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The Top 10 Stupid Ways You Didn't Know That Are Killing Your Hair
What Are Hair Killers?
I’ve been a professional hairdresser now for over 21 years and Holy Shit I have seen my fair share of damage done to hair and some of the reasons behind the damage can be really silly and unfamiliar.
I had a client that kept calling and complaining to me that her hair was turning green in various spots all over her head.
Every morning she said she would wake up and she would see more green spots in her hair and it was all throughout her head, she was completely baffled as to what was going on.
Super weird, right.
Well, it turned out that when I saw her in my chair I figured out that her Zit Cream was the culprit for her green spots.
My client’s natural hair color is a dark ash brown color (which is why she saw green spots) and she had been using the Pro-Active Zit Spot Treatment on her face at night before bed.
The most active ingredient in Pro-Active Zit Spot Treatment and or Dark Spot Treatment is Benzoyl Peroxide, which can bleach (lighten) whatever it touches.
Now typically when you apply zit cream it will dry up and crumble off the face, but with my client, she was going to bed with her hair slightly wet, so the zit cream never had a chance to dry up and become inactive, the zit cream remained actively bleaching her hair because of her wet hair.
My client would use the zit cream every night before bed and since we all roll around, toss, and turn while we sleep, she was unknowingly bleaching her hair in various spots all over her head and throughout her hair.
In the end, it was an easy fix to correct her color and also for her to stop using the zit cream before she goes to bed.
It was a silly mishap and something my client admitted that she never would have figured out on her own, that the zit cream was her hair killer.
Now you know zit cream can be a hair Killer!
The most obvious hair killers most of us know about such as overly bleaching hair, excessive heat styling, over-processed hair by chemical treatments, and not getting regular hair trims.
But what about those sneaky hair killers, like the zit cream?
That is why I put this list together of The top 10 Hair Killers I’ve seen behind my chair.
The Top 10 Hair Killers
1. You Are Brushing Your Hair With The Wrong Brushes
A brush can only perform 1 task of brushing our hair.
I mean the brush is just a Brush, right??
No way, not at all, the hairbrush that you use will make or break your hairstyle.
Hear me out.
Because there are so many different variations to our hair, there need to be the various utensils to match our hairs’ structure and needs so we can keep our hair in its best shape.
Did you ever wonder why your hair looks Amazing after leaving your hairdresser’s chair??
It’s because we know what type of brush to use on your said hair to get you the style that looks beautiful on you, which makes you feel the best about yourself and your hair.
When you mismatch hair brushes with your hair, your hair isn’t going to look or feel the way it really can be.
If you are using the wrong brush on your hair, then you can be unintentionally ripping your hair up or even out, causing split ends, hair breaks, and thinning hair.
If you have been struggling with styling your hair, it very well could be the brush you are using.
There is no way for a wrong brush to be able to style your hair beautifully and effortlessly when compared to styling your hair with the proper brush for your hair.
If This Is Your Hair Killer, Here Is Your Fix.
You really need to know your hair type, its texture, and the style you want for your hair when choosing the best hair brush for your hair.
If you are unsure about what brushes would be best for your hair than check out this in depth article that has everything you could possibly want to know about hairbrushes.
2. You Are Brushing Your Hair Wrong
More than not you are probably brushing your hair incorrectly, don’t feel bad it’s a common mistake, and believe me, a shit ton of people brush their hair wrong.
Crazy right, but it’s true there is a proper way to brush your hair so that it limits any unnecessary wear and tear from brushing.
Don’t lie, we all have been guilty of grabbing a brush and just start tearing into our hair, ferociously pulling the knots out, tugging and ripping hair out just to get it detangled enough to ultimately just put it up in a bun.
Yeah, most of us totally brush our hair wrong.
Me too, at times, not gonna lie.
My hair is super long and I get lazy so I just rush through brushing my hair in all the wrong ways, and it’s even worse because I’m a professional hairdresser.
Still, despite the occasional lazy days, just know that there is a Right and a Wrong way to brush our hair.
