How You’re Damaging Your Hair (And Don’t Even Know it)

We love our hair. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t get it cut and colored professionally. We wouldn’t use the best hair care products, and we wouldn’t read articles online on how to keep it healthy! You might be damaging your hair without even knowing it, though. Beware the breakage by avoiding a few steps in your daily routine you didn’t know were so harmful to your hair.

1. Wearing Tight Ponytails


Ponytails are the perfect solution to any hair day. Whether it’s a sleek, runway-inspired ponytail or a “I’m going to be late to work” ponytail, this hairstyle is a go-to for many people. But if you wear a tight ponytail every day, this quick fix could hurt your hair in the long run. Ponytails can cause hair to break, especially if you put up your hair while it’s still wet. Ponytails pull on the delicate hairs at the front of your scalp, and overtime these little hairs can fall out. The hair loss isn’t permanent unless you always wear your ponytail tight or in the same spot.

How to Fix It? Mix up the location of your ponytail. Try it at the crown, the nape of your neck, or celebrate Throwback Thursday with a 1980s side pony. Use holders covered in fabric so your hair doesn’t snag on the elastic. Finally, give your hair a break (the good kind) once in a while by just letting your hair down.

2. Rubbing Your Head with a Towel

towel dry hair

We’ve all done it. You step out of the shower, grab your towel, and rub your hair like crazy to dry it quickly. While towel drying is better for your hair than blow drying, excessive and aggressive rubbing can cause frizz and hair damage. Your hair is most vulnerable when wet and needs to be treated gently.

How to Fix It? Pat dry your hair instead of rubbing it dry. Be gentle with your precious locks! You could also get a microfiber towel. Wrapping your hair in a microfiber towel is far gentler and will actually dry your hair quicker. Wrap your hair while you’re getting dressed, and you’ll save time in your morning routine. Check out the test Women’s Health tried for proof.

3. Over Brushing Your Hair

overbrushing hair

And here you thought 100 brush strokes would lead to a healthy, shiny head of hair. When you constantly brush your hair, the friction is just too much for your hair to handle, and the stands will often break or split. If you tug and rip on your hair to remove tangles, you’re also damaging it. Remember, your hair is delicate.

How to Fix It? Brush your hair just enough to remove snarls, and if you hit a snag, carefully brush through it. Buying a good brush will also help. There’s a range of brushes that will help smooth out your hair without causing a lot of damage. Talk to your stylist for recommendations if you’re unsure which type of brush will work best for you.

4. Not Drinking Enough Water

drinking water

There are tons of benefits to drinking water, but did you know one of them is healthier hair? Water keeps hair hydrated, and hydrated hair is happy hair. The dryer your hair gets, the more susceptible it is to breaking. If there’s not enough water in your system, your hair will show it.

How to Fix It? Drink more water! Replace your can of soda with a glass of water or bring a water bottle to work. If you feel like your hair just isn’t growing anymore, start drinking more water. Your hair should become stronger and break less, which means your hair will grow longer.

5. Using the Wrong Conditioner


It’s tempting to grab a cheap conditioner when you’re grabbing other essentials from the drug store, but trust us, your conditioner is vitally important to healthy hair. Your conditioner will keep your scalp healthy and your hair moisturized. Each strand of hair is covered by tiny cells that look a bit like scales. When hair is damaged, the cells stand out, making hair look rough and dull. Conditioner smooths out those cells, so it’s important you use one that works well.

How to Fix It? The type of conditioner that will work best for you depends on a lot of different aspects, so chat with your stylist about it. Different hair benefits from different conditioners. Splurge a little and get a conditioner that really works. You’ll see a noticeable difference in your hair.

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