We'd like to think that nobody knows our hair better than we do. (After all, it grows out of our very heads.) But it turns out even we are doing damage to our strands with bad habits we didn't even know about.
1. Over-relaxing hair: Relaxing hair that has already been processed leads to damage and breakage. You should always remember to only relax over newly grown hair. Go to a hairdresser for your relaxers. If you have over-relaxed hair, use conditioners, masks and protein treatments to rebuild your hair's strength.
2. Using at-home hair color: This is a big no-no in Gibson's book. He says, "Generally, most women do not pick the right shade for their skin tone, they over-color their hair and the hair comes out very dark on the end. You'll wind up going to the salon for a correction anyway so start off on the good foot in the first place and save yourself the headache."
3. Cutting your own bangs: We're all for do-it-yourself bangs. But unless you follow our step-by-step guide or watch YouTube videos like Gibson's, you should leave this in the hands of the professionals. "When most women cut their own bangs, they wind up too short or too wide making them look like an 8-year-old girl," Gibson says. "You should always cut your hair vertically, not horizontally. If you've botched your bangs, as always, see your hairdresser."
4. Over-washing hair: You should never wash your hair every day. All this does is strip essential oils from you hair. Day-old hair styles better and generally looks better than freshly-washed hair. If you want to freshen up your locks in between shampoos, use a dry shampoo or try Ted Gibson Hair Sheet Styling.
5. Applying heat styling tools to wet hair: When women rush to get ready, they often make this mistake. Hot tools like curling or flat irons dry out wet hair and scorch the follicle. Hair should always be 100 percent dry before using a heat styling tool. Gibson adds, "We all saw the YouTube video with the girl who burned off her hair with a curling wand. This happened because her hair was not totally dry before using it."
6. Using hair care products with alcohol and detergents: Got dry, frizzy hair? Check the ingredients label on your go-to products to see if these two items are listed.
7. Detangling knots without patience: Minimize frustration and eliminate more knots and kinks by zeroing in on the tangled hair. Smooth on a little conditioner before finger-combing to loosen up strands -- this lessens tears and rips up the hair shaft that often lead needing a haircut. Sit with the product on for a few minutes, then gently comb your hair with a medium-to-wide tooth comb.
8. Towel-drying hair too rough: Just because you've watched movies where the beautiful blonde or brunette wrap up her freshly shampooed in a thick white towel, doesn't mean this is the right way to dry your hair. Towels can create a harsh friction against the hair cuticle that scrubs off leave-in conditioners and damages strands. An old T-shirt made out of microfiber is smoother and ideal for drying hair.
9. Slathering conditioner on entire head: The ends of your hair should be the focus when putting on this super-hydrating product. When your scalp is covered in conditioner, you're likely to end up with a tacky film that leads to build-up.
10. Placing heat from blow dryer directly to hair: You smell that? That's your hair frying from the blast of heat coming from your dryer. Kimble suggests constantly moving the blow dryer with just enough tension to get the job done sans damage.
11. Prolonging a haircut or trim: Most women's obsession with growing long hair has kept them out of the salon without a much-needed cut. But this blasé attitude can lead to really bad split ends. Consult with your hairstylist on how often you should book an appointment for a trim.
12. Practicing bad ponytail habits: We've all had that moment when there was not an elastic ponytail holder in reach, but there were plenty of rubber bands. But gathering your strands into the rubbery product causes breakage and split ends. Wearing your ponytail too tight or in the same position daily are also major don'ts.
13. Skipping nightly hair maintenance: A lot of women don't do anything to their hair at night. So Kimble recommends investing in a silk pillowcase or bonnet to maintain moisture and volume because cotton dries your hair out.
Are you guilty of making any of these common hair mistakes? No judging over here!
Other hair screw-ups that might be adding years to your look:
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