Your Tool and your Technique are the 2 very most important things when it comes to brushing your hair.
First, make sure you have a good quality brush to use and that it’s specific for your type of hair to achieve your said style.
Now depending on the type of hair you have will determine which way you should brush your hair.
If you have Medium-Thick hair than the right way to brush your hair is to start brushing your ends first and continue to brush your hair while you work your way up to your hair shaft until you get to your scalp.
Once you get to your scalp you will want to make long strokes now from the top of the head down and through the ends of the hair.
You also want to apply some pressure to the brush once you begin brushing your scalp, the reason is that you want to stimulate the blood flow to the top of the head and scalp area which produces shine, hair growth, and all-around plumper hair strands.
If you have Super Thick, Heavy or Curly hair, a trick to use is to brush your hair with a large Wide-Tooth Comb in the shower while you have the conditioner on your ends.
This will just make getting through all that hair easier along with cutting down on frizz and tension on the hair.
For those that have Fine-Thin hair than you will want to start brushing from the Top of your head so that you reduce friction on the already weaker ends of finer hair.
Continue to keep brushing your hair from scalp to ends over your entire head until you feel your hair is free of tangles and shiny.
Another misguided road is about brushing hair wrong is whether or not brushing the hair when its wet is good or bad.
The truth is this, our hair is at its weakest state when it’s wet, the molecular structure of the hair strands are altered which creates the strands of our hair to be temporarily weakened.
Brushing through our hair when it’s in a frail state will ultimately increase the damage and split ends of our hair at a rapid rate.
So, the best way to brush your hair when it’s wet is 1st properly rid your hair of all excess water with the proper Hair Towel, after protect the mid-shaft to the ends of your hair and finally use the right tool like a Wet Brush or a Wide Tooth Comb to detangle your hair.
If This Is Your Hair Killer, Than Here Is Your Fix
Make a point to focus on how you are brushing your hair before you start to tear into it.
Take your time while brushing your hair and remember these guidelines I have above as a general rule for how you brush your hair with technique & tool (brush) specific to your hair type.
3. You Keep Putting Your Hands In Your Hair
Putting your hands thru those luscious locks of yours is easily the most undetected type of damage we can do to our hair.
This is 1 of the bigger hair offenders because it can be almost inconceivable to Not put our hands in our hair to either fix it or mess with it.
Playing with your hair, fidgeting, pulling on pieces, twirling your hair, brushing it out of your face, tucking it behind your ears, checking for grey, re-styling your pony or bun, Etc, Etc….
Seriously, I could keep going on and on with that list.
It’s hard to keep our hands out of our hair, obviously, when we style our hair we use our hands which is fine but it’s the excessive fidgeting or compulsiveness of some that unknowingly keep putting their hands in their hair.
When you are constantly messing with your hair over and over you are basically wearing out your hair.
You will see that your hair is breaking and splitting all around your face line, the nape of your head, essentially all over your head.
Over time, this bad habit can lead to hair thinning and hair loss.
We all mess with our hair and there are various reasons behind the need to mess with our hair, most of the reasons are simple and just being informed about this nasty habit will curve most from putting their hands in their hair too much.
However, there are some that really struggle with this habit and it can be a tough hurdle for them to get around because it can be more of an impulsive need to calm themselves by fidgeting with their hair.
There are also some that just suffer from an extreme case of vanity and have a compulsive need to fix/mess with their hair so it can be perfectly styled at all times.
Whatever the reasons we may have for messing with our hair, just know that it is a serious hair killer and it moves all around the hair quickly damaging it more and more with every touch.
Your hair will continue to wear its self down and it will absolutely show signs of dullness with broken and split hair everywhere on the head so to avoid this hair killer you need to be conscious of when and why you are putting your hands in your hair.
If This Is Your Hair Killer, Here Is Your Fix
To be honest this one isn’t an easy fix for some because its a mental battle for those that Need to touch their hair.
