7 Bad Habits You Had No Idea Were Ruining Your Hair

Are you guilty of these under-the-radar strand snafus? They may be standing in the way of you and your best style.

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Expired Products—That Includes Tools

According to Jasmine Anna Galazka, leading stylist at the Warren Tricomi Flagship Salon in The Plaza Hotel, New York, and educator for Shu Uemura Art of Hair and Kérastase, using products that have expired on your hair can significantly damage it—the biggest offender can be your hair dryer (who knew).“Old product just sits on the hair shaft instead of infusing it with rich ingredients. Always check the date and be updated on what new launches are within your favorite brands." And a totally off-the-radar thing to beware of: old tools. "Hair dryers or heat tools have a tendency to increase their strength in heat once they've gained some years, hence drying your hair out,"Galazka says.

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The Wrong Brush

Having the right brushes to detangle or style your hair can significantly help the structure of your follicle. Galazka’s tip: Always use ceramic or natural bristles.

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Pulling Back Your Hair When It’s Wet

Galazka says the number-one worst thing you can probably do to your hair is tie it up while it’s still wet. “This puts a lot of strain on your hair and sometimes adds to breakage.”

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…Or Going to Bed With It Like That

"When you go to bed with wet hair, your pillow will absorb a lot of moisture, and as you toss and turn, all your baby hair can rub off on your pillow case,” Galazka says. “Instead, apply your favorite heat protector/leave-in conditioner and blow-dry your roots and mid-shaft, then braid the rest of the remaining length. And use butterfly clips to secure your hair instead of rubber hair ties. There’s less tension and they will not leave a mark.”

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Using the Wrong Products for Your Hair Type

Like skin care, one size does not fit all when it comes to hair products. Ashley Streicher, advisory stylist for StriVectin HAIR, says a big offender of daily damage is using the wrong hair products. “Just because it says on the bottle that it's for shiny, healthy hair, it means nothing. It could be the wrong product for your particular hair type, or there could be drying ingredients in it. Make sure that you’re using the right products for your hair!”

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Ponytails on Overdrive

Streicher says, like Galazka, that she sees many clients’ hair breaking in the middle of the shaft, and it's sleeping in a tight elastic hair band that is to blame. “You also get breakage from just wearing your hair in too tight of a ponytail for too long. An alternative is to wear your hair up in a loose hair pin or wearing a braid to bed.”

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A Diet That’s Devoid of Vitamins

You may have heard this one, but Streicher says she sees clients (ones who don’t color their hair or style it with hot tools) with broken hair who have no idea what it could possibly be from. “Some damage can actually be attributed to poor diet. If you are noticing dry, broken hair and don't know why, it's likely because your diet is off and you may be missing some vitamins or proteins and not even know it.”

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