Mistakes You’re Making With Every Common Hairstyle

Victoria Moorhouse

Some hairstyles are just plain easy to achieve—cue the ponytail and the ballerina bun. But while they may be more digestible to the beginner, it doesn’t mean they totally foolproof. Even the most common ‘dos can fall victim to hidden hairstyle mistakes, which is probably the number one reason your blowout always looks better in the salon. Because our go-to looks should be perfect in every way, we checked in with celebrity hairstylist Michael Dueñas for a breakdown on the common missteps we’re making with our regular styles and how to fix them.


ponytail mistakes


The Ponytail
Dueñas ponytail pet peeve is one we can totally relate to: that drooping bagginess that forms at the back of your head as your ponytail sinks down. But as it turns out, it’s not unavoidable. “The biggest mistake people make when doing a ponytail is not looking up,” he tells us. “When you look up, and secure the ponytail, it gets rid of every ounce of bagginess! When you put your head straight, the hair pulls nice and tight!” So next time you’re fastening your pony, keep your chin up and keep your style looking sleek.

ballerina bun mistakes


Ballerina Bun
Dancers favor this hairstyle for a reason—it’s neatly pulled back, rather tight and keeps their hair out of the face—and even outside a studio, you should approach this lookwith the same discipline. Dueñas says that not twisting the hair into a compact bun is one of the biggest mistakes you’re making. “Twist the hair as tight as you can, and secure with long hair pins,” he says. Skip the hair tie at the base, though. “Using an elastic will create lift in the base of the bun, making it taller, not small and compact! Securing the bun with long hair pins only creates more hold, and reduce the number of pins you need to use around the base.”

braids mistakes


The Simple Braid
To avoid common mistakes, you first need to acknowledge what you want your end look to be. Do you want it to be neat and sleek or messy and bohemian? If you want a “compact” braid, Dueñas explains that you have to brush out your hair first. But if you want it to be “full-looking” braid, our expert says it’s important to relax when creating the plait to give it “softness.”

straight hair mistakes


Straight Hair
Turns out, your flatiron works better in a buddy system. Not using a comb before you run your strands through the heat tool is what Dueñas describes as a major no-no. “A comb should always be used in front of the flat iron,” he says. “Your flat iron should always follow behind the comb. This prevents your iron from pressing knots into your sleek look. It also positions every single strand, flat, and straight. This is how the pros get the flattest, sleekest hair you can imagine!”

blow out mistakes


The At-Home Blowout
To keep your at-home blowout bouncy and voluminous, you need to make sure your hair cools down properly. It seems contradictory given the fact that you’re using a hot blow-dryer to get the look in the first place, but there’s a reason you want your hair to chill before removing it from a round brush. “If you are heating your hair up and curling it on your round brush, then immediately dropping it, the weight of the hair will pull the volume flat and the curl out,” our expert tells us. “Let the hair go cold—use the cool shot button on your blow-dryer—before dropping it. This will lock in the volume and curl, plus adds immense shine!”

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