My professional advice is to be conscious of this bad habit, make it a point to start to notice your hands in your hair and find another outlet for boredom, frustration, anxiety, and vanity.
Being aware of this damaging habit is the best route to curve the need to put your hands in your hair.
4. You Are Not Protecting Your Hair Properly
Hair can be temperamental and frail just like our skin, so it’s really important to protect our hair every day.
The smallest of things that we do on a daily bases can be more than damaging to our hair, like tucking our hair behind our ears which is simple enough but for those people that are serious hair tuckers they can really do some damage to their hair.
Even things that are out of our control like Mother Nature can tear up our hair.
A windy day outside, rainstorms, smog, sun, and dust all can affect the condition of our hair and how it looks.
Our hair needs to be protected with thermal heat products, serums, creams, and or glosses.
I don’t consider shampoo, conditioners, or leave-in conditioners as hair protection products they are hair cleansing and conditioning products that’s it.
It doesn’t matter if you let your hair air dry, you never color or bleach your hair, you never use heat on your hair, you don’t brush your hair or use hairspray ever.
You still have to protect your hair and if you don’t your hair will quickly show the signs of its true age and miss-handling.
There are a few times during our hairs’ styling process that we need to apply products to our hair to protect it.
Let’s imagine you just washed your hair.
The 1st time you need to apply a protecting product to your hair is after you have squeezed out the excess water your hair is holding from the shower.
You want to apply a small amount on your palms, if you need more add it later, rub the product on your hands like its lotion (thru the fingers, back of palms, entire hands) so that you can have more of an even distribution of the product throughout your hair.
Apply the product starting with your ends 1st and work your way up to the mid-shaft of your hair, make sure you work the product through the hair.
Either way, your hair is now protected and ready to be styled with a hairdryer.
After you blowdry your hair and if you plan on using any kind of hot tool (flat iron or curling irons) you will want to use a thermal heat protector or shine spray on your hair before you touch any heat to your hair.
Make sure you focus on the mid-shafts of your hair and the ends.
You don’t need a ton of product sprayed onto your sections just a light even mist and your hair is protected from the hot tools heat.
After you are finished with the hot tools, you will want to add 1 last final product like a shine serum or a shine spray to your hair to protect it from daily wear and tear.
If This Is Your Hair Killer, Here Is Your fix
Know your hairs type and texture, invest in the proper products that are best for your hair and the style you want to achieve.
Taking care of our hair isn’t a 1 size fits all, here is an in-depth article that explains everything you need to know on good hair care.
5. Going To Sleep With Your Hair Wet
We’ve all gone to bed with our hair wet, when you are tired and you just want to sleep the last thing you want to deal with is drying your hair.
It’s sooo Bad for our hair so if you can avoid this as much as possible then your hair will thank you for it.
Always know that your hair is the frailest and weakest when it’s wet because the molecular structure of our hair changes temporarily.
Our hair is made of protein molecules that create a strong bond together (Protein +Protein) when we wet our hair with water, which is made up of 2 Hydrogen and 1 Oxygen, what happens is the water molecules disrupt the hairs’ strong bonds of Protein+Protein, by wedging itself in between the hairs protein molecules creating a temporary weakened bond of Protein+Water+Protein.
When our hair dries it returns to its normal strong Protein+Protein form.
So, by going to bed with your hair wet where you are naturally tossing and turning all over the place all night long you are unknowingly destroying your hair at a rapid rate.
Hair when its wet has no fighting chance of long term survival it’s best to always go to bed with your hair dried and protected.
When it comes to setting your hair in buns or braids to make waves and curls, just remember you do not need to have your hair wet at all for this to work.
If anything your hair should be dominantly dry before you wrap your hair to set it because if it’s too wet your hair won’t set at all by morning.
If your hair is finer than make sure your hair is at least 98% dry and protect your hair before you wrap it in a bun or braids.
If you have thick hair than dry it completely and use some sea salt or texture sprays to get the job done, or you can lightly spray it with some water but only a fine mist.
