9 Common Hair Care Mistakes to Avoid

We all want healthy hair. But sometimes we're our own worst enemy when it comes to hair care. We think we're making the right decisions when it comes to products, styles, and routine; when, in reality, we're doing more harm than good. 

As a hairstylist, I see a lot of well-intentioned clients who wrongfully think they're doing right by their hair. This week, I'm here to share 9 common hair care mistakes that everyone should avoid to ensure that you're hair stays healthy. 

If you have any hair care tips of your own, please share them in the comments section below!


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1. Using a clarifying shampoo everyday.

There is a time and a place for clarifying shampoos - when you need to remove chlorine, saltwater, and styling product buildup. However, they also remove the natural oils and moisture in your hair and scalp. Speak with your hairstylist to figure out how often you should be using a clarifying shampoo.

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2. Over-conditioning dry hair.

Excessive conditioning creates buildup and coats the hair. Use just enough conditioner to detangle, focusing on the ends, and slather the hair in conditioner once a week for a deep conditioning treatment. Always be sure to completely rinse out the conditioner from your hair.

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3. Using a hot tool on wet hair.

Wet hair and hot tools don't mix - never have, never will. Hot tools (curling and flat irons) will burn the follicles of damp hair, thereby weakening and even breaking your hair. You hair needs to be dry before applying direct heat - even if you're always in a rush.

P.S. For faster drying times, try out a swimmer's towel when drying your hair.

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4. Skipping heat protection.

You wouldn't touch your 350° iron with your hands, so why are you letting your hair touch the hot iron? Heat protection is a must always and forever.

For a list of hair protection products, check out this link: 11 Heat Protection Sprays That Shield Against Your Styling Tools

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5. Towel drying incorrectly.

Towel drying is towel drying is towel drying, right? Wrong! Vigorously towel drying causes a lot of friction, which leads to breakage—especially if done in a circular motion. Hair breakage caused from rough drying can also make your hair look frizzy, damaged, and dry. The best way to towel dry your hair is to press or blot the towel on your hair.

6. Not knowing your hair type.

Is your hair dry or oily? Thick or thin? Coarse or fine? These are the types of questions that you need to answer to be able to customize your hair care for you. There is "no one size fits all" when it comes to hair care. Ask your hairstylist what is best for your hair, and do your own research as well.

7. Sunburning your hair.

Your skin isn't the only thing that burns in the summer - you can also sunburn your hair. Excessive sun exposure can cause your hair to become brittle, dry, and weak. People with lightened or chemically-treated hair are especially prone to sun damage, but even people with healthy, non-chemically treated hair can experience the harsh effects of the sun. There is a solution - if you're going to be spending a lot of time in the sun, use a SPF hair product or put on a hat.

For a list of SPF hair products, check out this list: 8 Hair Sunscreen Products You'll Want to Use This Summer

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8. Getting into a swimming pool with dry hair.

Your hair is like a sponge - when it's dry, it can soak up a lot more water than if it's already damp. By wetting your hair before going into a swimming pool, you're ensuring that your hair doesn't soak as as many of the chemicals that keep pools "clean" and blue-green.

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9. Addicted to the ponies.

As much as we'd like to believe otherwise, hair ties are not our friends. Elastic hair ties put a lot of stress on the hair, and can even cause some serious breakage (as a stylist, I see the breakage from ponytails more often than you'd think). If you feel like you can't live without your hair pulled back, look into clips or hair ties that don't put as much stress on hair (e.g. scrunchies).