Bust out the sundresses, denim jackets, and open-toed shoes, because April is here! It’s finally time to say goodbye to the drab winter months, and this spring, there’s no better way to celebrate than kicking bad hair habits. Instead of pranking you this April Fool’s Day, we’ve rounded up some big no-nos that are unfortunately all too common in the haircare process. No, it’s no hoax — these issues could really be ruining your precious locks.
Industry • Best Practice
Don't Be a Fool: Avoid These 5 Mistakes That Are Really Hurting Your Hair
It may be April Fool’s, but these common hair gaffes are no joke.
Washing your hair is good. Washing it every day? Not so much. Overwashing can cause dry hair, split ends, and dandruff, not to mention how quickly it causes freshly dyed hair to fade in color. How often you should wash your hair largely depends on factors like hair texture and condition, according to celebrity stylist Tonya Le, but generally, three or four times a week should be sufficient. “Paying attention to the little signs your hair is giving you can help you come up with the best washing schedule,” Le says. Oh, and don’t skip the conditioner.
#2: Too much heat
You probably already know that the overuse of heating tools like hairdryers, curling irons, and straighteners is bad for your hair. But did you know that washing in very hot water can have the same effect? As good as it might feel, turning the heat up in the shower can lead to dry hair, increased breakage, and scalp inflammation — not to mention how quickly it makes dyed hair fade. Stick to lukewarm water when you’re shampooing and conditioning, and always use a heat protectant afterwards when using those heating tools.
Wrapping a towel around your hair after stepping out of the shower feels like a natural next step, but as it turns out, those coarse tower fibers could be causing damage. According to stylist and author Monae Everett, towel-drying “can worsen split ends and cause small craters along the hair shaft, weakening the hair.” Instead, invest in a microfiber hair cloth, or simply use a t-shirt. “Wrap it up turban style in a T-shirt and let it dry overnight," Everett recommends. “This will help your hair to dry faster and keep the moisture within the hair shaft.” Don’t forget the leave-in conditioner!
#4: Sleeping on cotton pillowcases
Satin sheets might sound like a luxury item, but for people with natural hair, swapping out those cotton pillowcases is more of a necessity. Naturally curly hair craves moisture, and cotton can soak it out of those stands, making hair difficult to manage. Satin won’t steal that precious moisture and doesn’t cause friction or breakage, so if you’re rocking a natural ‘do, consider satin pillowcases or a satin head wrap.
#5: DIY bleaching
We’ve all made some DIY hair mistakes in our time, so no judgment, but bleaching your hair at home is possibly one of the worst mistakes you can make. If you don’t have a comprehensive understanding of not only the bleaching process but how it affects different hair types, you risk orangey streaks at best and full-on breakage and shedding at worst. Let the pros at the salon handle hair lightening, or at the very least, use professional-grade products instead of box dye. Oh, and stay away from the dollar store.
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