That way when you wake up your hair will be dry which makes holding onto that wave or curl much easier.
If This Is Your Hair Killer, Here Is Your Fix.
STOP Going To Bed With Your Hair WET!
That’s it. Dry your hair if you have to before bed but don’t sleep with it wet.
6. You Are Overthinking Your Hair
As humans, we tend to want things that we just can’t and or shouldn’t have, I especially feel this is more than truth with our Hair.
Seriously, I have always wanted super big curly hair that I can wear huge.
I mean like HUGE!
I love that look but no I have long, straight, and silky hair that I also love but that HUGE curly hair is a desire of mine still.
So, I compromise with my hair by letting it be in its natural straight form on most days and put the effort into my hair when I want it HUGE and out of control.
Countless times I’ve heard in my chair how both men and women wish their hair was different in some way shape or form and then they would feel better about their hair and overall look.
There isn’t anything wrong with exploring options and different styles for your hair, it’s how we can stay on top and up to date with our hair’s overall appearance and our own personal style.
The problem comes in when you start to overthink your hair and what it needs by comparison of someone else’s portrayal of their hair or entire style and way of life.
This can be more than damaging to not just our hair but to our esteem and our reality because as most of us know, social media can be a total mind F**K, for all ages!
You start reading every Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook posts about the new rules to hair care, hair washing schedules, and the new hair products you have to use or your hair is gonna suck amongst the masses.
You continue to keep changing your hairs color which even after 1 major color switch can cause major havoc on the hair, you wear wigs and extensions a lot more than you should, you over do deep conditioners, or protein treatments which makes hair limp & crack, and you are styling your hair so much everyday that it’s wearing down to become thin and dull.
When we begin to overthink our hair we begin to over-due and over-work our hair.
It’s not always easy to determine what is fact and what is opinion when we read or watch videos of others swearing by a product or technique that changed their lives and with a need to fit in it’s hard not to follow along.
It’s more than overwhelming at times in this social media world we live in now but let me just tell you the rules to hair care are advancing in some ways but it doesn’t mean that what works for some will work for all.
Constantly pushing for what the masses are saying is the right way or what’s in now will only push some into total confusion and panic on what they should and shouldn’t be doing for their hair.
Listen, finding your own personal style takes time and exploration.
Ask yourself, what is the very best thing that you love about your hair??
Do you like the color, the length, the bounce it has, the texture, even if its 1 tiny little curl on your head, what’s your favorite part of your hair??
When you know that then go and talk with your stylist about the styles and colors you like.
Your stylist is your best ally to consult with and to find a healthy plan for your hair and finding your signature style.
There is a silver lining with our beauty and that it takes time to find.
Beauty isn’t something that just comes with us or even to us, our beauty is found by our own personal journey and thru exploring ourselves with what we do and don’t like, testing our strengths, and building our esteems during all of life’s “Duckling” stages.
This world we all live in now is more accepting of others but because of the glitz, glitters, and perfect lives that the world displays on their social media channels it’s more than difficult for some to see that thin silver lining.
It’s always Ok to copy what you like about others styles but find yourself in that style so it fits you and sets you apart.
IF This Is Your Hair Killer, Than Here Is Your Fix
The very best thing you can do for your hair is to get to know it.
Know the texture, the density, the condition, know how your hair really styles out and be honest with yourself.
Talk to your hairdresser about your hair and ask questions about whatever confusions you may have because if you aren’t sure about your hair, they are!
8. You Are Using Your Hot Tools Wrong
To My Dearest Pam, I am talking to you.
I have known Pam for more than 14 years now and I will never forget the day she made my entire salon freeze and go quite. lol
Pam has been a client for a long time and she has very thick, heavy hair, with a coarse texture that has a deep wave and Pam likes to wear her hair smoothed out and straight.
Her bangs she likes to wear in a very particular way and how she styles them is also in her own very particular, but the very wrong way.
Pam likes to flat iron her bangs when her hair is wet!
Let’s Pause for a moment with Shock and Silence.
