosing a brush, if drawing the brush across the palm of the hand causes discomfort, the brush is not recommended for use on the hair. Choose a brush that has ball tipped bristles.
Avoid combing wet hair and detangle using fingers while it is wet. Allow it to almost dry prior to styling to prevent hair breakage. Freshly shampooed hair is tangled and fragile, creating a situation conducive to hair shaft fracture.
Allow hair to air-dry avoiding heated drying appliances that cause breakage of the hair shaft. Also, check with your dermatologist if your scalp is healthy as sometimes a condition called seborrheic dermatitis (that affects the scalp) can have negative impact on hair growth and cause hair loss. The solution to hair loss in the seborrheic dermatitis patient is to treat the underlying disease.
Unfortunately, many patients who present to the dermatologist have already severely damaged their hair and permanent restoration is not possible. Yet, it is important to implement in your daily routine the above advices and this will optimize the appearance of the damaged hair until new growth occurs if the damaging cosmetic procedure has been discontinued.