Finding the right styling products and tools can take some trial and error. To make hair styling easier, protect your strands and scalp, and achieve the look you desire, there are several hair styling mistakes to avoid.
Not Getting Regular Trims
Split ends can cause your hair to appear frizzy and make it more prone to tangling and breakage. Split ends are typically the result of UV damage, excessive heat styling, and chemical hair products. These conditions can cause the shaft of your hair strand to unravel like a rope, making it appear dull, weak, and unhealthy. Unfortunately, there is no way to repair split ends, and they’ll continue to unravel up the length of your hair strands unless they are removed.
Regular trims help to eliminate split ends, giving your hair a thicker, shinier, healthier appearance. Most people need to trim their hair every 12 weeks. However, those with bangs should have a trim every three to four weeks to avoid hair falling in their eyes, and people with short or layered hairstyles may need a trim every six to eight weeks to maintain the shape of their style.
Changing the Color Too Much, Too Often
Hair coloring products contain ingredients like ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and p-phenylenediamine (PPD), which cause serious damage to your hair and scalp. Your hair strands are primarily made of a protein called keratin, which acts as a protective barrier for the strands’ cortex and medulla against moisture, UV, and heat damage.
Applying permanent or semi-permanent dyes and bleaching agents to your hair creates a reaction that causes the protein matrix to unravel and exposes the strand to damage. Repeatedly dying your hair or changing color from dark to light exposes your hair to a higher concentration of bleach and PPD, weakening your hair.
To minimize damage from dyeing your hair, choose coloring products that contain conditioning ingredients like hydrolyzed silk protein. You should also avoid heat styling your hair for several days after receiving a coloring treatment and use color-specific shampoo and conditioners which contain protective ingredients like linseed or argan oil.
Using the Wrong Products for Your Hair Type
Hair products are designed to address two crucial styling needs: moisture and protein. Different hair types require varying protein and moisture levels to achieve hold, smoothness, and shine. Your hair type plays a significant role in which hair product works best, and using the wrong hair product for your hair type can cause your hair to appear oily, dry, or frizzy.
Find your hair type by assessing the diameter, density, sebum production, and texture (or curl pattern). After washing and air-drying your hair, perform a strand test. If you hold the strand between two fingers and can’t feel it, you have fine hair.
If you can feel the hair, it is medium, and if it feels rough, you have thick or coarse hair. Then, check your density by holding a bunch of hair in your hand; if you can see the scalp, you have thin hair. If you can’t, your hair is thick.
You can check your natural texture or curl pattern by letting your hair air dry and notice the tightness and pattern of the waves. To evaluate sebum production, check your hair the day after you wash it. If it feels greasy, you have oily hair. If it starts to flake, you have a dry scalp.
Once you have all the information about your hair type, you can choose products that match the needs of your hair and scalp. For example, people with thick, dense hair can benefit from oil-based products to help tame frizz and smooth hair strands. Individuals with fine, thin hair need lightweight, foaming volumizers.
Burning Yourself With Hot Styling Tools
If you heat style your hair regularly, you know that you need to get the curling wand or straightening iron as close to the root as possible to achieve a natural look. However, placing heat styling tools too close to your scalp and face can result in serious burns; most heat styling tools can reach up to 400°F.
You can protect your face and ears with Miss Careful Ear Covers. The silicone ear covers are lightweight, hypoallergenic, and heat-resistant to prevent burns and scars from heat tools. The ear covers sit over your ears and reach under the nape of your neck so they won’t get in the way when you are styling your hair.
Frying Your Strands
One of the biggest styling mistakes to avoid is frequent heat styling. Using heat styling tools too often or set at too high a temperature can fry your hair strands, leaving you with breakage and frizziness.
To prevent damage, set your curling wand, straightener, or hair dryer to the lowest setting and avoid keeping them on your hair for more than a few seconds at a time. Try to heat style your hair only once or twice per week, and opt for heat-free styling methods like air drying or sock curls.
Other Mistakes to Avoid
To achieve healthy-looking hair, there are several other hair styling mistakes to avoid, including:
Applying the product to dry hair
Never apply hair products to dry hair (unless directed to do so, such as dry shampoo). This prevents your hair from absorbing the product, leaving it on top of the hair strand and weighing it down, making your hair appear greasy and dull.
Using the wrong size brush
Different brush sizes are designed for various hair types and styling techniques, and using the wrong one may damage your hair while you detangle it. In general, longer, thicker hair needs a larger diameter brush, and shorter hair needs a smaller brush.
Not washing well and washing too often
Washing your hair too vigorously using your nails instead of your fingertips can stimulate sebum production and make your hair appear oily. Washing your hair too often strips your hair of its natural oils, leaving you with dry hair and scalp.
You should wash your hair on average every 2-3 days (less for dry hair types) and use small circular motions from the forehead to the nape of your neck. Only apply shampoo to your scalp and roots, and only apply conditioner from the middle of the hair shaft to the ends.