13 Ways You Don’t Realize You’re Damaging Your Hair

You wash it, brush it, blow-dry it, straighten it, curl it, and/or put all kinds of products in it. There’s no question your hair goes through the ringer on any given day. Before you know it, your tresses can show signs of damage, from split ends to uncontrollable frizz—and the older we get, the more it naturally thins out and looks dull or damaged, even without over-processing, says Elisa Hills, co-founder of the hair care line BLNDN.

The good news is you can reverse the damage. Your game plan: Stopcommitting these common mistakes, and follow the fixes recommended by top stylists to bring your hair back to life.

In the Shower

1. You Wash Your Hair Every Day

As a general rule, hair should be washed as often as needed, says Amy Abramite, creative director and stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. For most stylists we talked to, that’s every two to three days. Any more, and you risk stripping your hair of its natural, protective oils that keep it shiny and healthy, Hills says. This is especially true for people who color their hair, as over-washing can dull the vibrancy of their color, says Constantine James, a celebrity hair and makeup expert in Chicago.

Of course, there are other factors involved. If you work out and sweat a lot, you may not be able to wait three days, Abramite says. In that case, try rinsing with water, scrubbing the scalp, and conditioning your ends only, says Paul Norton, a Joico celebrity hair stylist in Los Angeles.

If you’re dealing with a super oily scalp, look into a hydrating shampoo and conditioner, James says. It sounds counterintuitive, but your body may be producing more oil due to dryness—attempting to naturally fix the problem. Second, invest in some dry shampoo to extend the time between washes. James likes TRESemme Fresh Start , which soaks up oil and gets rid of odor—without any weird powdery residue.

 

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