Girl Smarts 4 styling mistakes that could actually make your hair fall out

Here's how to rock your favourite hairstyles without paying for it.

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hairstyles that damage hair hair loss play

hairstyles that damage hair hair loss

(Photograph by Getty Images)
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We've all had those days where it feels like there's more hair on the floor of the shower than on our heads.

And while some shedding is normal—the American Academy of Dermatology says we shed about 50 to 100 strands of hair daily—anything more than that constitutes actual hair loss. And while age, stress, and hormones can all contribute to hair loss, have you ever considered the fact that your favorite 'do might be affecting your shedding, breaking strands?

So where exactly are we going wrong? Thankfully, it’s how a hairstyle is executed—rather than the style itself—that can hurt your hair, says Larry Sims, the hairstylist behind Victoria Beckham’s famous bob. We asked experts to share their insight, and how we can prevent our favorite looks from breaking up our tresses.

Choosing Heavy Extensions And Weaves

Add-ons to your hair, like extensions and weaves, add extra weight to your hair. Choose styles that are too heavy, and your hair will come out, says Sims. That’s because the weight of extensions and braids can cause major stress and tensions to your hair, leading to breakage. “If you’re wearing a weave and it’s too tight, or you leave it in for longer than the recommended four to six weeks, that can potentially cause damage and take your hair out as well,” Sims adds. Your hair needs time to breathe freely in between these heavy, product-heavy styles. If not, it can potentially grow weak and break off.

Blow Drying Wet Hair

Even something as simple as a blowout can mess with your hair if done incorrectly. “Hair just isn’t that strong, especially if it’s highlighted and or color treated," says Peter Butler, hairstylist to Emma Stone and Claire Danes. “Trying to blow dry very wet hair with a brush is a form of hair torture, since your hair is only so elastic. If it is pulled and pulled with any kind of brush from wet to dry, you have the strongest chance of snapping the hair from heat and exertion,” he says.

A great way to prevent breakage here is to make sure you remove excess water before styling. “Towel dry your hair first and then take the dryer and hand dry your hair, removing the most moisture first,” says Butler. “This frees up the natural texture and makes it easier to section and blow out with the brush.” This method actually helps you blow-dry your hair faster, says Butler—a win-win, in our book!

Using The Wrong Hair Ties

Ponytails—specifically the elastic that you use—can also lead to breakage, says Butler. “Using tight elastics that aren’t cloth covered or rubber bands to tie up your ponytail and then pulling them out will definitely tear out hair,” he says. “Repeat this and you get more breakage."

Avoid rubber bands and go for hair ties like invisbobble ($8, sephora.com) or fabric-covered hair ties so that the hair easily slides off and doesn’t get stuck in the elastic. “I like Blaxx ($7 for 8, amazon.com) snag- free elastics” says Butler. “They slide off the ponytail.”

Using Heat Styling Tools All The Time

“Repeated use of heat-styling tools over time can destabilize the structure of hair, causing it to weaken and slip and eventually break off,” says Butler. This applies to any style that requires flat irons, curling irons, hot combs, and of course blow dryers. Womp womp.

Thankfully, you don’t have to throw out your tools to protect your tresses. Instead, take preventative measures to strengthen your hair against heat damage. Butler recommends using a hair treatment with keratin, such as Schwartzkopf GLISS Hair Repair Ultimate Repair Anti-Damage Mask ($6, target.com). You can also try keeping things natural with your styling to give your hair a break from the heat, says Sims. “A twist up – or sleeping in braids overnight and unraveling them—is really beautiful too,” says Sims.