I was a late-bloomer when it came to the hair styling game. In fact, it wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I finally learned how to curl my hair without leaving a giant dent in it, and I still struggle with finishing a french braid before my arms tire out and I give up. Nowadays, we have thousands of YouTube tutorials at our fingertips, but I’m still learning. I thought I finally had the basics mastered (no washing hair every day, no heat styling without protectant, etc), but it wasn’t until very recently I discovered that towel drying was a major no-no (more on that later!). That little light bulb moment made me wonder: what else am I doing wrong?! Keep reading for the hair mistakes you don’t know you’re making!
Hair Mistake #1: Towel Drying. Ever since I can remember I’ve had fine, broken baby hairs around my hair line and part that drove me insane. Actually, it was less “baby hairs” and more “stuck my finger in a light socket” type hairs. Nothing seemed to make them go away- I tried avoiding heat styling, shunning brushes, and washing my hair less, but the broken hairs continued. Then I read an article on proper hair drying technique and it hit me. That towel turban I piled onto my head post shower? Turns out to be a common culprit for tearing at the delicate wet hair around the hairline, causing breakage. The proper way to dry hair is to gently squeeze and blot with a towel, or use a light microfiber cloth like the Twisty Turban. It takes longer to dry, but it beats battling fly aways!
Hair Mistake #2: Brushing. By now we should all know not to brush hair when wet. (Instead, use a wide toothed comb to gently tease apart tangles.) But did you also know there’s a proper how to brush hair to go along with the when? Before you shower, brush through your hair to lessen shedding, distribute oils throughout the hair shaft, and prevent shower snarls. When dealing with a knot, gently brush and untangle your hair from the bottom upwards. If you try to tear through the tangles starting from the crown, you’ll cause breakage all the way down the hair.
Hair Mistake #3: Putting Product on the Roots. This is another big mistake I was guilty of making. For the longest time I was convinced that my fine hair just couldn’t handle product. Any attempts to style it with anything beyond hairspray inevitably led to greasy disaster. Now I know better, because it’s all in the placement. Volumizing sprays and mousses can be applied to the roots, but any serums, oils or creams should be limited strictly to the ends of the hair.
Hair Mistake #4: Ponytail Addiction. If you tend to throw your hair up into a topknot or pony day after day, you could be weakening the hair and causing localized damage. Even “ouchless” hair ties will add repeated stress if you always put it in the same place, which will lead to breakage and fly-aways. To avoid this, switch up the location of your updo. Experiment with different styles like a low pony, chignon, or loose bun to give your hair a break.
Hair Mistake #5: Shampoo & Conditioner. First of all, the luxurious lather that comes from your shampoo is purely psychological- extra bubbles don’t mean your hair is getting any cleaner. If you really want to increase the lather, add more water instead of more product. Furthermore, you don’t need to douse your entire head in both shampoo and conditioner. Instead, concentrate the shampoo at the scalp to cut grease where it matters most and prevent drying out the ends. And with conditioner, apply it only to the ends of the hair to keep the roots from being weighed down by heavy moisture.
There you go, the cardinal sins of hair! Are you guilty of any of these common mistakes?
Related: 7 Tips to Make Your Mani Last Longer