How Your Daily Hair Care Routine Damages Your Hair

Normally when we buy or use a hair product or a hair tool, we’re doing so because we think it will help our hair in some way.

Whether we’re looking to soften, shine, de-frizz, or or get thicker hair, we all have expectations that certain products or tools will do the trick.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Consumers frequently spend hundreds of dollars a year to make sure that they always have the best and newest hair care products. We buy products to make thinning hair look voluminous, or to make curly hair straight, or straight hair shiny; there is a seemingly endless offering of hair care products to address just as many hair concerns.

The problem is that while you may be buying the right products for your hair, without the proper hair care routine, you may actually be doing more harm than good.

If you don’t have a hair care regime, or you haven’t thought much about it until now, we’ll walk you through some bad hair habits, the right tools to use with your hair, and how to get the best hair care routine that isn’t going to further damage your hair.

Are you ready to get rid of some bad hair habits?

Bad Habits

We all have bad hair habits, most likely because we didn’t know any better, but after reading some of the common bad habits many are guilty of below, you won’t have an excuse to continue doing these any more.

Using Old Combs & Brushes
Don’t let your hair pile up in your hair brush, this can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Make sure to clean the hair out every week, and deep clean your hair brush once a month.
Tip: Clean your hair brush or comb with baking soda and water, this will remove oil and product that builds up over time.


Applying Too Many Chemicals
Artificial chemicals are bad for your body, and your hair is no exception. If you’re coloring, getting keratin treatments, or relaxing your hair more often than you should, you are probably doing more damage than good. Make sure to keep any chemical processes or treatments down to a minimum, and your hair will begin to look and feel better and stronger.
Tip: If you have to get chemical treatments, establish a routine that involves preemptive care, like applying a hair mask a couple days before your treatment. You can also use a hair cover up on your roots so you don’t have to get your hair colored as often!


Going Too Long Without A Haircut
If you want healthy hair, make sure you’re getting regular trims to avoid split ends. Split ends can move up the hair shaft until you not only have split ends but a completely damaged hair shaft, which eventually leads to weakened locks and even hair thinning.
Tip: The right trim is ½ inch each month, or every other month if you are trying to grow your hair longer.

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Brushing Wet Hair Incorrectly
This is one that we’re sure many people are guilty of, including us! When hair is wet the cuticle scales can lift, causing hair strands to become more delicate and in turn more susceptible to breakage.
Tip: Make sure you always use a wide-tooth comb when brushing through damp or wet hair.

Pretty girl brushing her hair

Using Too Many Products
Using too many products on your hair can cause build up and strip your hair of its natural oils. Especially if you have thinning hair, using too many products at once can end up weighing hair down. Even if you have thicker hair, you would be surprised at how little product you actually need.
Tip: If you want to use more product or you’re not sure if you’re using too much, apply the product to wet hands first to thin the product out before applying to your hair.


Ready to kick these bad hair habits to the curb? Keep reading for more ways your daily hair care routine is damaging your hair…

Tools Harming Your Hair

Unfortunately most hair tools aren’t going to do your hair any favors. They may make your hair look great in the short-term, but they’re very damaging to hair in general.

Heated styling tools, such as hair dryers, curling irons, and straighteners, can cause hair to dry out or even burn off. Overtime, excessive heating can cause so much damage that it can only be fixed with scissors.

Using heating tools too often can also lead to thinning hair and split ends.

Many put heat styling tools on the highest setting without thinking about it. To protect your hair, avoid setting the heat too high. The lowest setting is usually around 300F degrees, but check to see if your hair tool has an even lower setting. It may take longer to style your hair, but in the end it can save your hair from damage and broken strands.

If you must use a heated styling tool, don’t skip on the heat protectant. This will ensure your hair is shielded from damage and frizz. Choose a heat protectant that’s free of SD alcohols and proteins, these chemicals dry the hair out even more and will deplete your hair of any moisture.

It would be hard for most to never use a heated styling tool on their hair again, but we hope the above information will help you understand the negative effects using these tools on a frequent basis will have on your hair.

Guys – We’re Talking To You!

Besides the above bad habits to look out for, there are a couple things that men seem to do more often than women that also have a negative effect on hair.

Shampooing Incorrectly
An essential to great hair is knowing your hair care routine and how often you should be washing your hair. Men seem to be more responsible for over-shampooing, which can actually do damage to your scalp by making it tight and itchy. When your hair starts to become oily, that’s your sign that it’s time to wash your hair. Figuring out when it’s the best time to shampoo your hair creates a habit that will lead to healthy and thicker hair.

Being Too Aggressive With Damp Hair
Just because men don’t (usually) have as much hair as women, doesn’t mean they should be rough on their hair when they are coming out of the shower. Rubbing hair aggressively with a towel can lead to breakage overtime, so remember to take care of your hair and be gentle with it!

