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Hair-Styling Mistakes to Avoid

Reform your bad hair styling habits and you will have wonderful hair every day of the week.

Working with Too Much Hair at Once

Spend an afternoon in a room and you'll notice that the pros always use hair clips to divide and conquer an excellent work style. The reason? It allows you to concentrate the heat of your dryer or flatiron on one small section at a time. At home, divide the hair into three horizontal layers. Pin the top and middle sections back with clips and work your way from the bottom up. Fill each section before moving on to the next, but if you are in hurry, spend more time styling the front and cheat a little in the back.

Skipping Regular Haircuts

Keep your 'do to make your life easier. "Haircuts have a shelf life of four to eight weeks before they begin to lose shape and become more difficult to style, "says Lisa Abbey, creative director of Salon Blue in Mineola, New York.

Frying Your Strands

Use low heat to medium setting on your styling tools. "Only extremely coarse or curly hair can handle the highest temperatures," says Marc Mena, senior stylist at Warren-Tricomi salon,in New York City. Other ways to protect your hair: Cloudy with a heat styling spray, use a nozzle or diffuser attachment to disperse the air flow, and don't concentrate the heat in one place for a long time.

Forgetting Your Roots

If you pay more attention to your roots when the product is applied to dry hair and you will have more control over the volume.want more body? Then pull your hair up and out when it dries, says Abbey. Would you like least? Pull your hair down to smooth and flatten the root. Treating your roots also saves your ends-the oldest and driest part of your hair against heat damage in excess.

Applying Product to Dry Hair

"Your hair is most responsive to styling when combing or rinsing is freshly washed," says New York City stylist Damian Monzillo. It is also easier to distribute the product evenly throughout wet hair. (Exceptions to this rule are heat-protecting sprays, which you should be apply to dry hair before you use hot tools and finishing products such as hair spray and pomades.)

Overdosing on Gel or Mousse

Practice portion control so your hair does not end up looking flat, oily, or varnished. "If you have long hair to his shoulders just need a nickel size amount of styling cream or gel, a dime-size amount of serum, or a shot glass of mousse, "says Becker Chicaiza, a salon owner in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Using the Wrong Size Brush

Many women use a round brush that is too small, says celebrity stylist Umberto Savona based in Beverly Hills, California. A small brush with a 1-inch-diameter barrel works best for chin-length hair, shorter layers, or if you want to add extra bounce for very fine hair. Medium to large brush-2 to 3-inch barrels are better for longer hair and help to create loose, natural waves or straight,smooth styles.

Using the Wrong Products

Be sure to match your styling product to your hair texture. Root boosting spray plumps up fine, fine hair without dragging it down; if you have medium thick hair, you need a heavier spray gel or mousse to firm and lift the roots. When it comes to smoothing, a light serum is plenty for taming fine, curly hair. Thicker, thicker hair needs moisture and extra shine, so use a combination of serum and cream, says Abbey. Got Curls? improved Curl sprays work well for delicate tendrils while richer creams help control denser, kinkier spirals.

Horsing Around with Your Ponytail

Ponytail Bad habits - such as the use of rubber bands or elastics with metal clasps, pulling back wet hair and attach the tail too tight - lead to broken strands. Keep your hair healthy by drying it first and prepping it with a bit of styling cream ,says Chicaiza. And stick to snag-free elastics.

Not Allowing Hair to Set

Do you want your style to last? Then take the time to let your hair cool after applying heat from a dryer or iron. "You ruin your work when you brush through a warm curl or release the round brush when your hair is still hot, "says Kevin Mancuso, Nexxus creative director. Bonus tip: Velcro rollers add extra body and softness to your style, but you must leave them in for at least 10 minutes.
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