Switching Hair Stylists Too Often
Garren, Celebrity Stylist and Co-Founder of R+Co
“One of the worst habits is jumping from hairdresser to hairdresser, which never gives a professional a chance to create a look. Hair grows out in three stages, and whether it’s long layers or a short haircut, it’s going to go through phases where it requires guidance from a good stylist to make sure clients know how to style it as it grows out. It shouldn’t ever look unkempt. Short hair needs more maintenance than anything else. Don’t overcut it or hop from stylist to stylist out of lack of patience or understanding.
The key is to find a stylist and a product regimen that will help you achieve the best style for you. There’s nothing wrong with going up to someone who has hair you like to get a recommendation for a stylist or salon. Go in for a blowout to look at the work they do at the salon. Get a feel for how they (hairdresser/salon) cut and style hair. Also, ask the person blowing out your hair what kind of products they recommend for your hair type – it’s all about getting to know the hair you have on your head. R+Co Television Perfect Hair Shampoo, $30, is a great shampoo for all hair types. It’s about finding the right product to do what you want your hair to do.”
Not Protecting Hair From Heat
Stacey Guerra, Senior Stylist at Butterfly Studio Salon in New York City
“One of the surefire ways to sabotage your hair goals is overusing hot tools (especially using metal brushes during blowouts) and not pre-drying the hair before styling. Too much heat on the hair causes ends to become dry and brittle, which leaves you with broken ends and diminished shine.
Heat is not a friend to your hair, but since we have to use it to achieve most of today’s looks, it’s important to protect your mane with leave-in conditioners and serums. Pre-drying while using a natural bristle brush also cuts down your styling time and the amount of heat aggressively applied to hair. Kerastase Resistance Ciment Thermique Blow Dry Primer, $37, is a great leave-in to use on damp hair before blow drying. Just some subtle changes that make a difference in your hair care routine.”
Shampooing Too Often
Justin Anderson, Los Angeles-based Celebrity Colorist; Co-Founder and Creative Director of dpHUE
“I have to agree that jumping from stylist to stylist really works against your best hair dreams and goals. Every colorist has their own vision of how to achieve the best look for you and way of achieving said vision. Jumping around makes this hard to achieve the client’s end goal. Colorists also use different color/products, which in some cases can be destructive and strip the hair. It really works against you.
I really suggest sticking with one colorist and work with that person to achieve your hair color dreams. Also, if you’re making that kind of investment in your hair, you want to protect it, so switch to a shampoo that doesn’t dull your hair color. I am a strong believer that women shouldn’t wash their hair every day, so I swear by dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse, $35. It’s a great substitute for shampoo; it cleanses hair without stripping it of its natural oils.”
Forgetting to Take Care of Natural Hair Underneath Extensions, Braids and Weaves
Taliah Waajid, Atlanta-based natural hair care specialist, and Founder, Taliah Waajid Hair Care
“One of the worst habits when it comes to weaves and braids is that women neglect to condition the hair and maintain it; we can sometimes sort of ‘set it and forget it.’ With braids, we have to maintain the moisture balance of the hair while it’s in a long-term protective style, and sometimes the mistake with weaves is that we forget the hair underneath the sew-in extensions because it’s not visible. If we don’t take care of the moisture balance of our hair, it can dry out, which leads to breakage and damage. Our hair requires moisture and maintenance regularly, even in protective styles.
The solution to this is applying some product for moisture balance. The Protective Styles line that I created addresses all these needs and Healthy Hair Under There Bamboo, Avocado and Peppermint Conditioning & Restoring Serum, $10, is perfect for braids and weaves: it stimulates the scalp, strengthens the hair and helps condition and restore our hair’s natural strength. It has a directional nozzle so you can apply it to any protective style: braids, twists, crochet, two-strand twists, weaves and updos.”
Heather Packer, Stylist at Red Door Salon and Spa in New York City
“One of the bad habits I see is people who are over-shampooing their hair. Some clients say they don’t feel clean unless they shampoo every single day, that they feel dirty. This is a common misconception. Obviously, if you haven’t shampooed your hair in a week, it’s dirty. But if you washed it yesterday or the day before and it’s not piled on with products, it’s not dirty. The natural oil coming from your scalp and down your hair strand is a good thing for your hair: it helps keep it moisturized and healthy.
If you must apply water to your hair every day, just rinse and condition it; don’t shampoo it every day. Unless your scalp is super greasy to the point where your hair is just gross, shampooing your hair 2-3 times a week is more than fine and enough to properly cleanse your hair. I like Hairstory New Wash Deep, $40, as a great alternative to shampoo: it’s a detergent-free cleanser that contains argan oil and apple cider vinegar to remove buildup and dirt without stripping your hair.”
Sleeping With Wet Hair
Amanda Scott, Stylist at the Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon in New York City
“One of the worst habits I see is people constantly putting wet hair into a tight ponytail/bun and/or sleeping with it wet. When hair is wet, it’s very elastic and flexible’ it doesn’t have the same strength as it does when it’s dry. Wet hair pulled into a ponytail can break with little effort and sleeping with wet hair is basically ensuring a breakage haircut.
