Having been on the receiving end of some well-intentioned hair-shaming lately, I began to wonder what stylists were saying about me when a camera and thousands of live viewers *weren't* around. Hmm...::descends into paranoia::
Luckily, for the sake of my sanity, I got Sheenon Olson, celebrity hairstylist and creative director of ATMA Beauty, to break his profession's code of silence and reveal the top five mistakes he notices on clients sitting in his chair, just walking down the street—literally anywhere. (If he seems familiar, he's also the guy who very gamely cut my hair live in Central Park that one time.) Don't worry, though—sometimes, bad hair happens to good people.
1. Cutting your bangs too deeply into your hairline
"The key here is to not cut past the corners of the peak of your eyebrows as a general rule of thumb," Olson says. Go too wide, and it's like you're wearing a cap. There's really not much you can do until your fringe grows out beyond pinning/slicking them back, so prevention is key—read up before you take the plunge.
2. Choosing the wrong color for your skin tone
It's all about complementary colors: reddish undertones with ashier or darker colors, yellow undertones with warm colors. But it's also 2016, and there are so many options out there, so study study study.
3. Dyeing your hair too dark
High-contrast hair and skin—what Olson calls the "Snow White look,"—can be super striking, but several weeks later, when your hair grows out, your light roots will make it look like your hair is thinning or balding. Yikes. Olson says the best rule of thumb is to not darken your hair more than two levels from your natural color to lessen this effect.
4. Using the wrong heat setting on your hot tools for your hair texture
"Flat irons cause the most damage to hair that I see, beyond anything else," Olsen says. "Couple that with bleached hair, and you have a recipe for a chemical haircut." For colored and/or thin hair, use the lowest heat setting available. For everyone else, use the lowest setting too and vary the length of time you apply heat to the hair. (Science says this is the ideal temp, BTW.)
5. Texting while you're getting your hair cut
Uneven ends are no LOL matter. You must keep a level head, both literally and figuratively, unless your hairstylist asks you to look this way or that. We'd like to point out that this also goes for crossing your legs.
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