The Inadvertent Ways We Ruin Our Hair

We’ve all been there: you get this amazing haircut at the barber shop and then a few days later, after trying to recreate how great you looked, you stop and wonder why your hair doesn’t look half as good as it did– doomed to only look good again when you finally return to the barber. What is it that causes this phenomenon? Your hair is either too dry, too crunchy, too flat, or too greasy to ever be styled right.

Well look no further than this, because we have compiled some ways that you might actually be self-sabotaging your hair.

Hairspray mistakes

There’s more to hairspray selection than the packaging, and there are some pretty significant drawbacks to using the wrong kind. For example, some hairsprays are alcohol-free and some contain alcohol. There’s a time and place for either one– go for the alcohol-based hairspray when/if there’s moisture in the air, otherwise your hair will get excessively dried out from the alcohol. Alternatively, opt for the non-alcohol-based hairsprays when in the winter or an already-dry environment.

It’s also possible that you could be making hairspray application errors. Keep the hairspray nozzle farther away from the hair in order to spread out the product on the whole head, rather than getting too much of it concentrated in one area.

Lastly, you could also try forgoing the hairspray altogether, to make sure it’s not unnecessary. All the product we use builds up on the hair and if you don’t truly need one of these, it’ll help to skip it– both your wallet and your hair will thank you.

Product uncertainty

The stores are overflowing with options in the hair product department, so it’s no wonder we get overwhelmed with what to use. When there are gels, creams, pomades, sprays, waxes, and more, how do we know what to use? You’re in luck, because we’ve compiled a short list of tips:

  • For straight hair, use waxes, pomades, or pastes
  • For curly/wavy hair, use creams or specialized waxes

Product misuse

Now that you know what products work for your hair, let’s make sure you know how to use them. First, make sure the product you have ought to be applied to wet or dry hair. Some products need to be activated by heat. It all depends on what product you have, so be sure and read the application instructions carefully.

Using the right amount of product

Your hair product’s instructions are the best way to gauge how much you should be using, but if you don’t adjust the amount depending on your specific hair type, you could be self-sabotaging your hair.

If you add too much product to curly hair, those nice spirals will be weighed down– flat instead of bouncy. Too much product will also make straight hair appear greasy or chunky.

You also need to adjust how much product you use for the length of your hair. Obviously the more hair you have, the more product you’ll use, but it’s also about where you add your product, too. For example, longer hair becomes prone to some breakage and split ends, so extra moisture on the ends is necessary, versus at the roots.

Keep these basic product tips from GQ in mind when you first start out:

  1. Thick and denser hair requires more product.
  2. Start with a dime-sized amount and experiment with this for a few days before adding in more or using less.
  3. Apply the product directly to your roots (if your hair is short).

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