By Deborah Wilker
Why do some people seem to have the most lustrous hair, while others continually battle limp, fried, lifeless locks – despite doing everything right?
It could be that some of the things you think you are doing to help your hair, are actually harming it.
For example, while many women have now gotten the message that blowing out their hair every day can weaken it – resorting to a ponytail as a way to ‘rest it’ between stylings, can be even more harmful. The constant tension created by tight elastic bands causes breakage, and can leave your hair in tatters.
“Use a claw-clip instead,” says stylist Todd Maine, who has created hot hair looks for movies and events, and owns The Maine Event Salon in Fort Lauderdale. “You can make it as tight as you want, and your hair won’t break. You can also make cool-looking up-do’s with it.” At the very least use soft cloth hair ties and keep ponies loose.
If your hair is in need of a major 911 rescue, here are some other things to stop doing – and some quick changes that can improve hair in no time:
-Hair products designed to smooth and condition seem like a good idea, but if they’re loaded with protein, alcohol and other chemicals, they can actually make hair brittle. Check the ingredient list says Maine: “The first ingredient in anything you buy should be water.”
-Don’t over-wash your hair. In between washes, simply rinse hair in the shower, then condition.
– Turning down the heat on curling irons, flat-irons and blow dryers should be obvious. If you absolutely have to use these styling tools, use them as infrequently and as quickly as possible. And always make sure your hair is perfectly dry before using any iron. “Wet-hair” irons sound like they’ll save you blow-dry time, but all you’re really doing is “frying your hair,” Maine says.
-Not brushing hair when it’s wet, is a classic rule and a good one to follow — but if you do use either a comb or brush on wet hair “never rip them through your hair,” Maine says. “Take it slowly, especially as you approach the ends.” Better yet comb conditioner through hair in the shower before rinsing, he says.
– Towel-drying might seem like a good way to cut down on blow-dry time, but far too often people are too aggressive says Maine. “Don’t rub! Just pat. Just absorb the water.”
Things you should be doing:
– Minimize split-ends with a good trim every six-to-eight weeks.
– Use leave-in hair masques, but only after washing thoroughly, Maine says. “Leave them on for about an hour under a shower cap. Rinse in cold water to seal in moisture.”
– Apply heat-protectants that coat hair before using heat-based styling tools. But remember, Maine says, “you’re still damaging your hair when you use these,” so tread lightly.
– Eat right. Leafy greens, nuts, avocado and salmon are all known hair-helpers. Maine also adds collagen-generating supplements to his diet such as BioSil, which is said to boost the quality of hair, skin and nails. “It does work,” he says.
– For more info www.maineeventsalon.com