Wet hair mistakes: why and how to avoid these 7 schoolgirl errors

Handle wet hair carefully

Did you know that your post-shower or bath routine could be silently damaging your hair? Without realising it, how we handle our wet hair can cause all manner of harm, not only to its health, but also to its length and longevity.

In an ideal world, we’d have sufficient time to dry and style our hair to perfection without impairment as part of our getting-ready routine. In the real world, though, time is limited, especially first thing in the morning when we’re preparing for the day ahead. That’s why bad hair care habits creep in.

Wet hair requires gentler care because its structure changes upon contact with water. The hair shaft soaks up the water and swells so it becomes vulnerable. To preserve the health of your hair, here are the wet hair mistakes you should avoid:

#1: Brushing wet hair

Brushing hair when it’s wet is one of the worst sins. It results in hair breakage and split ends. Wait until it’s almost or completely dry before brushing to keep your hair healthier for longer. If you’ve got excessive tangles, select a leave-in product and wet hairbrush as your hair will be more brushable and the bristles are much softer than regular brushes for a tenderer touch.

#2: Tying hair up while wet

We’ve already established that hair is at its weakest and most vulnerable when wet. If you style into a tight updo while it’s dripping wet, the tension will increase as your hair dries. The usual dents and snags from dry ponytails are more severe if your hair’s damp. Dry thoroughly before tying it up.

#3: Applying hairspray on wet hair

Coming after #2, it thus follows that hairspray should be used to lock down your style only when it’s fully dry. Your hair changes shape as it dries which means the style will too. Hairspray is for long-lasting hold on dry hair.

#4: Drying your hair the wrong way

Airdrying your hair is always a gamble as it often creates untameable frizz until your next hair wash. Similarly, rubbing a cloth towel harshly on wet hair causes breakage. Many of us are guilty of wrapping our hair in a towel after washing. The harsh fibres are rough on hair. Opt for a microfibre towel to squeeze out the water and then leave it to dry naturally.

#5: Blow drying dripping wet hair

Although our advice thus far is about drying your hair before doing anything else, you should never blow dry your hair while it’s still sopping wet. It might be tempting to use the highest setting of your hairdryer but you actually need to wait for the water to drain out then apply the dryer on medium heat and move gradually to a higher level of heat for styling purposes. Slower drying on a low temperature may take more time but it will safeguard your hair in the long run.

#6: Applying heated tools to wet hair

Heated tools already take their toll. Applying them on wet or damp hair worsens it further. When you use a straightening iron or curling tong on wet hair, the wetness maximises the heat to perilous proportions thereby literally frying your strands. Again, once your hair is completely dry, it’s safe to proceed with hairstyling tools after spraying heat protector.

#7: Going to sleep with wet hair

Heading to bed in the evening with slightly damp hair is kind of excusable. Dripping wet hair is a big no-no. Aside from forming a pillowcase puddle which is uncomfortable to sleep on, it damages the hair follicles and breakage or hair loss ensues. If you’ve washed your hair at bedtime, use a hairdryer to reduce the wetness by at least 70% before you go to the land of nod.

Hair damage is a topic that crops up time and time again on our blog, whether the damage stems from negligent hairdressing or at your own hands. For extra reading on this subject, check out our ‘6 reasons to sue your hairdresser’, ‘What does over-processed hair look like?’, ‘Recovery for ravaged hair’ and ‘How to care for damaged hair’ blogs as a starting point.

As experts in claims against hairdressers, we know what happens if your hairdresser is inattentive or careless. If you need to contact our Hairdressing Claims legal team about suing your hairdresser, please email enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, call 0800 141 3682 from a landline for free, phone 0333 202 6560 from a mobile or complete our enquiry form.


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