7 Hairstyling Mistakes That Do Major Damage To Your Hair!

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When it comes to our hair care routine, we don’t often spend as much time on it as we should: we’ll grab the first brush we can find, blast our hair dry quickly, or throw our hair up using any old elastic band. However, these simple habits could be seriously hindering your hair game. From brittle ends caused by incorrect heat styling to dehydrating your hair with perfume, here are seven hairstyling and hair care mistakes you could be making and what you should be doing instead.

1. Overwashing your Hair

Our go-to celeb stylist Dom Seeley has often told us that overwashing hair is one of the worst things you can do. According to Dom, washing your hair too frequently can ruin the natural biome of your scalp. He explains, “Hair sits at a pH balance of 4.5 to 5, which is the ideal pH balance for your scalp to thrive. When you dry shampoo or wash it every day, you’ll strip that protective layer off your hair, and your hair and scalp will go into panic mode.”

When it comes to winter, over-washing your hair can be even more damaging. When wet hair is exposed to icy temps that dehydrate the hair strands or when heat-styled, it can lead to brittle, damaged locks. Instead, wash your hair once or twice a week (unless you’re working up a serious sweat) and only use dry shampoo when necessary.

2. Wrapping your Hair in a Towel 

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One of the most common hair care mistakes people make is wrapping their wet locks in a towel by twisting it and placing it on top of their head. When you wash your hair, the water, especially when hot, will cause the hair cuticle to enlarge and open, leaving it vulnerable to frizz and damage. When the hair is then twisted into a towel, the friction will weaken your hair strands and permanently damage your hair. Instead, gently squeeze your hair dry with an old cotton T-shirt or, even better, a microfiber towel. Not only are microfiber towels super absorbent and therefore will reduce drying time, but they’re gentle and will decrease the likelihood of breakage and frizz.

3. Not Protecting Your Hair While Your Sleep

Protecting your hair at night is just as important as applying your fave miracle serum. In fact, one of the biggest culprits for hair damage is sleeping on a cotton pillow. A cotton pillowcase absorbs the natural moisture in your hair, dehydrating your hair over time while pulling and tugging on your strands, which can lead to frizz and breakage. To avoid this, there are two options: trade in your cotton pillowcases for silk or wear your hair in a hair bonnet at night. This is especially important if you have textured hair, which is typically drier and more prone to damage.

4. Heat Styling Incorrectly

It’s a well-known fact that heat styling is the enemy of healthy hair; however, with that said, there are some precautions and techniques that’ll lessen the extent of damage from heat styling tools. For example, before you turn on your hairdryer, always apply a heat-protective spray. Think of it as sunscreen for your hair, protecting your hair from damage and enabling your hair to retain its natural oils. We love the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Heat Protection Shine Spray, $7.

Another major no-no? You should never straighten or curl wet hair as the water fries your hair. In fact, it can take numerous treatments to restore your hair to its normal elasticity.

Finally, it’s important to consider the texture of your hair when heat styling. If you have fine or color-treated hair, set the temperature to low to achieve the best shine. However, if you have thick or curly hair, trade in a nozzle for a diffuser and keep the temperature low – this will enhance your curl pattern for a bouncy, shiny blow-dry.

5. Applying Perfume To Your Hair

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Another mistake many people make without realizing is spraying perfume on their hair. As most perfumes have a high concentration of alcohol, over time it can dehydrate and weaken your hair, making it more susceptible to long-term damage. Instead of using perfume, switch to a hair mist. Not only will hair mist prevent dehydration, but many hair mists also contain nourishing ingredients. For example, our KAYALI Hair Mist Déjà vu White Flower | 57, $40, is also packed with camelia oil, aloe vera, and castor oil to nourish hair and add shine.s

6. Applying Oil to Wet Hair

If you’re applying oil to your wet hair when you step out of the shower (guilty!) to lock in moisture, you’re actually wasting your oil. According to the Curl Doctor, AKA one of Hollywood’s hottest hairstylists, Shai Amiel, “This is the most common mistake I see people do. Obviously, a greasy product or oil would make your curls appear shiny.” However, he asks, “Is it shiny or only greasy? I’d rather achieve a true shine by hydrating the curls properly until the cuticle layer is closed to reflect the light off your hair, giving it true shine. Not a greasy shine. You should never apply oil to wet hair. If you think it’s a good option for your hair, pour oil and water into a cup. They don’t mix.”

7. Using The Wrong Hair Brush

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Detangling your tresses with the wrong tool can lead to a myriad of hair concerns, including split ends, frizzy locks, dandruff, and even excess hair fall. If you have thick hair, use a nylon brush like the Harry Josh Detangling Brush, $19, as the flexible bristles will smooth your hair without adding any unwanted volume. Whereas if you have fine hair, opt for a soft brush with boar bristles like the Denman 100% Boar Bristle, $21, as it’ll smooth your locks without tugging while simultaneously dispersing natural oils throughout your hair, adding shine. Alternatively, if you have kinky, curly or coily hair, a wide-tooth comb like the Cricket Ultra Smooth Detangler Comb, $6, is ideal as it won’t pull the hair strands or disrupt your curl pattern. For more deets, check out our hair brushing guide.

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