beauty

8 things to avoid if you want healthy hair, according to experts.

Do you brush your hair from roots to ends? Chuck it up in a high ponytail before bed? Skimp on heat protecting? Yes? Err... bad news, you guys. You're accidentally ruining your hair.

Okay, okay - maybe not 'ruining', but you're certainly doing a real number on it. You crazy little thing, you. And really, these kinda things could be what's holding you back from that gorgeous, healthy mane you've always wanted. 

Sad face.

Watch: Wanna know how else to lift your hair game? Look at you go! Here are five things to do for better hair. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia 

The good news for all of us hair-sinning rats, is that it's never too late to start caring for your hair.

So, in order for us to all know what we're actually doing wrong, we asked the experts to tell us some of the worst things you can do to your hair - and how to fix 'em.

1. Brushing your hair the wrong way.

Umm, so we all thought we had the whole 'knowing how to brush our hair' thing down pat for, like, years. But alas, we do not. How awkward.

"Brushing from the roots to the ends instead of brushing from the ends up the roots = damaged hair," said Virginie Gayssot, Head of Education and Talent at Franck Provost

Mind. Blown.

Listen: Have more burning hair questions? Course you do. We all do. That's why we answered them all on Mamamia's podcast for your face, You Beauty. Here's all your questions about hair, answered. Post continues below.

Apparently you're supposed to work your way up and brush from the ends to the roots (???). Feels unnatural AF, but starting low allows you to tackle tangles without ripping your hair out from the root. 

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Kinda makes sense. We guess.

2. Forgetting to use heat protector.

Hear that? That's the sound of your hair CRISPING between two hot plates.

"Heat can be one of the worst things we do to hair. It dries it out which leads to lots of split ends, fades your colours and toners, and can leave your hair always looking frizzy and unmanageable on the ends," said Faith Williams, Founder and Director of BLONDEE

"Using heat protector is like using sunscreen when you are out in the sun. It creates a barrier between your hot tools, locks in moisture and help to smooth the cuticle and fight frizz."

So, yeah. Do use a heat protector every time you're styling your hair with tools, otherwise you're just going to cook your poor little strands. You monster.

3. Bleaching your hair at-home.

Sheesh. Don't... do this. 

Bleach is a f**king strong chemical - like, wayyyy stronger than regular hair dye. So, you seriously need to know what you're doing to avoid not only ruining your hair, but burning your scalp.

"This is an absolute no-no," said Gayssot. "If you are going more than two shades lighter, you need to visit a professional."

If you don't feel like risking breaking all your hair off and having to cut it hella short, just go see a colourist. Pls.

4. Avoiding regular trims because you are trying to 'grow' your hair.

You know when you decide you want to grow your hair and out you just, like, completely stop going to the hairdresser? No? Just us?

"When you get split ends, they continually split further up the hair shaft, which leaves you with thin, wispy ends which will eventually break off," said Williams. "This prevents you from being able to actually grow your hair. 

To keep your hair looking thick and healthy and prevent damage, Gayssot said, "Ideally you need to get your haircut twice a year, if you do nothing else."

5. Going blonde and not using professional products at-home.

If you pay top dollar to get your hair coloured lighter, but then go home and not use any of the professional haircare products like your hairstylist told you to, you're going to have a bad time.

"When you go lighter, you really do need to ensure you are using a good combination of strengthening treatments and also adding some extra hydration into the hair - for example, a leave-in moisturiser. This is honestly a non-negotiable for going blonde," said Williams.

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6. Over-toning your blonde hair.

Just to get this straight: Over-toning your hair will not make it brighter. "Blonde shampoo or treatments help to eliminate golden tones in your hair. Violet counteracts gold," said Williams.

"If you have toned out the gold in one wash and continue to use it too regularly, your blonde actually begins to go darker. The violet and blue tones build up in the hair and make it look lifeless, dull and sometimes murky," she said.

Eek.

"Your individual hair type and the strength of your blonde shampoo and treatment will determine how often you should use it. If you want a bright creamy blonde, usually I recommend using it once every three washes. If you wash your hair once per week, you should use it once every three weeks," said Williams.

We all good here? Great.

7. Getting a haircut that doesn't suit your face.

You know when you get a haircut and it looks like utter poo? It's because that particular hairstyle doesn't suit your face. The lesson here? Always make sure the hairstyle you're going for flatters your facial shape.

"Regardless of 'trends', ensure you know your face shape and what styles work with it specifically," said Gayssot.

For example, an oval face shape might suit blunt bobs, shoulder length cuts and sleek hairstyles, whereas a heart-shaped face suits shoulder-length lobs and layers around the collarbone.

If you're confused about what style will suit your particular face shape, check in with your hairdresser.

8. Sleeping with your hair up.

Who else does this? We sure do. Like, every night. Apparently it's really s**t for your hair, though. 

Yikes.

"If you sleep with your hair up very tight at night, this will increase your risk of breakage. This is very common," said Gayssot. "If possible, sleep with your hair out, or in two plaits and invest in silk pillowcases which reduce frizz."

Kapeesh?

Feature image: Getty

Are you guilty of the above mistakes? Go on, tell us! Share your comments below.