10 Habits That Harm Dry Hair: And Increase Its Problems

Many of us have been there – staring at the reflection in the mirror, wondering why our hair just doesn’t look or feel as luscious as we’d like it to. If you have dry hair, you’re no stranger to the frizz, breakage, and lackluster strands that can come with it. But what if we told you that some of your daily habits could be making things worse?

In this in-depth guide, we’ll explore the 10 common habits that can harm your dry hair and offer practical tips for transforming your hair care routine to promote healthier, more vibrant locks.

Understanding Dry Hair and Its Common Causes

Before we dig into the habits that may be harming your hair, it’s essential to understand what causes dryness. Dry hair lacks the necessary moisture and oil required to keep it looking and feeling healthy. This can be due to a variety of factors, such as genetics, environmental conditions, diet, or the use of harsh hair products.

When it comes to maintaining the health of your dry hair, adopting good hair care habits is crucial. Here are the top 10 habits you should avoid if you want to keep dryness at bay.

Frequent Heat Styling

Love your straighteners and curling irons a little too much? Well, high heat can spell disaster for dry hair. Heat styling tools can reach temperatures that are hot enough to boil water, which means they can easily damage the hair shaft, leaving your mane more prone to breakage and split ends.

The Solution:

If you can’t kick your heat styling habits, be sure to use a heat protectant spray before styling, which can shield your hair from some of the thermal damage. Better yet, try to limit heat styling to special occasions and opt for heat-free styles in between.

Overwashing and Using Harsh Shampoos

Washing your hair frequently might seem like a good way to keep it clean, but overwashing can strip your hair of its natural oils, causing it to become dry and brittle. Additionally, shampoos that contain sulfates and other harsh detergents can exacerbate this effect, especially on already-dry hair.

Best Practices:

Choose a sulfate-free shampoo and try to wash your hair no more than two to three times a week. On non-wash days, you can use dry shampoo to freshen up your locks without drying them out.

Ignoring Regular Trims

Split ends are the enemy of dry hair. If left unchecked, they can travel up the hair shaft and cause even more damage. While it may seem counterintuitive to cut already-dry hair, regular trims are actually crucial for maintaining healthy ends.

What to Do:

Visit your stylist every 8-12 weeks to snip off any split ends and keep your hair looking its best. Not only will this help prevent further damage, but it can also give the appearance of thicker, healthier hair.

Rubbing the hair with a towel

After washing our hair, many of us have the habit of vigorously rubbing our hair with a towel to speed up the drying process. However, this can cause friction and damage to the already fragile strands of dry hair.

Alternative Technique:

Instead of rubbing your hair, gently squeeze out excess water with a microfiber or cotton t-shirt. This will remove excess water without causing damage.

Related: Foods For Stronger Hair, Less Hair loss, and Potential Baldness Prevention

Using the Wrong Hairbrush

Not all hairbrushes are created equal, and using the wrong one can contribute to dryness in your hair. For example, using a brush with hard bristles on already-dry hair can cause breakage and irritation to the scalp.

The Fix:

Choose a wide-toothed comb or a brush with soft, flexible bristles to gently detangle and style your dry hair. This will help prevent damage and keep your tresses looking healthy.

Not Protecting Hair from the Sun

Your skin isn’t the only thing that needs protection from the sun – your hair does too. UV rays can damage the outer layer of your hair, leading to dryness and a loss of elasticity.

Safeguard Your Strands:

When you’re going to be out in the sun for an extended period, shield your hair with a hat or use a UV-protectant spray to keep it safe.

Using Hot Water for Hair Wash

There’s nothing quite like a hot shower, but that water temperature might be wreaking havoc on your hair. Hot water can strip your strands of their natural oils, leaving them parched.

Cool It Down:

Wash your hair with lukewarm or cool water to help maintain moisture and keep your scalp healthier. This can also help seal the hair cuticle, making your hair look smoother and shinier.

Skipping Deep Conditioning Treatments

If you have dry hair, you need all the moisture you can get. Deep conditioning treatments can provide that extra hydration your hair craves, yet many people skip this important step in their routine.

Hydration Remedies:

Try to deep condition your hair at least once a week. Look for a product that is specifically formulated for dry hair, and consider incorporating a hair mask into your routine for even more intensive moisture.

Using Chemical Treatments Excessively

Chemical treatments like dyes, perms, and relaxers can significantly dry out your hair. Over time, the chemicals in these products can weaken the hair and make it more prone to breakage.

Healthy Alternatives:

If you must color or chemically alter your hair, consider opting for less damaging treatments, like semi-permanent dyes or bond-building services offered by many salons.

Over-brushing or Combing Wet Hair

Wet hair is more fragile than dry hair, which means it’s more prone to damage from brushing or combing. This can lead to breakage and even contribute to hair loss.

Hair Detangling Etiquette:

If you need to detangle your hair when it’s wet, use a wide-tooth comb or a brush designed for wet hair, and start from the ends, working your way up to the roots to avoid unnecessary breakage.


Our hair plays a significant role in our self-expression and overall appearance. By avoiding these common harmful habits and adopting a healthier hair care routine, you can better maintain the quality of your dry hair. Remember, patience and persistence are key. Over time, good habits can lead to a more resilient, luscious mane.

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