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Your hair dilemmas, solved!

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Hair secrets revealed

The only thing that baffles us more than boys is our hair. We receive tons of email from readers with troubling tress questions. Read on for the answers to some of the most common (and bizarre) ones.

Q. How does snipping split ends help your hair grow from the root?

A. Cutting your mane doesn't make it grow, but frequent trims ensure healthy locks. Frayed ends will continue to split up the hair shaft, making your hair weak and vulnerable to breakage. Trims prevent that breakage, so even when you're aiming for longer locks, you need to cut off a quarter of an inch every six weeks. Oh, and if you're thinking of cutting them on your own, don't you dare. "If your scissors aren't sharp enough, you can end up making the split ends even worse," says Pipino. While frequent snipping may make the growing process seem longer, it'll be worth the wait since your hair will be full and strong when it does reach your desired length.

Q. I've been using at-home color kits for a year, and now my ends are darker than the rest of my hair. Why is this happening?

A. Since the bottom inches of your hair are drier than the rest of your mane (especially since you've been chemically treating them), they absorb more color and require less time to process than the rest of your hair, says Monika Sullivan, owner of Studio Biba in Atlanta. That's why it's a good idea to deep condition your ends the day before you dye them. Also, if you apply hair color to your whole head every month or so, you'll end up coloring the older hair (the ends) much more than the newer hair on top, so over time, the ends will get darker. To fix: Apply a semipermanent hair color in the shade closest to your ends to your root area only.

Q. I've heard it's bad to brush your hair a lot. Is this true?

A. Teen beauty queen Marcia Brady may have followed the 100-strokes-a-day rule, but then again, she also worshiped Davy Jones from the Monkees! In reality, overbrushing can actually hurt your hair by wearing off the outer cuticle and overstimulating your scalp's oil glands. But the right amount of brushing will dislodge scalp flakes, get rid of product buildup and increase shine. All you need are 10 to 20 strokes a day with the proper brush. "The best brushes have a mix of synthetic and natural bristles, which gently distribute the oils down from your scalp," says Pipino. Two to try: Sephora Smoothing Hair Brush, $48, and Denman D81, $21.




Reprinted with Permission of Hearst Communications, Inc. Originally Published: Your Hair Dilemmas, Solved!

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