Women who wear their hair in a ponytail everyday have been warned they could cause permanent damage.  That’s according to Hairtrade.com, which has researched and revealed the nine main reasons hair ends up broken, dry and bedraggled.

From over-brushing and using the wrong type of shampoo, to bad weather and hormonal changes, these are the things that cause the most day-to-day damage to people’s hair.

The online hair and beauty retailer has compiled a list of the nine biggest culprits when it comes to hair killers:

Over-brushing
Brushing your hair too much can cause split ends and breakage, as it causes just too much consistent friction for your hair to handle. It also won’t help if you’re using cheap hair brushes, as they cause snags and tangles which are hard to get out, resulting in broken hair and split ends.

Using the wrong shampoo
Sometimes, you’re better to just rinse your hair a few times with water than use shampoo that’s not suited to your hair type. Make sure you check the label because if you’ve got particularly dry hair, for example, you’ll need an intensive, moisturising shampoo.

The weather
With winter comes extreme cold coupled with overheated indoors, whereas summer brings overexposure to sun and heat, and dips in chlorinated pools. These factors can all dehydrate hair, making it parched and dry.

Heat styling
Hair straighteners, dryers and curling tongues strip the hair of moisture with each use, so they’re best to be avoided to avoid damaging your hair further. If using hot tools is imperative, aim to keep the temperature below 200 degrees Celsius.

Tying hair up in the same style
If you always tie your hair up in the same way, you’ll see breakage along the elastic line. You should try to move yourhairstyle around, as you’ll minimise damage from occurring in the same spot each time.

Colouring it but not treating it
No matter how gentle the hair dye, colouring your hair will always take its toll. To try and minimise the damage, you should use a moisture treatment or mask to help restore your hair.

Hormones
Contraceptive pills, pregnancy, and menopause all contribute towards physiological shifts within the body which can have an adverse effect on hair, including dryness and brittleness. This one’s a little less avoidable.

Not cutting it enough
It may sound counter-productive, but cutting your hair often actually helps it to grow and look healthy as you’re cutting off the split ends which can spread up the strand and cause breakage higher up. By leaving months between trims, you’ll actually be thwarting your efforts to grow your hair because the more damage you have, the more your stylist will need to cut off.

Not using conditioner
Many people think that by using conditioner, they’ll be sacrificing much needed volume and oomph, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Just like you match your moisturiser to your skint type, you just need to use a conditioner that has been formulated for your hair type.

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