We asked hairdressers for the biggest hair mistake women make. They had the same answer.

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How healthy is your hair? How much time, energy and money do you invest in looking after it?

When it comes to how we look after our locks, many assume that popping into the salon every so often does enough to ensure we aren’t setting fire to the hair on our head, and looking after it accordingly.

However, according to two Sydney-based hair stylists, the way we can care for our hair the most happens outside the walls of the salon.

So, we decided to ask Mary Alamine of Royals Hair Sydney and Craig Walker of Edwards and Co. to share the biggest and brightest tips to ensure we aren’t accidentally damaging our hair through old habits.

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Their biggest mistake? Well, it just so happens they came back with the same one: Stop buying your shampoo and conditioner from the supermarket. According to Alamine, “people do this out of convenience”.

“They read the label and think it must do what it says it’s going to do but don’t realise what it could do to their freshly coloured hair – or how it could affect their hair long term. Many women now know to stay away from sulphates and parabens in products but what most people don’t know is what they use as a substitute for these ingredients.”

And according to Walker? Supermarket products just “don’t quite cut it”.

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"We are led to believe supermarket shampoo and conditioners are great for our daily scrub, however it is not this is not the case. When we first talk about the health of the hair you need to start with the foundations. These brands are loaded with compounds such as sulfates, parabens and sodium chloride, leaving the hair feeling heavy, oily and unprotected," he tells Mamamia.

These are some of their other big tips and big mistakes.

Mary Alamine – Creative Director and Owner Royals Hair Sydney

No DIY hair dye, thanks

"This is an obvious one and it's the DIY mistake. We lead very busy lives and at times we think it would be so much easier to purchase a box colour from the supermarket and slap it on. This allows us to walk around the house doing what we need to do, but is it really easier? We know the image on the box of that gorgeous blonde or brunette is so appealing.

"But then after you rinse and see the disaster before your eyes you then have to fork out a fortune at the hairdresser over multiple visits to try and fix this mistake. And yes, the key word being "try" here."

Put down the hair straightener while your hair is still damp

"Another big mistake is when women straighten or flat iron their hair while it's still damp. This can cause a lot of damage and potentially burn the hair. The best thing to do is blowdry the hair after applying a heat protective spray or moisturiser and then once the hair is 100 per cent dry to go through and use a straightener."

Craig Walker of Edwards and Co - Alexandria salon

 Protecting your hair

"This is a common mistake among client - not protecting your hair correctly. Not only are we constantly putting our hair under extreme daily heat through drying and heated tools, we are living in a part of the world with extremely high UV rays. Like we apply SPF to our body we need to start using the equivalent on our hair. I get a lot of clients wondering why their hair just isn’t growing anymore. I believe a large part is related to not treating your hair correctly before you apply heat.

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"When your hair grows past your shoulder, the outside cuticle of the hair has reduced by 50 per cent, resulting in over exposed and fragile ends. By preparing your hair daily it will give you the best chance to grow your flowing locks."

Make sure you're actually getting your hair cut

"As much as it sounds like an old wives tale, believe it or not regular hair cuts do result in longer hair. I'd say a common mistake with clients is not getting into a routine of regular cuts. This would be more common with clients that are determined to grow their hair and only step into the salon once every three to four months. This usually results in having to unfortunately remove more  as the ends have become split.

"I understand the apprehension - in going in for ‘just a trim’ and you leave with a few inches on the floor. I would firstly make sure that you work with a stylist who understands less is more and someone who is on the journey with you. As the more confidence you have with your hairdresser the more the relationship of trust will grow and the healthier and longer your hair will be."

For more from Edwards and Co, visit their website here.

For more from Royals Hair Sydney, visit their website here.

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