1. Not using your hair dryer the right way – “Use a nozzle or diffuser when blow-drying and hold the blow dryer away from the hair — otherwise the dryer can get too close and burn hair very quickly. “If you don’t have a nozzle, make sure to hold the blow dryer at least 5 inches away from the hair.” And be sure to clean out the filter in the back of your dryer from time to time. Too much debris can weaken the air flow, meaning you’ll spend more time exposing your hair to damaging heat.
2. Putting down the dryer too soon – It’s fine to run out the door with damp hair if you want a messy undone effect. But keep in mind that wet hair can still bend and take on a new shape — even frizz. If you want a smooth, stay-in-place look, use your dryer until hair is fully dry, then set with a cool blast — or in a pinch, by sticking your head in the freezer for about 20 seconds.
3. Prepping your hair the wrong way – “One of the major mistakes that women make when using hot tools is to spray the section with hairspray before putting the hot tool on it. “Hairspray contains alcohol, and when you apply heat over a layer of hairspray, it dries the hair out even more and can create static as well as causing your curls to drop.” Stick to alcohol-free products (look on the ingredients list for names that end in -ol) designed to prep hair for heat-styling.
4. Wearing updos all the time – “Wearing your hair up every day strains the hair at the root and can actually cause hair loss. “Let your hair down — it looks sexy and lets your scalp breathe!”
5. Braiding hair too tight – Gently tucking damp hair into loose braids creates effortless, wavy texture. But pulling hair into very tight braids while hair is wet — and thus more prone to breakage — can lead to damage. If you want to create a really precise and tight braided style, wait until hair is fully dry.
6. Over-relying on highlights – Highlights shouldn’t be used to camouflage grays or to completely change your hair color — you’ll end up with dry, over-processed hair. “Highlights should be used to accent your color, give movement, and add dimension” . “To cover gray, a single-process color is the better option and there are new ammonia-free that deliver 100% gray coverage with minimal stress to the hair.”
7. Towel-drying your curls – “Lot of curly girls use towels to dry their hair, but the strands tend to catch on the cloth and cause split ends. “It’s always better to use a microfiber towel or a even T-shirt.” The fabric is less abrasive so it won’t rough up your hair as much.
8. Using heating tools too early – “For those in a rush, a common mistake is using a flat iron or curling iron before the hair is completely dry, which breaks the hair and requires you to flat-iron the same strand over and over again, causing more damage,”. “It is important to completely dry the hair before using any heat tool, since that will smooth and seal the cuticle and facilitate easier styling.”
9. Sleeping on regular pillowcases – Evenif you feel silly sleeping on a full bed of satin sheets, a silk or satin pillowcase is much gentler on hair. Cotton pillowcases can cause friction and lead to damage and frizz. If a silk pillowcase feels too posh, try wrapping hair in a silk or satin scarf.
10. Styling damp hair – It can be tempting to save time by pulling hair into a ponytail or updo while it’s still wet, but an elastic band is wet hair’s worst enemy. “This stresses the hair and can cause breakage, especially with chemically processed hair that is already stressed,”. If you have to put pieces aside, “Use a clip and loosely pull hair back.”
11. Skipping the conditioner – “Conditioner is essential to maintaining the health of your hair. It is similar to not using moisturizer on your face, which results in flaky, dry skin.” If your conditioner seems to be weighing you down, look for a light formula, concentrate on the ends, and rinse thoroughly so the conditioner doesn’t leave a heavy residue.
12. Overdoing it with the styling products – A styling paste or pomade can create a cool structured look, but too much weighs hair down and leaves it greasy. You might have to wash more often than you should to get it all out. Start with a small amount of product, warm it with your fingers, and smooth it into your hair — you can always add more if you need extra hold.
13. Using the wrong products – To keep hair healthy and moisturized, pick a shampoo that doesn’t contain sulfates, the detergents that can dry hair out. And avoid over-shampooing. Focus on the scalp where natural oils collect, and don’t lather a second time unless your hair is truly filthy.