Five Common Hair Mistakes Every Woman Makes

Chances are, you've committed at least one or two hair faux pas. From waiting too long to get a haircut to combing hair while wet to choosing the wrong shampoo for your hair type, we're all guilty of making a few hair mistakes in our time. Fortunately, these common hair mistakes are all easy to fix, so fear not and tread forth with determination to correct your past errors.

Delaying Haircuts

Waiting too long in between haircuts is one beauty sin women habitually commit. Always stay on top of hair appointments to keep hair manageable and beautiful. The ends of your hair often become brittle and dry, giving them a dull and unhealthy appearance.

"Get a haircut every six to eight weeks, depending on your growth," says celebrity hairstylist Vasken Demirjian, whose client list includes the Kennedy family and whose salon has been named as one of the country's top three by Salon Today Magazine.

He adds, "As a stylist, I know when a woman's hair is at its optimum condition. It's vibrant, shiny, reflective and alive. When you wait too long, you have split ends and your hair is less shiny and out of control."

Choosing the Wrong Shampoo

Always choose a shampoo that's tailored to your hair needs. For example, certain shampoos are created for fine, curly, color treated, gray or dandruff-prone hair.

"Read the description on the label and do your best to match the description on the label to your hair type," advises Colin Lively, a NYC hair stylist who's served as the artistic director for Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salons for 10 years.

For example, shampoos that say something like "for dry and brittle hair" will be too heavy for natural or fine hair, explains Lively. Conversely, shampoo intended for oily hair will be too harsh and drying on other types.

Once you've selected the appropriate shampoo, massage it onto your roots and scalp and rinse thoroughly. Any residual shampoo left on the shaft results in dull locks.

Combing Hair While Wet

Did you know that when your hair is wet, it's more susceptible to damage? That's a shame, considering so many women experience a tangle battle post shower. Turns out, combing your hair while it's wet and tangled can result in hair breakage in addition to pain. Always use a detangling spray or softening agent before combing wet hair, advises Demirjian.

"You have to be extremely delicate when you comb your hair, whether wet or dry, but particularly when wet," he says. "Also make certain you are using an excellent toothed comb."

Lively adds -- and this goes along with hair faux pas #2 -- that if you struggle with matted and tangled hair, you're probably using the wrong products for your hair type.

Putting Ponytail in Same Spot

Your hair is also susceptible to breaking when you place your ponytail in the same spot every day, explains Demirjian.

"A tight pony tail will have residual damage on the hairline, from the pull and tightness, as well as on the area where the ponytail is held by the band," he explains. "Depending on the type of bands you use, you can even have loss of elasticity."

Switch things up by either wearing hair down, moving the location of your ponytail or by using a less damaging hair tool, such as a barrette, claw or bobby pins.

Demirjian adds that wearing your locks the same way every single day -- pony tail or not -- is an injustice to your hair. Try something fun and flirty.

"Hair is your number one accessory," he says. "Use it effectively."

Rubbing Hair in Towel

It's OK to wrap your hair in a towel post shower, but rubbing your hair in your towel is a beauty mistake that'll leave your hair frizzy, unkempt and less healthy. The best post-shower protocol is to wring out excess water from hair with your hands and then to wrap it in a towel for 5 to 10 minutes. If you still have excess water in your hair, either re-wrap and wait another 10 minutes or gentle press your hair between a dry towel. Never, under any circumstances, rub. (Unless you want to sport a frizzy mane for the rest of the day.)

Published by Wendy Rose Gould

Wendy Gould is a freelance journalist. Current and past clients include Glamour Magazine, Tyra Banks,, StyleList, Huffington Post, AOL Shopping, AOL Travel, Kiwanis International and...  View profile


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  • Wiley Vaughn 5/2/2012

    Ladies, let that hair grow!

  • Tracy Vanderford 4/28/2012

    Congrats on the article Wendy, and for the great list of comments! ;)

  •  3/24/2012

    Haven't you all noticed that on these makeover they cut the woman's hair off? Then they usually dye it darker. The host usually has long flowing hair, if short hair is all that, why is her hair long or does she have extensions. Once again, extensions are expensive, most women today cannot afford that.

    I said ladies, let your hair grow out and be feminine. I'd rather look like a witch goddess than a butch any day.

  •  3/24/2012

    I'm in my 50's and I have long blond hair. My husband would have a fit if I cut my hair. If I even mention it he goes bananas. He told me the reason he was attracted to me was my lovely hair.Men like long healthy hair on women. Most straight men want long hair, not short hair like a boy.

    I stopped going to the hairstylist because they are scissor happy. Long hair is more difficult to work with and they prefer shorter hair. They all try to push expensive products on you that most women today cannot afford. I trim my ends every 6-8 weeks (about a quarter of an inch to get rid of dead ends) and that's that. I use a leave in conditioner and comb my hair out with that. Not to mention a visit to a stylist for cut and color is about $200. Most women today can barely feed their kids due to this crappy economy, not to mention that type of price for haircare.

  •  3/23/2012

    @ Michelle- Calm down. You don't have to always get haircuts, just a mere trim will prevent dryness. Some people, like my friends, do wear pony tails everyday.

    This is pretty decent advice and even I didn't know some of this stuff.
    The guy is just giving some quick and easy tips for hair care, and everyone is blowing up.

  •  3/23/2012

    Um, Every Woman? Hun, you need to rewrite that and get it straight. 'That Maybe Most Woman' would have been better. And by reading the comments, looks like they are not mistakes. You must seriously be a poor hair stylist, if you are at all one. Last time I checked, watching all the professionals on TV, they all comb wet hair. Why? Because it's the right thing to do. You will cause split ends on dry hair. Also delaying hair cuts? Uh, I prefer long hair, styled whenever and however. The same hair all the time will only make it shorter. How Boring! And no one puts there hair up all the time, especially not anymore. That style is out, unless you are working in a fast food chain or factory. Some ladies have no access to a hair drier, so the next best thing is putting it up in a towel. The wrong shampoo is the one you over use, is what a stylist told me. Aka don't lather, rinse, and repeat.

  •  3/22/2012

    I've used WEN & it left my golden blonde hair dark and dirty looking, even though I rinsed a very long time. NISIM, on the other hand, along with Ultra Nourish Hair vitamins from GNC, has helped my hair grow 1" per month & it's clean & shiny. The Equate brand of Rogaine for Women (from Wal-Mart) has helped fill back in my receding hairline (I'm a 58 yr old woman). My stylist can't believe how much hair I have now. 9 months ago I had a short bob. Today my hair is past my shoulders in the back & the sides fall just above my shoulders (tapered toward my chin).

  •  3/22/2012

    It's not COMBING your hair when it's wet that's a problem; it's BRUSHING it. Moreover, if you DON'T comb it out, with a wide-tooth comb, while it's wet, it will dry tangled, and then you'll really have a mess. Condition and rinse it after washing, gently use your fingers and a wide-tooth comb to remove tangles, apply styling products, and then blow-dry with a brush when it's about half-dry, so as to minimize the amount of time you are using a brush and heat-styling on it.

    Sheesh. All these hair issues and instructions have been around for eons -- since I was an early teen in the 70's. The person who wrote this article is underinformed or just flat out ignorant. Hasn't she noticed that her hairdresser uses a comb on her wet hair and a brush on it while blow-drying?

  •  3/22/2012

    How about when she cuts her hair to look like a boy.... thats a mistake.

  •  3/22/2012

    Oh my why has my hair not fallen out all together as I have done all the wrong things, yet it is healty, shinny and in very good shape for being 70 years old.

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