You Secretly Damaging Your Hair When You Do This

by Miki Hayes

We all pretty much know that bleaching and heat styling are two of the major culprits that lead to damaged hair. But there are other things, things that some of us might do everyday, that are also causing damage to precious locks. Like washing hair. Washing hair is actually a pretty tricky thing that most of probably do without thinking about it, but there are some intricacies. For instance, washing hair too frequently can dry strands out, causing breakage. But washing hair too infrequently can lead to build-up, which causes clogged follicles. And washing hair with water that is too hot can also over-dry it, causing breakage, while washing hair with cold water is, well, freaking cold (albeit good for your hair). Showering is not supposed to be this stressful, right?

And although it might be nearly impossible to cut out all of the things that can cause damage to hair, eliminating or lessening the frequency of any number of these things will help. Especially if you like to dye or heat-style your hair. So here are some of the sneaky things you do that actually damage your hair and how to stop it. Now go forth, free from split ends!

1. Ponytails & Braids

Unnatural bends in your hair, and the way your elastic is tied around your hair can cause breakage. The tighter your style and the more often you wear it, the more damage that can occur. Be especially careful tying your hair up when it's wet. Wet hair is even more fragile and will break more easily. If you like to have your hair out of your face, try pinning it back with a claw that doesn't pinch hairs as tightly.

2. Brushing

Brushing hair causes unnecessary friction that leads to breakage and split ends. Just like styling, brushing is especially bad for wet hair. Finger-comb when you can, and always start from the bottom of your hair.

3. Cotton Pillowcases

Cotton will suck moisture from your hair, leaving your strands dry and more susceptible to damage. What's worse is rolling around on a cotton pillowcase causes more friction than alternatives, which can cause breakage. Try switching out your cotton pillowcase for a silk or satin one to prevent both of these things.

Try: SlipSilk for Beauty Sleep, $79, Nordstrom

4. Extensions

Extensions cause damage in a similar way to ponytails and braids, except while clipping in all those extensions also cause breakage, they're causing it at the root instead of throughout the hair. This makes it harder to cut out the damage. If you can, just don't use extensions. If you can't live without 'em though, try to use them as sparingly as possible, and don't clip them in the exact same spot every time.

5. Teasing

Teasing, or backcombing, actually scrapes the cuticles of your strands backwards. Damaging this protective, outer layer of hair is what leads to easier breakage and split ends. If you want that extra volume, try a root-boosting product instead.

6. Towel Drying

As previously mentioned, wet hair is fragile and more prone to breakage. Rubbing it fiercely against a towel causes more friction than your poor strands can handle, leading to breakage. Instead, blot hair against your towel to absorb excess moisture.

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