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Overdoing Dry Shampoo...

Jenna Mast

The thing with not washing hair, is that oil production is different for every person, especially age groups.Typically, the older you get the less sebum your scalp produces, so the longer you go between shampoos, the more naturally moisturized your hair is. On the other side, the younger you are, the more sebum your scalp is producing so the "dirtier" your hair feels. When that happens, we usually grab dry shampoo. Dry shampoo can congest your scalp when applied over and over. When the scalp has too much build up, it cannot work to the best of it's ability. Over time, this can lead to hair loss, delayed hair growth, and overall dullness and dryness.

To expand as simply as possible, the scalp is still skin and has pores; you can't have healthy hair without a healthy scalp. There are tons of products on the market aimed at creating healthy scalps to optimize hair growth. Using dry shampoo over and over for extended periods of time will indeed clog your pores and can lead to painful scalp conditions like infected hair follicles. A congested scalp will also bring on loss of hair. It is important to also maintain the pH balance of your scalp. If your scalp doesn't maintain a proper pH level, it can lead to bacteria growth, dryer hair strands, itching, flakiness, etc,.

I'm not saying that dry shampoo is all of a sudden bad, it's not; it's definitely one of my favorite products ever. Rather, I think it's very important for people to know that dry shampoo is not a substitute for a good cleansing of your scalp. When used properly, dry shampoo is a great tool to extend the life of shampoos or a touch up after the gym. However, it's not "cleaning" your scalp or hair and using it day in and day out over long periods of time will lead to less hair and dryer hair!

UPDATE:

I've tried dry shampoo FOAM and it's out of this world. I like dry shampoo because it's dry which, in my mind soaks up more oils; so the idea of putting a foam (wet) into my greasy hair didn't sound great. Like any product junkie, I still tried it out. First, on my one day dirty hair and I didn't notice a huge difference, aside from added volume at the root. I decided to try again on dirtier hair topped with a trip to the gym. Money. This stuff worked so well! The difference between the foam and typical dry shampoos is the cleansing capabilities. My hair actually felt as clean as it looked. The magic is in the formulation. It's made similarly to the stuff they use in hospitals when you can't wash your hair, but with higher-end ingredients for a friendlier experience. Also, it smells amazing.

Bye-Bye, Box Dye!

Jenna Mast

My best advice for coloring your hair at home is don't do it!!

Box dyes are progressive and metallic dyes. Meaning, it might look great the first time, but eventually you'll end up with lighter roots and darker ends.

Using at home color (box dyes) will pretty much ruin your shot at getting a cute summer balayage without paying a corrective color price ($$$) and damaging your hair.

Box dyes are designed to get my best friend (dark brown, curly hair) and myself (light brown, straight hair) all to the same beautiful shade of blonde shown on the front of the box. Sounds impossible? Don't try it! When you go to a professional, they use different levels of peroxide based on your hair type and formulate special colors to get to your target shade. The box does not know what kind of hair you have, so it is the strongest level of peroxide. The result is a lot of damage/dry ends, or, for girls with more pigment in their hair, incomplete results.

A bad at home job can cost a fortune to fix. If you find the right stylist, you will get better results, always. Most of my now super loyal clients were doing at home color because they weren't sure what they wanted and it was often impulsive. My advice, see a trusted stylist!

12 Absolute Worst Things

Jenna Mast

Washing your hair too often—or not enough

Okay, you got the memo: Cleansing your hair more than you need to can strip away the natural oils that keep it healthy, thus making it more brittle and prone to breaking. And while the trend of washing less and less often is catching on, experts warn to tread lightly. “The pores on your scalp can become congested from excessive oil, which will attract even more dirt and debris,” says Lauren E. Hack, hair stylist and co-founder of LAUREN+VANESSA salon in New York City. Your best bet: Reduce the number of times you shampoo to three to four times a week. “In between shampoos, soak up oil with a light coat of dry shampoo on your roots and use a boar bristle brush to distribute hair oils from root to tip for extra natural shine and conditioning,” suggests Nick Penna, owner and lead stylist at SalonCapri in Boston. If dandruff is your problem, don’t miss these natural treatments.

Rinsing with steaming hot water

That same damage caused by flat irons and hair dryers can also happen when you turn the temperature dial up too high in the shower. “Think if it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to put in your hair—in fact, it can be incredibly damaging,” warns Jenna Mast, a New York-based hairstylist. “It’s fine to use hot—not steaming—water to rinse out your shampoo. This allows your hair cuticles to open up and ensures your strands are clean from the inside out.” But once you condition, rinse with cold water to seal the cuticle closed. This adds a healthy shine that will last until your next wash. Check out these home remedies for dry, damaged hair.

Not using a color-safe shampoo

If you color your hair—even just a few times a year—using a color-safe shampoo is a must. “Without it, your color will fade very fast and your hair can become dry,” says Hack. Her favorite: Pureology Hydrate, ($20, amazon.com). “It gently cleanses without stripping color and provides the proper moisturization colored hair needs.” If you’re a blonde, be careful when it comes to the purple shampoos that promise to brighten your color. This shampoo is not intended to be used every day or every time you wash your hair. “If you overuse purple shampoo, your hair may start to look dull and even begin to have a grey or purple tint—and not the pretty pastel kind either,” says Hack. “If you feel your hair is starting to look brassy, try Schwarzkopf Bonacure Color Save Silver Shampoo ($18, ulta.com)—it reduces unwanted warm tones and brings back that cool color you intended for.” These are 38 secrets your hair stylist won't tell you.

