The last time I sat in my stylist’s chair, she told me all about the most common hair care mistakes, making me feel a little guilty about the ones I know I commit from time to time. Now that I know them, of course, I’m trying to avoid them, but if you’re still in the dark, or just want to make sure you’re in the clear with your own stylist, keep reading! Here are the 9 most common hair care mistakes.
1. Too Much Heat
The hair dryer, the flat iron, the curling iron: all of these can cause heat damage to your hair, so why do we use them every day, sometimes more than once a day? All of this heat, especially if you don’t use a product to protect your hair from heat damage, has earned itself a spot at the top of my list of the most common hair care mistakes. If you must use heat to dry, curl, or straighten your hair, use a product that protects your hair from heat damage, like Alterna’s Bamboo Smooth Anti-Breakage Thermal Protectant Spray.
2. Washing Too Often
Unless you have very oily hair, you don’t need to wash your hair every day. Over-washing can dry your hair, making it brittle, so only wash when you have to. I wash every other day, but if you have long hair, you might even be able to go another day between washings, preserving the precious oils in your hair. Need a little boost between washings? Try a dry shampoo, like the color-specific ones by Bumble & Bumble.
3. Skipping Conditioner
When you do wash your hair, it’s important to use conditioner, every time. In fact, my stylist, who has curly hair that tends to frizz, uses a rinse-out and a leave-on conditioner, every time she shampoos. Skipping conditioner can make your hair dull, dry, and prone to tangles.
4. Brushing Too Much
When my grandmother was young, she was taught to brush her hair 100 strokes before bed each night. Now we know this is way too much to brush! Over-brushing can make your hair static-y, and it can lead to split ends and breakage. Brush only when you have to, and make sure you’re using the right brush for your hair.
5. Brushing when Wet
More about brushing: never, ever use a brush on wet hair! Instead, use a wide-tooth comb, which won’t damage your hair like a brush can. Start at the bottom, and work your way up, while your hair is still wet, and don’t tug at tangles (more about this later)!
6. Skipping Trims
This is the hair mistake I am most guilty of – skipping trims. Even if you’re trying to grow out your hair, regular trims are important to keep your hair looking and feeling healthy. In fact, if you are trying to grow your hair, like me, regular trims can help keep your hair in shape, and add style, so you’re not frustrated with it, and tempted to cut it again. Visit your stylist for a trim at least every 8 weeks.
7. Not Going Seasonal
The change of seasons may be pretty, but it can wreak havoc on your tresses, so be sure to use products that protect your hair all year round. For instance, in summer, you might need a shampoo to get rid of chlorine from swimming in the pool, or a product with SPF to protect your hair from the sun. In winter, you’ll want a rich conditioner to prevent fly-aways and static. You’ll also want to use a de-frizz product on humid days.
8. Being Too Tough with Tangles
Remember when I mentioned how to handle wet hair? I said it’s important not to tug at tangles. That goes for dry hair, too, not just wet hair! If you have a bad tangle, don’t just pull at it, since this can cause breakage (and a headache!). Use a de-tangling spray, then gently work the tangle out. That’s better!
9. Living La Vida Loca
I’m not suggesting you become a goody-two-shoes just for the sake of your hair, but smoking, drinking too much, and skimping on sleep can really take a toll on your body, including your hair. If you do over-indulge, and your hair pays the price, splurge on a hot oil treatment or deep conditioner to mitigate the damage.
I freely admit I do make some of these hair care mistakes on occasion, as my stylist can confirm, but I’m trying to take better care of my hair! I’m especially guilty of skipping trims… but fess up! Which of these hair care mistakes do you make? Or is there another hair-related sin you commit? Do tell! I promise I’ll keep it secret!