If you want great hair, there are some serious “rules” you need to abide by, starting with knowing the worst things to do to your hair. Just by avoiding these horrendous hair punishments, you can automatically upgrade your hair from drab to fab in no time! To make things simple, follow these basic, yet incredibly effective tips to avoid the worst things to do to your hair. Doing so will get you lovely, luscious locks in no time! Got a tip for me? Share it with the rest of us in the comments section below!
1 Excessive Brushing
Here’s a tip most people don’t know: one of the worst things to do to your hair is to brush it too much! That age old advice of brushing your hair 100 strokes before bed each night is nothing you should be working into your schedule; trust me! Instead, brush your hair less and use your fingers to style your hair more often, instead of your brush. An easy way to do this is to brush it first thing in the morning when you wake up. The natural oils from your head that accumulate overnight are more abundant in the morning before air, sunlight and chemicals in the air have managed to dry it out more. You’ll comb through all these natural oils first thing, distributing them down your hair shaft, which helps them condition your hair naturally. Then, don’t brush your hair the rest of the morning while you’re getting ready. Style your hair with your fingers, and even hot-roll it or tousle it dry with your hands. Don’t brush it again until bedtime, or whenever your shower.
2 Not Conditioning Your Hair
Another tip to remember when learning what to avoid doing to your hair to keep it in tip top shape is to avoid fearing conditioner. If you don’t use conditioner, you’re missing out on some major hair health benefits. Many people with oily or thin hair tend to shy away from conditioners and are afraid they will weigh down their hair and cause a drab, flat style. The trick here is to find a lightweight moisturizer instead of a heavy duty one. If you have thick, coarse hair like me, stick to heavier duty conditioners with lots of natural oils in the base. Either way, conditioning not only protects your hair, adds shine and increases growth, but it also prevents breakage and damage to the internal hair shaft.
3 Wearing a Ponytail Everyday
I love wearing my hair in a pony to keep it out of my face, but doing so everyday is horrid for your hair! Wearing a ponytail creates a consistent pressure to the same place in your hair shaft, which can weaken it over time and prevent growth. Unless you wear a super loose ponytail each day, then you’re more than likely damaging your hair. Instead of sporting the same look each day, try using bobby pins to secure it back, or try a cloth-coated rubber band and wear it looser than normal. Also try wearing your hair back on different places on your head, such as high if you wear it low, or vice versa. This will at least displace the regular damage occurring to your hair in your usual spot.
4 Constant Color
I love a nice highlighting session like any other gal out there, but when it comes to caring for your hair, we all really need to quit with the color obsession! Coloring damages the hair shaft, even more so than heat does. Coloring contains chemicals and dyes, and even more natural hair colors can create damage, though it may be minimal. I know you love your color, as many do, but try coloring only twice a year if you can and sport your own shade, which is more fabulous than you realize; trust me! Your hair will look so much softer, it will style better and it will flatter your natural features more so than any color could do.
5 Less Styling Agents Please!
Silicone products, gels, sprays and serums, oh my! If you’re a styling agent junkie, you need a serious hair detox, hun! Using styling agents that contain chemical bases is one of the most harmful things you can do to your hair. If you use these agents, be sure to use only ones that contain organic ingredients, and implement oil-based ones, such as argan oil, which can actually enhance hair growth and health. When in doubt, turn it over and read the ingredient label. If you see alcohols of any kind, sulfates, laurates, phylates or ingredients you don’t recognize, reconsider buying it or put it back on the shelf to avoid giving your hair a damaging chemical bath.
If you smoke, you better quit now if you want good hair for life. Smoking is one of the worst things you could ever do for your hair. It dries it out, makes it stink and increases breakage. Cigarette smoke is terribly toxic anyway, and as most people know, secondhand smoke can give lung cancer to others around you. Health aside, it also creates a horrible atmosphere for your hair. Let’s be honest, while you may be able to avoid submitting other people to secondhand smoke, your hair has no choice. I hope you’ll quit for health purposes alone, but remember if you do choose to smoke, you’re not doing your hair any favors and no amount of healthy products on the market can undo the damage of your daily smoking habit.