I recommend clients never sleep with wet hair or use a small ponytail holder/elastic on wet hair. If they need to sleep with it wet, I would recommend a braid/braids so the hair is secured at the ends where the elastic can be safely removed. In terms of product, I recommend Snobgirls products, like Snobgirls Hydramend Prestoboost, $23. They make leave-in conditioner sprays, creams and capsules – created solely for the creation and maintenance of hair health only. Using products like these will give hair needed protection and will hopefully prevent damage to wet hair styled for day or night.”
Bleaching Hair and Using Extensions
Jonathan Colombini, L’Oreal Paris Consulting Hairstylist and Colorist
“I so often see women attempting to grow their hair out, while on the other hand bleaching their hair and/or loading up on extensions. They are damaging the hair and not allowing the hair to do what’s natural. Extensions can be a temporary fix for a desire for length but can break the hair during removal, which goes against the initial goals of the client.
I always suggest just letting your hair live and do what it knows how to do. Play with easy hair accessories, scarves or a chic fedora. L’Oreal Paris EverStrong Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner, $7.99 each, are great for extra volume and the rosemary leaf extra helps stimulate hair follicles to encourage growth.”
Using Flat Irons With Dry Shampoo
Charles Baker Strahan, Los Angeles-based Celebrity Hairstylist
“One of the most complicated things I encounter with female clients – especially new ones – has to do with expectations around hair growth and length. This relates to habits as well as expectations and understanding.
I think it’s important to mention that your hair will grow as long as your body’s cellular regenerative process will allow it to. The average length of this process is around seven years but some regenerate as often as four years. If your hair has never passed a certain length, this is most often the reason.
The habits that work against your biologically determined hair length are really care and styling practices, particularly the overuse of flat irons and dry shampoo. Using this tool daily, especially on bleached or color-treated hair color, unproperly cleansed and coated with layers of dry shampoo (which can dry out already-dry ends) is a certain recipe for breakage and damaged split ends, which will result in a haircut because this kind of damage causes your hair to be prone to frizz and generally makes it unruly.
You can break the cycle with regular use of shampoo and conditioner to properly cleanse and hydrate hair. Also, if you’re working with second- or third-day hair, use a boar-bristle brush at night before bed to smooth any natural oils away from the scalp and towards the ends of the hair, which desperately need it, then repeat in the morning and use your blow dryer to smooth out any kinks or additional frizz instead of your flat iron. Finally, proper nutrition and vitamin supplements like Nutrafol, $88, can help.
Changing Hair Color Too Often
James Corbett, Celebrity Colorist and Clairol Color Director
“Celebrities and social media have created a lot of unrealistic expectations around hair color because it appears people can hop from platinum blonde to green to brown and back again quickly. The truth is, they’re most likely lace-front wigs or extensions, not the celebrity’s actual hair.
We also have a lot of misconceptions around what it takes to achieve those platinum and fantasy colors. Hair is a delicate fabric and when you’re stripping and coloring repeatedly, even if you’re using protein bonding treatments, you’re going to damage the cuticle and make it susceptible to breakage. The photos on social media are before and after shots. What you’re not seeing is the hours/days, number of sessions and cost it took to get that client from brunette to blonde or mermaid colors. It could take up to two to three sittings to get to that point and over-aggressive expectations and treatment of hair can lead to breakage. If it’s damaged, dyeing it brown isn’t going to change the health of the hair; it’ll just be damaged and brown.
When it comes to healthy hair color, we usually recommend shifting one to two shades lighter or darker than your own hair color if you’re going to do it at home. If you want to play with fantasy colors and you know that you’ll change your mind soon, take it easy on your hair and play with semi-permanent solutions like Clairol Color Crave, $6.79, which will wash out in a few shampoos. Hair makeup is also a great option, and wigs and clip-in extensions will give you that celebrity look without the time, commitment and potential harm that over-bleaching might cause.”
Skipping Overnight Hair Treatments
Christian Wood, LA-Based Celebrity Hairstylist and Wella Professionals Ambassador
“Women often prioritize their skin routine, but often don’t realize those principles also apply to proper hair care. They often neglect their hair by forgetting the power of conditioning and fail to have a strong nighttime care regimen. Both of these things work against their hair goals.
One of the best suggestions I can give is to develop a nighttime routine. Secure your hair in a silk scrunchie to reduce damage and use a conditioning treatment like Wella Professionals Oil Reflections Luminous Reboost Mask, $22, to lock in moisture overnight.”
We all have bad habits that work against our beauty: not drinking enough water, blowing off good sleep, maybe indulging in too many drinks now and then can really wreck our skin. The good news is, all of these are easily fixed with a couple of days of rest and some H20. But when it comes to our hair, we rarely think about how our habits can really work against us with sometimes disastrous results. After all, bad hair habits can work against any desire for length, strength and the lustrous locks of our dreams.
The good news is, habits are meant to be broken. We asked some of the industry’s top hairstylists to dish on some of the worst habits that work against our hair goals and how to stop them. Get ready to break up with some of the most hair-sabotaging acts out there.
This article originally appeared on TotalBeauty.com