Most of us roll out of bed in the morning and the first thing we look at (and want to tame) is our hair. During the course of a day we wash it, style it, curl it, blow dry, and tie it up. But could these every day activities be damaging to our precious locks? You’ll be surprised to find out that your hair care routine may be more hurtful than helpful. If you want strong, healthy locks these are the common mistakes you want to avoid.
1. Shampooing Every Day
I know how good it feels to have freshly washed hair, but shampooing every day strips your hair of its natural oils. How often you wash your locks depends mostly on your hair type. If your hair is on the oily side, you should wash your hair about every other day. Have dry hair? You can hold off a little longer, even every third day, to preserve your hair’s natural moisture and oils.
2. Using the Wrong Brush
Not all brushes are created equal, and you may be using the wrong one when styling your hair. It may not seem like a big deal, but using the wrong brush can cause serious damage to your locks. If you have chin or shoulder-length hair, or want to add more volume, you’ll want to use a small round brush. For longer, thicker hair, use a large brush. And a paddle shape is best for those looking to make hair smoother. The general rule is, the longer your hair, the larger the brush.
3. Overdoing it With Heat Styling Tools
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re blow drying or flat-ironing your hair. But excessive use of heat styling tools can wreak havoc on your tresses. Blow drying or straightening your hair using the highest heat setting makes hair extremely dry and brittle, causing it to break easily. To avoid heat damage, never blow dry hair while it’s still wet and always use a heat protectant serum before using styling tools.
4. Using a Hair Tie in the Same Spot
We all know that it’s best to use hair ties and elastics without metal, as your strands can get caught in them. But did you know that making your ponytail or bun in the same spot can cause even further damage to your hair? Even with “ouchless” hair bands, strands tend to get weak and break from the tension placed on your hair and scalp from having your hair up. Minimize damage by switching up the placement of your elastic every time you tie up your hair.
5. Rubbing Hair With a Towel
You’ve hopped out of the shower and realize you’re running late. You take your towel and vigorously rub your hair to dry it out in a hurry– BIG mistake! Hair is in its weakest state when wet, and the friction caused by rubbing strands with a towel can damage hair cuticles and cause frizz. Instead, carefully pat hair until it is just damp before styling. For optimal care, pat hair with a towel until it is damp, apply product and air-dry.
6. Using Excessive Amounts of Products
Too much of a good thing can be bad, and it’s easy to over-treat your hair with all your favorite products. Using too much product in your hair can make it appear greasy, weigh it down, and cause buildup. When styling, stick to one or two products at a time. Use dime sized amounts and slowly work the product in, always being mindful not to overdo it.
7. Waiting Too Long Between Cuts
Probably the most common hair care mistake women make is not getting their locks cut regularly. Over time, the ends of your hair become dry, brittle and more susceptible to split ends. Even if you’re letting your hair grow out or don’t want a drastic cut, regular trims can work wonders on your hair. Most stylists recommend getting a trim every six to eight weeks, depending on how fast your hair grows, to ensure less breakage and more manageable hair.