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10 Bad Hair Habits That Are So Last Year

Here’s to switching up your hair care routine for the better.
January 04, 2023

A mane that looks healthy and full of life is a hair goal that many people share no matter their hair type. Unfortunately, this is not something you can just speak into existence — your actions and hair care habits play a huge factor and can make or break your strands, literally. The new year brings an influx of new year’s resolutions, and while your primary goals may be to head to the gym more frequently or pick up a new reading habit, it’s also the perfect time to upgrade your hair care routine for the better.

When it comes to caring for your strands, it’s all about providing the care they deserve. This means keeping heat styling and bleaching sessions to a minimum and using the right arsenal of hair care products to ensure that your hair concerns are properly addressed. That also means avoiding other bad habits that cause hair breakage and damage to your tresses. Below, discover 10 common bad hair habits to break and learn how to improve your hair care routine for the new year.

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What Can Damage Your Hair?

The main sources of hair damage come from heat styling, coloring and bleaching. They’re damaging on their own and even more dangerous to the hair when combined and when you engage in them frequently. They can lead to hair breakage, split ends, over-processed hair and dryness. Along with that, simpler things that you might overlook like tight ponytails worn repetitively or even brushing your hair (too roughly or with the wrong tools) can cause damage to your strands. 

What Are Healthy Hair Habits?

Healthy hair habits are what bridge the gap between vulnerable hair and strong healthy hair. They include simple actions like using heat protectant every time you apply heat to your tresses, using your hair tools on the lowest temperature setting or adding a hair treatment into your weekly hair routine. Rather than making one dramatic change to your hair care routine, like cutting out heat entirely, these doable and small but mighty habits can benefit your hair as a collective in the long run without feeling like a huge sacrifice. 

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How Can I Stop Bad Hair?

The first step to squashing bad hair is to identify what is the cause. If you’ve deemed your hair “bad” because you're frizz-prone, try adding a frizz-controlling serum to your routine or look for a hair system tailored to your natural texture. If your hair is bad because it’s damaged, schedule a haircut, cut back on hair color sessions or heat styling and add a deep conditioning mask to your weekly routine. 

Our hair routines become so second nature that it’s possible you could develop bad habits without even noticing. Once you’re able to recognize the bad habits, then you can focus on replacing them with good ones that can heal your hair, leading to a gorgeous, nourished mane. Check out 10 bad hair habits to break in the new year as you journey towards your healthy hair goals.

10 Bad Hair Habits to Break This Year

Our hair routines become so second nature that it’s possible you could develop bad habits without even noticing. Check out 10 bad hair habits to break for the new year.

1. Rough Shampooing

As far as shampooing goes, you don’t have to scrub aggressively to get the job done. That may feel like the only way to cleanse your hair effectively, but in reality, you may actually be doing more harm than good. Wet hair is vulnerable so any rough, aggressive actions that can lead to breakage and damage are ones that you want to steer clear of. 

Instead, gently massage your shampoo and conditioner onto your hair and scalp — focusing shampoo mainly on your roots and conditioner on your lengths and ends to avoid scalp product buildup.

2. Washing Your Hair With Scorching Hot Temps

Although it can feel relaxing, extra-hot water can strip your hair (and your skin) of essential oils while simultaneously fading your hair color. After all, the goal of any healthy hair routine is to keep your strands moisturized, not draw out hydration. The next time you’re ready to wash your hair, do it with lukewarm water. While it might not feel quite as satisfying, your hair will be better for it.

3. Skipping on a Hair Care System

Using one kind of shampoo to wash your hair and a different kind of conditioner to nourish your strands can be counterintuitive. Focus on using a comprehensive system of hair care products to best address your current hair concerns, whether that be dryness, frizz or damage. A system of hair care products will work best together because that is how they are formulated, which in turn, will lead to better results. 

Here are some of the best hair systems that work together and are formulated for different hair care needs.

If you have curly hair, try the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Push Shampoo, the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Seal Conditioner and the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Non-Stop Dreamy Curls Leave-in Conditioner. This trio is infused with hyaluronic acid and castor oil to nourish and shape your curls without weigh- down. Wash and style your hair as needed and follow up the leave-in conditioner to tame frizz and define your curls while adding moisture to them. 

If you have over-processed hair, try the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Repair Pre- Shampoo Treatment, the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Bond Repair Shampoo with Citric Acid and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Bond Repair Conditioner with Citric Acid. This three-part system contains citric acid to strengthen weak hair from the inside and out. Use the pre-shampoo treatment before washing and styling your hair as usual. 

