I’ve dealt with my fair share of client hair SOS moments from the barbie hair extensions that looked glued in to bad versions of celebrity styles (catch-all rule: a mullet doesn’t look good on anyone), but more often than not it’s the day-to-day things we do that damage our hair and styling efforts. Here are some common ones that you need to address ASAP:
Don’t brush hair when wet. Hair is stretchy when wet and it is very easy to break the hair fibres. Instead, gently tease out any knots or tangles with a wide-toothed comb or tangle teaser.
Stop avoiding trims. By going to the hairdresser for a trim you will not loose all your length - the opposite is true as regular trims will remove the split ends and damage that’ll only spread up your hair, meaning you’ll eventually need a mega cut. Just be firm when you go in - a quarter of an inch monthly is enough to keep your hair healthy.
Don’t go overboard with the conditioner. More is not more in this case: too much conditioner will weigh your hair down and is, quite frankly, just a waste of product. If you need extra moisture, try layering: a little conditioner in the shower, an oil or hydration mist through lengths and ends when out and - if need be - a little oil through blow-dried ends.
Use heat protection. As a rule of thumb, any heat whatsoever will damage your hair. This goes for blow-drying, heat styling and sunbathing. If you want your hair to withstand all these (and trust me: you do), use a heat protection product.
Don’t over-wash your hair. Washing your hair more than three times a week will strip it of colour and natural oils. If you are prone to greasiness, just use a dry shampoo between washes and make sure you keep nourishing the ends of dry hair in-between with treatment oil.
Stop touching your hair. Possibly the hardest rule of all but do try: touching your hair when you have had your hair freshly styled can lead to static hair and frizz. Leave it alone and your style will last longer.
Don’t drag your hair with a comb. When brushing out knots, start from the bottom-up, rather than dragging from the top-down. The latter puts stress on your hair and can lead to breakage.
Stop using the wrong shampoo for your hair type. Use the right shampoo for your hair. if you have a dry flaky scalp or combination hair (oily roots and dry ends), use a calming balancing shampoo. If you have dry brittle hair use a moisturising repair shampoo. If you have fine hair use a volumising thickening shampoo. Anything else is a waste and will do nothing for your look.
Stop using elastic bands or snagging hair ties. This can break hair and out stress on the roots. There are plenty of alternatives out there now. I use Invisibobble, which is a kind, non-kink forming brand.
Priya Patel, SHOW Dry Session Stylist