My hair has been through a lot in its lifetime. With all the coloring, spraying, braiding, teasing, cutting, and curling it is a miracle that I still have enough hair to pull back in a ponytail. Sure, I try to be nice and counteract the damage with some conditioning masks and days when I let my hair do its natural thing — but I can't help but wonder if that's enough. If you feel like your hair could use a little more love, it may be due to one of the surprising ways you're ruining your hair.

When it comes to hair damage, some culprits are more obvious than others. You've probably known for a while that over coloring, using too much heat, and not washing frequently enough can cause your strands to look dry and overworked. But have you ever considered the heat of your shower water or not putting sunscreen may be causing long term problems for your locks? As it turns out, there are many things that people do all the time (usually in the name of convenience) that are a real injustice to their hair.

But the good news is, there are solutions to these hair hazards that you may not have been aware were so wrong. If you're not quite sure why your hair seems unhealthy, consider these seven surprising ways you're ruining your hair.

1. Too Much Dry Shampoo

A good bottle of dry shampoo has saved my hair on many busy mornings, but too much of a good thing can be damaging. When it comes to dry shampoo, Women's Health pointed out that allowing dry shampoo can pile on your scalp, clogging the pores. In order to let the hair breath, avoid using dry shampoo for more than two days in a row.

2. Wearing Extensions Too Long

It's not the extensions that cause the damage; it's the amount of time you keep them. As Allure pointed out, your hair needs to take a break from extensions so your natural hair can rest. The extra weight can pull too tightly on the hair shaft, causing breakage and bald spots. Make sure give your locks some rest.

3. Using The Wrong Brush

When it comes to hair brushes, quality matters. Most high-quality brushes will detangle and smooth your hair without causing any breakage. However, Good Housekeeping reported that brushes with small plastic balls on the end can damage hair, as it can get stuck on the balls and be torn off. Your best bet is to skip the ball-padded brush or go for a simple comb.

4. Not Eating Enough Healthy Fats

Certain foods affect the health of your hair. According to Today, eating a very low fat diet can cause hair loss, because the body isn't getting enough of the vitamins and protein healthy hair needs to grow.

5. Not Using A UV Styling Product

The sun's rays are just as damaging to your hair as they are to your skin. When it comes to protecting your hair outdoors, Women's Health recommended using a hair product with SPF or UV protectors, which will keep color treated hair from fading and reduce dryness and breakage.

6. Pulling Your Pony Too Tight

A nice high pony can look super sexy, but overdoing this look can really damage hair. As Marie Claire pointed out, pulling the hair too tight can cause the hair follicles to fall out, resulting in a receding hairline. Looks like this 'do is best left for special occasions instead of an everyday thing.

7. Washing With Super Hot Water

Just like the heat from styling tools like hair dryers and straighteners, the heat from your shower can damage your hair. According to Prevention, the rinsing your hair in hot water can strip the protective oils. To be on the safe side, rinse hair in the coolest temperature you can tolerate without shivering.

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