Think your daily hair care routine is full of healthy hair choices? You may be surprised to discover that you’re unwittingly wreaking havoc on your tresses. Eliminate these five common mistakes and give your hair the TLC it deserves.
1. Rushing from dryer to flat iron. Following a hasty blow dry with a flat or curling iron to perfect a style is likely to sizzle your strands. “Women often use hot tools on their hair when it still has some moisture remaining,” says Jenny Strebe, hair stylist and blogger at Confessions of a Hairstylist. Ironing wet hair increases the risk of breakage. Wait a few minutes after your blow dry to make sure hair is 100 percent dry.
2. Drying when sopping wet. Putting a blow dryer to dripping wet hair is a very bad idea. Want to know what’s even worse? Using a round brush on hair that’s sopping wet, says Strebe. That friction frays the cuticle, leading to hair that’s damaged and flat. To keep hair healthy, blot it with a towel, then allow it to air dry until it’s about 80 percent dry. Now you can pick up that round brush and use your favorite styling technique to get super volume and shine.
3. Doing the wet pony. When we’re busy, it’s easy to throw freshly shampooed hair up into a high bun or pony. The lack of heat and brushing may be a plus, but wet ponytails and buns have a steep downside of their own. Tugging and pulling fragile wet hair, then whipping it with an elastic, is a fast track to split ends. Instead, try a loose braid or a rough finger blow dry.
4. Rough handling knotty tresses. Tangled hair should be brushed out, right? Not so fast. Brushing through knots can cause pieces -- or even the entire knot -- to break. Start at the tips -- never the roots -- using a wide-toothed comb and gently work through those knots. For hair that’s prone to snagging and snarling, apply a leave-in spray detangler after your shampoo.
5. Washing your color away. A whopping 75 percent of women color their hair in some form. To keep locks at their healthiest and color at its prettiest, always use a shampoo and conditioner specially formulated for color-treated hair. And wait 24 to 48 hours after you color your hair before you shampoo or else that gorgeous fresh hue will be swirling right down the shower drain.
Lauren Fischer is a freelance writer based in New Jersey. She is a former editor at Woman’s World magazine, and has contributed to SavvyMiss.com, MakeupDealoftheDay.com and LasFabulosas.com.