From tight ponytails to sunglasses… the 10 hair no-nos if you want healthy long locks – The Sun

WHETHER it's split ends, flyaways or frizz, we're all prone to a bad hair day from time to time.

But if you're not properly looking after your locks, chances are you'll be suffering more than others.

And catching sight of our dodgy dos can affect our mood.

In fact, research shows that almost 75 per cent of women say that having bad hair makes them feel less confident.

The best way to make sure your mane is looking shiny and perfect is to keep yourself healthy.

While there's no one miracle solution to healthier hair, there are some everyday habits you should consider adopting – and some you should avoid at all costs.

We asked stylist Katie Allan, founder of MAYFIVE Hair, to talk us through her hair no-nos…

1. Don’t wear hair in a tight ponytail

Wearing your hair in a tight ponytail or a top knot can cause tension through the scalp.

This can lead to something known as traction alopecia, Katie explained.

It's a form of hair loss caused by repeatedly pulling on the hair.

This can be reversed by avoiding scraping your mane back but if it's ignored it can lead to permanent baldness.

Katie said: "Elasticated hair bands rub and can ruffle the cuticles or raise them, causing damage and breakage.

"It’s the material against the actual cuticle that can cause tension throughout – and it’s people with fine and highly processed hair that are most at risk.

"I’d say always use something soft on the hair like a silk band, a scrunchie or an Invisibobble."

2. Don’t put sunglasses on your head

One of the easiest places to pop sunglasses when you're not wearing them is on top of your head.

But if they're the type with metal nose bridge and pads then these can get caught in the hair and pull out strands.

Katie said: "This can result in breakage to the front of the hairline.
"The best place for your sunglasses is in their case – or switch to a pair with a plastic bridge over the nose."

3. Don’t brush hair with a dirty hair brush

Hairbrushes are prone to product build-up and strands of hair.

But they can also contain dead skin cells and even dust mites.

And stroking it through freshly washed hair could be undoing all the hard work you've been putting into your routine elsewhere, Katie warned.

She said: "All you need is some hot water and shampoo.

"If you wash your hair loads it’s not going to be that oily but you should still be routinely cleaning them.

"Soak your brushes in warm water with shampoo for a bit and then brush them together."

4. Don’t wash with hot water

When it's cold outside it can be a treat to come in and whack up the temperature of the shower.

But hot water can irritate your scalp and possibly weaken your hair.

Katie said: "It’s more your skin it can dry out so you could end up with a flaky scalp or dandruff.

"Stick with warm water and blast cold water at the ends for shiny hair."

5. Don’t fiddle with the ends

Twirling and fiddling with the ends of your hair can cause it to tangle and pulled hard enough, they can snap and break.

Katie said: "If the ends of your hair are white and bobbly – it’s hair damage.

"Don’t pull at your split ends either – you’re better off having it cut.

"If you see little ends on your lap or in your brush then you book in to see your hairdresser."

She said that another reason not to play with it is that it can leave it looking greasier much faster.

"Everyone has glands on their head that produces oil from the sebaceous glands," Katie added.

"That can activate them and make it more oily."

6. Don't overuse dry shampoo

Hair washing can be a faff so we all know what it's like to try and push it just one more day.

But don't reach for the dry shampoo too often, Katie says.

"Using dry shampoo in excess can result in a dry flaky scalp," she said.

"I'd recommend that you don't use it for more than two days before washing."

7. Don’t overexpose hair to the sun

The sun's UV rays aren't just harmful to your skin, they can also damage your hair – even in the UK.

Katie said: "The best form of protection is a hat but there are sprays you can use."

And the same goes for pollution – particularly if you live in a city.

"There are free radicals in the air that can sit on the hair and oxidize," according to Katie.
"If you live in a city it's worth using a clarifying shampoo, especially if you have blonde hair which is more open to things sitting on it and leave it looking dull."

8. Don’t brush hair from the root

When you grab your brush it may seem obvious to start at the scalp.

But combing from the root can actually cause more damage, especially when its wet.

Katie said: "When it’s knotty, start on the ends and work your way up.

"I recommend using a tangle tamer style brush and always using  a leave-in spray conditioner first.

"Your hair stretches when it’s wet so if you’ve got a product on it’s going to guide through much better."

9. Don’t use too much heat

From blow-drying to straightening and curling, our hair endures a lot of heat damage.

It can lead to dryness, breakage and split ends – leaving you looking more frazzled.

"You can tell when someone uses a lot of heat because it goes a little brittle on the ends," Katie told us.

But don't chuck out your appliances just yet.

Katie says you can still use heated tools as long as you make sure you're protecting your hair properly.

"The first time you use a heated appliance after washing and blowdrying is fine – as long as you’ve applied a heat protection," she said.

"For example, if you’ve washed it the day before and then used straighteners or tongs it’s fine, but the next time you use heat on it, that’s what causes the damage.

"That’s because the moisture was taken out of it the first time you used heat.

"The next time you do it you’re just damaging it.

"So when you’ve used a heated appliance you only want to use it once before washing it again.

"If you need to, then wet the ends, put heat protection back on and do the process again."

Katie also pointed out that you should never use heated appliances on wet hair.

"That is just the biggest no," she said.

10. Don’t use conditioner like a shampoo

Conditioner is that post-shampoo moisturising treat for your hair.

But it's not a good idea to put it on the scalp.

Katie said: "I always tell people to relate their hair products to their skincare.

"So shampoo is your cleanser and conditioner is your moisturiser.

"Only ever put shampoo on the roots – you don’t need to do this on the ends because it will run down as you wash anyway.

"When it comes to conditioner it’s best to put it on the ends.

"The only exception might be Afro-Caribbean hair or any hair type that is naturally drier – or if your scalp is quite dry – but otherwise only do the ends."

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