It's no secret that hair is an integral part of our signature looks, and the better care we take of it, the better it will look without the help of wigs and extensions.
I consider my mane a vital part of who I am, but sadly, it has suffered through a decade of bleaching, frying and unfortunate haircuts.
In fact, I'm actually happy I still have hair.
During a recent visit to my stylist, she lectured me very thoroughly on all the small things I was doing that damage my hair, and most of it came as a surprise.
If any of this sounds like you, it's time to change your strategy:
1. Wearing a tight ponytail
So. much. pain. As someone who loves to have her hair up and away from her face, I'm a prime victim of the vicious clench of the hair tie.
Instead of tugging on your hair like your life depends on it, try pinning it back with bobby pins or using a soft hair tie.
If you go for the latter, remember to be gentle and not to tie it more than three times, at most.
As a rule of thumb, you should always be able to put your finder between your ponytail and the tie comfortably.
2. Using a silicone-based shampoo
Surprise, surprise, the silicone in that shampoo, conditioner or detangling spray you just bought actually dries your hair out and only created the illusion of making it smoother.
Ditch that crap right away. For smooth hair, try using a natural solution.
3. Washing hair with hot water
I know taking a hot shower in winter can be the fast lane express to nirvana, but hot water is actually damaging your hair.
Instead, use lukewarm water to wash and cold to rinse. I'm always cold, so I suck up the lack of hot water in the shower while I shampoo, and then I rinse in the sink with ice cold water.
This seals the cuticle and gives you that extra shine.
4. Brushing wet hair
If you think you can hear your strands screaming, that's probably because they are.
Pulling on wet hair is the easiest way to break not only ends, but also its entire length.
If you're hell-bent on brushing hair before it's dry, make sure to put a ton of conditioner or marula oil, and go very slowly.
5. Brushing too much
I guess brushing your hair 100 times does not in fact make it thicker and shinier.
Instead of running the merciless teeth of your brush through your hair over and over again until your arm is sore, try an ACV hair rinse.
It's super easy. Just grab a cup of water and two spoons of organic apple cider vinegar, and mix in a spray bottle. Massage your hair with it, and rinse.
Besides the shine it adds, the ACV hair rinse detangles and hydrates dry tresses. It's as easy as that.
Plus, it costs virtually nothing, so the money you save can go for Taco Tuesday.
6. Using too much dry shampoo
This one may break your heart, but you have to let go of the dry shampoo and go for the real thing.
Dry shampoo has always been an excellent alternative to washing my hair every day, especially after a short workout, but using too much of the magical spray clogs scalp pores.
Even two days in a row can be a really bad idea, so suck it up and wash it.
7. Styling damp hair
I spent most of high school rocking damp up 'dos, buns and braids.
I mean, if that was the way for me to sleep an extra 15 minutes before heading to another excruciatingly boring day of classes, you bet I'd do it.
Plus, New Hampshire wasn't exactly a fashion mecca, so I figured that if it was acceptable to wear sweatpants to school, half-wet, half-fried-with-a-straightner hair was fine, too.
Well, apparently, styling hair that's not fully dry (especially with hot tools) weakens it so much, that if you do it persistently enough, you won't have anything left to style.
Just do yourself a favor and spend the extra few minutes with your dryer.
8. Detangling hair by starting at the root
This one is so easily avoided, yet it's so common.
Just untangle by making your way from the tip up to the root. The other way around will leave you awkwardly standing in front of the mirror with a clump of dead hair in your palm.
Take care of these eight mistakes, and I guarantee you'll be rocking a thick, shiny main sooner than Kim K will reappear on social media.