If you don't have the hair you crave, there could be things you're doing in between salon visits to make your hair less than wondrous. With a few slight routine changes, however, you'll be well on your way to stronger, shinier, all-around-better hair. Find the remedy to common styling missteps when you keep reading.
1. You Wash Every Day
Overcleansing can dry out your hair and scalp, causing a host of hair problems. If your hair tends to get greasy fast, try shampooing just the roots every other time. Also avoid products with sodium lauryl sulfate, which can strip your strands.
2. You Fear the Scissors
Split ends can actually hamper your growth and leave you with unnecessary tangling. So instead of skipping hair trims, thinking you're helping your hair grow longer, plan a trip to the salon every two to three months (or whatever your stylist recommends) for maintenance.
3. You Brush Your Hair Wet
Ever been a victim of mysterious breakage? Maybe your brush is the culprit. Hair is at its weakest when wet, so reach for a less abrasive wide-tooth comb to detangle in the shower. Your fingers are also a good tool to use.
4. You Rely Too Heavily on Heat Tools
It's time to break your dependence on heat styling. Get a wash-and-go cut or set your wet hair before bedtime, two styles that can be created without added hot air. And if you do bust out the heated tools, be sure to apply a heat protectant and use the lowest possible temperature setting.
5. You Skip Conditioner
The conditioning step is one of the easiest ways to add moisture back into your hair. Avoid all-in-one products, though as shampoo is meant to clarify, while conditioner is all about hydration. In addition, treat yourself to a deep conditioner about once a week, as needed.
6. You Forget Scalp Is Skin, Too
A healthy scalp means healthy hair. Concentrate on this area when you shampoo and give yourself a massage at least once a week with natural oils to stimulate your roots.
7. You Rub Hair Dry
The rubbing and scrubbing that comes with towel-drying creates friction and frizz. Instead, squeeze hair with paper towels or a soft cotton T-shirt for milder absorption.
8. You're Ponytailing the Wrong Way
Ponytails are the saving grace of second-day styles. However, for the most gentle approach, reach for an "ouchless" elastic covered in fabric. Also avoid pulling hair too tight, as it can cause stress on your strands. Finally, never sleep in your ponytail: tossing and turning can snag and tangle the hair. Opt for a quick braid instead.
9. You Layer Hair Color
The chemicals behind hair coloring can be harsh, so if you're planning to go more than two shades lighter or darker, make the trip to a salon. And when it's time for a touch-up, consider coloring your roots only, waiting until the very last minute to pull the rest of the dye through. Otherwise you could end up with dull color and brittle ends.
10. You Wear the Same Style
Hair ruts happen, but changing it up every once in a while will lower the stress points on your hair. It can be as simple as switching your part or cutting off split ends.