Stop Damaging Your Hair!
These common mistakes may be standing between you and a good hair day
-Paige Herman Axel
Are you waging war on your hair? Odds are, the answer to this question is yes, and you don’t even know it. I’ll be honest: I didn’t know I was inflicting serious damage to my own hair either until New York City hairstylist Philip Pelusi – who has styled the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Diane Lane – clued me in.
1. Hair Sunburn
This is one no-no I’ve been trying to avoid for years. Just like our skin, unprotected sun exposure can fry our locks as well, leading to faded color as well as dryness and brittleness. I opt for a styling product that offers UV protection on a daily basis, like Fekkai Coiff Defense UV Protectant ($25, sephora.com), plus extra protection when I know I’m going to be lounging in the sun. Kerastase Crème UV Defense Active ($34, kerastase-usa.com) is a staple in my beach bag.
2. Towel Drying
This one came as a shocker. It turns out I’ve been doing a number on my hair every time I step out of the shower, since rubbing your hair with a towel can break strands AND make it more difficult to style. Instead of rubbing, gently pat your hair, squeeze out excess moisture, and wrap keep your hair wrapped in the towel for a few minutes until you’re ready to style.
3. Coloring Your Ends
Whether you color your hair yourself or hit the salon, a big mistake we (and the pros) often make is bringing the color down to the ends. Repeatedly coloring the same hair (which can mean up to 10 times depending on the length of your hair) is a recipe for damage. Think of it this way: The subtle color difference between your roots and your ends means multidimensional, more natural looking color.
4. Brushing Wet Hair
Again, I’m guilty of this one. Sure I comb my hair in the shower when I want to go wavy, but if I’m blowing my hair out, brushing it before applying product is second nature to me. Instead, detangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb in the shower every time you wash.
5. Hair Accessories
Who doesn’t need a little help from an elastic or a clip every now and then? These days, I’m utilizing one of these accessories just about all the time to prevent my son from pulling (and breaking) my hair. Pelusi’s advice: Limit your use of elastics and jaw clips to minimize hair damage. On a positive note, I recently tried Emi Jay ribbon elastics (emi-jay.com), which seem to be gentler than the old-fashioned kind.