It’s so bad, and she knows it. lol
When you use any hot iron on your hair when it’s wet you will produce a very hot steam the second the hot iron touches the wet hair.
That hot steam can scorch your hair and even worse scorch your scalp and cause some pretty painful burns on your scalp.
When we misuse hot tools on our hair, it beyond damages our hair and adds a stupid amount of unnecessary breakage to your hair.
Like a lot, a lot.
When it comes to using hot tools, you need to test your hair 1st on the lower heat and play around with the settings and the time you are holding the heat on the hair.
Holy shit, You Do Not & Should Not hold any hot tool on your hair for 1 minute or longer, nor do you need to press or squeeze hard on the hot tool with your hair .
Seriously, you should do more swipes to smooth the hair or smaller sections to produce a curl but stop holding the heat on your hair like its doing anything aside from burning your hair right off.
If This Is Your Hair Killer, Than Here Is Your Fix
You always want to make sure you are protecting your hair 1st with a heat thermal spray or a shine spray to ensure that the oldest parts of your hair (mid-shaft to ends) are protected.
Make sure you are using hot tools that have adjustable temperatures.
Never use any kind of hot irons on your hair if it’s wet or even slightly damp, make sure your hair is Dry.
If you want to learn more ways on avoiding heat damage to your hair than check out this article.
8. You Are Crazy Stressed Out
Our stressful lives can create total chaos and can affect every single part of our body!
Stress can put a strain on our organs, our mental stability, our personal hygiene, our hair, skin, and our nails.
Such stresses like financial troubles, lack of intimacy, poor nutrition, surgery, pregnancy, a shitty boss, divorce, medications, or even being lonely will all impact our hair, skin, and nails.
Here’s what happens to our hair when we become overly stressed out.
Our Hair Falls Out.
Scary, but true.
Stress can make hair follicles go into what’s like a “Sleeping” phase, which means that the hair follicles won’t be able to hold onto the hair strands as tightly as it did before and there are no new hair strands produced by the hair follicle during this phase.
Normally we shed in the upwards of 100-3oo pieces of hair daily, so if your hair goes into a “Sleeping” Phase than that means the 100-300 daily pieces of hair shed won’t be replaced with new hair.
If the stress is not managed or controlled over time this “Sleeping” phase will continue to make it easy for hair to fall out and without producing new strands of hair you are left with thinning hair, weak hair, and bald spots.
Hair is resilient and can come back to life and be beautiful and bouncy once again but it will take time and effort to repair.
Stresses in our lives are almost inevitable but it doesn’t have to ruin our worlds and destroy our hair, skin, and nails.
Take the time you need for yourself to relax and pamper yourself.
To learn more about your hair and some weird facts about it, check out this article below.
If This Is Your Killer, Here Is Your Fix
There are lots of ways to combat stress, its all a matter of comfort for you when choosing which avenue to take.
IE: changing your nutrition habits, start to exercise, meditate, have sex, get a hobby, read books, go to a class, and talk to a friend or parent.
Talk to your hair stylist about your hair concerns and possibly even what’s happening to cause the stresses your having.
Hairdressers are amazing listeners because we hear so many stories from many different people we have a lot of advice to give.
If nothing else, we are here to listen to you and be there for you.
Don’t ignore the stresses in your life, dig deep, breathe, and talk to someone.
9. You Are Washing Your Hair Wrong
It’s easy to think that when you go to wash your hair you wet it, slap some shampoo on it, scrub and rinse.
Nope, there is more to it.
When it comes to having a clean scalp and beautiful bouncy hair, then you need to know how to wash your hair first.
The best way to go about washing your hair to ensure a healthy scalp and shiny hair is to 1st know, How often you should be washing your hair.
Having a good hair cleansing schedule is so important for healthy hair and everyone is different so make sure your schedule is best for you and your hair.
Before you wash your hair you really should brush it out completely so that you get all the knots and tangles out 1st.
