androgynous woman with healthy blonde hair

Longing to get Nadine Lustre’s luscious locks, Pia Wurtzbach’s enviable waves, or Heart Evangelista’s smooth and straight mane? The secret is pretty simple: It all starts with healthy hair. All the styling tips in the world can only mask bigger problems like dullness, dryness, and weak strands. So if you want your hair to look ultimately beautiful, It’s time to get those locks healthy!

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Wondering how to have healthy hair? The dos are pretty straightforward—eat lots of protein (the building blocks of hair), get regular trims, and use a deep-conditioning treatment like Cream Silk’s Triple Keratin Rescue Ultimate Repair & Shine Treatment Crème at least once a week. The don’ts, however, are a little more surprising.

Bad Habits That Damage Hair

Healthy hair is vibrant, strong, and shiny without being oily; conversely, unhealthy hair is dull, dry, and prone to breakage and dandruff. If the latter sounds all-too-familiar, then it’s time to take stock of your hair-care routine and your potentially damaging practices. Here, professional hairstylists give the lowdown on the bad hair habits you should quit so you can get your healthiest hair ever.

Taking hot showers.

There’s nothing like a hot shower to wash off all the stress at the end of the day, but hairstylist Muriel Vega-Perez says this is a no-no when it comes to keeping your hair healthy. “Hot showers remove oils in the hair and scalp, [and] leave the follicle open and prone to withering so it damages the hair,” he says. Hot showers not only dry out your hair but may also weaken your strands.

Your alternative? Save your steamy showers for no-shampoo days and turn the temp down to lukewarm when you have to wash your hair. Then, seal your cuticles at the end of your shower by rinsing with cold water.

Not protecting your hair.

In case the hot-shower tip hasn’t clued you in yet, heat is one of healthy hair’s biggest enemies. Anything that exposes your hair to super high temps—like hairdryers, flat irons, and even the sun—can be damaging.

If you can’t shake the habit of using hot styling tools, give your hair an extra layer of defense with a heat protectant then finish off your styling sesh with a blast of cold air from your hairdryer. Just like cold water, cold air seals your hair cuticles, too. Staying outdoors? Some leave-on conditioner like can help protect your strands from the sun.

Tying your hair while it’s still wet.

Sometimes it really can’t be helped—you jump in the shower and rush out the door, putting your wet hair up in a quick ponytail. However, “this causes breakage and, for some, hair thinning,” warns hairstylist Elaine Ganuelas, who notes that hair is weaker when it’s wet.

What you should do instead: Either wash your hair the night before, making sure that it’s dry before you go to bed, or get up a bit earlier in the morning to give your hair time to dry before heading out.

Brushing your hair the wrong way.

When it comes to brushing hair, it’s all about quality, not quantity. Brushing your hair a hundred times a day, as the myth goes, produces friction and leads to damage and breakage, so what you should be focusing on instead is your method.

“Brush your hair from the ends and work your way up, not from scalp to the ends,” says Muriel. “If it’s from roots to ends, the tangled hair gets knotted or the knots get tighter.” Brushing from the bottom allows you to detangle the ends first, keeping you from having a matted mess and preventing strenuous tugging as you get closer to the scalp. Once you reach the scalp, you’ll also be better able to distribute the natural oils throughout your tangle-free hair.

Not switching your side part.

Raise your hand if you’ve had the same side part for years. We’ve got news for you—it’s time for a change. According to Elaine, not switching your part “causes thinning and sometimes bald spots” due to continued strain on the same hair follicles. Yikes.

It might take some getting used to, but you’ll notice that your hair instantly looks thicker once you switch sides. Plus, you’ll give thinning areas a chance to recover.

Getting your hair chemically straightened.

In your bid to get shampoo commercial-worthy locks, you might be taking some drastic measures. “In the Philippines, the rebonded-hair trend never died,” says Elaine. “Not only is this a hairstyling nightmare, but the amount of chemicals that each hair shaft goes through can be damaging.” Instead of subjecting your hair to harsh chemicals to get that coveted salon-smooth look, go for products that nourish and give you smooth, straight hair you’ve always wanted minus the damage like TRESEemmé’s Ultimate Straight and Shine Shampoo and Conditioner.

Maybe you’ll also benefit from a mindset makeover apart from a hair makeover. “I really, really advocate embracing what you have, whether straight or curly,” encourages Elaine. No matter what type of hair you have, focus on keeping it healthy by ditching these bad hair habits, use products that are made for your specific needs, and give your hair—and yourself—a healthy dose of self-love!