If you have dry, dehydrated hair or flat hair, try the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Hydrating Shampoo, Paraben-Free, the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron Plump Hydrating Conditioner, Paraben-Free and the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Moisture Plump Serum, Paraben-Free. This trilogy is formulated with the MVP hydrator, hyaluronic acid, to plump your strands with moisture, bounce, volume and shine for up to 72 hours. 

Wash and style your hair as needed with the shampoo and conditioner and use the serum on wet or dry hair when you need a surge of moisture or to refresh your style.

Editor’s tip: If you’re not mixing and matching your shampoo and conditioner because you skip on the latter, consider that another bad hair habit to break. No matter what hair type you have — frizzy hair, curly hair, thin hair, color-treated hair — everyone can benefit from conditioning their strands regularly. Not only does it lock in moisture but it helps your hair dry faster because it creates a seal around each strand of hair.  

4. Towel Drying Hair

If your towel is the first thing you reach for after washing your hair, you may want to think twice about that. Cotton towels tend to be rough on hair, which can create friction, leading to hair breakage and damage down the road. Instead, keep a soft T-shirt nearby so you can gently plop your hair and remove excess water before moving on to styling.

5. Brushing Your Hair While Wet

Your hair is most fragile when it’s wet, which means brushing it at this stage is a hair care faux pas. Instead, use a wide tooth comb to help detangle knots and make sure to apply a hair treatment that can help with detangling, like the L’Oréal Paris Everpure Sulfate-Free 21-in-1 Color Caring Spray, Leave In, beforehand to help make the process easier. 

6. Overdoing It With the Heat Tools

Hot tools like blow dryers, flat irons and curling wands are certainly good at what they do, but excessive heat styling can lead to damage. You don’t have to ditch your beloved hot tools altogether, though. Instead, give them a rest from time to time with heatless styles and make sure you’re using heat protectant every time you apply heat to your strands.

Before picking up the blow dryer, coat your damp strands with the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant, a smoothing leave-in treatment with frizz control and 450-degree heat protection. If you’re curling or flat ironing your dry hair, use a heat protecting hair serum, like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum Leave-In, which doubles as a frizz-reducing hair treatment.

7. Tying Hair Up Tightly

Sweeping your hair off your neck and into a tight updo may be convenient for sleeping or working out, but it can also cause stress on your mane. If your ponytail or updo is too tight, it can pull at your hair and lead to breakage, especially if it’s a style you turn to often. Give hair a break by opting for loose ponytails and swapping out elastics for soft fabric hair ties.

8. Skipping on Deep Conditioning Treatments 

If you don’t already swap out your regular conditioner for a deep conditioner or hair mask every so often, you should — it can go a long way to keep your strands healthy. When your hair needs a little extra love, reach for a deep conditioning treatment, like the L'Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Signature Masque, Color Care Hair Mask in lieu of your usual conditioner. This treatment mask works for all hair types and helps to deeply nourish strands while enhancing shine and smoothing hair with each use.

If you need something that works instantly, try the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths 8 Second Wonder Water Lamellar Rinse Out. It reduces breakage, smooths hair and seals split ends in just seconds. If time is your excuse for skipping on hair treatments, this product is so fast-acting, you’ll have no choice but to keep up with it.

9. Not Caring for Your Scalp

Many of us neglect our scalp. To start giving your scalp the attention it needs, add a scalp scrub into your hair care routine once a month to help buff away dead skin cells and any lingering product buildup. Another way to care for your scalp is to add a weekly scalp massage to your hair care routine. Instead of thinking of it as a chore, look at it as a way to dole out some well-deserved self-care.

10. Blow Drying Your Hair When It’s Soaking Wet

As we said earlier, too much heat on your hair isn’t a good thing. So, the longer it takes for you to blow dry your strands, the worse it is for your hair health. Instead of blasting your strands as soon as you get out of the shower, wait until your hair is just a little damp and then begin to blow-dry it. Not only will it help keep your hair looking and feeling better, but it will also speed up your blowout and save you some time.

If you don’t have time to let your hair air dry, rough dry your hair by blow drying it to about 80 percent dry before you pick up a round brush to style it. simply removing excess moisture is not only healthier for your hair because you’re applying less direct heat to small sections of your hair, but it will make the entire process faster and a bit easier.

Next: 8 Hydrating Products Your Curly Hair Will Love

Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Digital Tech: Katy Andrascik, Photo Assistant: Sam Kang, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Melina Kemph, Wardrobe Assistant: Kayla Martinez, Model: Juli Deng

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