9 Things You Should Never Do To Wet Hair

by Sarah Bunton

You fully intended to wash your hair last night, but fell asleep binge watching Netflix in your comfy pants. So this morning, as you rush through a shower and pour yourself a very necessary third cup of coffee, you realize you don't have time to properly dry and style your locks. Before you resign yourself to a quick ponytail (which will surely leave an unfortunate crimp after you take it down) or tucking your mop under a beanie, you might want to think about the top things you should never do to wet hair — no matter how much of a "lazy girl" you consider yourself to be.

Trust me, I know how tempting it can be to run a brush through your sopping strands because you are bound and determined not to head to work with tangles on top of everything else. But committing these common wet hair sins, tiny and inconsequential as they may seem, can add up over time and end up causing your fragile follicles some serious damage.

Surprisingly, there are plenty of easy and simple ways to avoid making some major wet hair mistakes without having to alter your routine too much. So check out what the things you beauty experts and hairstylists know you should never do to wet hair.


Over-Dry Cropped Cuts

If you have a shorter style, you might think that you should just blast your cropped 'do dry. But because your strands aren't so long, they can dry out faster. Hairstylist Garren, of the Garren New York Salon, told Allure that, "tt's better to blow a short cut around 50 percent dry. . .then let it air-dry on its own." Yay for only doing things halfway!


Finish With A Hot Water Rinse

Chances are, if your strands are wet, it's because you've just finished shampooing. A common and easy mistake to make is that you wash your hair in warm or hot water and then call it a day. Stylist George Papanikolas told Matrix Salon's experts that you should hit your locks with a quick rinse of cold water to close the cuticle. This will keep your mane healthier and stronger in the long run.


Brush It

OK, so maybe you already knew it was a bad idea to brush your strands while they're still damp. But did you know why? The experts at Pantene explained, "wet hair swells, and in this state it is very fragile and therefore it’s easier for hair breakage to occur." So stick to either a wide-toothed comb or nature's comb: your fingers.


Apply Products Too Early

Whether you have curls or natural hair, you might be making a major wet hair mistake in your well-intentioned efforts to moisturize. Celeb hairstylist Shai Amiel told Glamour, "when applied to wet hair, oil can't penetrate the cuticle, so you don't get the beneficial nutrients." Next time, wait until your locks are a little more dry before applying any kind of conditioning or oil treatment.


Pull It Back

Sometimes after shampooing, the last thing you want to do is worry about what to do with your tresses. It can be an easy out to just put it in a ponytail, but that's a huge no-no. "When you tie wet hair back, it stretches up to a third of its length... it can cause tension breakage," hairstylist Tim Rogers told Marie Claire. So leave it loose for a bit before throwing it up in any 'do.


Dry On High

You know that hitting the blow dryer too hard is problematic for wet hair, but for those who can't just ditch the tool altogether, you need to make sure you're not making this simple mistake. Hair expert and trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Clinic, Stephen D. Pullan, told Refinery29 that blowing your tresses dry is OK as long as you remember to dial down the heat as hair begins to dry. Too much hot air can zap your locks of their precious moisture.


Use A Hair Wrap

You've probably seen them advertised on TV or even made an impulse buy at your local beauty store, but hair turbans that supposedly dry your mane super efficiently can actually be bad news for wet locks. "Hair, no matter the texture or thickness of the strand, is much more elastic when it is wet," Tiffany Sposato, hairstylist and Pravana-certified colorist tells me in an interview. "So if you twist your hair up in one of these wraps, you're stretching out your strands, causing damage, and losing your natural shape if you have curls."


Wrap It In A Towel

I know, I know, you're probably thinking there isn't going to be anything left to dry your wet strands with, but think again. Celeb hairstylist Jen Atkin told Elle that towels are simply too rough on fragile, wet hair and advised you use a cotton T-shirt as a gentler option instead.


Leave It Dripping

A quick squeeze is best used for testing produce at the store or letting your partner know you like what they've got going on, but it's not ideal for how to care for wet tresses. "Dry it as much as you possibly can," Papanikolas told Allure. "This will help you get the maximum effect out of products and make sure they get distributed through your entire head of hair."