Our hair is put through stress every day, which can lead to damaged, dull, brittle hair over time. While some bad hair habits are easy to identify, most times, you’re actually destroying your hair without even knowing it. We’ve outlined some hidden causes of damage below, so you can take a look at your hair routine and make the necessary changes for healthier hair.\n\n1. Hidden chemicals in your hair products\nSodium lauryl sulfate, isopropyl alcohol, polyethylene glycol...do these sound like chemicals you would willingly apply to your hair? The truth is, most hair products contain a multitude of chemicals, alcohols, and silicones, that only give your hair short-term softness and shine. In the long run, however, these ingredients do more harm than good.\n2. Excessive heat styling\nHot tools are known culprits that rapidly suck moisture out of hair strands, literally frying your ends. Opt to air dry instead of blow dry when you can and try going heatless a few days a week by experimenting with twists, buns, and braids.\n\n3. Skipping out on the heat protectant\nMuch like protecting your skin with sunscreen, heat protectant works the same way to shield your hair from the detrimental effects of heat. Heat protectant acts as a barrier between your hair and your hot tools, sealing in moisture, and boosting shine.\n4. Brushing your hair when wet\nYour hair is at its most fragile state when wet and is therefore more susceptible to damage. Although it may be tempting to brush tangles out immediately after stepping out of the shower, allow your hair to dry at least half way before brushing.\n\n5. Using the wrong kind of shampoo and conditioner\nNot all shampoos are created for the same hair problems, so it’s important to identify what your hair goals are and shop for products accordingly. Use a lot of hair products on a daily basis? Opt for a clarifying shampoo to prevent buildup at the scalp. Suffer from dry hair? Use a shampoo infused with honey or oils to deposit moisture into your hair as you wash.\n6. Towel drying your hair\nThe next time you step out of the shower and wrap your hair in a towel turban, think again. Regular towels are usually made with rough, coarse fabric. This leads to more friction when rubbing against the hair, creating frizz, pulling on fragile strands, and causing damage and breakage. Instead, opt for a microfiber towel, which glides easily over hair, reducing strain.\n\n7. Washing your hair every day\nOur scalp produces natural oils essential for maintaining shiny, healthy hair. As a rule of thumb, you should wash your hair every two to three days or even longer, if you can make it. If your roots get oily within a day, invest in a good dry shampoo to tide you over until your next wash.\n8. Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase\nMuch like towel drying your hair, sleeping on a cotton pillow can lead to tangled hair and contribute to breakage. The smaller fibres on a silk pillowcase prevent your hair from excessive pulling as you toss and turn, preserving your curls overnight, and leading to smoother hair in the morning. \n\n9. Avoiding regular haircuts\nWe all want long, healthy hair, however, avoiding regular haircuts is actually a counterintuitive way to achieve that long hair of your dreams. Generally, most women should have their hair trimmed every 3 months to keep ends healthy and prevent breakage. If you notice that your ends are starting to feel brittle or developing split ends, it’s time to make a trip your salon.\n10. Not changing up your hair products\nOver time, your hair will adapt to products you use regularly leaving a residue or buildup on your scalp, rendering them less effective. Use a clarifying shampoo once a month to give your hair a fresh start, or rotate different products to suit your needs into your regular hair routine to keep your hair from getting too accustomed to a specific product.\n\nAre you destroying your hair without even knowing it? Take a good look at how you treat your hair every day, and make a few small but significant changes and achieve the strong, lustrous, healthy hair you’ve always dreamed of.