As the only thing that stands between us and long, strong, healthy hair, breakage is the mark of the beast. It’s normal to lose around 100 strands of hair per day, but when you notice yourself losing more than that—or if it tends to come out in your brush!—it’s time to consider making some changes to your hair care strategy. These super common mistakes could very well be responsible for the breakage you’re seeing. (And if you’re noticing a concerning amount of hair fall, don’t be scared to visit a doctor, as hair loss can hint toward a real medical concern.)
You brush your hair when it’s wet.
Your hair is at its most fragile when wet, which is why brushing or combing just after the shower is a major no-no—it can compromise even healthy hair to the point that it snaps from tension. To avoid breakage but still get the knots out before styling, use your fingers (and a leave-in spray, if necessary) to detangle and part your hair after towel-drying.
You’re not being gentle enough.
Though healthy hair can feel like it’s practically indestructible—braid it, curl it, flip it around, whatever—being rough with your strands can be exactly what’s causing breakage. If you’re a hair twirler, surprise! That twisting and tugging motion puts stress on the roots of the hair, yanking them out from the scalp. Overall treatment factors into this, too; roughly brushing dry hair or tossing and turning on rough cotton pillowcases are similar recipes for breakage.
You like heat tools a little too much.
Heat is the natural enemy of hair—it causes dryness, damage, surface burns, and more when the heat penetrates the hair shaft. If you don’t leave home with perfectly blow-dried, flat-ironed, or curled hair, then you probably find yourself dealing with a bit more breakage than you’d like. To avoid as much heat damage as possible, always use a protectant before styling… and try lowering the temperature on your appliances, too.
You’re a bleach junkie.
Unnatural platinum blondes already know full well just how damaging peroxide is to hair, which is to say, it’s the worst. Bleach strips the hair of protein, moisture, and pigment, which is basically what your hair needs to maintain good health. The best thing you can do is to avoid bleach entirely, as it’s just about the greatest hair ruiner of all time, but if you’re hooked on platinum, all you can do is treat your hair super well before and after color sessions.
You’re styling it too tightly.
Putting tension on the scalp is a great way to cause breakage, especially when it comes to tight braids, ponytails, and hair accessories. Stress at the hairline results in hairs being pulled out at the root, and wearing the same hairstyle consistently can exacerbate damage as you repeatedly put stress on the same areas. Avoid hair accessories that tug on the hair or pinch the scalp—and please, let your hair down and give it all a rest once in a while.
Read more from Daily Makeover: The 5 Biggest Mistakes You’re Making When Air Drying Your Hair