If you want shiny, gorgeous hair—and, really, who doesn’t?—then you should pay close attention to how you treat your strands. How you wash, dry, and style can seriously affect the health and appearance of your locks. Are you making these hair care mistakes?
A damage double-whammy: Hair is weakest when it’s wet, and wet hair is
more prone to tangling. To prevent shower-induced snarls, give your hair
a brush before hopping in. If you like to comb in the shower, apply
conditioner, untangle strands with your fingers, then use a wide-toothed
comb before rinsing.
2. Brushing the Ends Only
You’ve heard that brushing too much causes breakage, but your scalp’s
natural oils are one of the best conditioners out there. Massage your
scalp with a wooden-bristle brush like Widu to stimulate circulation and hair growth and brush from roots to ends to add luster naturally.
3. Being a Clean Freak
Most heads of hair don’t benefit from daily washing. Chronic washing
strips your scalp of healthy oils, leaving your hair lackluster and
lifeless. By all means, shower daily, but if you don’t use a ton of
styling products, try just rinsing hair with water or using a light,
volumizing conditioner every other day.
4. Haphazard Conditioning
We’ve heard to condition only the ends to prevent flat, weighed-down
tresses, but fine-haired gals should condition their roots as well since
their hair is more susceptible to breakage. Over conditioning is
another common snafu. Use just enough to untangle snags and save serious
slathering for a once-a-week deep treatment or hair masque like Zerran’s Hair Redemption or DermOrganic Intensive Hair Repair Masque.
No matter how you condition, be sure to rinse until the water runs
clear and use a clarifying shampoo from time to time to prevent residue
5. Intense Towel Drying
Most styling products direct you to use them on towel-dried hair, but
rubbing hair too much will roughen up the cuticle, leading to dull hair,
frizz, and breakage. Blot hair with a towel and shake out the strands
with your fingers. Your hair will take longer to dry, but it will be
healthier in the long run.
6. Skipping Heat Protection
We all know that heat is one of the most damaging elements to hair. But
if you don’t want to live without blow-drying, curling, or flattening,
always, always use a heat-protective aid to shield strands and smooth
cuticles. I like Josie Maran Argan Oil Hair Serum.
Before blow-drying, let hair air dry until just damp (use your fingers
to shake out hair to speed the process) and opt for the warm setting
instead of hot to avoid habitual heat damage.
7. Using Hot Irons on Damp Hair
Wet hair and hot tools don’t mix. Curling and flat irons can burn the
follicles of damp strands, leading to weak and broken tresses. Hair
should be completely dry before heat styling, period. Even when you’re
in a rush.
8. Using Hairspray Before Styling
Ever hear a sizzle when curling or straightening hair that has hairspray
in it? Alcohols in hairspray burn on contact with heat. Always use
hairspray AFTER curling or ironing.
9. Teasing with Abandon
For the occasional va-va-voom, back-combing hair toward the root to amp
up volume is a celebrated trick. But teasing regularly will damage hair
cuticles and lead to breakage. To get the dimension without the damage,
try Giovanni Root 66 Directional Root Lifting Spray and blow dry for natural, non-sticky volume.
10. Thinking You Can Mend Split Ends
Sorry ladies: Once hair has split at the ends, there’s no product that
can mend it. The only solution for split ends is to prevent them in the
first place (e.g. avoiding over-washing, rigorous towel drying, and
abusing heat tools)—or to get a trim. For a temporary way to minimize
visibly broken bottoms, try using a product with beeswax or a serum with
argan oil on the ends to smooth splits.