My hair and I have been through a lot. I've chemically straightened it, dyed it, bleached it, fried it — you name it, and we've been through it together. I've tried nearly every remedy to reverse damage, only to find that my frizzy strands are still as dry and desperate as they were before. To break the cycle, I've decided to be exceptionally well-behaved when it comes to hair maintenance and styling: I brush from the ends up. I curl away from my face. I absolutely deep condition weekly. While I will admit that I don't shampoo as much as I should, and I've been known to go six months without a trim, I'm pretty good otherwise.
And yet, as hard as I try, it seems that none of this (almost!) perfect behavior is helping, and something’s got to give. In the hopes of solving all of my hair problems, I’ve turned to the rule-makers — hairstylists — to share the rules they insist their clients break. Because if anyone’s going to tell me what to do, it’s one of the pros. We're taking a hard look at the rules you may be following — and figure out which ones were made to be broken.
1. Wash Your Hair Every Day
"Washing frequently leads to greasy roots and brittle ends," says Adam Maclay, a NYC hairstylist. That's because when you strip your hair with detergents, your scalp begins overproducing its natural oils -- and you're typically washing again before it has a chance to moisturize your ends. If you do need to wash more often, "opt for a cleansing conditioner, which will gently cleanse and condition in one step," says George Papanikolas, Matrix SOCOLOR celebrity stylist.
2. The Bigger The Brush, The Better The Volume
"Women tend to use brushes that are too big, which make it impossible to create volume," says Giovanni Vaccaro, GLAMSQUAD's creative director. By opting for smaller brush sizes, like ones that are 2 to 2.5 inches in diameter, achieving the volume you're looking for is way easier.
3. Hotter Tools Will Give You Better Results
"As soon as your hot tools hit higher than 380 degrees, you're beginning to melt the keratin in your hair," says Maclay. "Women believe that they need their tools to reach 400 degrees for the best results, which isn't true. You'll get the same results at lower temps."
4. Don't Put Your Hair Up After a Blowout
While a ponytail holder will leave a dent, there are other alternatives. "Wrap your hair into a bun and secure it with a claw clip or two jumbo bobby pins, which will maintain volume without leaving a mark," advises Jasmine Anna Galazka, Kérastase Artistic Educator and stylist at the Warren Tricomi Salon.
5. Get a Trim Every Six Weeks
Aside from avoiding extra trips to the salon ($$$!), six-week intervals usually aren't necessary. "Unless your hair is short, most cuts take about three months to lose their shape," says Papanikolas.
6. You Should Blow Out Your Hair When It's Soaking Wet
"When you apply high heat to wet hair, you might be creating moisture bubbles inside your strands, which can cause damage," says celebrity hairstylist Rudy Ruffo. In order to save your hair from such high temps, he recommends rough drying it 80 percent on medium heat, which will save you time as well.
7. Rinse Out Your Conditioner Completely
"It's actually beneficial to leave a hint of conditioner in hair for added moisture and a silky finish, especially during summer months," says Vaccaro. So, as much as you might be yearning for that squeaky-clean feeling, try to resist the urge.
8. Short Cuts Are For the Summer
Shorter hair means shorter drying time, so leave the dramatic cuts for the fall, advises Galazka. "In the fall and winter, you're more inclined to blow your hair dry," she says, "whereas longer hair is better for the summer when you can wash and go."
Images: Giphy (8)