The problem with keeping hair healthy is that we're never out of the woods. Regardless of the time of year, there's always something that can contribute to dry and brittle hair. But there are some ways to make sure your hair never breaks again. Because honestly, who has time for split ends? I won't lie though, maintaining totally healthy hair isn't easy. What with dying, styling, and even just the winter months, it seems like there's always something keeping us from having healthy, luscious locks. So to keep our strands in tip-top shape, some sacrifices need to be made.
But it'll be so worth it. There are few things in the beauty world that beat naturally strong and shiny hair. And taking a few precautions and making a few adjustments is all you need to do to get there. So whether you're all about that gradual progression or want to really jump in and make some changes to ensure your hair reaches its full potential, here are eight things to do (and not do) to make sure that your hair never breaks again. Just be prepared for everyone you know to ask what your secret is.
1. Condition, Condition, Condition
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It's no secret that washing hair too frequently isn't all that great for it. But unfortunately, we don't always have a say in when our hair just needs a bath. So you don't have to worry about damaging your hair when washing it, make sure that you're properly conditioning for your hair's needs. Whether that means a deep-conditioning treatment once a week to keep strands hydrated, or applying one after every shampoo to help stave off the damaging side effects of heat-styling, making sure to give your hair the treatment it needs every time you shower will help make sure that it never breaks again.
2. Cut Back On Heat-Styling
We know that heat-styling is bad, but sometimes it just can't be helped. Obviously, the less you heat-style, the less-prone to damage your hair will be. But if you just need to sometimes, remember to use a heat protectant, and that it's not always necessary to crank the heat up to the highest setting. Try out lower temps (especially if you have fine hair) to figure out a safer range in which to style your hair.
3. Don't Wet Style Either
Hair is most fragile when it's wet. So if you can, avoid brushing or styling (even towel-drying!) while it's still wet. If you need to comb it though, make sure to select a wide-toothed comb and use a detangler. Together, these will help make sure your hair incurs the least damage and breakage possible.
4. Try To Avoid Tight 'Dos
Super tight and sleek styles actually cause a lot of pulling and strain on your strands. Not to mention those hair ties have quite a vice grip. When you take that ponytail down and your hair is dented, it also likely took some damage. But I know avoiding these styles altogether completely are unrealistic. So just try to rock these types of 'dos in moderation, and when you can, use a hair claw instead of a hair tie.
5. Use Primers And Protectants
Whether you have to frequently heat-style, shampoo, swim, or be outside, there are ways to protect your hair from the elements and prevent unnecessary breakage. A heat-protectant will help keep damage at bay while blow-drying and heat-styling. A shampoo pre-treatment will help protect your hair from becoming totally stripped if you just can't skip that many days between washes. And a leave-in conditioner like this one will help protect your hair from UV damage, while also creating a barrier between your delicate strands and the effects of the ocean or a pool.
6. Invest In A Silk Pillowcase
I know it sucks, but even the way you sleep can affect how damaged your hair is— as if we didn't have enough to worry about while conscious. But especially if you're a restless sleeper, that cotton pillowcase could be causing some breakage. Cotton is naturally absorbent and can cause a decent amount of friction. That means hair could become drier and more damaged as you sleep. To make sure this doesn't happen, try a silk or satin pillowcase instead. These materials will help your hair retain moisture and more easily move around when you do.
7. Practice Healthy Eating
The health of your hair isn't just determined by how you take care of it externally but also how you take care of yourself internally. Make sure your intake of vitamins and minerals is where it needs to be so that your hair can reap the benefits too. In addition to making sure your diet has enough biotin, fatty acids, and zinc, these vitamins and these foods are extremely beneficial in keeping hair strong and healthy.
8. Don't Forget Regular Trims
No matter how healthy you and your hair are though, with time, the ends will eventually become drier and more brittle. So to prevent these less-healthy ends from actually splitting, make sure to get regular trims. Of course, "regular" means something different for everyone— it could be every four weeks or every four months. Try to keep an eye on when your ends start to look or feel drier, or when they become tangled more easily, as these could be signs that it's time for a trim. And just remember that prevention is easier than correction.