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20 Habits That Damage Your Hair

Towel Drying Hair

After stepping out of a shower, our temptation is to take our bath towels and roughly wring out water from our hair. Even the fuzziest towels can lead to damaged hair shafts, more split ends, and extra frizzy hair days.

The best way to dry your hair is with a microfiber towel--or even better, let your tresses air dry!

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Using Too Much Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is a quick and dirty way to refresh unwashed hair, but it’s is bad for our scalps. When we use dry shampoo, we’re actually coating our hair with substances that can potentially build up, irritate, and weaken the follicles.


Excess dry shampoo usage can increase the chances of hair shedding. Stick with less dry shampoo throughout the week and let your scalp breathe.

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Brushing Hair While It’s Still Wet

Brushing our hair encourages hair growth by stimulating the roots, but brushing wet hair can do more bad than good. Our hair is vulnerable when wet.

Brushing when wet adds tension and may lead to breakage. Not all brushes are alike. Wide tooth combs and boar bristle brushes are great for detangling wet hair without it snagging on the brush.

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Swimming in Pools

Chlorine is necessary to keep swimming pools clean but strips our hair of natural oils. Chlorine doesn’t actually make our hair green after a dip in the pool; that's the chlorine oxidizing with copper making it look like we have algae-colored hair.

Unflattering swim caps aren’t needed to combat the green, though. For a preventative measure, wet your hair and use a little bit of a leave-in conditioner before swimming. If your hair is already chlorine-damaged, use apple cider vinegar to rinse out the chlorine.

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Aggressive Teasing or Backcombing

Big hair was all the rage in the 1980s. We teased our hair to great heights, but what we didn’t know was how much damage we were inflicting to our hair. Because teasing or backcombing is going against the direction of hair cuticle cells, we’re causing breakage.

The best way to minimize destroying hair while teasing is using a good quality backcombing brush, combing through your entire hair, using texturizing products to create lift, and teasing with even, downward strokes without getting aggressive.

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Wearing the Same Hairstyle All the Time

Some days it’s easier to throw our hair back into a quick ponytail or bun. But doing the same style constantly can lead to traction alopecia, or hair loss starting at the hairline. Repeatedly pulling hair back forces the follicle away from its root and discourages hair growth.

Loose hairdos are better than super tight hairstyles. Also, if your heart is still in the 80s, the scrunchie is the perfect accessory that won’t tug hard on hair.

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Scorching Hot Showers

There’s nothing like a nice hot shower but lower the water temperature for your hair’s sake! While it does help clean our hair, hot water can make our scalps dry up fast.

Instead, try taking a warm shower; they're the way to go for pleasant showers and happy heads of hair. Plus, they still warm you up on a cold day.

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Overwashing Hair

We think because we have oily hair we need to shower more to wash out excess oiliness. We’re actually stripping away necessary oils our hair needs to maintain its health.

Our scalp then overcompensates for the lack of oil and produces way too much. Combat oiliness by starting with washing your hair every other day to every two days. Our scalps will adjust and maintain the perfect balance.

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Heat Styling with No Heat Protectant

With so many hair styling devices at our disposal, it’s easy to go overboard with using the hot tools. Too much heat will quickly dry out our hair. Adding a heat protectant should be the first step before any styling involving hot tools.

Use hair dryers, curlers, straighteners, and hot brushes on low settings with a few spritzes of heat protectant to avoid any damage.

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Sleeping on Cotton Pillowcases

As comfy as they are, sleeping on cotton pillowcases can lead to bad hair days. The fibers catch onto hair while we toss and turn in the night.

Cotton is also absorbent and sucks moisture out of hair. Consider investing in a silk pillowcase for smooth hair or simply use a silk scarf to wrap around your hair before going to bed.

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Pulling Out Gray Hairs

Any sight of gray hairs can make people recoil or anxious to pull them out. There’s a myth that if we yank them out more will pop up in its place. Pulling them out won’t grow more because only one strand can grow in a follicle.

Instead, the new strand will still be gray because the pigment cells aren’t producing color anymore. If plucking is a must, be gentle with removing any gray hairs to prevent trauma to the follicle that can lead to hair loss.

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Avoiding the Hairdresser

Visits to the hair salon shouldn’t be just for our hair is getting too long. Cutting hair is vital in maintaining healthy hair. Split ends continue to split until it reaches the root.

Getting regular haircuts is a good way to keep hair in check. Most hair stylists suggest that you should visit the salon a minimum of every eight weeks to ensure your hair stays happy and healthy.

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Sleeping with Wet Hair

For some people, washing our hair is all we need to unwind and relax after a long day. It’s easy to shower and hop straight into bed without first drying our hair.

Sleeping with wet hair is a quick way to get breakage. Wet hair is more brittle and prone to damage. Not to mention, we get some funky dents in after waking up with damp hair!

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Forgetting to Clean the Hairbrush

Hair brushes that haven’t been cleaned in a while are home to stray strands of hair, debris, sweat, and residue from styling products. We’re not doing any favors to our hair by using dirty brushes.

Keeping our combs free and clean is a good strategy for making sure our hair is as fresh and healthy as can be.

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Shampoo with Sulfates

Shampoo with sulfates could be the culprit to why our hair feels dry. Sulfates make shampoos foamy when mixed with water, but too much sulfate in shampoos can excessively strip essential oils and protein from our hair.

That's not the only thing you (possibly) have to worry about. There have been claims that sulfates cause cancer, but there’s been no scientific evidence to back it up.

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Hair Sprays with Alcohol

There are claims that hair sprays with alcohol are bad and drying, but it depends on the type of alcohol. Products containing ethanol, SD alcohol, SD alcohol 40, denatured alcohol, propanol, propyl alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol are harmful because they evaporate quickly.

On the other hand, lauryl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, myristyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, and behenyl alcohol are fatty alcohols safe to use because they coat our hair with hydration.

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Getting a Perm

The 80s were a time for big voluminous hair. Perms were the norm. Perms change the chemical properties of hair to shape it into waves or curls, and if not done properly, there can be major damage to our strands.

Typically, bleaching hair is more damaging, so getting a bleach and perm at the same time may not be the wisest choice. In fact, many hair stylists may deny the services if paired together.

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Eating a Poor Diet

As cliché as it sounds, beauty really does start from within. The foods we eat affect our skin, nail, and hair health. Good food for good hair include eggs, berries, spinach, fatty fish, sweet potatoes, avocados, nuts, seeds, sweet peppers, oysters, shrimp, beans, and soybeans.

Vitamins that promote hair growth are vitamins A, C, D, E, zinc, B, iron, and biotin. Try to get these foods naturally, as your body absorbs vitamins better when eaten.

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Hair Snagging on Purses

Be careful when carrying heavy purses around. It may seem insignificant, but purses that constantly tug at our hair can lead to strands being pulled out of the follicle.

Make sure to move any loose hair away or clip it back to avoid premature hair loss. You can also consider switching to a different type of bag that doesn't pull your hair.

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Not Drinking Enough Water

Our bodies don’t perform optimally when we’re dehydrated and growing healthy hair will be the least of our body’s priorities. One-fourth of our hair strands are made of water.

Hair loss is possible if we’re severely dehydrated. New hair won’t grow unless we’re quenched of thirst, and since we naturally shed lots of water throughout the day, we need to stay hydrated.

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