The funny thing about hair is that you never really have it totally figured out, despite the fact that it’s been growing out of your head your entire life. Some days, you can craft your mane into a red carpet-worthy ‘do and others, it can seem like you just can’t get your strands to cooperate no matter what you do. Lucky for you, stylists deal with unruly hair all of the time and they know exactly which mistakes are standing between you and flawless hair.
Wondering which hair mistakes you’re making? We’ve got you covered. We rounded up an expert panel of stylists, including Tippi Shorter, Mizani global artistic director, Rodney Cutler, Redken brand ambassador, and Austin Medearis, L’Oréal Professionnel artist, to break down the biggest mistakes you’re making with your hair and how to fix them—no matter your hair type.
Mistakes That People With All Hair Types Make
Whether your hair is long, short, curly, straight or something in between, all three experts agree the worst hair mistake anyone can make is not using the appropriate hair products for their hair type and needs.
“Most stylists and colorists will recommend products that support a client’s needs and desires. More than half don’t follow or invest in the recommendations that their stylists or colorists present. Great products are not cheap. Invest in your hair dream,” Medearis says.
If you’re not quite sure what your hair type and needs are, it’s time to schedule a consultation with a trusted stylist. During your consultation, your stylist will talk to you about your daily routine, as well as your hair goals and concerns to help you create the best hair care routine for your mane.
Good hair day by @qfutrellhair.
Curly Hair Mistakes
There are two cardinal mistakes people with curly hair make: Not getting their ends trimmed regularly and not properly identifying their curl type. When you have curly hair, it can be difficult to spot a split end with your naked eye. Therefore, it’s best to maintain a regular hair trimming schedule with your stylist. If you want to make sure you maintain a proper schedule, be sure to schedule your next appointment before you leave the hair salon.
Now that you have your hair trimming schedule down pat, it’s time to properly identify your curl pattern—because not all curls are created equal.
“The needs of coily hair, curly hair, and wavy hair are vastly different. All of them require a different level of moisture to achieve great looking hair. Too much moisture equals flat and lifeless curls; not enough moisture equals dry and lifeless curls,” Medearis says.
The best way to solve this common curly hair mistake is to rely on a trusted stylist. A professional stylist will have the training and education necessary to properly identify your hair type and figure out exactly what it needs. Your curls will thank you!
Good hair day by @ryansuparno_arieharry.
Straight Hair Mistakes
From the outside looking in, it can seem like straight hair is the easiest to deal with, but looks can be deceiving. It can be easy to think that because your hair is already straight, your flat iron isn’t inflicting that much damage, but Shorter warns against heat styling straight hair without using a heat protectant.
Straight hair is just as susceptible to heat damage as any other hair type, so you should never skip a heat protectant. From the L'Oréal portfolio of products, we recommend Redken’s Play Safe 3-In-1 Leave-In and Treatment. The leave-in treatment is infused with tourmaline, just like many of your hot tools, and plant protein to provide care, heat protection up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and reduce the appearance of split ends by 70 percent.
Now that you have everything you need to safely style your hair, Medearis warns against falling into a straight hair styling rut.
“A huge mistake that straight-haired clients make is thinking that they have to live with straight, limp, and lifeless hair. I can’t count the number of times clients have told me that there is no point in styling or coloring their hair because it’s straight.”
If you’re obsessed with the latest cut taking over Instagram but aren’t sure if it can work for your hair, schedule a consultation and bring tons of inspiration pictures. Your stylist will tell you the best cut and style for you to embrace the trend and your straight hair.
Good hair day by @escapehairoslo
Fine Hair Mistakes
If you have fine hair, chances are good you’ve tried just about every plumping hair technique you can find on Pinterest, but Shorter and Medearis warn against relying on heat styling and teasing to impart volume into your strands. Instead, they recommend you rely on volumizing products to do the heavy lifting for you.
“Learning the best volumizers for your hair needs and desires is paramount. I usually recommend L’Oréal Professionnel Transformer Gel or Kérastase’s Mousse Bouffant as both offer lightweight, strong yet moldable hold to the hair without the crunchy after-effect,” Medearis says. “Let an educated, experienced stylist show you how to achieve perfect hair with the appropriate products.”
Good hair day by @gianlucamandelli1.
Thinning Hair Mistakes
When it comes to thinning hair, Medearis says the biggest mistake you can make is waiting too long to address the issue. The best thing you can do is to make an appointment with a trusted stylist or dermatologist at the first sign of thinning.
“Most products that address thinning usually work better when the hair follicle is in a healthier state,” he explains.
If you’re already dealing with thinning, however, chances are good you’ve done just about everything to help give you strands a fuller appearance. While it may make your hair look good in the immediate future, both Shorter and Cutler agree that when it comes to thinning hair, less is more. Shorter recommends giving up tight hairstyles like ponytails and buns that can exacerbate thin edges, while Cutler recommends finding new haircuts and styles that embrace your thinning strands as opposed to trying to hide them.
Good hair day by @martaoria.
When it comes to scalp issues, all three stylists agree there’s one major mistake everyone makes.
“The biggest mistake I see with clients that have scalp issues is not seeking treatment from a dermatologist,” Medearis says. “Whether it’s chronic dry scalp or overactive sebaceous glands, a dermatologist is definitely needed to diagnose and treat serious scalp issues.”
The fix for this is easy: Make an appointment with a dermatologist! Much like your hair woes, when it comes to matters of the skin it’s best to leave it up to the professionals. A dermatologist can help to diagnose the root of your scalp irritation and help you create a hair care plan that’s healthy for your mane and your scalp.
Interested in more professional hair care advice? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.