8 Ways You're Accidentally Damaging Your Hair
And how you can easily fix it
You try your best. We all do. But sometimes those quick hair fixes we sneak in on occasion (like spraying dry shampoo for, sigh, the third day) can be more destructive to our strands in the long run. Here, we brush up on the unlikely offenders that may be damaging your otherwise healthy mane.
Sleeping with wet hair
Damp hair is very fragile and stretches easily. Combine this with the tossing and turning you do in bed and you’re looking at lots of breakage. Bump up your evening shower time to allow for more air drying--or invest in a satin pillowcase to minimize friction.
Blow-drying hair when it's 100-percent wet
The sooner you start blow-drying, the longer your hair is exposed to heat. Instead, let your hair air-dry at least 50 percent of the way before starting your blowout. Trust: You’ll still get a smooth finish.
RELATED: The Best Ways to Air-Dry Your Hair (and Not Look Like a Poodle)
Ironing too aggressively
The combination of the heat, the clamping down and the pulling is terrible for your hair. A nifty trick: Let hair dry completely (it should never sizzle!) and run the flat iron over it slightly open. That way you still get the heat--just not so directly.
Brushing from the top down
It may sound counterintuitive, but you should always start from the bottom and work your way up in short strokes. You'll tackle any knots from the bottom, rather than ever having to yank your brush through them.
Wearing your hair up too often
Turns out, those pretty braids (and even a simple ponytail) can do a lot of damage when worn too frequently. The constant tension weakens strands and causes them to break off--especially around the crown of your head. Go ahead and let your hair down some days. And when you do put it up, work in some oil before styling to give strands a little lubrication.
RELATED: 8 Hair Myths That You Should Just Forget Already
Using too much dry shampoo
We love the stuff, but like all good things, too much of it can be bad. Why? It causes buildup that not only dulls your hair but also clogs your follicles. Still keep a can on hand, but try to alternate between dry shampoo and sudsing up the ol’ fashioned way every other time you’re due for a wash.
Using the wrong conditioner (at the wrong time)
Check your labels. If they say anything about “strengthening" or "fortifying," there’s protein in the formula. And while a bit of protein is great for beefing up weak strands, too much of it can make them brittle over time. Scale back to using these formulas no more than once a week and swap in something more moisturizing in-between.