by Andrea Sparks
Everyone loves the look and feel of healthy hair. With the right hair care tips and products, your hair can be lush, silky and shiny every day, too. Split ends are the most common cause of dry, damaged and dull hair, so preventing split ends can save you from bad hair days now and in the long run. The following hair care tips can help you keep your hair healthy and happy.
Trim down: The number one hair care key to preventing split ends is to get your hair trimmed every six weeks. It can be tempting to forego trims if you're trying to grow your hair out, but trimming your hair can prevent breakage and help it grow longer faster. If you're trying to grow your hair, you can ask your stylist to "dust" your hair -- barely cut the ends to remove the most damaged parts.
Cool it: Heat styling sucks moisture out of your hair faster than just about anything else, causing the ends of your hair to become dry and brittle. For the best hair care, avoid your blow dryer, flat iron or curling iron where you can, and set all hair care tools to the lowest temperature setting when you must use them. You can also protect your hair with thermal-protection hair care products. After heat styling, give your hair a shot of cold with the cool-air button on your blow dryer. Cooling your hair down fast reseals the cuticle, allowing less moisture to escape.
Brush it off: Forget 100 strokes a day; brushing your hair too much or incorrectly can do more harm than good. Use a wide tooth comb to detangle your wet hair after shampooing to prevent breakage and invest in a boar-bristle brush to use on dry hair for the best hair care. Always work from the bottom up, loosening tangles with your fingers before brushing through them. While brushing your hair too much can cause damage, good brushing can actually be a beneficial hair care practice. Brush through your hair once a day with a boar bristle brush to distribute healthy oils and stimulate the cuticle.
Chemical peel: Coloring, perming or chemically straightening your hair can strip it of moisture and cause permanent damage. While eliminating all chemical hair care treatments is best, it can be hard to completely give up your beautiful highlights. If you must chemically treat your hair, try to go longer between salon visits and ask your stylist to use the mildest hair care chemicals possible. At home, use shampoos and hair care products designed specifically for chemically treated hair to help maintain and restore moisture.
Mandatory moisture: Over-shampooing your hair can be just as harmful as heat or chemicals. Unless you have overly oily hair, cut back to shampooing your hair every other day or less. You don't want to cut back on conditioning your hair though. Use beauty products like a leave-in conditioner on days you don't shampoo; then treat your hair to a deep conditioner once a week to keep it moisturized and strong.