I remember the day I killed my hair. I had just finished an at-home straightening treatment that reeked of rotten eggs, and I was trying to style my new coif. But my locks were oddly limp and lifeless, the bangs clingy to my forehead. I reached up and pulled at some of the strands around my face, only to have them break off in my hand. This is just one example of the many hair mistakes I’ve made in my life.
Over the years, I’ve done some major damage to my hair. I’ve bleached it, dyed it, straightened it. I even shaved it on the aforementioned day when my hair died. I got a lot of props for being bold and confident – basically a Puerto Rican Sinead O’Connor without a ripped-up picture of the Pope – but the truth was that I had pushed my poor follicles to their limit. But even without the constant coloring and heating, there are plenty of ways women ruin their hair. From daily rituals to one-time occurrences, here are all the ways you’re ruining your hair – and how to turn things around and make your hair the healthiest it’s ever been.