5 Hair Care Mistakes You’re Making

Think your daily hair care routine is full of healthy hair choices? You may be surprised to discover that you’re unwittingly wreaking havoc on your tresses. Eliminate these five common mistakes and give your hair the TLC it deserves.

1. Rushing from dryer to flat iron. Following a hasty blow dry with a flat or curling iron to perfect a style is likely to sizzle your strands. “Women often use hot tools on their hair when it still has some moisture remaining,” says Jenny Strebe, hair stylist and blogger at Confessions of a Hairstylist. Ironing wet hair increases the risk of breakage. Wait a few minutes after your blow dry to make sure hair is 100 percent dry.

2. Drying when sopping wet. Putting a blow dryer to dripping wet hair is a very bad idea. Want to know what’s even worse? Using a round brush on hair that’s sopping wet, says Strebe. That friction frays the cuticle, leading to hair that’s damaged and flat. To keep hair healthy, blot it with a towel, then allow it to air dry until it’s about 80 percent dry. Now you can pick up that round brush and use your favorite styling technique to get super volume and shine.

3. Doing the wet pony. When we’re busy, it’s easy to throw freshly shampooed hair up into a high bun or pony. The lack of heat and brushing may be a plus, but wet ponytails and buns have a steep downside of their own. Tugging and pulling fragile wet hair, then whipping it with an elastic, is a fast track to split ends. Instead, try a loose braid or a rough finger blow dry.

4. Rough handling knotty tresses. Tangled hair should be brushed out, right? Not so fast. Brushing through knots can cause pieces -- or even the entire knot -- to break. Start at the tips -- never the roots -- using a wide-toothed comb and gently work through those knots. For hair that’s prone to snagging and snarling, apply a leave-in spray detangler after your shampoo.

5. Washing your color away. A whopping 75 percent of women color their hair in some form. To keep locks at their healthiest and color at its prettiest, always use a shampoo and conditioner specially formulated for color-treated hair. And wait 24 to 48 hours after you color your hair before you shampoo or else that gorgeous fresh hue will be swirling right down the shower drain.

Drastic Celebrity Hair Makeovers: Before and After

Did your beauty resolutions for 2014 include a hairstyle makeover? Now’s the time to get, right before spring! Get inspired by some celebrities who have shown off dramatic transformations in the last few months. Here’s a look at some of our favorites.

Jennifer Lawrence

The award for the biggest hair makeover of the year goes to Jennifer Lawrence. When she went from shaggy and shoulder-length to a pixie, she made style headlines worldwide. As Jennifer showed up on talk shows and red carpets for her hit movies The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and American Hustle, we got to examine several versions of her versatile pixie: soft and tousled, waxed and piecey and slicked back into an elegant pompadour. Blockbusters all!

Before                                      After

 

Jennifer Hudson

In November, Jennifer Hudson provided more proof that the pixie is not just a one-note do. She modeled both a natural and a coiffed version of the cut a few days apart. Both were stunning.

Before                                     After

 

Taylor Swift

Late last year, the songstress trimmed her tresses into a long bob and ditched the fringe. When she walked the red carpet at a London gala, we saw an elegant, more sophisticated Taylor Swift.

Before                                     After

 

Reese Witherspoon

She was still Legally Blonde, but by the end of 2013 Reese Witherspoon had cut her blonde locks into a layered, shoulder-length bob. With beautiful champagne highlights, the lob showcased her sparkling blue eyes.

Before                                     After

 

 

Rebecca Romijn

An hour before arriving at a gala hosted by pal Jessica Alba, Rebecca Romijn gave her long hair the chop.  “I felt it was time for a change,” she told InStyle Magazine. “I had a couple of Brazilian blowouts in the last five years, and wanted to get rid of all that. Once in a while, change is good!”

Before                                     After

 

SEE ALSO: Hairstyle Classics: How to Keep your Look From Looking Dated

How to Extend the Life of Your Blowout

We’ve all been there: You spend an hour achieving a gorgeous, frizz-free blowout, only to wake up to a crinkled, limp mess. But don’t worry. There’s an easy fix! Using the right techniques and products -- starting before you even touch the blow-dryer -- will help you maintain your style for days.

Prep
The most important step to achieving a long-lasting blowout is a good wash. “Without a clean head of hair, your blowout will not last, and is likely to get oily quicker if there is any residue left from previous products,” says Jacqueline Romero, salon manager at BLOWN, a blow dry salon in Beverly Hills, Calif. Look for products that work with your hair type, she adds. Dry hair craves products that add moisture and shine, such as a shampoo with shine-boosting argan oil. For flat hair, use something with a bit of grip, or products that add body, such as silicone-free volumizing shampoo.

Technique
For a smooth look with added bounce, Romero suggests this blow-dry technique: Flip your head and rough-dry your hair, focusing on getting the roots dry to maintain the lift. Using either a large round brush or vented paddle brush, section the hair into four quadrants. Lay the hair onto the brush, and angle your blow-dryer to keep the hair on the bristles. Move from the roots through the mid-shaft to the ends while continuously turning the brush. Repeat until hair is dry. Tip: If you have bangs or a fringe, blow-dry that part first.

Maintenance
Lightly top off your flowing locks with a shine serum. “Apply just to the ends of the hair, avoiding extra oil at the roots,” Romero says. When your hair hits the “oily” day, use a dry-shampoo. “Your blow-out will last up to 2 days longer with a dry shampoo,” Romero says. To apply, make long horizontal sections in hair and spray shampoo into the first inch of the root. Brush through to disperse product. Tip: Sleep on satin pillowcases to prevent frizz.

Hair Color Trends We’re Loving Right Now

If you’ve been contemplating to change your color this year, now’s the time to be bold and do it. With spring just around the corner, it’s time for a gorgeous renewal. To help you get started, we asked celebrity colorists to share the big color trends 2014. We love what they said!

