9 Ways You're Damaging Your Lustrous Locks

styling_habits_slide1_annaIllustrated by Anna Sudit.
Do you feel like your hair just won't grow? We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but it might be time to break a few nasty habits. Before we get started though, you should know that there's a difference between hair loss and hair breakage. Check out this post to learn more.
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Styling Wet Hair
Hair is most fragile when it’s wet, so attempting to manipulate too much at this point can do more harm than good. It’s usually best to wait until hair is damp or almost dry to begin styling it.
Too Much Sun
Hair can take a real beating in the summer months. And, if your job requires you to spend long hours outdoors, your hair can be damaged easily. We all know by now to apply SPF to our skin, but what are you doing about your hair? Try deep conditioning treatments once a week and wear a scarf if you need to be outdoors for longer hours. You can also try a BB Cream for hair that protects against sun and heat damage.
styling_habits_slide2_annaIllustrated by Anna Sudit.
Hair Dye
We love to change up our look in the summer, but lifting the cuticles takes a toll on our hair. Try going longer periods of time in between treatments or using deep conditioning products more frequently. Regular trims may also help keep hair healthy.
Your Diet
We may not want to admit it, but we may not be eating right and including the necessary proteins that our bodies need, including our hair. Hair consists of protein — keratin — and is built from the foods we add to our body every day. Incorporate omega 3s and protein into your diet by eating more fish, nuts, and chicken, for example.
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styling_habits_slide4_annaIllustrated by Anna Sudit.
Not Nourishing Your Scalp
Protective styles need moisture, too. Place some cream or hair butter on your hands and fingers and work it through your hair every few days. You can spray some water after you apply the cream to let the moisturizer really set in, paying attention to both the roots and the ends.
Sleeping With Cotton
The cotton creates friction, which promotes frizziness and split ends. Try a silk or satin pillowcase instead. And, if that isn't up your alley, a silk cap also works.
Tight Styles
Overdoing it with tight buns and clips can damage the hair shaft and cuticle over time. Keep styles as loose and relaxed as possible — especially when you're sleeping. Allow a few pieces to fall around your face or neck. Hair is fragile, and having tension added to it throughout the day can cause damage.
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styling_habits_slide5_annaIllustrated by Anna Sudit.
Brushing
Forget the "100 strokes a day" rule that Marcia Brady convinced the world of. The practice causes too much friction for hair to handle, and isn't worth the effort. Instead, while detangling, use a curl-friendly brush or wide-tooth comb, like the ones from Denman.
Heat Styling Tools
Blowdryers, flatirons, and curling wands are no joke when it comes to the state of your hair's hydrogen bonds. They change once heat is applied, which promotes breakage and split ends. If you practice one of these styling methods on a daily basis, chances are your hair feels thin and weak. Try air-drying your hair every other time you wash it. NEXT: The Curly Hair Commandments
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