Bad habits, we've all got our share. And now that the New Year has ticked over, it's a good time to try and kick a few of them to the kerb.
You might not be going to bed with your makeup on anymore, and you haven't squeezed a spot in weeks, but is your hair regime just as squeaky clean?
Here's how to break some hair habits you may not even know are stressing your strands out to the max.
Why it's bad: Pulling your hair back tightly all the time can put too much tension on the scalp and ultimately cause a condition called traction alopecia. Especially common around the hairline and temples, it can lead to permanent hair loss.
Break the habit: Avoid wearing the same hairstyle, especially if it's tight, and alternate hair-ups with wearing your hair out and loose.
Why it's bad: Hair ties that have no give in them, are joined with a metal clasp or have no slip (aka rubber bands), can actually create tiny fractures in the hair shaft which can weaken it and lead to breakage.
Break the habit: The softer and more flexible the hair tie is, the better. And, try not to wear your hair tied in the same place all the time, especially while you're sleeping.
Why it's bad: The extreme heat from a straightening iron or curling wand on hair with moisture in it literally has a boiling effect – that's why you'll often see steam. And the only way back from burnt hair is to have it cut off.
Break the habit: Always make sure hair is 100 per cent dry before heat styling because even heat protectant won't protect it when it's damp.
Why it's bad: Brushes can quickly build up with dead skin cells, oil and styling product residue, not to mention hair. If it's not removed, all of that gunk ends up being brushed back onto your clean hair and scalp. Yuck!
Break the habit: Remove excess hair and wash your brush once a week in a basin of warm water that has shampoo or anti-bacterial liquid soap added. Leave it to air dry, bristles down, or use the cool setting on your hairdryer to get rid of moisture.
Why it's bad: As the ends of your hair age, they can start to look untidy and fray. If any splits are not cut off, they can actually travel further up the hair shaft.
Break the habit: Book in for a regular trim every 6 weeks depending on your style to ensure ends are always healthy and strong.
Why it's bad: Yes we all love a hot shower, but when it comes to your hair, hot water can fade colour and seriously dehydrate your strands as well as your scalp.
Break the habit: Instead, wash hair in lukewarm water, adding a blast of cold water for your final rinse to help seal the cuticles for extra shine and stimulate your scalp to encourage growth.
Why it's bad: When hair is wet, it's in a very fragile state, so if you vigorously towel dry, squeeze, or god forbid – brush it, you'll not only encourage frizz by roughing up those cuticles, but you'll potentially damage it as well.
Break the habit: Gently blot excess moisture from your hair with a towel, and detangle with a wide-tooth comb. If blow-drying, rough dry your hair 80 per cent dry before using any sort of brush to continue styling with.
Why it's bad: Your scalp needs to be free from product build-up, sweat, oils and dead skin cells so it can breathe and flourish.
Break the habit: Substitute only one real wash per week with dry shampoo and invest in a scalp scrub to use every few weeks to eliminate build-up.
This story originally appeared on our sister site, beautyheaven.
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