If your hair is feeling dryer than ever these days, you’re not alone. The colder months can lead to dry hair for almost everyone, regardless of your hair type. And while we may not be able to control the weather, we can control some other factors that are contributing to our hair health. There are certainly the obvious tips we’ve all heard of for moisturizing hair (hello, conditioner), but there are also quite a few bad hair habits that are secretly depleting your hair of its moisture levels—habits you might not even be aware of.
Curious if you’re making any of these common mistakes? Ahead, celebrity hairstylist Cassie Russek—stylist on TV sets such as Room 104 and Key Notice—reveals the top 10 haircare mistakes that contribute to dryness (and what to do about it).
Meet the Expert
Cassie Russek is a Los Angeles based celebrity hairstylist and wig specialist who has worked in film and television amongst other projects.
1. Rough Brushing
While you might think that brushing is great for your hair, it’s only beneficial if you’re being gentle. If tugging, pulling and ripping all sound like familiar sensations when you brush, there are a few ways you can minimize the damage and create a gentler process for your hair. For starters, make sure you’re brushing from ends-to-roots to prevent further tangling. And if you’re detangling with wet hair, make sure you’re using an oil-infused detangler like HASK’s Argan Oil 5-in-1 Leave-In Spray to help lubricate strands while detangling (and deliver moisture all day long).
It can be tempting to want to start each day with clean, freshly-shampooed hair, but over-washing can strip your hair of its natural oils, leading to dry strands and frayed ends. Try to keep the shampoo days to just a few times a week at maximum, and make sure you’re following up with the right products to replenish moisture after sudsing up. Immediately following a shampoo, Russek says to “Always condition, and always use a leave-in conditioner like the HASK Argan Oil 5-in-1 Leave-In Spray or the Argan Oil Miracle Damage Repair Cream.”
3. Not Using the Right Products for Your Hair Type
Understanding your hair type and its specific needs will take you a long way in your fight against dry hair. Curly and coarse hair types, for example, are more prone to dryness due to the shape and texture of the hair; it’s much easier for your scalp’s natural oils to travel down straight, fine hair than to make their way through the (beautiful) spirals and bends found in curly hair types. If you have curly or coarse hair, make sure you’re using a deep conditioning mask 1-2 times per week, and that you always fall up with a nourishing leave-in product following a wash.
4. Daily Heat Styling
“No matter your hair type, if you apply heat to your hair, it is more likely to become damaged and dry,” says Russek. Instead of daily heat styling, try to extend your style for an extra day or two by using dry shampoos. Additionally, Russek recommends allowing your hair to air dry for at least one or two of your washes per week to give your hair a break from heat. Embrace that natural texture! And when you do heat style, make sure you’re using a dedicated heat-protectant before you even touch that blow-dryer.
5. Using Frayed Towels
Another often-overlooked factor that can contribute to hair dryness is using old, frayed towels. The rougher the fabric, the more friction the towel is going to have against your hair, and friction = a damaged hair cuticle. Your hair cuticle is responsible for protecting your hair from damage and sealing in moisture, so you want to be sure you’re using a soft, gentle towel (like a microfiber towel) to prevent damage while you’re drying.
6. Environmental Stressors
Yep, winter is definitely making your hair even dryer. According to Russek, plunging temperatures and harsh winter wind can deplete your hair’s natural moisturizers, so now is the time to step-up your haircare routine when it comes to conditioning masks and moisturizing leave-in treatments. Make sure you’re using a product that helps to seal the hair cuticle and provide a protective barrier between your hair and the world around you.
7. Skipping Deep Conditioners
If you have fine or wavy hair, you might be wary that deep conditioners will weigh your hair down. But if you’re dealing with dryness, they’re truly one of the most effective remedies on the market. If you’re concerned about greasiness, consider a wash-out mask like HASK’s Argan Oil Repairing Deep Conditioner. Then follow up with the Argan Oil Miracle Damage Repair Cream to help smooth your hair cuticle, seal in moisture, and protect hair from heat styling and cold air.
8. Using the Wrong ingredients
According to Russek, you should check your hair product labels, stat. Ingredients like sulfates, parabens, and sulfates may actually be doing your hair a disservice by drying out your ends—even if the product is labeled as moisturizing. Steer clear of these ingredients as much as possible.
9. Avoiding Oils
Oils are your friend! They’re the most effective moisturizers you’ll find in haircare—and when used correctly, they won’t make your hair feel slick or greasy. Russek particularly recommends adding argan oil to your routine. “I love using HASK’s Repairing Argan Hair Oil—it penetrates the hair and also seals the strand on the surface, creating a protective barrier,” she says. “The result is soft, hydrated, shiny and overall healthier hair. I use this oil both on myself (thick, coarse hair) and on all my actors (who have an array of hair types spanning from super fine and straight to thick and curly). It’s so universal; I can use it on blown-out hair, natural hair, colored hair, and even on the scalp.”
10. Using Boxed Dyes
According to Russek, attempting to create professional color with boxed dye is one of the worst haircare mistakes you can make. This is because boxed dyes often contain powerful (and drying) preservatives to increase their shelf life, and typically at-home users aren’t informed about the right ways to prep and protect hair during the coloring process to prevent moisture loss. Whenever possible, keep the coloring to the professionals—the result will be better, longer-lasting color and healthier hair.
Sold on Russek’s tips? Shop HASK’s Argan Oil Miracle Damage Recovery Cream and the full Argan Oil collection HERE.