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This Is How You're Ruining Your Hair Every Time You Shower

This seemingly minor mistake could be costing you the lush locks you've always wanted.

Everyone has bad hair days from time to time, whether you're dealing with frizz or trying and failing to give your hair some much-needed volume. While genetics, styling skill, and luck all play a part in getting the gorgeous look you want, there's one thing you're doing every day that can make all the difference when it comes to how your hair turns out. Simply put, if you're washing your hair from bottom to top, you could be sabotaging that style. Read on to find out why, and for another hygiene tip, check out The One Body Part You Shouldn't Wash in the Shower, Doctors Say.

white woman washing the ends of her hair

Instead of tackling your ends first and then washing your scalp, "apply shampoo evenly throughout the scalp, because rubbing or roughing up the more fragile ends can create knots and breakage," explains L.A.-based hairstylist Bradley Leake, who has worked with TV stars from Lili Reinhart to Stassi Schroeder.

While it may seem as though only shampooing your scalp would not be sufficient when it comes to getting your hair clean, Leake assures that this isn't the case. "Your shampoo will cleanse the ends of your hair during the rinse," he explains.

That's not the only way you're giving yourself lackluster locks, though. Read on to discover the hair care mistakes hair stylists want you to stop making right now. And for more hygiene habits you need to know about, This Is How Often You Should Really Be Showering, Doctors Say.

Using a shampoo that's too harsh for your hair type

white hand pouring shampoo from bottle

While your hair may seem seriously dirty to you, that doesn't necessarily mean you should use a harsh shampoo to clean it. Leake says that gentle shampoo is the way to go for most hair types, and underscores the importance of using a gentle formula if you have color-treated hair that may be extra prone to breakage. And for the area that never needs washing, check out The One Body Part You Should Never Clean, According to Doctors.

Using a fine-tooth comb when your hair's wet

Woman Combing Her Wet Hair Myths

Using a fine-tooth comb may seem like the most effective way to work through those tight tangles in your hair, but Leake says that doing so may cause you more harm than good.

"The hair structure is the most fragile when it is wet… a comb with fine bristles can create too much tension and cause fragile hair to snap," Leake explains. However, that doesn't mean you can't detangle your hair while it's still damp. In addition to using a wide-tooth combs, Leake says that using brushes with flexible bristles and wet brushes can help keep your hair from breaking even if you're styling it while it's still wet. And for more great personal care tips delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Using a towel to dry your hair

young black woman drying hair with towel

Towels may be your go-to for getting your hair dry when you're not in the mood to heat style it, but Leake cautions against using them.

Instead, he recommends using an old cotton t-shirt, which will "absorb the water without stripping the hair of its natural oils." In the end, you'll have "smoother, less frizzy results." And for more tips for your next rinse, know that You're Forgetting to Wash This Body Part Every Time You Shower.

Using products only after heat styling

young woman applying hair oil to curls

While styling products may be the final step in your usual haircare routine, Leake says that you should actually be applying them earlier on in the process.

"Make sure to use a product for heat protection before blow drying or heat styling," he cautions.

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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