It’s been said that a woman’s hair is her crowning glory. If it’s true, then why are so many of us guilty of subjecting our crowns to dime-store products and do-it-yourself dye jobs? As a hairdresser, I’ve seen it all. Here are some of the things that I, and every other hairdresser, wish you knew about caring for your mane:
• When over-the-counter color says “not permanent,” it doesn’t mean that all the affects wash out with just a shampoo. The intensity of the color may wash away but the process inevitably alters your natural hair for the worst.
• Overlapping color is hard to avoid, and virtually impossible if you’re doing it yourself. As hair grows out, you should only apply color to the roots. Otherwise, you’re stacking ammonia-based products on top of each other ultimately damaging your hair.
• Overlapping color applications on the hair can also cause the hair to turn out too dark. So be careful.
• When you make an at-home color mistake, and the hair turns out too dark, it’s tempting to “correct” it yourself by lightening the color. The result is that you will end up with lighter roots that stand out against the rest of your still-dark hair.
• Always be truthful with your hairdresser about your color history. Omitting what you’ve done can result in your hair not reacting to a treatment the way it should.
• If you are going to be your own colorist, be savvy, and keep track of what you are using. Keep the box, lid, or write it down.
• Let’s face it...we’ve all taken the scissors to our bangs at one time or another. The mistake people make is going too short. This is especially true if you have curly hair which never lays the same way twice. I tell people to avoid cutting curly bangs shorter than the tip of the nose. Regardless of your hair texture, make sure the hair is relaxed and don’t pull on it when cutting.
• Don’t marry yourself to a cut or style just because it looked good on you in high school. In time we all change. I’ve seen women with curly hair go poker-straight and vice versa. Age, medications, grey...they all have an impact so go with a cut that looks good on the hair you have today.
• Face shape is key when picking a cut. Let’s face, it not everyone can wear a pixie cut.
• Not all hairdressers are identical. You can no more expect everyone with a smock and a pair of scissors to cut the same as you can expect the same artwork from everyone with paints and a brush.
•Pony tails cause breakage at your neckline. Try pulling your hair through the hole in the back of a cap or, if you must, wear your hair elastic in a different place each time and remove it as soon as you’re done working out.
•When you move to a different climate, your hair will change. If it doesn’t do what you expect, try adding a new service, product or style.
•The biggest mistake people make in styling their hair is not letting it dry fully before styling. When it begins to feel dry, your hair still has humidity and frizz. You have to keep going past this point until it feels silky.
•Just like you need steam to get wrinkles out of a shirt, you need water or you’ll scorch your hair when flat-ironing. Always begin by washing your hair, then blow dry it to get most of the “wrinkles” out before using a hot iron.
• Not all shampoos are created equal. Now I have to admit, I was a Breck girl growing up and I doubted this; but there is, in fact, a huge difference. You can’t expect your hair to act and look the same as it does at the salon if you’re washing it with the hair and body wash from your gym!
• Watch out for chlorine. I know this all too well. Your hair is like a sponge, it soaks up whatever it gets wet with first. If you jump in a pool with dry hair, it soaks up chlorine. That’s why you should always wet your hair and put conditioner in it to block the absorption of the pool water before diving in.