If You…Color Your Hair
Whether you’re covering grays or just prefer a hue different from what you were born with, dyeing strands can lead to brittleness, warns Linet K, a celebrity hair colorist in Beverly Hills. That’s because most dyes use peroxide or bleach to lift your natural color (when going lighter)—both of which suck out moisture along with the color. And if your hair is already in a compromised state, or if you have “fine, tight curls or spirals, which by nature are super fragile and dry, you’ll have to proceed with even more care,” explains Kevin Mancuso, a hairstylist and trichologist for Nexxus. Ideally, you should be consulting a colorist anytime you want to make a big shade change.
Try this: It’s all about infusing hydration back into parched strands. How you do that and what you use should be customized to your specific hair situation. For example, going lighter strips strands the most and causes them to be more porous (i.e., weaker). To combat this, use a fortifying treatment made for blondes. We like Kérastase Blond Absolu Cicaplasme, which protects lightened strands with moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid. It’s meant to be used post shower and doubles as a heat protectant. If you have darker hair, try Living Proof Color Care Whipped Glaze, which has a color depositing formula that also helps to smooth and reseal the cuticle. Tight or coily curls? A leave-in treatment will be a big help. One great option: Suave Professionals Nourish & Strengthen Leave-In Conditioner is infused with raw shea butter and pure coconut oil to help detangle while providing the much needed hydration drier hair types crave.
If You…Love Wearing Tight Styles
Pulling on strands can lead to breakage and even thinning. “A tight pony can damage the follicle at the scalp and where the hair tie is fastened,” explains K. Genetics and diet play a role, too, but switching up your style is an easy change that can have a big impact.
Try this: The obvious fix is to wear looser styles, but when you can’t stand the feeling of hair on your face, try a gentler accessory like Teleties. The spiral design locks hair in place without wrapping too tight.
If You…Use Hot Tools on the Regular
Whether you blow-dry daily or use a straightener or curling iron multiple times a week, chances are you’re inflicting some heat damage onto strands. This is especially true because most people have the temperature on these tools turned up way too high. And believe it or not, hair actually starts to melt at 400 degrees, so it makes sense that regular exposure to high heat causes the hair cuticle to erode. When your hair cuticle isn’t healthy, your strands are more likely to frizz. From now on, make sure your tools are no hotter than 325 degrees, says Mancuso—most will have an adjustable dial. And if you ever hear sizzling, stop immediately!
Try this: Anytime you use a tool, start by spritzing on a heat protectant like The Good Stuff Weightless Protection Mist. The no-rinse conditioner offers up to 420-degree heat protection. In addition to turning down the heat to the lowest setting, Chaz Dean, a celebrity hairstylist in Los Angeles, recommends keeping the tool moving so that no one area is exposed to more heat than another. When you wash, use a restorative conditioner—it doesn’t have to be a lengthy step. L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Rapid Reviver Deep Conditioner, taps almond oil and pomegranate extract to repair, and works in just one minute.
If You…Wash Too Often
Does the thought of going a day without washing your hair send you into panic mode? Listen up. Though much of your routine defaults to preference and hair type, most people don’t actually need to wash their hair each day— every two or three days can suffice. And in fact, if your hair seems to get greasy a few hours after washing, you might be “stripping your scalp, causing it to overproduce oil,” explains Dean, adding that daily expo- sure to water can also cause strands to dry out and become more fragile.
Try this: If you really can’t stand to skip the suds, at least make sure you’re washing correctly. A gentle, sulfate-free duo like Herbal Essences Birch Bark Extract Shampoo and Conditioner provides a mild cleanse that’s not stripping. And if you’re struggling from dryness because of your daily shampooing, try Aquis Water Defense Prewash to protect hair from water damage (which leads to split ends and frizz) by sealing the cuticle during washing, thanks to coconut oil and amino acids.
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