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7 Styling Mistakes That Are Probably Destroying Your Hair

These pros have come to the (hair) rescue
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Brushing your hair right out of the shower? Applying a hair oil before you blow dry your hair? Using so much dry shampoo your scalp can no longer see the light of day? These are all common hairstyling mistakes we make that can actually wreak havoc on our already-delicate strands. We asked hairstylists to weigh in on some of the biggest hair no-nos they see clients make all the time — and trust us, they did not hold back! Heed their warning for a mane that's way healthier.

Image via Imaxtree

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The Mistake: Brushing Your Hair With a Gunky Brush
We're all probably guilty of using an old brush with lots of hair strands, product residue, dead skin cells, and other gunk caked on. Not only is this an unsanitary practice, but it also affects how well your hair brush works. "You need the full length of the bristle in order for the brush to be effective and do its job well. When you have the entire brush wrapped in hair, the job will be harder to do and will not come out as good," notes Brad Mondo, a celebrity hairstylist and influencer.

There are a couple solutions. The first, says Mondo, is to designate brushes for specific needs. For instance, use a detangling brush for pre-styling, a hollow round brush for blow drying, a flat paddle brush for smoothing. It's also smart to purchase a brush cleaning device, such as the Olivia Garden The Brush Cleaner, $13.95. "You should do this after every blow dry to ensure you get the best results from your brushes," says Mondo.

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The Mistake: Wearing Too-Tight Ponytails All the Damn Time
A ponytail is an easy fix for a bad hair day, and you can even rock it as a statement look. However, wearing a tight ponytail all the time can take a toll. "Tying it too tight can put too much pressure on the follicles which can lead to something called traction alopecia," warns Adel Chabbi, celebrity hairstylist and owner of Adel Atelier in NYC. "This may even lead to hair loss and, over a long period of time, cause a receding hairline." If you like the look of a sleek ponytail, she recommends using products that'll work to your advantage instead of torturing your hair and scalp. Try Miss Jessie's Hold Me Down hair gel, $7.99.

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The Mistake: Using Way Too Much Hairspray
It makes sense to want to lock-in your look after creating the perfect 'do, but don't go too crazy with the hairspray, warns Marshall Lin, a celebrity hairstylist in New York City. "Using too much hairspray will create product build up and weight for your hairstyle and limit its flexibility. To make your blowout last you have to start with a clean scalp, use good styling products, and create some extra tension when blow drying. When you're all done, gently apply a dry shampoo to keep hair fresh and finish off by evenly spraying a lightweight, flexible-hold hairspray." We recommend Living Proof Style Lab Flex Hairspray, $26.

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The Mistake: Tightly Wrapping Hair in a Towel After Washing
"Hair can stretch up to 50 percent of its length when it's wet, and it's much more fragile than dry hair. When you put a lot of tension on wet hair with a towel you can get major breakage on your hairline, as well as any parts of your hair that are being pulled," warns Mondo.

He says if you absolutely need to wrap your hair — versus gently pressing hair dry — that it's best to buy a special towel made for this. "It'll be a much softer fabric and will make sure you don't have to twist your hair to death in the towel because they are much smaller." Try the Aquis Rapid Dry Lisse Hair Turban, $20.99, which is made from microfiber and actually expedites the drying process.

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