Hair Care Basics

Chances are, you’ve picked up a bad habit or two when it comes to hair care. And if radiant tresses are hard to come by these days, it may be time to evaluate your routine! Avoid these seven common hair blunders, and you’ll be on your way to sensational strands in no time.

 

by mary beth wallace

 

 

1. You’re using too much heat.

From the straightener to the curling iron, styling tools can be your hair’s worst enemy. The heat from these tools depletes your hair of moisture, which leads to dryness and damage. If you’re going to be styling your hair, make sure to apply heat-protectant products that defend against frying. And, dial back the heat setting to further stave off breakage.

 

2. You’re obsessed with updos.

Having a bad hair day? You may want to think twice before pulling your hair up into a tight bun or ponytail. These updos, while stylish and convenient, can cause thinning and even hair loss if sported too frequently. That’s not to say you should ditch the pony forever – switching from tight elastics to fabric hair ties can help with tugging, and changing the location of your ponytail can also help prevent damage.

 

shampoo and conditioner don't overwash hair too much conditioner3. You’re washing too often.

For most of us, a day or two in between washing will really benefit our tresses! Shampooing your hair more than necessary can strip away its natural oils, which provide moisture and protection – in other words, daily washing could result in a dry, brittle mane. Of course, there’s an exception to every rule: If you have an oily scalp, you can benefit from daily washing.

 

4. You’re putting off your hair cut.

Whether you’re trying to save a buck or simply don’t have a break in your schedule, delaying that much-needed trim for months at a time isn’t doing your hair any favors. The longer you wait, the higher any split ends you’ve developed will climb, causing more split ends and stunting healthy hair growth. Most experts recommend a trim every six weeks to three months, depending on your hair type. 

 

towel drying your hair 5. You’re towel-drying your hair.

That seemingly harmless towel treatment after your shower is actually a major hair faux pas. The rough texture of cotton towels is abrasive to strands, causing friction that leads to cuticle damage and breakage. Instead of aggressively rubbing, try blotting and squeezing to release excess moisture. Go the extra mile by using a microfiber towel or a cotton t-shirt, which will be easier on your cuticles.

 

6. You’re using too much conditioner.

Conditioner is synonymous with healthy-looking hair: It’s the key to soft, smooth, and shiny locks. Just don’t overdo it, as excess product can cause buildup that turns hair dull and lifeless. A small dollop of conditioner per wash should do the trick. Also, keep in mind that your roots don’t require conditioning. Only apply the product to your mid-sections and ends, where hair is older and drier.

 

7. You’re not getting enough nutrients.

A poor diet could be to blame for limp, lackluster locks. Healthy hair starts in the kitchen, so make sure you’re incorporating enough nutrients (think: omega-3 fatty acids, biotin, iron, and zinc) in your diet. Eggs, spinach, walnuts, salmon, and whole grains are some of the best foods you can eat for healthy hair. High-quality protein from meat, beans, and seeds is also essential for hair growth and strength. HS

 

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