7 A Poor Diet
On another note, let’s talk about what you’re literally feeding your hair. If you’re scared of fat or not eating enough protein, you’re not only restricting your body and skin from major beauty benefits, but also your hair! Your hair is made of collagen and protein, both of which are built and fueled off of healthy fats and proteins you feed your face. Your body also needs antioxidant and nutrient-rich veggies and leafy greens. Keep your hair healthy by noshing on raw, unsalted nuts, avocados, raw coconut, leafy greens, green veggies, fatty fish like salmon and Omega 3 rich eggs. Organic poultry is also a major hair booster and plant protein like hemp seeds and chia seeds are incredible for your hair too. A diet like this will give you glorious shine and strength in no time. Be sure to avoid foods that break collagen down, such as refined sugars and refined grains, which create cell damage and inflammation.
8 Using Old Styling Tools
If you're the girl who never, ever cleans your hair brush out or you are constantly using the same hair straightener without ever cleaning it up, you are damaging your hair. Your brush can actually contain a ton of germs inside of it and if you don't clean it out once in a while, you could be putting those germs on your hair! The same goes for your other styling tools, such as combs, curling wands and flat irons.
9 Lots of Heat
Your hair shouldn't constantly be subjected to a ton of heat -- unless you want it to frizz all of the time! The heat of your blow dryer and then a curling iron and finally a straightener can cause a lot of damage. Give it a rest once in a while and just let your hair air dry.
10 Harsh Hair Ties
As mentioned, the way you wear your hair and the tools you use can cause damage. Still, sometimes you simply have to use hair accessories. While the scrunchy is not exactly in style now, it was a lot better for your hair because it was soft. If you are constantly tugging hair ties out of your hair, you're breaking it! Instead, make sure that your hair tie is friendly to your hair and won't break it when you are pulling it out! Similarly, use kinder accessories, whether you prefer headbands or clips.
11 Skipping Heat Protection
I know that I said you should skip drying your hair and adding heat, but some of us can't! If you've got to have your tresses straightened down and blow-dried to perfection everyday, that's okay -- just use protection. Paul Mitchell makes a fantastic serum (Super Skinny Serum!) that you can use in your hair to protect it and give it a sheen!
12 No Haircuts
A lot of us are super guilty of this, admit it! You can't go too long between your haircuts. Instead, schedule them every 6 weeks and you'll see just how beautiful your hair can look. Do you remember that fresh-cut feeling? Imagine feeling that every 6 weeks! By doing this, you'll also catch split ends before they get out of hand.
13 Brushing from the Root down
Oh girls, the way that you brush your hair can actually cause a lot of damage to your tresses and can truly cause a lot of problems. If you are brushing from the root down to the tip, straight, you can run into a ton of snags! Instead, divide your hair up a little and brush from the middle of your hair to the tip to get all of the snags out, then brush from root to tip when you are sure there are no snags!
14 Brushing Wet Hair
This is another no-no. When you are brushing wet hair, a lot of people don't realize that you should be using a wide-toothed comb. Why? Because your hair is so, so vulnerable when it is wet. It can be broken much more easily when it is drenched, so you need to be careful with it.
15 Only Change Shampoo when Your Hair Changes
Finally, you don't need to change your shampoo all of the time. Instead, just change it when your hair changes. If you are pregnant and you are seeing a thinning in your hair, switch it up to a thickening shampoo! If you change the color of your hair, change it to a color protecting shampoo!
If you’re looking for luscious locks, these simple tips are some of the number one priorities you should be giving your hair. Avoid these major no-nos and you’ll be well on your way to hair envy by everyone pronto! Got a tip? Share it with me please!