Hop in the shower, lather up with shampoo, rinse. Apply conditioner, rinse. Then
blow dry your hair into whatever style you want. It’s as though you’re on autopilot when it comes to tending to your hair. But is your hair routine really leaving you with healthy hair? After all, maybe what you thought was a given is not hair apparent? You may be surprised with some of the less-than-stellar ways you’re treating your hair. We discover the worst hair habits you may be committing and how to break free to
get the healthy hair you really want.

Bad hair habit #1: Always putting your elastic in the same spot

You can’t beat the simplicity of throwing your hair up into a topknot or pulling your hair back into a ponytail when you head to the gym. And it’s natural to always do it in the same way, which means that elastic is in exactly the same spot every time. That section of your hair will start to show wear and tear, in terms of strain and breakage, resulting in less than healthy hair, says Carla Pisegna, a senior stylist at Blyss Salon in Toronto. “Even if you’re just shifting the elastic half an inch, it will help,” she says.

Bad hair habit #2: Wasting shampoo and conditioner

Most people use too much shampoo. Pisegna herself (who has long hair) only uses a quarter-sized bit of shampoo to wash her nearly-waist-length hair (we know, we are in a state of utter surprise, too). She’s also a big proponent of shampooing twice. This sounds contradictory, but let us explain. Since you’re likely using too much shampoo in your one lathering anyway, try to switch that amount of shampoo in two lathering up sessions in the morning. The first shampoo shouldn’t lather, Pisegna explains; this removes oil, dirt and residue. “Your second shampoo is the one that truly cleans your hair and preps it so you can stretch out the time until your next shampoo,” she explains.

As for conditioner, don’t apply it right after rinsing your shampoo out. Bring a small towel into the shower with you so you can use it to help squeeze out excess water before applying your conditioner. “If you don’t remove excess water, conditioner you apply will be more diluted,” says Pisegna.

Bad hair habit #3: Being too aggressive with damp hair

Is it the aggressive roughing up and rubbing the hair with a towel that we see on TV and in movies what’s influenced us? Think about it: at your salon, they don’t go roughly on your hair with the towel. And this is because it can cause breakage which equals not so healthy hair. “I think of hair like a piece of fabric—treat it with respect! When you buy a blouse, you don’t toss it into the machine if it’s dry clean only and mistreat it,” says Pisegna.

More bad hair habits to break on the next page (FYI you need to stop blow drying your hair upside down, stat) …
Bad hair habit #4: Wrapping your just shampooed hair up in a towel right after your shower

Wrapping your hair up in a towel after you step out of the shower while you do your makeup or get dressed is fine. But you would be better off applying your product (mousse, gel or whatever your product choice is) to your damp hair before it dries out more in the towel wrap. “When your hair becomes semi-dry, product doesn’t get distributed as evenly, so apply it to your wet hair, comb it through and then wrap it in a towel,” says Pisegna.

Bad hair habit #5: You blow dry your hair upside down

Yes, you read that right. Many hair stylists suggest throwing your head down to blow dry your hair to gain volume, but Pisegna is not one of them. “Yes, this will blow dry your hair faster by removing moisture and it can give you volume, but you’re blowing hair against where it naturally falls,” she says. This can create frizz (and we all know frizzy hair isn’t associated with healthy hair), she explains, so you’re only creating more work for yourself. This method will boost up the volume, but the volume will be everywhere rather than at the crown, which is where most people want volume. Blow dry upright, and you can still create volume exactly where you want it, she says.

Bad hair habit #6: Only brushing when you’re styling your hair.

Don’t think of your brush as merely your styling tool. In fact, Pisegna says you should brush before stepping into the shower, not only after. Brushing and detangling your hair before you shampoo will help make the task easier, plus if you bring a brush right into the shower with you, brushing the conditioner through your ends will help ensure it coats the hair and gets evenly distributed, she says.

Read more:

Hair styles: A guide on how to part your hair

Pretty spring hair styles: The diagonal side part

Pretty spring hair styles: The center part

Chalet special: The best hair detanglers