Treat your hair how you want to be treated—that’s how the saying goes, right? But seriously, between heat styling and hot showers, too-tight ponytails and tangles, we can really put our poor hair through the wringer sometimes. The more gently you approach washing, brushing, coloring, and styling your hair, the better it will look. So practice loving hair care and remember, here are 7 things to never ever do to your hair:
Style when wet
This faux pas tops our list for a reason. Styling wet hair with hot tools is one of the worst things you can do to your hair, period. It will fry your strands and cause serious frizziness and breakage. Before you even think of plugging in your curling iron or flat iron, be sure your hair is completely dry. After you begin styling, opt for a low or medium heat setting to take it easy on your strands. Another tip: always use a heat protectant on damp hair before blowing it dry.
Pile on the product
Do you roll your eyes every time you hear “apply just a dime-sized amount” of product? We used to be like that, too, but this suggestion is more spot-on than you think. It depends on the length and thickness of your hair, of course, but you’re almost always better off using less product than you think. Too much just makes your hair look that much greasier, that much faster. New rule: no more than a quarter-sized amount.
Brush from the roots down
You want to start brushing your ends first and gently make your way up. This way, you’re tackling tangles first. Once your ends and mid-lengths are tangle-free, you have permission to brush your hair in one fell stroke. You should also always avoid brushing your hair when it’s wet, since damp hair is extra fragile and prone to breakage. Wait until it’s partway to mostly dry.
Use shampoo + conditioner that contain sulfates
Sulfates are aggressive chemicals that help remove dirt and grease from any surface—fine for your household cleaner, not so great for your hair. Sulfates are way too hard on your hair color, and even if your hair isn’t color-treated, they’ll strip protective oils from your scalp and leave it dry and irritated. Protect your scalp and strands with a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, like our Color Protecting Shampoo + Conditioner set.
Take hot showers
We know, we know—a piping hot shower is one of the great simple pleasures in life. BUT hot water isn’t just drying for your skin, it dries out your hair, too. Plus, your color will last longer if you wash your hair with lukewarm water. You wouldn’t wash your favorite top with hot water, so treat your hair with that same loving care.
We love trying new things too, but proceed with caution when said “new thing” is a fresh hair color or treatment. Avoid stressing your hair and needless damage, and please wait at least 2 weeks before trying another shade. For a highlighting treatment, we recommend waiting 2-3 months. Bottom line? The more downtime you can give your hair between treatments, the better.
Never clean your brush
Not to gross you out or anything, but your hairbrush probably isn’t the cleanest thing on your dresser. The head of the brush likely contains grease from hair follicles, dust particles, and product residue. Do you really want to subject your freshly washed, clean and shiny hair to that? We didn’t think so. Luckily, cleaning your brush couldn’t be easier. Start by removing any hair from your brush. Next, either soak the whole brush in warm sudsy water—use your shampoo, not soap—or dip the brush head in and out a few times to wash it clean. Now set it on a clean towel to dry. That’s it. You can even clean your makeup brushes at the same time.
So there you go: the 7 hair don’ts to ensure your hair ‘do is a DO.