A bad hairstyle isn’t always so easy to identify—and, chances are, if you don’t have a total hacksaw job, you probably think you are doing everything right with your current look (hello, high school yearbook photo).
But, according to Aaron Grenia, owner at IGK salons, which recently opened its first Manhattan outpost at the Dream Downtown, there are certain mistakes you may be making without even knowing it. Scarier still? These strand snafus may be making you look a lot older.
Here are eight mistakes that might be costing you.
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Mistake 1: Letting it Grow Out too Long
According to Grenia, there is one common style mistake that he sees women make time and time again: not getting a haircut often enough. “Even just a trim will keep hair in its best shape. Split ends climb up the hair, so, for long hair especially, I recommend a trim every seven weeks.”
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Mistake 2: Sporting a Color That Washes You Out
Sure, color is a totally separate category that could go on for endless contents in the story of hairstyles, but the ultimate way you can add years to your look: sporting hair color that is way too blond.
“It can wash out a woman’s skin tone,” Grenia says. “Having a natural root base with subtle balayage highlights around the face and ends will bring out your eyes and skin.”
Mistake 3: Out-of-Date Do
Even if you’ve kicked your hairspray obsession and mile-high bangs to the curb, chances are you may still be making a very common hair mistake that looks more tired than on trend.
The biggest don’t, according to Grenia: a dated, over-layered haircut and bad, stripy highlights.
Mistake 4: Not Refreshing Your Bangs
What is the fastest thing you can do to update your hairstyle? Change your fringe. “It is an easy fix for updating your hairstyle,” Grenia says. “Or, simply switch up how you part your hair—it can change the feel of a cut.”
Mistake 5: Trying to Recreate the Look You Got at the Salon—Minus the Proper Tools
This one is a little hard to get your head (or hair, literally) wrapped around. If you like the look you get at the salon, you should still like it when you get home and do the same thing, right? Jasmine Anna Galazka, leading stylist at the Warren Tricomi Flagship Salon in the Plaza Hotel, NYC and educator for Shu Uemura and Kerastase, says it’s not that simple—especially when it comes to operating the almighty hot tool. “The biggest mistake people make is when they try to recreate what their stylists have done in the salon at home without being taught the proper way, especially when it comes to using hot tools. Those perfect hair-sprayed-to-death ‘prom curls,’ as I like to call them, are a complete no-no. Not only are they circa ’92, but they are super unnatural. Instead, use a curling iron to create a bend to the hair, instead of an actual curl from roots to ends.”
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Mistake 6: Not Properly Drying Your Hair in the Morning
Galazka says doing a bad blow-dry can sometimes really backfire. “It can leave your ends looking frizzy or lead to unwanted volume if you have curly hair. Having the right tools—the proper brush, blow-dryer and product—and being patient will lead you to success.”
Mistake 7: Faded Color
It’s not really new information that color can be really hard to keep up with. “Faded color might appear aged,” Galazka says. “Instead, opt for revitalizing your shade by going to your colorist for a gloss in-between visits. But we also walk a fine line between wanting a rooted color and then, not coloring your hair for three-months-plus.” Her tip: If your natural root color exceeds more then four inches, it’s aging and it’s time to color that mane.
Mistake 8: Ends That Are Fried
Keeping the ends of your hair fresh will always make you look younger and more polished. “A lot of times we do so much mechanical damage to our hair, we forget to treat it,” Galazka says, and suggests that, if you aren’t ready for a trim, revitalizing the midshaft to ends by going to the salon once a month and doing a deep-conditioning treatment. “Not only will this keep your strands looking shiny but younger-looking as well.”