1. Washing it every day, like clockwork
Stylists say your hair looks best when the natural oils that start in the scalp are allowed to reach the ends. That’s why they recommend shampooing every other day—or even every third day. If you’re worried about your strands looking greasy, spritz the roots with dry shampoo or water and restyle with a blow-dryer.
2. Two-timing your favorite shampoo
Some think switching up shampoos can make your hair look healthier, but experts say stick with what works (if it already works, that is). Your hair can’t tell the difference between brands or build up tolerance to any product. However, if you have very oily hair or like to use sticky styling products with wax in them, you should break up your routine with a clarifying shampoo once every couple of weeks or so—this will wash away any residue.
3. Overdoing it on shampoo and/or conditioner
Instead of shampooing and conditioning all the way through, concentrate shampoo toward the scalp, and condition just the mid-shaft to the ends of your hair. Your ends need more moisture (we develop “split ends” for a reason), and your roots need a little less of it so they can maintain volume. The suds will run down from the top of your head and get those ends clean anyway.
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4. Skipping the conditioner altogether
If you want shinier locks, use conditioner every time you wash. Bonus: Conditioner cuts down on friction and breakage when you brush your hair later. And did you know that you can use conditioner to wash your hair, sans shampoo? Since shampoo can be very harsh, it’s a nice alternative once in awhile. Our experts in the Good Housekeeping Research Institute Beauty Lab tried it and found that while conditioner may not do the deep cleaning most shampoos will, it will still leave your hair feeling and looking nice.
5. Taking super-hot showers
While warm water opens a hair’s cuticle to allow shampoo and conditioner to do their job, cold water helps to close the cuticle and seal in moisture from the conditioner—which helps your hair look shiny and healthy. So, by all means, take a warm shower, but at the end, rinse with cold water. If you really don’t like cold showers, stylists recommend pouring one cup apple cider vinegar mixed with two cups water over hair after washing and conditioning. Vinegar is a gentle exfoliator that removes product build-up and dandruff from the scalp.
6. Rinsing too much (if you have colored hair)
Since colored hair absorbs and releases water much more easily, when the water leaves, so does some of the color. So hold off on rinsing for those few extra minutes. Also, stick to lukewarm or cooler water since heat makes you lose color faster.