The Biggest Hair Mistakes You’re Making

We all want to have our best hair possible – but are we sabotaging our own efforts with bad daily habits? Avoid committing serious hair crimes that help cause the bad hair days that we all dread by reading up on the below common hair mistakes!

1. Washing your hair too often—or not enough

OK, you got the memo: Cleansing your hair more than you need to can strip away the natural oils that keep it healthy, thus making it more brittle and prone to breaking. And while the trend of washing less and less often is catching on, experts warn to tread lightly. “The pores on your scalp can become congested from excessive oil, which will attract even more dirt and debris,” says Lauren E. Hack, hairstylist, and partner at Studio 522 in New York City. Your best bet: Reduce the number of times you shampoo to three to four times a week. “In between shampoos, soak up oil with a light coat of dry shampoo on your roots and use a boar bristle brush to distribute hair oils from root to tip for extra natural shine and conditioning,” suggests Nick Penna, owner and lead stylist at SalonCapri in Boston. 

2. Rinsing with steaming hot water

That same hair damage caused by flat irons and hair dryers can also happen when you turn the temperature dial up too high in the shower. “Think if it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to put in your hair—in fact, it can be incredibly damaging,” warns Jenna Mast, a New York-based hairstylist. “It’s fine to use hot—not steaming—water to rinse out your shampoo. This allows your hair cuticles to open up and ensures your strands are clean from the inside out.” But once you condition, rinse with cold water to seal the cuticle closed. This adds a healthy shine that will last until your next wash. 

3. Not shampooing correctly

First step is picking a shampoo that is correct for the pH balance of your hair and scalp. If you color your hair, use color-safe or sulfate-free shampoos that are gentle detergents and protect color from fading. If your hair needs hydration, look for nourishing shampoos. 

The next big mistake is how you actually shampoo your hair. Work up a generous lather by scrubbing every part of the scalp with your fingertips. Stimulation increases blood flow by bringing nutrients to the hair follicle making it healthier. Do a thorough rinse to wash away any debris and detergent. Condition the shaft or dry areas and rinse thoroughly. Properly cleaned hair dries faster, has more volume and maintains a style longer.

4.Conditioning from your roots

When applying conditioner, it’s best to start at the midshaft of your hair toward the ends. “The ends of the hair are the oldest, meaning they’ve been on your head the longest, contain the least amount of moisture, and are the most dead, so this is the area that needs the most conditioning, ” says Mast. Using the right amount is also key. “How much you need really depends on the length, thickness, and texture of your hair, so be sure to ask your stylist the correct amount you should be using,” says Penna.

5.Rough-drying your hair with a bath towel

Most people are used to taking a towel to their whole body—hair included—immediately after hopping out of the shower. But that’s a major no-no, says Mast. “It doesn’t matter how low-maintenance you are—don’t stretch and pull that wet, delicate hair!” Instead of aggressively tousling it, twist it up in a nice, not-too-tight towel-turban. This you can do upside down, right-side up—whichever way you’re comfortable with. The idea is to get the moisture out of your hair. Although, you might want to consider letting your hair air-dry.

6. Overdoing the dry shampoo

There’s no denying that dry shampoo is one of the greatest beauty creations of all time. Just a few sprays greasy, oily unwashed hair instantly looks more voluminous, thick, and grease-free. But piling on too much of the stuff can do more harm than good. “Oil and dirt build-up naturally each day and need to be removed from the scalp and hair so your follicles remain clear and balanced,” says Sideli. Dry shampoos actually don’t remove any of these impurities—instead, they clog hair follicles, which leads to hair loss and loss of growth of the hair.” Try limiting your use to once a week—twice max. “On days when you’re not using dry shampoo, but need a quick root fix, massage your scalp with your fingertips to loosen and break up any buildup,” suggests Mast. “Then, take a paddle brush—preferably a bristle brush and brush your scalp from roots to end while distributing your scalp’s natural oils through your strands.” This will give your hair a healthy shine without the oily residue on top of your head.