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Five Hair Mistakes You Are Probably Making. Right Now! OMG! Stop!

By Amalah

So after a long discussion with Phillip during my haircut last weekend, I realized something. I get question after question about hair products. Which product should I use? What will fix this problem and that problem and can you recommend a good shampoo?

But sometimes, it’s not really a product that will solve your hair’s problems. Especially if your problem is frizz, breakage or general all-around limp blahness. Sometimes these problems are caused by our bad habits — bad habits that you might not even realize is a bad habit. Lord knows it took me long enough to figure all this stuff out.
So forgive me if this is all old news for you, but here are five bad habits a lot of women do, and five bad habits all women need to STOP DOING before plunking down the cash on expensive salon fixes.

1) Don’t put your hair in a ponytail overnight. Soooo tempting, I know. But hair bands (even the “ouchless” ones) are NOT your hair’s friend. They cause breakage and stress at the band AND at your scalp. And breakage and stress = frizz and flyaways. The occasional ponytail during the day is fine, although if you regularly wear your hair up, you should consider switching to a clip instead.

2) Don’t shampoo your ends; don’t condition your roots. Shampoo 101, here, kiddos, and it applies to pretty much all hair types. “But my hair is…” No. Try it.

3) Don’t overtreat the problem. This one is the same idea as proper skincare: throwing tons of harsh oil-control products at acne-prone skin actually makes your skin overcompensate and produce more oil. You’re trying to achieve balance, not beat your hair and skin into submission. Trust me, you won’t win.

If your roots are oily, toss the oil-control shampoo in favor of a clarifying or volumizing one. If your hair is dry, do a deep conditioning treatment once a week, but use something gentle everyday (and check your styling products for high alcohol content…these could be the culprit). Switch up your shampoo occasionally — I think most hair will benefit from a clarifying treatment every now and then.

4) Don’t wrap your hair in a towel turban after the shower. I do this one. It’s been easier to resist since my hair is shorter, but Phillip was able to look at my hairline and scold me about it. You know all those crazy short baby-hairs around your forehead? Quit the turban habit and you’ll see a lot less of those, PLUS more natural lift at your roots. The weight of the towel is pulling at your roots and causing breakage, especially since you’re wrapping it when it’s wet and at its most vulnerable. (Oh, and those small shammy-like turbans aren’t any better. While they aren’t as heavy as a towel, you tend to wrap them much tighter, which causes the same problem.) Use a towel to gently squeeze off excess water and then let your hair air-dry instead.

5) Do use the cool setting on your blow-dryer. Would you believe I had no idea why my blow-dryer even had a cool setting for years? Finally, I asked a stylist for a detailed blow-drying tutorial and she revealed the secret: When drying your hair with a round brush, hit your ends with cool air to set the style. And BOOM! Less frizz, and my hair stayed curled under or flipped out or straight or however else I styled it.

Do you have any other mistakes to add? Have you ever had a forehead-slapping I-can’t-believe-how-simple-that-was hair moment that solved everything for you?

Published July 29, 2007. Last updated May 22, 2016.
Amalah
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch

Amalah

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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