Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

14 Avoidable Hair Care Mistakes

Karen Marie Shelton - Copyright - All Rights Reserved 
Revised Publication Date: 09/21/12

Introduction

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Do you ever wonder why some people always appear to have great hair days while you may struggle with a variety of bad hair day challenges from frizz to split ends or worse?

Celebrities such as Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian usually have access to some of the top celebrity hairdressers around, while the average person may not know some of the most common ways hair can become damaged or mishandled.

Listed below are 14 avoidable hair care mistakes hair consumers may make without knowing the true damage it can cause. 

1.  Excessive Hair Cleansing

Unless your hair is naturally oily or you're exposed to daily situations where your tresses are prone to getting extremely dirty, most people don't need to shampoo as often as they do. 

This is especially true if your hair is naturally dry, damaged, very damaged, chemically treated or colored.

In fact, if your hair is damaged in any way, washing too often, especially with full strength shampoo or related products, may cause even more potential harm.

If you feel the need to get your hair wet every day, you can still wash your hair every day but you may benefit from a Water Only (WO) Conditioner Only (CO) or Diluted Shampoo (DS) method which will save wear and tear on delicate strands.

2.  Missing Detailed Hair Profile

Many people aren't sure of their natural hair type (fine/thin, medium, thick, very thick), texture (straight, wavy, curly, kinky) and condition (normal, oily, dry, excessively dry, damaged).  In addition to hair type, texture and condition there may be other issues such as dandruff, scalp challenges or hair loss issues.

Until you have a clear understanding of your hair on all levels you may not be able to achieve the highest level of manageability and beauty you desire.

3.  Selecting Wrong Products For Your Hair

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All of your hair type, texture, condition and other factors need to be taken into consideration when you develop a hair care program custom designed for you and your strands. 

Deciding how often to shampoo, the best type of product to use and whether to condition or not are all key considerations when you care for your hair.  Utilizing improper products or not using products which would be helpful can be common but avoidable mistakes.

How do you find out the best products for your hair to create the very best appearance? 

Work with your professional hairdresser to determine your hair profile and a long term plan to care for it so that is achieves the very best condition.

When in doubt email me your hair questions at askkaren@hairboutique.com

4.  Suffering Through Trial And Error When Finding Best Hair Care Program For Your Hair

I receive hundreds of emails every months from hair consumers who don't know where to turn for advice on hair care products or getting hair questions answered. 

If you don't feel comfortable asking your professional hairdresser your questions then visit our HairTalk Forum which has been in existence for 15+ years and has every imaginable question and answer on hair typing, care and products. 

There is never a good reason to suffer through trial and error when trying to find the best products for your hair or researching your own best hair care treatment program.  Not only does trial and error methods costs lots of money, it can leave you feeling frustrated.

5.  Use Of Improper Water Temps When Cleansing

Although standing under a hot shower feels great, especially in cold weather, allowing steaming hot water to run down your hair is a big no-no.  Hot water will dry out delicate strands and may cause accelerated fading of both natural and chemically applied hair color. 

The best temperature for hair cleansing is lukewarm. This is especially true if your hair is naturally dry, damaged, chemically treated or colored.

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6.  Not Getting Hair Wet Enough

Many hair consumers are not aware of the importance of getting hair really wet before applying any shampoo, diluted formula or CO products.

Part of the reason may be due to time constraints.  Who has time to stand in the shower forever?  Plus there are water conservations issues with standing in the shower endless.  However, when you do wash your hair it's important to make sure all of your strands are completely wet before applying shampoo.

One of my own tricks is to take a clean plastic bottle into the shower I have prefilled with lukewarm water.  By pouring that over my hair I am sure to really get it wet before moving onto the next cleansing step.

7.  Improper Shampoo Application

While it's easier to just glop shampoo onto the top of your head from the bottle this is not the best way to make sure your hair is properly cleansed. 

The best method, if you aren't diluting or using CO products is to pour a dime sized blob of shampoo into the palms of your hands and massage to distribute the shampoo before you apply to your very wet strands.

Another tick is to pour a tiny bit of shampoo into a clean quart sized bottle of water and shake it to create suds.  Drizzle the suds over the top of your hair allowing the shampoo mixture to run down your strands.  Pat, do not rub, the mixture into all of your strands.

Not only does this eliminate any harsh effects of applying undiluted shampoo to your strands, it guarantees your hair will all be cleansed, not just certain sections.

8.  Improper Rinsing

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After following all the appropriate cleansing steps from getting hair wet, applying shampoo properly, it's important to make sure all the cleansing products are completely rinsed from your hair. 

A final rinse should not be completed until you are sure all of the products you applied to your strands have been removed.

Should you use a rinse out conditioner?  Again that depends on your own hair profile whether you should use a rinse-out or not.  Whether you do or not, it is still important to rinse well.

Although I am a huge fan of the cool water final rinse, not everyone agrees.  Even in my cosmetology school there was a wide range of opinions.  For me, it works. 

You may wish to try it if you are inclined to give it a shot.  I find it helps close my cuticles and add natural shine.

