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Bad hair days got you down? You might be making one of these five mistakes!

1. You’re curling from the ends

When you use a curling iron, you want to make sure you’re starting from the shaft and not the end. Most people start curling their hair from the end assuming that they should begin with the section they want curled. However, you need to curl the hair closer to the root if you want the curl to hold.

A lot of girls crank up the heat on their iron or go over sections multiple times hoping to make sure their ‘do lasts all day. Unfortunately, they’re just damaging their hair further. By simply using the iron properly, you’ll create curls that last without frying your locks.

2. You’re using the wrong size barrel

As it turns out, you really don’t need to use a salon-style curling iron to create gorgeous beach-worthy curls. You do, however, need the right sized barrel. Unless you’re sporting waist-length locks, you should be using a curling iron with a small barrel. ½’’ to 1’’ barrels should be more than sufficient.

You need to be able to wrap the hair around the barrel at least twice. If you’re using a larger barrel on short- to medium- length hair, you might create some nice waves, but they probably won’t hold that long.

3. You’re not using a hair mask

Conditioner is not a substitute for a hair mask. Hair masks help to nourish hair from the inside out. Not only does it strengthen your locks and prevent against further damage, but it also penetrates deep into your scalp allowing for healthier, softer hair.

Hair masks should be applied to freshly washed, towel dried hair. If you’re pressed for time, you can always let it sit for a few minutes while you shave. However, if you do have the time, on the weekend, for example, then apply the hair mask to your hair after shampooing. Comb through your hair carefully, wrap it up in a towel for at least twenty minutes, and rinse it out completely.


4. You’re not using a blow dryer attachment

If those strange-looking pieces that came with your blow dryer ended up at the back of the closet, then you’ve been doing your hair a disservice. The concentrator, a duck bill-shaped cone that fits on the nozzle of your blow dryer, is meant to help focus the hot air in one direction to control frizz and improve smoothness.

On the other hand, a direct stream of hot air will make curls frizzy and unmanageable. If you have curly hair, you can use the diffuser to dry your hair without destroying your waves or ringlets. Not only will a diffuser enhance your natural curls, but it will lend body and movement to your mane as well.

5. You’re not using tinted dry shampoo

Dry shampoos can be a lifesaver. If you haven’t been able to wash your hair in a few days—it's okay, we’ve all been there--then a simple schpritz of dry shampoo can soak up the extra oil and save the day.

However, dry shampoo can make dark hair look dull and lifeless. If you’re a brunette, make sure you’re buying tinted dry shampoo. The product goes on brown and blends in perfectly so you can banish bad hair days for good even when you’re pressed for time.