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The 9 hair-washing mistakes that are ruining your locks – even risking hair loss

IT DOESN’T matter how little or how often you wash your hair, from once a day to once a week, but it’s important to wash it correctly. 

Not only will it help your locks look their best, it will keep them healthy too.

Are you leaving your conditioner in for long enough, or applying in the wrong spots?[/caption]

Plus, different hair types may also require different methods of washing.

From the temperature of your shower water, to the number of times you apply shampoo, a hair expert has laid bare the hair-washing mistakes you might be making, and the damage this can cause.

1. You’re only shampooing once

A typical shampoo and condition tends to be the order of events when we wash our hair.

However, Kash Bishop, senior stylist at Neville Hair and Beauty says that double shampooing can be helpful for some people.

“Double shampooing can be beneficial for those with very oily hair or a lot of product buildup.

The first shampoo helps to remove dirt, oil, and any styling products from the hair and scalp.

The second shampoo can then focus on specific hair needs, such as adding volume, controlling frizz, or providing extra nourishment,” says Kash.

“However, for those with dry or damaged hair, double shampooing might strip the hair of essential oils, leading to further dryness and damage. Therefore, it’s important to consider your hair type and its specific needs before deciding whether double shampooing is necessary for you.”

2. You’re applying conditioner all wrong

Conditioner helps to keep hair soft, silky and healthy, but are you using your conditioner in the right way?

“Conditioning the hair is essential for maintaining its health and manageability.

“When applying conditioner, it’s important to focus mainly on the lengths and ends of the hair, avoiding the scalp to prevent weighing the hair down or causing excess oiliness,” explains Kash.

“Different hair types indeed require different ingredients in conditioners.

For example, those with fine hair may want to look for lightweight, volumising conditioners that won’t weigh the hair down, while those with curly or frizzy hair may benefit from moisturising and smoothing ingredients to help tame and define their locks.”

3. You’re not leaving your conditioner in for long enough

If you want your conditioner to work properly, then it needs to be left in the hair for a sufficient amount of time.

“This is crucial for allowing it to penetrate and moisturise the hair
effectively,” says Kash.

“As a general rule of thumb, conditioner should be left in the hair for about two to three minutes.

“This gives the conditioner enough time to coat the hair strands and work its magic, providing essential moisture and nutrients to keep the hair healthy and manageable.”

4. Your water is too hot

If you’re a fan of a scalding hot shower, then you might want to turn the temperature down a touch, for your hair’s sake.

Kash says: “Using water that’s too hot can strip the hair of its natural oils and cause dryness.”

This can potentially lead to a flaking scalp as well as itchiness and irritation. Overly hot water can also damage hair and long term, could increase the risk of it falling out.

5. You aren’t rinsing out your products

In a rush? No matter your time constraints, be sure to devote time to rinsing out your shampoos and conditioners properly.

“Additionally, it’s important to rinse the hair thoroughly to ensure that no product residue is left behind, which can lead to buildup and potentially weigh the hair down,” explains Kash.

This can also lead to itchiness and even inflammation of the scalp.

6. You’re using the wrong brush for your wet hair

Wet hair is more fragile and prone to breakage, according to Kash.

“It’s best to use a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle the hair.

“It’s important to start from the ends of the hair and work your way up to the roots to minimise damage and breakage.”

This helps to prevent unnecessary stress on your tresses, especially when they’re in a weakened state due to being wet.

7. You’re using the wrong hair masks

Giving your hair its own pamper session is great, but it’s a good idea to check the ingredients of your hair mask before you use it on your locks.

“When choosing a hair mask, look for ingredients that provide deep hydration and nourishment, such as argan oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and keratin,” says Kash.

“These ingredients can help moisturise and strengthen the hair, leaving it soft, smooth, and more resilient.”

He adds that on the flip side, it’s best to avoid masks with sulphates, parabens, and alcohol, as these can be drying to the hair and may counteract the benefits of the mask.

“Hair masks are typically left in for about five to 20 minutes, depending on the product’s instructions. Leaving a hair mask in for too long can lead to over-moisturising, which may make the hair limp or greasy.”

8. You haven’t changed your shower head

This step is not an essential.

However, to give hair some extra TLC, you could opt for a hair-loving shower head, as they contain filters to remove impurities and minerals from the water.

“These can be beneficial for those with hard water that may cause hair to become dry and brittle. These shower heads can be worth the investment for those experiencing issues related to water quality,” says Kash.

You could give the Hello Klean shower head a go – it retails for £44 and removes impurities in your shower water.

9. You’re styling your hair wrong

Now your hair’s dry, it’s onto the styling.

But there’s a few mistakes to avoid, in order to protect your hair.

Kash reveals that using heated appliances without heat protectors, tying hair too tightly, and using elastic bands with metal parts, can all damage hair.

“These practices can lead to breakage, split ends and overall damage to the hair.”

Eat your way to good hair

WANT thicker hair?

Here are 12 foods to give your locks a healthy boost:

  1. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna and herring
  2. Nuts like walnuts, almonds, cashews and pistachios
  3. Eggs
  4. Beans like chickpeas, peanuts, soybeans, and lentils
  5. Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale and rocket
  6. Sweet potatoes
  7. Avocados
  8. Seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds
  9. Yoghurt
  10. Peppers
  11. Berries
  12. Brocolli

Read more on the nutrients your hair craves here.


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