9.  Utilizing Too Much Heat

If you've ever smelled burnt hair you know it have a terrible aroma.  Yes, hair can and does burn if it's exposed to excessive heat.

Damaging fragile strands with overly hot blow dryers, irons, rollers or other devices is a common mistake many hair consumers make with their strands.

Whenever possible hair should only be styled with hot tools for special events.  Hair should be allowed to air dry as much as possible.  Or at the very least, dried under a less damaging hood dryer.  If you must dry and style your hair with heat devices, be sure to apply protective products which will minimize any possible heat damage.

10.  Having Impossible Expectations For Your Hair

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Just in the 15+ years I have been devoted to hair care I have witnessed some amazing advances in options hair consumers can utilize for their strands.

However, not all people can have the exact same type, texture and length of hair.  We are, afterall, limited in some ways by our genetics.

Even if you decide you want to use chemicals to alter your natural hair type, texture or color, there are always tradeoffs that have to be weighed and considered.

Although hair can undergo amazing transformations due to hair color, extensions, chemical texturizers and straighteners, sometimes your hair can only be transformed to a certain degree.

A mistake some hair consumers make is trying to make their hair do something, or be something, it's not. 

Luckily for all of us, the current hair movement is to embrace your natural hair beauty which eliminates the requirement for excessive hair and beauty treatments to fit in.

Of course you should always wear your hair the way you love to wear it and feel best, but the key is not to feel you have to change your hair because of current fashions, trends or any other outside pressures.

11.  Trusting Your Hairdresser To Be A Miracle Worker

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In the old days families put all of their trust into their family doctors.  Time and history proved that while most doctors mean well, they are not gods. 

Ultimately you and your family are responsible for your own health, life and welfare.  The tide has turned.  People with serious illness often hire medical consultants to help them find the best life saving procedures and medications. 

The same is true with hairdressers.  While most have a pure heart and care about their clients, the world of hair changes with the speed of light.

So many new products are released every year it's impossible for hard working hairdressers to keep up with all the new advances.  Of course some do and the highly evolved cosmetology schools are getting better than ever.

However, at the end of the day it is your responsibility to do your own research and get more than one opinion.  It is never wise to just visit your hairdresser and ask them to do whatever they see fit because you may regret it for months afterwards.

Regardless of what bloggers or the professional or consumer hair media says.  Do your own homework, make your own hair care decisions and get more than one opinion.

12.  Do It Yourself (DIY) Hair Care

Over the course of the past 15 years I have attended cosmetology school (Paul Mitchell) and Velma B, I have apprenticed with some of the top hairdressers in the United States, taken correspondence courses and watched enough hairstyling and hairdressing videos to make my eyes turn bloodshot.

Even with speed dial access to some of the best hairdressers in the world, I still do not ever color my own hair at home, routinely apply my own add-on strands or cut my own tresses (except for clip-in hair extensions).  Yes, I know how and have access to the same professional products the pros use, but I also understand how I can totally mess up my own hair in just a few wrong moves.

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Many physicians will not treat their own families because they understand the importance of getting a fresh opinion from outside experts.

If you're comfortable and skilled at handling your hair care needs at home then of course you should.  But if you're not, consider leaving the bigger jobs to the pros.

The money you think you will save on home hair color will be lost if you have to pay for color correction. 

13.  Becoming A Slave To Face Shape

If you ever visit a hairstylist who tells you to give up all hopes of wearing a desired hairstyle because of the shape of your face, run for the door.

While professional hairstylists need a system of measures to help them design fantastic hairstyles and looks for their clients, the world has changed to embrace individualistic beauty.

Although it's helpful to know your best features and maximize them, ultimately there is no right or wrong face shape or hairstyle surrounding it.

Love your natural beauty and your beauty birthright and wear your hair in whatever style makes you feel most beautiful.  If someone else doesn't like your hairstyle, hair hue, hair length or face shape, it's their problem.  Not yours. 

Break those chains and enjoy the fact that no one else will have your exact face. 

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14.  Not Listening To Your Heart

At the end of the day, you are the one who wears your hair.  Ultimately you get to decide what hair profile is most accurate for your and your lifestyle needs.  You also get to decide whether you want to wash your hair every day, five times a day or never.

While there is a great body of wisdom out there about how to create a variety of results for hair, ultimately you have to listen to your own heart about how you want your hair to look and feel.

I often tell hair consumers who write to me to follow their own heart about their ultimate hair style, hair care and hair maintenance goals.  If you understand all the potential risks, but have weighed your own personal rewards, it should never matter to anyone else.

Of course the risks you weigh include whether how you wear your hair will impact your professional or academic life and the lives of those around you.  If you have a family or partner who would suffer from your hair style choices you definitely need to keep that in mind.

At the end of the day though, you should love yourself and your hair for it's own special beauty.

Summary

In today's world it's important for all hair consumers to learn the ins and outs about their own hair and it's care in order to have the knowledge to create the hair they wish to have.

Original Publication Date:  01/02/10 - Revised Publication Date:  09/21/12

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