Assuming you have the correct shampoo and conditioner for your hair you want to begin by 1st making sure your hair is completely saturated in Luke warm water for a few minutes to open up the cuticle a bit.
Then add some shampoo to your hands and begin at your scalp, you don’t need a ton of shampoo just enough to build up a strong lather of suds on your scalp, about a teaspoon size to start.
If your hair isn’t lathering much than wet your hair some more before you add more shampoo, sometimes you just need more water to get the shampoo going.
You want to massage your scalp in circular motions using your fingers tips and firm touch.
You don’t need to scrub and scratch the shit out of your scalp, just a nice firm head massage.
Concentrate on your scalp.
As much as we want to grab the ends of our hair and scrub it, you want to leave the suds to sit on your scalp for a few minutes and allow the suds to navigate its way down to the ends of your hair, cleaning it along the way.
The reason is that it cuts down any unnecessary damage to the ends of the hair that is the oldest and most worn out.
After you feel your scalp is clean rinse the shampoo out completely.
This is a big misstep if you don’t completely rid your hair of all the shampoo, you are adding buildup to your scalp which will ultimately lead to a stinky scalp and hair that can’t hold a style.
The final step is to condition the hair, only condition the mid-shaft to the ends of your hair and leave it on for a bit.
Conditioners are heavier than shampoos because their job is to smooth down the cuticle which makes it feasible for us to comb through our hair.
If your hair is fried and broken all of over than add the conditioner to all those areas but you need to be mindful about really keeping your scalp clean and clear of any product build-up, like shampoo or conditioners.
Rinse the conditioner from your hair with cool water, it helps seal the cuticle a bit but mainly it helps reduce static, tangles, and helps add some shine.
If This Is Your Hair Killer, Here Is Your Fix
Having a good understanding of what your hair needs is crucial for that beautiful, bouncy, and shiny hair we all want.
Knowing the types of shampoos and conditioners that are best for your hair and knowing how often to wash your hair is huge.
This article explains everything there is to know about washing hair and how often to wash hair, along with hair cleansing product recommendations.
10. You Are Wearing The Same Hairstyle Everyday
There are 2 Reasons why wearing the same hairstyle every day is bad.
It Breaks Your Hair
It Breaks Your Esteem
It breaks your hair
Yes! Absolutely True that wearing your hair every day in the same style will basically break your hair and recede your hairline quickly.
All the tension from wearing the same hairstyle will cause hair to break at that very sweet spot that you love to have your hair sit at.
Wearing your hair in the same ponytail, bun, braids, or even pinned or tucked behind your ears every day is going to push your hair line further and further back from everyday pulling.
Our hair can withstand a lot of shit but constantly being pulled, tugged, or tucked in the exact same spot is going to wear the hair down and break the hair.
I know it’s not always easy to switch up our hair because it’s easier to get ready with a set routine but adjusting where you wear your hair on your head or the pins and clips will all make a difference in the health and longevity of your hair.
Breaks your Esteem
Let me explain.
It breaks your esteem because of the monotony it brings.
Change is fun for some people but also crazy scary for others however it’s the change that’s often needed in order to feel comfortable with the idea of something new.
If you stick with the same style for weeks, months, or years then most likely any kind of change to your hair whether good or bad will scare the shit out of you.
No kidding it can be paralyzing to some people to even have their part on the other side of their head.
Change allows for growth in our lives and our hair is no different so when you stifle yourself with the same repetitive hairstyle, what else are you holding yourself back from?
If you never change anything about your hair and it’s physical appearance how will you ever know what your hair could have done for you???
Our hair can give us benefits such as beauty, confidence, self-worth, humbleness, honesty, and even humor so long as you let it.
So, when it comes to changes with your hair, don’t hold yourself back.
Surprise yourself, be bold, and embrace change.
I hope you enjoyed this article and if there are any other hair killers that I missed let me know in the comments below.
If you liked what you read than please share it with all of your friends, it really does mean so much to me that you are taking the time to spread my articles around.
I’d love to hear what you thought and if you have any other topics you want me to write about, let me know below.