The summer heat is just about to peak in Singapore, which means most of us will probably be throwing our hair up in an attempt to relieve ourselves from the scorching heat – and what’s quicker and more effective than the iconic ponytail?
While you might be looking to channel your best Ariana Grande with the high pony, this easy and effortless look could severely impact your hair growth later in the future, along with some other common root-tugging hairstyles.
A receding hairline, excessive hair loss, and cuticle damage are among the many consequences you’ve likely heard about. While these are certainly plausible nightmares, there are ways to keep your hair out of your face without causing harm to your tresses. Ahead, we break down the dos and don’ts of caring for your hair.
1. Don’t tie up your hair while it’s wet
While the sleek wet ponytail style might have been all the rage, this look should not be achieved by literally putting your wet hair up in a hair tie right out of the shower.
Hair strands have the most elasticity and stretch out quite a bit when damp, making them super fragile to any harsh physical treatment. As a result, your hair could snap most easily post-wash, leading to excessive hair loss and damage when meddled with. Furthermore, the wet hair look should be achieved with gel (which lasts longer than water anyway) to get rid of any flyaways. Check out this video tutorial to achieve that minimalist style.
To prevent hair loss, avoid tying or running a brush through your wet hair. Instead, opt for a heatless hairdryer held at least 15cm away from your hair. If you’re in a rush, focus on your roots since they serve as the base function to having stronger hair.
2. Hair serum is your best friend
After your hair is dry and brushed through, now what? Before you slip on a hairband to get started on the day, it’s important to incorporate a hair serum into your haircare routine. Now, this might sound like a totally bad idea for those of us who have to deal with a greasy scalp on the daily basis (more oil now?!) but hear us out!
Each strand of hair is made up of an outer cuticle layer that protects the inner fibres. With frequent physical or chemical damage caused by our environments (be it hair dyeing, heat styling, or even excessive combing), the outer cuticle layers get increasingly chafed, risking exposure of the inner cortex.
Just like our skin, our hair is surely in need of some well-deserved TLC and serums seem to be the fuss-free go-to answer! Besides smoothing out frizzy hair and helping maintain moisture within each strand, hair serums effectively seal unhealthy cuticle layers as close to the heart of hair strands as possible, thus providing a protective layer around the centre.
By coating your locks with these conditioning products, accessories can glide over your hair easier without causing cuticles to chap further and consequently rise. Check out some of the hair serums we’re loving lately.
The IGK Crybaby Anti-Frizz Smoothing Serum contains antioxidant-rich prickly pear cactus extracts and coconut oil to eliminate frizz and add shine – all without weighing your hair down or feeling greasy. Warm the serum up in your hands and comb through the lengths and ends before setting your hair for the day.
Retailing at S$38, available at Sephora.
The Kérastase Discipline Oleo Relax Oil is a great frizz-controlling oil formulated with morphohuiles technology that adds shine while protecting against heat. Perfect for hair of thicker textures, you no longer need a tight bun to keep your mane in check. Say hello to softer, sleeker locks that can be styled and managed easily in a variety of ways.
Retailing at S$54, available at Sephora.
If you’re always rushing in the mornings and haven’t got much time to spare for your hair, we recommend a close relative of the previous serum: the Kérastase Nutritive 8H Magic Night Serum.
This leave-in serum provides a unique hydrating formula that moisturises overnight, leaving your hair feeling soft and protected when you wake. This lightweight serum contains a quick-to-absorb formula, so you don’t have to worry about it greasing up your pillowcase.
Retailing at S$103, available at Sephora.
For some intense luxurious nourishment, the L’Oreal Paris Elseve Extraordinary Oil Gold delivers a set of wonderful results. Its non-greasy miracle oil absorbs and penetrates into the hair instantly. Packed in this silky serum are six flower extract oils that keep your tresses looking healthy all throughout the day.
Retailing at S$23.90, available at Watsons.
If you’re looking for an affordable option that promises results, The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density might just be what you’re looking for! This concentrated formula, specially designed to support hair health, works to promote a thicker, denser, fuller and healthier-looking head of hair while protecting your cuticles. It is also free from alcohol and silicones. Plus, it’s vegan and cruelty-free.
Retailing at S$29.50, available at Lookfantastic.
3. Avoid root-tugging hairstyles
While this one rule might seem pretty obvious, it’s important to reiterate how tight scalp-pulling styles are detrimental to your hair follicles in the long run as constant stress and pressure on your roots will weaken the scalp, resulting in hair loss and thinning. Besides, all that tugging could lead to splitting headaches that do no good!
Once hair follicles stop responding to growth, that’s when hair loss sets in and this is usually first seen around the temples and the front of the hairline given that’s where most of the pulling first begins. Signs of serious scalp stress includes soreness or a burning sensation on the scalp. However, if it hurts with even the slightest tug at your ponytail or hairdo, it’s usually a good telltale sign that you should be letting your hair down (literally!) more often.
As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid keeping tight hairstyles on for more than a couple of hours at a time. We’re talking about high ponytails, tight buns, intricate braids, and wearing unnecessarily heavy accessories that add weight to your hair.
However, if you have to wear your hair up, opt for one of these chic relaxed styles instead that help keep your hair in place without hurting your crown.
After putting your hair up, tug at some loose strands around the hairline to help reduce pressure on your scalp to prevent tension. This helps sculpt a narrower face shape by framing the face on top of adding a tousled look as well.
Meanwhile, check out six ways to jazz up a regular ponytail for that extra effort.
Low / mid-crown styles
Instead of a high ponytail or top knot, why not try a low bun or braid that starts at the nape of your neck or a mid-crown ‘do? These artistes show just how you can play up this classy approach.
