By Alison McGill
A great hair day is everything, right? It puts a pep in your step and gives a feeling of confidence like nothing else.
There’s a lot of hair hacks out there showing you how to get glossier, healthier, more luscious locks, but TikTok doesn’t always know best. That’s why you need to take advice from the pros. We recently caught up with hairstylists Traci Sakosits, Tukia Allen, and Tatum Neill of the Aveda Arts & Sciences Institute who share the five most common hair mistakes they see which impact the health of your hair, and how to easily remedy them because a good hair day should happen every day.
We’ve been told for years that brushing hair from root to end is an essential healthy hair ritual when in fact it’s one of the most damaging things you can do as it can cause hair breakage. “Don’t begin brushing at the roots,” cautions Neill, creative director of the Aveda Arts & Sciences Institute. “It’s best to start from the bottom with a paddle brush and slowly work your way up. And you never want to yank down on the hair hard enough to hear any noise, because that means you are breaking your hair!”
BUY: Drybar The Lemon Bar Paddle Brush
Using Protein Products
While protein fillers which act as bond builders are a buzzy ingredient in hair products to repair and revitalize hair, it’s important to know these supercharged formulas aren’t for everyone. “A lot of the time when working to repair hair, it’s essential to manage a balance between protein and moisturizers in your hair products,” shares Allen, an educator coach at the Aveda Arts & Sciences Institute. “Too much protein can lead to fragile strands and breakage. Be sure to have a conversation with your stylist who will recommend the right routine for your hair and lifestyle which is the perfect fusion of protein and hydration.”
BUY: K18 Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask
$89 for 50ml, sephora.com
Aggressive Heat Styling
Hot tools account for a huge amount of hair damage. Neill advises keeping your hot tools under 400 degrees Fahrenheit “It’s best to start at around 325, slowly working your way up to 350, if you’re looking to create shine,” Neill says. “But once you go past 400, you’re causing irreversible damage to the hair.” Don’t run too hot, and always use a heat protectant spray.
BUY: Aveda Heat Relief
$47 for 100 ml, aveda.ca
Skipping Scalp Care
Treat your scalp as delicately and diligently as you would treat your skin. Allen recommends exfoliating your scalp two times a week. “You can use a detoxifying shampoo before a hydrating shampoo to exfoliate your scalp,” Allen says. “Always gently massage and scrub using your fingers, but never your nails as your scalp is an incredibly delicate thing,” Allen says.
BUY: Amika Reset Shampoo
$39 for 200ml, loveamika.ca
Pulling Hair Too Tight
The chic slicked back bun has been having a moment since lockdown, but if you’re pulling your hair back too tightly, you could be causing excessive tension which leads to breakage and hair loss. “The fix is to brush or comb hair back lightly with a cushioned brush which skims the surface, but doesn’t put tension on the scalp, and gives shine to hair,” explains Sakosits, who is the vice-president of education and creative direction at Aveda Arts & Sciences Institute. “Also, never pull back sopping wet hair; it can be damp but not soaked. It’s also important to be mindful of what tools you are using to hold your hair up. Backstage during fashion week, we usually use something we can tie ourselves to control the tension.” Instead of tight elastics try scrunchies, ribbons, or scarves.”
BUY: Slip Slipsilk scrunchies
$53 (set of three), sephora.com