Looking through old yearbooks is like a catalog of all of the hair mistakes you should never, ever repeat. However, despite a few scrunchie and super-short bang mishaps, there are several mistakes you could be making now that are damaging your precious locks. Sure, hair eventually grows back and you can cut off those dead ends in the mean time, but why not take care of the hair you're sporting now to avoid a hair emergency? Check out these tips for avoiding hair mistakes:
1. Painful Ponies
If you're an avid hair-puller-backer, then you may be committing one of the worst hair mistakes. Don't get us wrong—sometimes getting your hair out of your face is a huge therapeutic relief, but constantly tying hair back into a tight pony or messy bun can actually cause something called traction alopecia, where hair thins from damage to the follicles. Also, hair ties can cause breakage and damage to your strands, so if you want to pull your hair back (loosely, that is), consider a clip or a fabric hair tie.
2. Being Heat-Happy
It may be tempting to turn up the heat all the way on your blow dryer to speed up the drying process, or to crank up the temperature on your flat iron to get stick-straight hair, but the truth is, you're truly not doing your hair any favors. Instead, spray a heat protector on your damp hair before styling, and choose a "warm" heat setting. And don't forget - blasting your roots with the "cool" button when your hair is just about dry will seal the cuticle and give your hair a boost of volume.
3. Daily Washing
Washing your hair every day strips your hair of its necessary, natural oils and is quite drying to your locks. Even if you consider yourself to be a greaseball who needs a daily shampooing, your hair will eventually get used to every-other-day washing and not look so oily in-between.
4. Spray and Bake
No, we're not talking about baked goods - we're talking about those awful hairspray habits. Spraying hairspray on your hair before curling to keep help the curl last is like committing one of the most heinous of hair crimes. The alcohol in your hairspray combined with the heat of the curling iron can actually burn your hair—ouch! Spray a light mist after the section is curled and pin it up with bobby pins to help the curl last longer instead.
Have you ever heard a girl go to town on her hair with a paddle brush like she was hacking away at weeds? Severe brushing through tangles—especially wet hair— with a paddle brush can cause serious damage. Instead, use a wide-tooth wooden comb to (gently) comb through wet tangles, and take it easy on dry strands.
If you color your hair at home, be careful not to overdo it. Frequent coloring is harsh on your hair and can lead to that straw-like feel. If you aren't in a position to get your hair professionally dyed, do yourself a favor and research the best brands and colors to use before dyeing. Look for something long-lasting and not too far off from your natural color so that when roots start to show, they won't be so striking.
Give your hair a breather and let your hair air-dry, or skip the flat iron a few times a week. Try a pretty braid instead for a put-together look without putting your hair through so much heat damage.
Severe hair damage can be irreversible, and since wearing a hat every day or shaving it off isn't the most ideal option, you'd better take care of the hair you have. In any event, I hope that these tips will help you to sport the most lustrous of locks. What do you do for your hair to keep it in tip-top shape?