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Who doesn’t want healthier, shinier, stronger hair? There’s just something about our hair looking fresh af that makes us feel super boujee. We caught up with the hair genius behind the amazing Shiffa hair collection and Ouai hair supplements, Dr. Lamees Hamdan, so she could set us straight on all our bad hair habits. And it turns out, we can get the hair fairytales are made of! That Rapunzel story – it’s not as outrageous as you might think: every single strand of hair on your head is strong enough to hold 100 grams, so if you multiply that by the number of hairs on your head, your hair can support two elephants… or Prince Charming! Here’re five things you need to avoid, for hair a prince could climb:

Under washing your hair: There’s an old tale that leaving your hair an extra day before washing is a good thing and that washing your hair depletes it’s ‘natural oils.’ But the truth is, if you’re not washing your hair enough, it can affect your hair growth and strength. Would you leave your face unwashed for a week?  If you’re not getting rid of the oils and accumulations on your scalp, it can lead to an unhealthy scalp condition, which can result in unhealthy hair growth. Dr. Lamees recommends washing your hair every third day, and if oily, every second day.

Too much hot styling: In today’s world, it’s almost impossible to say never use hot styling tools because let’s be real, we’re going to use hot styling tools. But it’s vital to try and cut back drastically on the number of times you use hot tools on your hair. If you have curly hair but straighten it, try leaving it natural and braiding it, or if you love curls but have straight hair, there are so many tutorials for flawless, heatless curls that literally take less than 5 minutes! When drying your hair, always use the cool or medium setting; the hot setting can burn your hair and damage the follicles.

Wearing your hair too tight: Gentle pulling of the hair for hours every day can cause hair loss in that area, so make sure you don’t use hair grips too tight, and avoid giving yourself a facelift with a scraped back ponytail. You should also vary the way your hair is styled; allow your hair to “breathe” and be loose for a few days a week without pulling it into a style to avoid getting bald spots in a certain area (traction alopecia) – yes, it really can happen!

Bad products: There are some shampoos out there that have been reported to actually lead to hair loss, so it’s important to buy a good quality shampoo. Check out your shampoo ingredients next time you’re shopping, and look out for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), this is a super harsh detergent that will strip your hair of essential oils, break down proteins, and will stop healthy hair growth. Sodium chloride (basically table salt) is another ingredient to avoid, as are parabens, which can upset your hormone balance and trigger hair loss. Similarly, don’t wash your hair too frequently, every single day is too often, so unless you are working up a big sweat at the gym, try to leave it at least every other day.

Using the wrong brush: The wrong brush or comb can pull hair out from its roots, or even cause breakage, so buying a good quality brush is very important. Start brushing from the bottom section of your hair and work your way up. If you start from the roots, you’re more likely to pull out hairs when you encounter tangles. Dr. Lamees recommends the Mason and Pearson wide-toothed comb, and the classic mixed synthetic and boar bristle hair brush. For a more affordable option, a Tangle Teezer is gentle on the hair and roots while it will also detangle your hair easily.

Now look after your mane, and go slay like Naomi!