7 Hair Product Mistakes You Might Be Making And How To Fix Them Before You Ruin Your Strands

You'd think that managing your own hair would be pretty simple by now, but as it turns out, there are some pretty common hair product mistakes that we've all probably unwittingly made at one time or another. Ugh. Apparently washing, conditioning, and even drying mistakes are not enough. The main problem with hair products, is that they can create a vicious cycle.

Thinking that you don't need any product can be a mistake, because leaving hair to fend for itself against everyday stressors can lead to more and faster damage and breakage. But using the wrong products can make it seem like you need even more product to account for the issues that current products aren't properly covering. And as much as we might want to own and use all of the hair products, layering oils, serums, mousses, leave-in-conditioners, texturizers, and hairspray will lead to some serious buildup and heavy hair.

So you don't have to worry about buildup weighing down your locks (and subsequently having to use a stripping, clarifying shampoo every-damn-day), or incurring damage from your aversion to hair products, here are seven common mistakes and how to fix them, for healthy, beautiful hair:

1. Not Using Heat Protectant

Moroccanoil, $26, Amazon; UniqOne, $18, Amazon

Whether you only blow-dry your hair or do the whole nine with curling wands and flat irons, always always ALWAYS apply a heat protectant first. To make sure your locks are evenly coated, brush your hair between spritzes. And if you use a wet heat protectant spray as opposed to a dry one, make sure your hair has dried before using any hot tools. This way, your hair will be safer from damage and breakage.

2. Thinking that "Oil" Means "Oily"

Don't shy away from hair oils just because they might make your hair appear oily. If you use too much, yes, they can make your hair look slick and greasy. But if you're using the right amount, oils can make a world of difference in your hair's health and appearance. Still nervous? Try a dry oil instead.

Alterna Bamboo Kendi Dry Oil Mist for Unisex Mist, $14, Amazon

3. Choosing A Product For The Wrong Hair Type

Kerastase Resistance Bain Volumifique Thickening Effect Shampoo, $29, Amazon

If you have fine hair, a product that would treat coarse or natural hair is going to be too heavy. And if you have coarse or natural hair, a product that would treat fine hair might not be enough. Always make sure to check labels for what strength, hold, moisture level, etc. a product has before purchasing and using it. If you're not quite sure what your hair type is, here's a handy guide so you can better know what products will work best for you.

4. Using Too Much Or Too Little

While you might already be wary of applying too much product (or too many products) and weighing your hair down, erring too far on the side of caution will only prevent your hair from reaping the benefits of the product you're (barely) applying. Generally speaking, you'll almost never need to use more than a dime-sized amount, or less than a pea-sized amount of any hair product (except for mousse). To make sure products are more evenly distributed, and your locks are receiving equal attention, always rub the product between your hands before applying to your hair.

5. Not Applying To The Right Area

There are very few products that actually need to be applied all over your hair. For the most part, it's either the roots or the ends that need attention. Generally, if a product is meant to clean or volumize (think dry shampoo or mousse), apply it to the roots. And if a product is meant to moisturize, add shine, or protect against damage (oils, conditioners, serums, etc.), apply it to the ends. Using any of these products on the entire length of your hair will only weigh it down and cause it to look less than its best.

6. Holding Aerosol Products Too Close

If you hold hairspray too close to the head, you could oversaturate your locks, causing them to look greasy and weighed-down or even too sticky and hard. Holding dry shampoo too close to the head could lead to product buildup and a white-cast that's too difficult to distribute. Instead, make sure to always spray aerosols about eight to 10 inches away from your hair.

7. Not Changing Products With The Seasons

Just like you might change your skincare to account for the warmer or colder weather, haircare needs to be addressed too. While it's important to condition year-round, make sure to have a heavier-duty hair mask for drier, winter months. And during the summer, focus on products with SPF and that effectively remove chlorine from the hair so it is more protected from the damaging effects of the sun and pool.

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