If there’s one thing literally every gal on earth can agree on is that hair damage is never a good thing. Our hair is put through stress every day but with so many things to worry about during a day, we sometimes forget to stop thinking that some of our habits are doing real harm. Dry, brittle or splitting strands? No thank you! If you find yourself suffering from these issues it’s a wake-up call to take a good hard look at your daily haircare routine.

There are literally so many bad hair habits we’re not even realising because we do so much with our hair nowadays. Bleaching them or chemically treating them just to name a few. However, we’ve outlined the worst culprits that could be even unintentionally ruining your hair. Once hair damage occurs it can be a neverending nightmare and a constant cycle of damage and breakage if not stopped. Fortunately, many of these can be easily fixed as long as you take careful steps to prevent it from happening in the future.

Keep reading to find out the most damaging things you are doing to your hair:

1. Overprocessing and colour damage

If you’ve spent a lot of time at the salon getting your hair dyed ever so often you already know what we mean. All that chemical processing can cause irreversible damage to your hair. Of course with new innovations hitting the market not all colour treatments will wreck your hair as much but they are still anything but harmless. Don’t even get us started on chemical styling like smoothening or perm treatments. These chemicals damage the hair shafts and make the porous which can eventually over time lead to extreme breakage. This is why aftercare is so important. You need to keep your hair constantly hydrated to repair any damage. Use products like deep conditioning masks or daily leave-in products to replenish your locks and treat then with care.

2. Excessive heat styling

What’s that noise? Oh, it’s your hair frying between the straighteners 400-degree plates. Hot tools are notorious culprits that suck moisture out of your hair strands. I don’t care what the label on the box says at the end of the day, any heated beauty tools cause real hair damage and overusing it is the worst. The key to limiting the damage is to avoid using them on the highest heat setting when possible and try minimising the number of times in a week your ironing or curling your hair. And hey why not take this opportunity to try different updos or braided hairstyles on days you’re giving that iron a break.

Of course, it’s important to recognise your hair type in this process too! Thick or coarser hair can handle a bit more heat whereas finer hair textures should keep to lower settings. And lest we forget the most important point of all, do not forget to use a heat protectant product! A heat protectant works to create a barrier for your hair shaft and helps seal moisture. Trust us, it is not worth skipping this crucial step in the long run!

3. Using dirty brushes and beauty tools

We’ve all been guilty time and time again of not properly cleaning our hairbrushes and beauty tools. Whether you forgot or realised it for the first time, we’re not judging you but consider this a wake up call and start scrubbing ASAP. Brushes and tools collect a lot of build-up, residue and skin particles on top even if you can see it. This makes it very easy for bacteria to grow and easily transfer back to your hair and scalp if not cleaned regularly. Give your hair irons and straighteners a quick wipe down every once in a while, only when they’ve cooled down of course! If you’re curious about how to clean and maintain your brushes properly check out our handy guide here.

4. Heat styling dirty hair

This might come as a surprise but you really don’t want to heat style dirty hair. While washing your hair too often is bad, your hair still needs to be adequately cleaned. This is because while the hot tools cause damage anyways the products you’re using in between washes like dry shampoos or texture sprays may contain ingredients that don’t respond well with excessive heat. It just ends up creating more damage on top. If you really have to style your hair pay attention to the ingredients in the products you’re using. Select ones that hydrate and protect your strands and never apply heat without first applying a heat protectant.

5. Brushing aggressively

You might be wondering what’s wrong with brushing my hair? Nothing really except if you’re brushing too often and too aggressively. If you have dry ends it might break them and the same issue if it’s wet. The key here is moderation. Brush your hair gently and only when needed to style or detangle them. Moreover, before you use a wide-tooth comb to brush through wet strands make sure to use a leave-in treatment post-shower. This keeps your hair hydrated and allows your comb to gently glides through without catching or breaking hair when it’s at its most vulnerable.

6. Over washing or under washing your hair

When deciding how often to wash your hair it, of course, depends on your hair type and texture or even what it’s asking of you that day—it really is a fine balance! Because shampoo can strip the hair of its natural oils you should avoid washing your hair every day. Instead, try 2-3 days or go even longer if possible and use a good dry shampoo in between.

7. Bad blow-drying methods

Like we mentioned before, the heat from hot tools including blow dryers can cause breakage. So when you do use it you want to be aware of how you’re drying your hair and do it the right way so as not to scorch your strands! First and foremost always apply a heat protectant. Then make sure to air dry your hair about 60-70 per cent of the way before going in with the dryer. Most importantly, you need to maintain at least half an inch been the hair on your brush and the nozzle. Preferably you are using it on the lower heat setting but this method allows for the intensely hot air to escape and create an even distribution of heat without frying your ends.

8. Drying hair with a towel

Ditch your regular bath towel. Yes seriously! Using the wrong towel after a hair washes with coarse texture can seriously hurt your locks when it’s at their most vulnerable state. A rough towel can cause more friction, frizzy hair that can result in breakage. Instead, use a plush microfiber towel or a cotton t-shirt. These fabrics will be more soft and gentle on the strands plus help dry your hair faster.

Do you have any helpful tips or routines you do to protect your hair? Let us know in the comments below.

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