1. Brushing wet hair
As we’ve already established, brushing your hair too often is never a good thing, as it can damage the hair. This risk of damage and creating split ends is multiplied when you’re trying to detangle and brush dripping wet hair because wet hair is more elastic and delicate than dry hair, and brushing makes the wet hair strands stretch out or even break.
Therefore, it’s much better to brush and detangle your hair before you get in the shower, and then wait for the hair to be at least ⅔ dry until you comb it through after washing. For the same reason, hair experts don’t recommend styling the hair with a hairdryer when it’s dripping wet. Instead, wait for the hair to air-dry for 20-30 minutes before heat styling.
2. Not using a color-protecting shampoo
If you’re spending all that money on hair dye or trips to the hairdressers and then not using a color-safe shampoo to wash your hair, you’re literally pouring money down the drain. Regular or anti-dandruff shampoos may be too harsh for colored hair and strip the color in just a few washes. In addition, many of them are not hydrating enough and will leave your hair dry and frizzy. Look for a color-protecting shampoo by your favorite brand instead - nearly every brand has one these days.
Similarly, it turns out that using purple shampoo every wash is a bad thing. “If you overuse purple shampoo, your hair may start to look dull and even begin to have a grey or purple tint — and not the pretty pastel kind either,” said Lauren E. Hack to Reader's Digest, a hairstylist in NYC. So, to the blondes out there - only use the purple shampoo on your locks once a week.
3. Washing your hair too often or not enough
Hair washing is a highly debated subject - some say we should only wash our hair once a week, others claim we should wash hair daily, and others happily only wash their hair occasionally. Don’t be intimidated by all of these options, as there is no one right answer. The overall consensus seems to be that washing hair is necessary to keep the scalp healthy or flake-free, but doing so too often can make the hair to brittle and may even cause hair loss.
Whether or not your hair can handle daily washing will depend on your hair type. If your scalp gets greasy very fast, your hair is very fine, or you have shorter hair, washing your hair every other day is not too much. However, those with really coarse, curly, and long hair should avoid daily washing as it can make the hair more brittle and frizzy. You may also need to wash your hair more often if you exercise and sweat a lot.
4. Using water that’s too hot to wash your hair
Water temperature makes a huge difference for your hair’s overall health and shine. Washing your hair in hot water is going to strip the scalp and the hair from its natural oils too much, and as a result, your hair will be dry, dull, and brittle. In addition, the hot shower isn’t beneficial for your skin either, so try to keep the water temperature warm rather than hot.
Hairstylists recommend washing off the shampoo with warmer water to open up the hair cuticles - small pores in our hair - and cleanse the hair deeply but use lukewarm water to wash off the hair conditioner. The lukewarm water will urge the hair cuticles to close and lock it any moisture imparted by the conditioner. This way, your hair will stay shiny and much healthier.
5. Putting damp hair up in a ponytail or bun
If you have longer hair, you’ll be familiar with the struggle of the hair getting everywhere when you’re trying to just do your everyday activities - walking the dog, cooking, sleeping, just looking down, you name it. A convenient solution is to just put the hair up into a ponytail or bun and forget about it. This is fine as long as your hair is completely dry and you only tie it loosely (we’ll explain that last part later).
Putting up damp hair into a topknot or ponytail can lead to split ends and even hair loss. The typical picture hairdressers see in people who do this is a halo of shorter broken hairs and split ends around the perimeter of the hair at the level of the hair tie. So be careful, and if you must, collect the damp hair and make it into a loose braid instead. This hairstyle is much gentler on the hair and won’t make it fall out or snap.
6. Rough drying your hair with a towel
Another common hair drying mistake is rough-drying the hair using a towel. By rough drying, we mean the action of rubbing wet hair with a towel to make it dry faster. This is a big no-no, and it will harm the delicate wet hair and cause damage, breakage, and frizz.
In addition, rough-drying will make your hair tangled and all the hard work of putting in conditioner and brushing your hair before washing will be undone. This is especially true for those with fine hair, as it’s more prone to tangles. We have a much gentler towel drying technique for you here instead: take the towel, wrap it around the hair, and press and squeeze the excess water out of the hair.
7. Plopping up hair using a towel
Okay, you squeezed out the water from your hair, now what? Whatever you do, don’t just wrap the towel around the hair and wear it as a turban. Regular towels are really heavy and they will pull out the tiny and fragile hairs around the hairline and cause hair loss. Instead, use a microfiber towel or even an old T-shirt to wrap your hair - thin cotton and microfiber are excellent at absorbing excess water and they're also much lighter, so they’ll be gentler on your hair.
8. Coloring your hair way too often
Bleaching and coloring the hair is one of the most damaging activities your hair can undergo, so it's super important to do it strategically and never go overboard. Bleach literally breaks down the bonds between the hair cells to extract its natural color, and this damage cannot be undone.
Therefore, don't bleach or highlight your hair more than once in a few months, and only touch up the roots instead of coloring the entire length once a month. Over time, the color of the hair length will need to be refreshed, too, but overall, you don't need to do this more than once in 3 months. This will not only help your hair stay healthier, but it will also help you save a lot of money on hair services or hair dye and bleach if you're coloring your own hair.
9. Failing to trim your hair regularly
Let's face it, most of us love to heat style our hair, be it a nice blow dry, curling, or straightening. It's just so convenient and foolproof. However, the constant brushing, heat styling, and coloring inadvertently also damage the ends of the hair, and contrary to popular belief, nothing can be done to "seal" split ends. The best way to keep your hair healthy and prevent the split ends from affecting more and more of the hair is, you guessed it, to trim them off.
Hairstylists usually urge you to get a trim every 2-3 weeks if you have short hair and once a month if your hair is of medium-length or longer. You can trim your own hair occasionally if you know what you're doing, but it's better to go to a hair salon as they use special techniques and tools that are intended to minimize split ends, so touch up your haircut at the salon at least once every 3 months.
10. Wearing tight hairstyles all the time
Returning to the topic of tight hairstyles, let's look at a condition called traction alopecia. This health condition is a type of irreversible hair loss that occurs as a result of tight braids, topknots, or ponytails pulling out the fragile hairs located at the hairline. You may at first notice that your hair part becomes wider or the hairline recedes on the sides of the forehead, but the hair loss can progress much further. It's extremely important to let your hair rest at least once a month, and wear loose hairstyles or keep the hair down as much as you can.
11. Applying hair conditioner and hair masks from roots to ends
Does your hair lack volume and seems to look flat all the time? A common reason for this is due to the improper use of hair masks and hair conditioners. Most conditioning hair products don't need to be applied from roots to ends. Applying these products on the roots will weigh the hair down and may even make it look greasy.
Instead, you should just apply the mask or conditioner on the parts of the hair that are dry or tangled. For those who have short or medium hair, this means only applying conditioning hair products on the ends, whereas those with longer hair can apply the treatment on mid to ends.
12. Using the wrong brush to style your hair
Like hair products that are tailored to different hair textures and concerns, various hairbrush styles are intended to be used for varying hair textures and yield different results. For example, a wide-toothed comb is great for detangling curly hair without harming the curl pattern, whereas round brushes are created for blow-drying. Paddle brushes like the one above are good for general brushing and detangling, but it won't do to blow-dry your hair straight and will leave your hairstyle lopsided. Ask your hairstylist or go to a hairstyling supplies store and inquire as to which kind of brush is best for your purposes, hair length, and hair texture.
Share these useful tips with others!