Bad hair care habits are self sabotaging. They prevent your hair from being its shiny, healthy best.

Hair is delicate. Coloring, bleaching, inexpensive shampoo and conditioner, repeated heat processing, and even the environment here in the sunny South will eventually take its toll on the hair.

There also are many hair care habits that can damage your hair.

Putting your hair in a ponytail constantly, especially in the same spot, will cause breakage, especially if your hair is highlighted. When you pull your hair too tight repeatedly, breakage occurs, especially in the crown area.

The pulling action of a ponytail can also weaken the hairline, causing follicles to be damaged and recede. Eventually hair loss can be permanent.

Varying the position of your ponytail will make your hair happier. Try a pony on the right or left side, or even wear it loose at the nape of your neck. You might also consider wearing your hair down more often than up.

Claw type hair clips are also bad for your hair. They “grab” into the hair while breaking the hair that’s in the way of it closing. Try a gentler approach with a different type of clip or barrette.

Of course, it goes without saying that at-home color and bathroom trims are a huge “no.” Kitchen magicians generally end up spending way more money and time in the long run.

Also using the right products and shampoo will keep your hair healthy and keep your salon color vibrant longer. Nothing is worse than spending money on getting great salon color and cut, and then have it compromised by using cheap shampoo and conditioner. Ask your stylist for advice on better products.

Even with a good shampoo, don’t wash your hair every single day. It’s OK to use dry shampoo between washes.

This process helps keep hair healthy, helps color last longer and saves money on shampoo. Your hair will not get oily after it goes through a few times of you not washing every day. The oil is the scalp’s defense to it being constantly shampooed.

Remember that your hair is the most fragile when it’s wet. Use a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle when it’s wet, and wait until it’s dry to brush your hair.

It’s OK to rinse your hair daily. Also, you can dampen and reactivate the mousse or other styling products already in your hair by putting a little heat from the blow dryer on your roots.

Your hair will thank you, and I hope you will thank me for these tips!

Joy Ross is owner of Style It Salon in Old Town Bluffton.