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Dealing with damage? Five tips for healthier hair

Elizabeth Mitchell is a freelance fashion and beauty writer living in Los Angeles. A graduate of New York University, she regularly contributes to The Fashion Spot, The Luxury Spot and authors the Star Style column for StyleBakery Teen. ...

Show your locks some love

Countless hours in the pool, hot heat from styling tools and even your diet can all do a number on your ‘do. To figure out how to repair the damage, we asked several celeb stylists to share their top secrets. Here’s what we learned!

woman with damaged hair

Minimize your shampoo time

Your hair’s natural oils are designed to condition and protect your tresses, so when you shampoo daily, it strips these vital oils away and creates a vicious cycle of over-production of oils and a need to shampoo very often, says T3 lead stylist and stylist to the stars, Dan Sharp. Ideally, to keep your hair healthy, you only need to wash two to three times a week, max.

Avoid super-tight hairstyles

Super-tight ponytails, braids or updos that require teasing cause too much extra tension on tresses and can be very harmful, cautions celeb stylist Nelson Vercher. Dan Sharp adds that pulling hair back with the wrong accessories can be equally as damaging. "I see a lot of breakage due to hair accessories consistently rubbing or pulling on the same spot. Use soft elastics that don't feature metal or rough, hard edges to prevent this,” he says.

Filter your shower water

One of the best things you can do for dry, damaged hair is to ensure that the water you’re washing with is free of chlorine and other harsh chemicals, notes Johnathan Gale, master colorist at the Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon in Los Angeles. He recommends buying a shower filter to keep your mane in amazing shape -- and he adds that your health will benefit as well.

Go au natural

If your hair is already curly, don’t try and fight it, suggests Alan. Spray your mane with a volumizing conditioner instead, and then add a diffuser to your dryer and set it on low heat. Heat-damaged hair is much more prone to frizzing, he points out.

Invest in quality hair tools and products

Use hair tools that are designed to give fast, healthy results, and make sure you aren’t spending more time than you need blow drying your mane -- instead, wrap it in a towel for at least five minutes after shampooing to remove excess water, advises Sharp. And remember, all hair is definitely not created equal! "The shampoos on aisle five at the drug store can be very harsh and stripping to hair. Team that with a heavy, petroleum-laden conditioner, and you've got a recipe for disaster,” he warns.

Expert Tip

End your shower by rinsing your locks with cool water. According to celebrity hairstylist Gregory Alan, this helps seal off the hair cuticle, while hot water causes breakage and aggravation.

Discover more hair tips

Get beautiful hair from the inside out
Hair care treatment tips for dry, damaged 'dos
Root touch-up tips

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