Section your hair
We know, we’re all probably way past the age of sporting pigtails without looking like little girls. But aside from shaving years off our appearance, introducing more than one section to our hairdo significantly reduces the tension on our scalp while maintaining functionality. Here are a few looks we’re loving!
Keep in mind that even with sectioning, you should be aiming to keep your hairstyle a little looser. Following some of 2020’s newest trends, the double bun hairstyle is making a huge comeback. Find out how to emulate this grunge style from these artists who are rocking the trend.
4. Change it up
If you’re not putting your hair up in a scalp-wrenching ponytail, it’s alright to go about your day with your regular hairstyle right? Unfortunately, the answer’s no. Besides taking note of the pressure your roots are exposed to on a daily basis, it’s also important to pay some attention to your lengths.
Putting your hair up in a hairband at the same position daily or for long periods of time will eventually leave dents and kinks in your hair. It’s best to change up your hair and utilise a different set of accessories every now and then to allow your hair strands to take a break from any damage done.
5. Materials matter
Speaking of accessories, it’s important to choose the right materials that cause the least amount of breakage while they hold our hair in place during a gruelling gym session or hectic grocery run.
Forget about ornate metal accessories with intricate designs. They might cause damage when your locks get tangled in the narrow teeth and grasps of the details. Hair ties with metal bits aren’t great for your hair as well, given that strands of hair can get stuck in the crevices between the metal and elastic when you remove them at the end of the day.
The velcro rollers we all love to conveniently hold up our bangs with? They might cling onto our hair too harshly, so remember to give your hair the rest it deserves. So, how should we be managing our hair? We suggest you opt for these hair-friendly accessories that provide maximum protection to our tresses while looking cute!
Not only are they trendy and come in virtually any colour and pattern, but scrunchies are also the perfect hair tie free from snag-bits that pull our hair out from their roots. When you’re purchasing these fun accessories, make sure you get one made with a smooth fabric that causes the least amount of breakage. Here are a couple of great ones we found!
These dainty floral designs retail at S$6 on SHEIN. Head over to the site to check out a variety of hair ties.
Spun from lustrous mulberry silk (the highest quality of silk available), the Holistic Silk Pure Silk Scrunchie keeps strands away from your face with a delicate hold that doesn’t snag or cause damage.
Retails at S$26.50 on Lookfantastic.
Available in a bundle of three, the Slip Silk Large Scrunchies are made of 100% silk. They’re crafted with the brand’s own Slipsilk fabric that has gone through over 10 years of testing to make sure it adheres to the highest standards of softness and durability.
Retails at S$68.50 on Lookfantastic.
Though they might look like telephone cords, these old-school hair ties are highly recommended by hair stylists all over the world! Besides leaving zero traces of kinks and dents on the hair even after long hours, these malleable hair ties have smooth surfaces that glide on easily without causing breakage.
Available on Sephora in nine different sets of colours at S$8 for a pack of four.
Sturdier polyester versions are also available if you prefer fabric-wrapped variants. We’d love these vibrant bands on our wrists either way!
Retails at S$5 for a pack of six different colours on SHEIN.
Adjustable hair ties
Now we know these might seem slightly intimidating and look nothing like hair ties (and more fish hooks), these adjustable hair ties are incredibly convenient to use and provide the ultimate comfort for any frequent ponytail wearer.
Simply gather your hair into whatever style you might be sporting for the day, hold one end in place and wrap the elastic around as many times as you desire, before fastening the ends. This might sound tricky but with some practice, you can say goodbye to the three-rounds-too-tight, two-rounds-too-loose dilemma (you know what we’re talking about).
Find these on Amazon at S$11.18 for a pack of 20.
These no-hook versions would make an easier option but offer the same custom-fit to your ponytail!
Find these on Amazon at S$14.98 for a pack of 4.
Style your hair with a scarf
If you’re looking for an effortless way to jazz up your look while keeping your tresses safe, the scarf style is definitely one to consider. With a never-ending list of ways to wear this neck accessory in your hair, you can create plenty of eye-catching looks with a silk scarf to channel your best Rosie the Riveter.
We’re loving this tutorial of 12 simple styles. They’re gentle on your roots and are so easy to pull off on any occasion!
Check out more looks from this article.
This retro accessory is making a return with several celebrities having spotted wearing one. They get rid of flat, shapeless hair, hide our greasy roots, and keep our hair in place without causing any damage – what more could we want?
We rounded up some of our favourite Kate Middleton-approved hair accessory and where you can get these trendy pieces here.
Another statement piece that seems to be making rounds in the fashion industry includes the bow hair tie.
Donned by several Korean idols and actresses alike, we wonder if these will be the next It item. We rounded up a couple of cute designs that are free of hair-damaging materials!
Retails at S$21.29 on Kooding.
This accessory comprises of a frilly chiffon bow and a headpiece to keep your hair up when going about daily tasks.
Retails at S$34.07 on Kooding.
We love a good plush material and this adorable headband feels so good on our heads, our roots are thanking us for it! We’re definitely pairing this accessory with the prettiest of dresses.
Retails at S$15.61 on Kooding.
Retails at S$1.90 on Shopee, available in two colours.
Retails at S$5.89 on YesStyle, available in four different colours.
Retails at S$6 on SHEIN.
Hair clips with wider teeth
Although it’s best to avoid hair clips with metal components, these acrylic accessories have a smooth surface and wider teeth that prevent hair strands from getting tangled up in them. No more snagging bits that cause hair breakage!
Retails at S$11.35 on Kooding.
Retails at S$$7.68 – S$8.39 on Shopee.
Retails at S$0.79/piece on Shopee.
At the end of the day, our scalp is one of the most sensitive parts of our body and we ought to treat with utmost care and respect. Listen to your scalp and how it’s feeling, and style your hair with a gentle hand!