An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of correction when it comes to hair don'ts. That's because snafus can be costly, especially when they're chemical in nature. The worst case scenario is called bald!
But even common, simple mistakes can have you pulling your hair out. Whether you chose the wrong drug-store color, ended up with go-back-to-bed head or got your locks sucked into the vent of your dryer, pre-planning will prevent you from having to put in the fix next time. In celebration of healthy hair every where, here are our top do’s and don’ts for pounds of prevention.
- Do get regular trims. Even if you are trying to grow-out your hair, skipping trims leaves you with scraggly, unshapely strands. If you have a shorter cut or one with lots of texture, trims are even more important. Why pay for a precision cut and let it go to ruin?
- Don’t use too many styling products. While there is a trend toward using more than one type of product to achieve a single style, the idea is to get different textures, not to mix them all up and apply each one all over. Even if you use one gel, then a silicone shiner, mist the latter on very lightly to start or hair will get greasy. Newer products are intended to give hair a different texture without making it look stiff, or feel gummy or tacky, but that still means starting with a dime-sized amount unless you have very thick or long locks.
- Do practice a special-occasion style beforehand if you’re planning to do it yourself. Even if what you have in mind seems simple or is something you did last year, practice it a couple of times before the big night. Hair and products change over time so even if you’ve created a style before, making certain you’ve got it down pat avoids last-minute disasters.
- Don’t over-tease your hair, especially if you are trying to make fine hair look full. There’s nothing more unattractive than “see-through” hair and you may not realize you have it if you don’t have bright lights in your bathroom. To tease locks correctly, pick up a horizontal section at the crown, insert your comb an inch away from the roots and bring it down straight. Repeat as you move up in small increments; stop about two inches from the root at the most. Then repeat on three or four more sections and smooth the surface carefully. Check for holes.
- Don’t make major color changes at home. If your hair is fine, fragile or porous, this can be a double disaster. Bleaching and highlighting is best left to the pros, as are significant color changes. If you are looking to change your color more than a shade or two, don’t do it at home.
- Do look beyond the color on the front of the box, if you are buying home color. The way to select a shade is to look on the back of the box to see how the new shade will look when placed over your existing haircolor. The photo in the front of the box won’t tell you much.
- Do hold hair dryers at least four inches from your head and keep them continuously moving. This prevents hair from getting heat scorched. If you have long locks, be extra careful that you don’t move the blower around too wildly or hold it too close to your head, or your hair could get caught in the dryer’s back vent and be pulled out.
- Don’t perm or relax your hair yourself unless it is strong and healthy, and you you’ve done a test strand first. Always apply the product to a small section that’s hidden under the nape, time the processing and check results before proceeding. Wait at least 24-hours to make certain there’s no damage. The same test strand technique applies when coloring your hair at home.
- Don’t wash fine, limp locks every day. If you want more fullness and volume, wash hair every other day.
- Do ask your stylist to show you the products he or she used in the salon and how to style your hair at least two different ways. There’s nothing like free professional advice, and you can easily get it while your stylist is blow drying your hair. Watch carefully to see how it’s done.
- Don’t make major changes before a big event. Any good salon will give you a cut and color timeline to follow before a wedding or similarly important occasions. Also, avoid making a change when you are feeling emotional. Make certain the changes is thought-out and positive.
- Don’t fight nature to much. While those with fine hair want curly locks and vice versa, but fighting nature too much damages locks. If your blonde hair is darkening as you age, color it within reason; you won’t look good as a platinum blonde when you’re 50. If you have straight, fine hair, perming it for years on end damages it too much. Opt for a great cut and take a break from perming. And if it takes two chemical services to get the look you want—like curly blonde—decide whether curl or color is more important to you and go with your favorite. Permed and bleached hair can end up looking and feeling like spaghetti after just one double-whammy treatment.