Being able to take pride in a healthy head of hair is a beauty goal for many of us. Key word: healthy. But you get back what you put in and sometimes we aren’t engaging in the best habits for our manes.

To cut down on bad hair days, months, or years, it’s worth examining your routine. What’s missing? What’s too much? And what can be tweaked? Down below is a list of self-inflicted yet self-correctable hair problems that could use a once-over.

Follow these tips to a get a handle on your hair affair:

  1. Don’t Overdo the Bleach or Chemical Coloring

    It’s okay to want to experiment with different hair hues, but excessive bleaching or coloring can damage your precious strands and scalp. Besides drying it out, things like lightening your hair with chemicals can also strip it of its natural pigments. Instead, opt for natural methods of coloring and wait a few weeks in between dye jobs.

  2. Support Healthy Growth

    LongCurlyHairForListSofia_Zhuravets via Deposit Photos

    You’re wondering why your hair hasn’t grown much over the past few months, or why it’s not growing at all. It could be a medical condition or it could be something in your grooming habits that’s messing things up. Small things like washing with hot water or brushing wet hair could be hindering your hair’s growth.

  3. Use the Right Shampoo For You

    We know the choices in the store aisle can be overwhelming, but it’s up to you to find the right combo for your hair and scalp. Is your hair curly, fine, dry, or oily? Do you have a sensitive scalp? Some shampoos are too heavy for fine hair, others are formulated to help dry or damaged hair absorb more moisture. The wrong shampoo will strip hair of its natural oils.

    Depending on the texture, there are shampoos that exist that nourish and protect curl patterns. There are also some people who fare much, much better with a gentle, natural shampoo. Know your hair and scalp type so that you can find the right shampoo. Making your own is also an option!

  4. Address Hair Loss

    Loss hair comb in women handia_64 via Deposit Photos

    Hair loss can be a sign of a major health issue or the result of an unsuitable hair routine. Either way, ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. Some hair loss can be corrected with home treatments. For more serious cases, visit a medical professional.

  5. Minimize Towel Drying

    With towel drying, it’s all in the technique. Regular squeezes and rubs with regular towels can damage the hair shaft, causing frizz, breakage, and split ends. Drying your hair with a t-shirt or microfiber towel are better options, as is air drying.

    If you can’t part ways with your normal bath towels, at the very least use a conditioner and only blot/press your hair dry. For more reasons to chuck towel drying, check out The Brunette Diaries.

  6. Chill with the Heat

    curly hair problemsLittle NY

    Being too hot is not a good thing when it comes to hair. Your hair needs a break from hot tools that damage it at the follicle all the way down to the ends. Take a breather by working in some heat-free styling techniques to protect your tresses!

  7. Love Your Moisturizer

    You know what dehydration does your body, so what do you think it does to your hair? Hydrate those locks with oil treatments or a conditioner that’s right for your hair type. Coconut oil or olive oil can add luster to a variety of hair types. Steer clear of using too much or too many products, however, as that can weigh the hair down.

  8. Fix the Dry and Itchy

    DandruffForListHmochoa95 via Wikimedia Commons

    When you have an itch you scratch it, right? But that’s not enough when it comes your head. A dry or itchy scalp can be indicative of a nutritional deficiency or a dermatological condition. Dandruff and other scalp issues can impede hair growth. You may be able to find relief by switching shampoos, eating more healthy fats, and laying off of styling products.

  9. Clean those Dirty Tools

    How often do you wash your combs and brushes? Styling products, dead skin, dirt, and dust can build up on your hair tools and be redeposited into your hair. That’s not a good look if you’re trying to maintain a healthy head of hair. Get into the habit of washing these items regularly.

  10. Trim Up

    No matter your hair’s length or texture, get your ends trimmed to prevent breakage. Taking care of split ends also helps with detangling and encourages new growth. Your hair type or pattern will determine how often you should get a trim. For some, it will be every few weeks; for others, a few times a year will do it.

  11. Don’t Misuse the Blow Dryer

    WomanBlowdryingHairCITAlliance via Deposit Photos

    Heat from a blow dryer can burn the hair and scalp, causing breakage, dryness, or brittle hair. How you use a blow dryer can make a difference in the health of your hair. Use a low setting with either an attachment or up-and-down motion when you dry. Holding the dryer at a fair distance can also minimize damage.

Other hair don’ts include overuse of styling products and repetitive wearing of tight styles. Both can weaken the hair or lead to loss. Let your hair down, let it breathe, and let it rest from harsh chemicals, heat, and styling mistakes for optimal health.

Getting plenty of nutrients and hydration is also key to lovely locks, so be sure you’re eating, drinking, and resting well.

Which of these hair mistakes are you guilty of? Have you been able to reverse hair damage?