1. It’s the year of the platinum blonde.

“I have dark brunette editors at Vogue and Marie Claire asking for platinum,” says colorist David Todd of the David Frank Salon in Scottsdale, Ariz. The runways were also packed with former dark-haired beauties now showing off that lightest of all blonde shades. Celebrities like Elle Fanning, Miley Cyrus and even Kim Kardashian are all going light blonde, and “it’s happening in every hair salon across America,” says Todd.

2. Monochromatic color is the new power shade.

Todd calls this “power color”: It's hair color like you mean it -- no in-between shades or wishy-washy tones, he says. Whether the color is red, blonde or brunette, it's solid and strong with no obvious highlights. Blondes are bright and light, brunettes are deep and rich, and reds are vibrant.

3. Pastels are passé.

“The color trend I'm seeing less and less of and I predict will be out in 2014 is pink, blue and other rainbow colors on adult women,” says Todd. “These hair dyes have very large color molecules which wash out very quickly and look like a faded mess after just a couple of shampoos.” Which is OK for 13-year-olds, but at our age? Not so much.

4. Ombré gets an update.

“Modern ombré is about having depth at the roots that fade into lighter tips,” says Todd, “with subtle gradations and a soft haze between shades.” Frank Galasso, a Hollywood colorist who tends to the tresses of Gwyneth Paltrow, Olivia Wilde, Vanessa Williams and Sharon Stone, adds that ombré is a great, low-maintenance way to go lighter.

“Your natural color will still frame your face so you can experience a lighter look without it being too drastic,” says Galasso. “I always recommend highlights about three shades lighter than natural. It gives the hair a shiny glow.”

SEE ALSO: A Beauty Editor’s Hair Resolutions for 2014

Hair Color Makeover: DIY or See a Pro?

If you’re going just a shade or two lighter or darker than your natural color, you can achieve great results with today’s nearly foolproof at-home color products. (For more dramatic makeovers, see a pro -- you’ll want to leave the complicated process of going from, say, brunette to platinum to the experts.) Plus, many color lines have websites that are loaded with advice and can also connect you to pros through on-line chats to give you tips on application and choosing the color that’s right for you.

Go into a color tweak with an open mind, Todd suggests. “Start with some feedback about what’s working and what’s not,” he says. “Often we don’t see ourselves objectively and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. For a minute, forget about your ideas about what color is best for you and get some professional suggestions.” And scrape the notion that you need to keep your hair on the dark side during the winter. “Contrary to popular belief,” says Todd, “winter is a great time to go slightly lighter. The skin gets lighter so a bit less color in the hair works well. Save the low lights for summer when you’ve had a bit of sun.”

SEE ALSO: How to Talk to Your Hairdresser

Maintain Your Hair Color and Shine

Once you’ve achieved your gorgeous hue, you can maintain it with a little bit of TLC. “The foundation for any hair care routine is a good shampoo and conditioner especially formulated for color-treated hair,” says New York celebrity colorist Kyle White, whose roster includes A-listers like Kate Winslet, Charlize Theron, Jessica Alba and Naomi Watts. Products like a color preserve shampoo give your hair a protective outer layer that helps keep the color from fading and also adds moisture and shine.

You’ll also want to be sure to use a product like a heat protection and shine spray whenever you use a hot styling tool. “The same way colored clothing tends to fade when placed in a dryer,” White says, “flat irons and other high-heat styling tools can fade color and dull shine.”

SEE ALSO: Simple Steps for Healthy Skin and Hair

A Beauty Editor’s Hair Resolutions for 2014

My goal for 2014 is to be a better citizen of the world. To get there, I’ve come up with several noble resolutions, from giving even more at work to going the extra mile in my relationships. But one of the most important resolutions to help me reach my goal is “Banish bad hair days.”

What’s the connection? Gorgeous hair is a confidence booster that lets you move forward better in all other areas of your life. If you’re like me, you know what a distraction it is to have hair that’s frayed, frizzy, fried, or just not behaving the way you’d like it to. So, here’s how I plan to achieve my best hair every day, all year round in 2014, so I can shine in every aspect of my life.

1. Prevent damage from hot styling tools.
The first step to gorgeous hair 24:7 is preventive. I wouldn’t think about plopping an egg into a skillet without first coating the pan with butter or oil, yet sometimes, I use my blow dryer, curling iron or flat iron -- which sizzles at 400 F -- without applying anything to my strands first. This can really dry out your hair, setting it up for frizz and other woes that keep you from looking and feeling your best. In 2014, I resolve to spend the extra five seconds it takes to prep my hair with a heat protectant, which creates a powerful shield that prevents damage, protects hair color, and adds extra shine and softness to my hair.

2. Show off my natural wave.
Most days I wear my bob sleek and smooth. But I also like to shake it up a bit without having to get a haircut -- something I haven’t done enough of this year because I’ve felt that my natural waves weren’t polished enough to go without straightening. In 2014, I’m going to experiment with letting my natural wave show. I’m going to add a no-crunch curls whip product to my beauty arsenal so that my hair looks satiny even when it’s not straight.

3. Bring my hair BB cream with me wherever I go.
I travel at least once a month, and when I do, I tend to pack at the very last minute. I fling things into my toiletry case almost literally as I’m walking out the door. That means I typically forget my reliable hair care products and find myself trying to use the hotel body lotion as a substitute for a styling product. The results aren’t pretty. My solution for 2014: I’ve stowed a powerful BB cream for hair right in my overnight case. This multi-tasking wonder, which can be used on wet or dry hair, is a shining, smoothing, heat protecting, moisturizing, frizz fighting, flyaway tamer, all in one. I love it! If only I could find a dress that had this much versatility!