8 Hair Mistakes That Make You Look Older
8 Styling Mistakes That Are Making You Lose Your Hair
Excessive combing or brushing strains your scalp, which can cause breakage and hair loss, so Allyson recommends brushing only once in the morning and once at night. "Unless you have extremely tangled hair, there's no need to brush more often," she says. If you do consistently struggle with tangled hair, try gently combing with conditioner in the shower or use a detangling spray (such as ) on damp hair afterward.
MORE:5 Bedtime Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Hair
Despite the name, dry shampoo isn't shampoo at all. In fact, it doesn't contain any cleansing agents; it's mostly made up of talc, cornstarch, alcohol, and clay, which soak up oil and grease. That's good news if you oversleep occasionally and need to perk up lifeless strands when you don't have time to jump in the shower. But overuse it and the ingredients will start to build up in your follicles, which can disrupt your hair's natural shedding process, cause irritation and infection, and—you guessed it—lead to breakage and hair loss. Bottom line: Dry shampoo isn't a substitute for washing your hair. To be safe, use it no more than once or twice per week. (Try one of these products that help your thinning hair.)
Covering grays with a dark shade isn't terrible, but if you're a natural brunette who wants to go blonde or you want to try out a trend like rainbow hair, then you're going to be using bleach. Bleach breaks through the cuticle of your hair and strips out its natural color, which also dries out and weakens it. And if you don't watch the timer closely, bleach can literally disintegrate your hair. Allyson's advice: Don't try this at home; let a pro handle it, and give your strands a break from dye every couple of months.
They may be popular, but weaves and extensions are generally sewn tightly right into your hair, which can strain it. In fact, research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatologyfound an association between wearing weaves and central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, a type of hair loss that starts at the crown of the head and spreads out from there. If you do opt for extensions or a weave, Allyson says to treat these add-ons gently and make sure you don't pull too hard on them when brushing. Most importantly, only let an experienced stylist put them in and follow any care instructions closely.
"Blow-drying sopping wet hair with a brush is one of the biggest mistakes I see," Allyson says. Wet hair is fragile, and mishandling it by roughly drying it with a towel, blasting it with the heat of a blow-dryer, or trying to run a brush through it before it has a chance to air-dry can lead to "bubble hair" (aka weakened, brittle strands that thin and break easily).
To minimize the damage, gently wring excess water out of wet hair with your hands and use a wide-tooth comb instead of a brush to get out any knots while you wait for your hair to dry a bit naturally. While your hair doesn't have to be completely dry before you turn on the dryer, a good rule of thumb is to wait until it's about 70 to 80% dry.
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