Shampooing your hair may seem like second nature to you after all these years, but you could be doing it all wrong.
While we'd like to blame all those luxurious shampoo commercials for teaching bad habits, there are hair washing mistakes that we need to own up to. PopSugar Beauty editor Maria Del Russo shares six tips in the video above to help us all wash our hair better. Here's how to suds up the correct way:
1. Saturate your hair with water before applying any shampoo. Then be sure to completely rinse product out to prevent build-up.
2. Avoid piling your strands on top of your head, as this creates tangles and knots.
3. Handle your hair gently and use your fingertips to massage your scalp.
4. There is no need to lather, rinse and repeat every time you shampoo unless your hair is extremely dirty.
5. Shampoo your hair less frequently -- no more than twice a week because the oils on your scalp are actually good for your hair.
6. Women with curly, thick or dry hair should cleanse with a conditioner instead to maintain moisture, as many shampoos contain harsh chemicals such as sulfates that strip hair of moisture.
Hair screw-ups that might be adding years to your look:
Without layers, your hair won't have that magical, youthful quality that stylists call "movement." Long layers remove weight from the bottom half of your hair so your style can swing and bounce. And while blunt edges accentuate lines in your face, layers have a softening effect. Consider side-swept bangs if you want to make your face look a bit rounder and your cheekbones stronger, says New York City hairstylist Eva Scrivo, author of Eva Scrivo on Beauty: The Tools, Techniques, and Insider Knowledge Every Woman Needs to Be Her Most Beautiful, Confident Self.
If you're using more than one styling product in an effort to make your hair look fuller, your plan may be backfiring. "Mousse and gel and hairspray can give the hair lift for a few hours, but they also make it look stiff and sap its shine -- a very aging combination," says Scrivo. If you have a well-layered haircut that's not too heavy at the bottom, you won't need to load up on styling products to achieve volume. One dollop of lightweight mousse will do the trick; once hair is dry, use a drop of silicone serum to add shine.
Your skin loses color with age, and over-bleached hair compounds that natural washout by draining the warmest tones from your complexion. Instead of going all-over blond, try a darker base color with golden strands woven throughout, says New York City hairstylist Lisa Chiccine. When you talk to your stylist about highlights, ask for warm colors like butter and honey; avoid cool, ashy tones like platinum and beige, which can make skin look tired and sallow.
As you get older, your hair loses not only pigment but also its ability to retain moisture. Keeping it smooth and glossy -- hallmarks of youth -- requires a little more effort. Do a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week, don't shampoo more than every other day, and get frequent trims to avoid split ends.
Solid black or brown hair can highlight shadows on the face, drawing attention to lines and bags. If you're fair-skinned, a dark hair color also accentuates the contrast between your hair and scalp, which makes thinning more noticeable. A few highlights around the face and at the crown of the head add softness and make a dark hair color appear more natural. "You don't want to look like you're wearing a wig," says Chiccine. Her rule of thumb: Don't dye your hair as dark as it was in your teens and 20s; a shade or two lighter will be more flattering in your 30s and beyond.
A lank hairstyle makes your face look long and drawn. (Plus, if you have naturally wavy or curly hair, the hot tools required to achieve straightness leave your hair dry and dull.) If you have naturally fine, straight hair, ask your stylist for long layers and comb a lightweight mousse through damp hair from roots to ends before airdrying or blowdrying (avoid heavy styling creams or serums). If you blowdry, use a round brush to create soft curls at the ends of the hair; setting dry hair with Velcro rollers will also create softness and add volume to offset any drooping in the lower face.
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