How To Keep Your Hair Healthy & Happy All Year Long

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You can have radiant skin and killer cat-eye skills to match. But if your hair looks fried, stringy, or like you stuck your finger in an electric socket, there's no coming back. That's how essential healthy hair is. But between color-treating, chemical-treating, and styling it with heated tools, it seems like we forget how to maintain healthy hair on the reg. After all, who can resist a gorgeous blowout or the siren call of perfect mermaid waves? (Nobody, that's who.)

Still, acknowledging the damage you inflict on your hair is always the first step. Plus, there are steps you can take to counteract all the damage you're doing to your hair on a daily basis. If you have a feeling that your dry shampoo habit is getting out of hand (and that your scalp itches like crazy), you're already ahead of the game. In fact, with the right advice, you don't even have to swear off your straightening iron. With the help of Hask Beauty, we chatted with celebrity hairstylist Dean Banowetz to get the lowdown for getting healthy, shiny hair all year long. Say goodbye to breakage, dullness, and frizz—forever.

1. Use a Hair Mask on a Regular Basis

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Hask Argan Oil Repairing Deep Conditioner, $3, Ulta

Dry hair takes many forms, but one of the most common is frizz. If you're always wearing a frizz halo or happen to have a dry hair texture, like curls, consider DIY-ing a hair mask.

"One of my favorite home remedies is to smash up a ripe avocado with a fork, add a quarter teaspoon of olive oil, and a mix until it's all blended," says Banowetz. "Add the mixture to freshly washed hair and let it sit on your hair for 20 minutes, then rinse well."

Try doing this at night once week, and then following it up with shampoo and conditioner in the morning. If you'd rather save your avocado for toast in the A.M., he suggests using Hask Argan Oil Repairing Deep Conditioner for a similar smoothing, softening effect.

2. Protect Your Hair From the Elements

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You wouldn't hit the beach without slathering on SPF, right? Right! Well, your skin isn't the only thing susceptible to damage in the great outdoors all year round. In the summer, the sun can dry out your hair and fade your hair color. "Your hair needs protection too," says Banowetz. "One of the best ways to maintain healthy hair in the summer is by wearing a cute sun hat." In the winter, hair gets dry and staticky, so consider using a leave-in conditioner in the colder months, which will helps minimize any frizz or static from the shift in weather.

3. Loosen Up Your Ponytail

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We're not saying you need a scrunchie. (Quelle horreur!) But tying your hair back in a tight ponytail can cause breakage and weaken hair where the elastic hits, especially if you wear it the same way every day. Either wear it loose more often, unwind your hair tie one loop, or try out different styles that shift its placement on your hair.

4. Prep Hair With a Dry Oil

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Keratin Protein Smoothing Shine Oil, $3, Ulta

If you're wearing your hair up in any way, working a dry oil through your hair can make a world of difference. "Focus on the dry ends first, then work it through the rest of your hair," says Banowetz, who's a fan of Keratin Protein Smoothing Shine Oil. "The key is to remember that a little goes a long way." Not only does it hydrate your ends, but it also adds a glossy sheen that makes any bun, braid, or ponytail look a million times better.

5. Eat Foods That Are Good For Your Hair

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Don't worry... This is the sort of diet that involves eating food. "Little health and science about hair: It's made up of mostly protein," says Banowetz. So, obviously, getting a healthy amount of protein through your diet is essential for both hair health and hair growth. Banowetz also recommends eating seafood, which is high in other hair-healthy nutrients like iron, iodine, zinc, and selenium. So do your hair a favor and hit up the oyster bar for happy hour.

6. Always — Always! — Use a Heat Protectant

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We get that you can't exactly swear off your hairdryer for the rest of your life. (Hello, we're not crazy.) But heat can weaken strands and lead to breakage. So before you blow-dry your hair, aim a diffuser at it, or even plug in your curling iron, douse your hair with either a heat protectant formula or a hair product that offers heat protection. It takes two extra seconds, but it'll pay off by preventing future damage.

This article is sponsored by Hask.