Woman hair

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Taking care of your hair can feel like a delicate balancing act. Despite our best efforts, many of us fall into habits that can harm our hair more than help it.

Whether it's the products we use, the styling techniques we follow, or even the way we wash our hair, there are numerous pitfalls.

Here are some common hair mistakes you might be making and tips on how to avoid them to keep your hair healthy and vibrant. By being mindful of these bad habits, you can take better care of your hair and keep it looking its best.

Remember, small changes in your haircare routine can make a big difference in the health and appearance of your locks.

1. Over-washing your hair

Washing your hair often with shampoo might seem like a good way to keep it clean and fresh, but it can actually strip your scalp of its natural oils, according to Healthline. These oils are essential for maintaining the health and moisture of your hair.

Instead, dermatologists suggest washing your hair two to three times a week, as per Cosmopolitan. However, it still highly depends on your hair types and needs.

2. Using the wrong shampoo and conditioner

Not all hair products are created equal, and using the wrong ones can lead to dryness, breakage, and an overall lackluster appearance. It's important to choose shampoos and conditioners that are suited to your hair type -- whether it's dry, oily, curly, or color-treated. Look for products free of sulfates and parabens, which can be harsh on your hair and scalp.

3. Brushing wet hair

Your hair is at its most vulnerable when it's wet as it is filled with moisture, making it more prone to breakage. Brushing wet hair can cause damage and may cause snapping, as noted by Garnier. Instead, use a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle your hair when it's damp, starting from the ends and working your way up to the roots. Brush your hair when it is dry.

4. Skipping heat protectant

Heat styling tools like flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers can cause severe damage to your hair if not used correctly. Living Proof recommends always applying a heat protectant spray before using any heat styling tools. This will help to minimize the damage by creating a barrier between your hair and the high temperatures.

5. Wearing tight hairstyles

Constantly wearing tight ponytails, buns, or braids can put a lot of stress on your hair, leading to breakage and even hair loss over time. This type of hair loss is known as traction alopecia, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Opt for looser styles and use soft hair ties to reduce the strain on your strands. Giving your hair a break from tight styles can significantly improve its health.

6. Ignoring regular trims

Skipping regular trims might seem like a way to grow your hair longer, but it actually leads to more split ends and breakage. Regular trims -- once every six to eight weeks -- help keep your ends healthy and prevent damage from spreading up the hair shaft, as per Fully Vital.

7. Using hot water

Washing your hair with hot water can strip away natural oils and leave your hair dry and brittle. Opt for lukewarm water instead, and finish with a cool rinse to help seal the hair cuticle and add shine.