Conditioning from your roots

When applying conditioner, it’s best to start at the midshaft of your hair toward the ends. “The ends of the hair are the oldest, meaning they’ve been on your head the longest, contain the least amount of moisture, and are the most dead, so this is the area that needs the most conditioning, ” says Mast. Using the right amount is also key. “How much you need really depends on the length, thickness and texture of your hair, so be sure to ask your stylist the correct amount you should be using,” says Penna. Don’t miss these genius tips for taming frizzy hair.

Brushing just-out-of-the-shower wet hair

Wet hair is not only heavier, but more elastic and delicate, so stretching it out with your brush will cause the strands to break. Instead, brush your hair before you hop in the shower—especially if you have product in it (hair spray, texturizer, sea salt spray, etc.). “Giving your hair a nice detangle before you get it wet is the key to avoiding detangling afterward,” says Mast. Once you’re out, use a brush created specifically for detangling gentle, wet hair, like the Wet Brush ($20, thewetbrush.com). “These are a lot gentler on the hair and specifically made to not break, pull, or damage your hair whether it’s wet or dry.” This is what your hair is desperately trying to tell you about your health.

Rough-drying your hair with a bath towel

Most people are used to taking a towel to their whole body—hair included—immediately after hopping out of the shower. But that’s a major no-no, says Mast. “It doesn’t matter how low-maintenance you are—don’t stretch and pull that wet, delicate hair!” Instead of aggressively tousling it, twist it up in a nice, not-too-tight towel-turban. This you can do upside down, rightside up—whichever way you’re comfortable with. The idea is to get the moisture out of your hair. These are nighttime habits that ruin your hair.

Putting wet hair in a pony tail

Always let your hair dry a bit before stretching it into a tight pony or bun. If you can’t wait, Mast suggests using a little serum or leave-in treatment into your tresses—she loves Oribe Lightweight Moisturizing Cream ($49, oribe.com)—concentrating on the mid lengths and ends. “Then you can braid your hair into a loose braid and save your hair from over-stretching and snapping.” This is what your go-to hairstyle says about your personality.

Styling with the wrong kind of hair brush

There are different types of brushes out there for all different types of hair textures. Choosing the right one for your particular hair type is the best thing you can do to keep your strands healthy. “Natural boar bristle brushes are best for curly and straight hair,” says Vincent Sideli, hairstylist at the Yves Durif salon in New York City. “The boar bristle is gentle on the hair, smooth cuticles, moisturize hair and create a beautiful, glossy finish.” Paddle brushes are especially great for those with straight hair of all lengths and ideal for day-to-day brushing. “The rubber cushion on the paddle brush is designed to bend with your scalp and minimize damage from pulling or breaking.” Next time you have a hair appointment, ask your stylist to prescribe you the perfect brush. Trust us, you’ll notice the difference!

Overdosing on dry shampoo

iThere’s no denying that dry shampoo is one of the greatest beauty creations of all time. Just a few sprays greasy, oily unwashed hair instantly looks more voluminous, thick and grease-free. But piling on too much of the stuff can do more harm than good. “Oil and dirt build up naturally each day and need to be removed from the scalp and hair so your follicles remain clear and balanced,” says Sideli. Dry shampoos actually don’t remove any of these impurities—instead they clog hair follicles, which leads to hair loss and loss of growth of the hair.” Try limiting your use to once a week—twice max. “On days when you’re not using dry shampoo, but need a quick root fix, massage your scalp with your fingertips to loosen and break up any buildup,” suggests Mast. “Then, take a paddle brush—preferably a bristle brush and brush your scalp from roots to end while distributing your scalp’s natural oils through your strands.” This will give your hair a healthy shine without the oily residue on top of your head.

Coloring or highlighting too often

Listen up shade-shifters: It might be fun to constantly switch up your look, but coloring your hair is a chemical process that can wreak havoc on your strands. “Take breaks between your color ‘relationships,’” says Kim Vō, BLONDME global ambassador and celebrity colorist. “If at-home temporary hair color isn’t enough of a shade shift, hair extensions can do the trick of transforming your tresses, adding dimension without the color commitment.” If you’re covering up gray strands, learn the sneaky reasons you might be going gray prematurely.

Skipping the heat-shield step before applying a hot tool

Think of a heat shield like a sunblock. You’d never lay in the sun without putting sunblock on first, right? “Heat shields don’t only help protect your hair from the damage caused by heat, but they also help your hair look smooth and shiny,” says Hack. “I love Oribe Balm d’Or ($43, oribe.com) because it makes your hair easier to manage and gets rid of any flyaways.” If you’re using a heat protector, make sure it’s fully absorbed into your hair before applying the hot tool, says Mast. Here are other simple tricks to keep hair healthy when you use heat on it.

Cutting your own hair at home

This is one to leave to the professionals. “A proper haircut requires a class in the principles of haircutting at the very least,” says Sheenon Olson, creative director of ATMA Beauty in Miami. “I’ve never seen this done successfully and would recommend people avoid it at all costs, otherwise even your stylist might not be able to fix it or achieve the style you were hoping for.” Also, frequent trims are essential if you want your hair to grow, says Hack. “The longer you go without cutting your hair, the higher the split ends grow, so if you want to grow your hair out, be sure to have your stylist give you a quick trim at least every three months.”