Not Washing Your Hair After A Work Out
We hope this doesn’t happen very often, but if you sweat, you need to wash your hair. Sweat should never be left in your hair because it blocks moisture from getting to the hair strands and causes hair to dry out. Make sure you wash with shampoo and conditioner to clean and nourish the hair.

Men aren’t the only ones with bad hair habits, women have some guilty hair habits as well!

Women Are Guilty Too

Women should use caution with their hair care routines since their hair is usually longer and therefore more prone to breakage. Making sure you are adhering to a healthy hair routine is the quickest way to get rid of these bad hair habits.

Using Rough Elastic
Did you know that the best type of hair tie to use is one covered in fabric? A thin hair tie (or worse, a rubber band from your desk drawer!) can irritate your hair and cause breakage if pulled too tightly. Anything too tight is damaging, so make sure your hair tie is thick and gentle on your hair.

Brushing Hair The Wrong Way
To avoid breakage and damage, make sure you start brushing your hair from the ends, instead of from the top down. The easiest way to do this is to divide hair into sections and place your hand a little ways from the bottom. Make sure you brush below your hand, and continue to repeat and move your hand up a few inches each time. These gentle strokes will help prevent any snags from happening that can cause hair thinning and hair loss.

Not Changing Your Shampoo With Your Hair
It’s a myth that your hair builds up a tolerance to shampoos and conditioners overtime. But if you do change your hair, like for instance getting your hair highlighted or dyed, you should switch your shampoo for one better suited for color-treated hair. Another example is if you start to see thinning hair, you should think about changing your shampoo to one that is keratin-based and promotes healthy hair growth.

How can you start applying your own hair care routine? Read on to find out…

How To Build The Perfect Hair Care Routine

The first step is knowing what type of hair you have.

If you have oily hair, you probably need to wash your hair everyday. Oily hair can cause the scalp to become itchy and scaly, so making sure you’re washing your hair daily with shampoo will help combat the oiliness.

Tip: You can also try using a dry shampoo every other day if you don’t want to shampoo your hair as often.

Conversely, if you have dry hair, you should wait until your hair looks oily to wash it. Washing your hair more often than you should will result in even more moisture not being able to reach the hair shaft.

Tip: Make sure you’re using a deep conditioner that will help nourish and protect your hair.

Now that you know how often to wash your hair, it’s important to take a look and make sure you’re using the right products.

Women should really only use three to four products for their hair: a heat protectant to protect your hair when using heating tools, a dry shampoo for busy days, a shine serum for frizzy days, and a deep-conditioning hair mask for treating your hair once a week.

Men need even less. A styling gel or pomade is really the only product they need, but the occasional hairspray may be applied to set the hair as well.

If you need to use heat styling tools, make sure you are buying the best tools available – they do make a difference in the amount of damage they can do to your hair.

Lastly, the right hair brush makes all the difference, and remember to clean yours regularly to get rid of bacteria and build up.

Are you guilty of any of these bad hair habits? Tell us in the comments section below if you’re making a change to your hair care routine!

Stay In the Know

We mentioned a dry shampoo earlier, so tune in next week to read about all the details!

If you want to be the first to know about new posts to the Hair Toppiks Blog, sign up for the Toppik VIP list to receive an email a couple times per month or check us out on Facebook!

Contributed by: Lindsay, a content marketing and social media guru. Specializing in hair loss education, hairstyling and all things beauty related.

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8 Responses

  1. Wow! I really a wondering if our hair care makes it worse than what can help us better? Is there anything that we do helps hair health or everything goes opposite like you describe?

  2. Emily

    My hair has always been my pride and joy. I figured since it is pretty damn healthy, it could deal with some bleach damage. And I figured the master stylist who did all the color-corrections would know how much would be too much. I was wrong, and now I want to burst into tears every time I look at my hair or touch it. I just don’t know what to do. my hair has also NEVER been shorter than this and it breaks and falls out. What should i do to regrow hair?

    1. Lindsay Mundell

      Hi Emily,

      Sorry to hear about your experience. the most important thing that you can do for your hair right now is to moisturize! Since your hair is in such a fragile state at this time, you will need to nurse it back to healthy by using extra moisturizing conditioners and deep treatments. You could also try using supplements like Toppiks Hair Nutrition 2-in-1 Capsules to help promote healthy hair growth. Thes Capsules contain Keratin and Biotin that help strengthen hair from the inside out.

      Thank you,
      Lindsay, Toppik

  3. Maja

    Hi, thanks for the great article. How to properly take care of your hair entirely depends on the type, texture, length and present condition. Since I have long, bleached hair, I always use a good hair mask, and a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. I like Toppik’s the best.

  4. Helen

    I like using a very simple hair mask with olive oil. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil on my hair and comb your hair carefully. Wait for about 30 minutes, then use your hands to massage the hair gently for 1-2 minutes. Wash off with water. That’s all. I apply this 2 times per week.

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