1. You scrub your scalp with your fingernails

A good scalp scrub can feel refreshing, but you’re actually doing more harm than good if you use your fingernails. “Your fingernails can scratch the scalp and even cause flaking,” says Sandy Johnson, Dermatologiest.

Instead, use your fingertips to work up a lather. It’s also important to avoid aggressively rubbing strands of hair between your hands, which can damage it and cause split ends, she says.

2. Your soap doesn’t contain any moisturizer

Bar soap without any moisturizing agent, like many antibacterial deodorant soaps, can really dry out your skin. Look for bars with stearic acid in the ingredient list or “moisturizing” advertised below the name, says Dr. Gohara.

3. Your shower is too hot and too long

Nobody’s asking you to take a cold shower in the middle of the night, but don’t take a scalding hot one, either. Showers, especially in when its cold, are way too hot and long. This strips your skin of natural oils and lipids that help trap water to keep it moist

4. You don’t condition your scalp

Most people concentrate on spreading conditioner throughout the body of their hair. But Dr. Johnson advises conditioning the entire length of the hair, from root to tip. Conditioner hydrates the skin of your scalp, which helps prevent itchiness and flaking.

5. Your razor has too many blades

A four- or five-blade razor might give a close shave, but it can also damage your skin. To minimize trauma, a simple one- or two-blade razor is ideal. Technique matters too.

Make sure to move the razor down and away from you, not up. Shaving up means you’re going against the grain, which makes you likelier to cut yourself. It also inflames the hair follicle, causing razor bumps.

Be sure the area is well lubricated with soap or shaving cream for the smoothest and safest shave.