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Soul & Body

The hair mistakes you don’t know you’re making and how to correct them from the experts at Aveda

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Tukia Allen and Tatum Neill of Aveda Arts & Sciences Institute reveal the top five most common hair mistakes that they see as professional hairstylists and included tips on how to fix them. 
Brushing hair from top to bottom
While it seems natural and intuitive to brush starting from the scalp, brushing this way can lead to breakage and damage. Tatum Neill, co-creative director of Aveda Arts and Elevate Hair, notes, ‘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, which means that you are breaking the hair.’
      When asked further about de-tangling any knots in the hair Tatum added, ‘De-tangling in the shower with conditioner can help get the knots out. Other times patience can be the best remedy, and still just working your way up. Prevention is also key, make sure to maintain the health and hydration of the hair to prevent knots before they happen.’
Using the wrong products
While protein fillers have recently become a buzzy ingredient in hair products, it’s important to know that protein isn’t an end-all-be-all solution. ‘A lot of the time when working to repair hair, it’s essential to manage the right balance between protein and moisturizers in your hair products. Too much protein can actually lead to hair breakage. On the other hand, if you are applying moisturizing conditioner close to your scalp, depending on your hair type and texture, it can weigh down your hair.’ Tukia Allen, educator coach of Aveda Arts Atlanta continues, ‘At the end of the day, it’s important to have these conversations with your stylist. They will know the right routine for your hair and lifestyle.’
Pulling hair back too tightly
Slicked-back buns have been having a moment since lockdown, but if you’re pulling your hair back too tightly you could actually be causing excessive tension which leads to breakage and hair loss. Traci Sakosits, VP of Education at Aveda Arts, provided a few solutions. ‘The fix is to brush or comb hair back lightly with a cushioned brush like a Mason Pearson, which is great because it skims the surface, doesn’t put tension on the scalp, and gives shine to hair. You also want to make sure to never pull back sopping wet hair, although dampness is fine. It’s also important to be mindful of what tools you are using to hold your hair up. Backstage during fashion week, we will usually use something that we can tie ourselves to control the tension. Other options are a cut-up cotton T-shirt, ribbons, or scarves.’
Using too much heat
Heat damage is one of the main causes of damage to hair. Tatum Neill advises to always keeping your hot tools under 400°F. While it is possible for most professional hot tools to go over 400, this should only be used when processing certain chemical treatments onto the hair. ‘It’s best to start at around 325, slowly working your way up to 350, if you’re looking to create shine. But once you go past 400 you’re causing irreversible damage to the hair.’
Ignoring the scalp
Skin care routines are always extremely personalized, and Tukia Allen says the same should be thought of for scalp care. But for the most part, you should exfoliate your scalp one or two times a week. ‘You can use a detoxifying shampoo before a hydrating shampoo to exfoliate your scalp. You can also just use your fingers, but never your nails, when working through the scalp.’ Tukia also recommends always being gentle when exfoliating the scalp.
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