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1.) Use professional products whenever possible. Professional products are ph balanced, and far less damaging to your hair.
2.) Avoid products with alcohol in them. Many hair styles require products that typically contain alcohol.
Alcohol dries the hair out and makes it brittle. When hair is dry and brittle, it causes the hair to break off.
3.) Condition, condition, condition! Always use conditioner after every shampoo. At least once a month, use a protein pack. After shampooing, towel dry, and apply the protein pack. Make sure all hair is well saturated. Pile hair loosely on top of your head and put on a plastic cap. Apply heat and leave on for at least 30 minutes. When rinsing out, use lukewarm or cool water in order to close the cuticle and lock in the moisture.
4.) Avoid curling irons, straighteners, and blow dryers whenever possible. This is a tough one. Most of us are not blessed with perfect hair. We need these tools! So many of todays hair styles require heat. Since it is not realistic to avoid them completely, always use a heat protector before using each of these tools.
5.) Have your hair trimmed regularly. This prevents split ends and breakage.
6.) Do not ever use rubber bands in your hair. Scrunchies are generally very good to your hair. If you are going to wear ponytails frequently, try not to place them in the same exact place each time. Wearing any kind of band in the same place, creates breakage.
7.) It is always best to go to hair salons and have your hair done professionally. When coloring your own hair, apply color to your roots first. Take the remaining color and mix with shampoo. Apply the mixture to the rest of your hair, the last 15 minutes of processing time. This will dilute the color enough to be more gentle on your hair, but still blend great. This is far less damaging than having the color on all of your hair, for the entire processing time.
8.) Avoid chlorine and other harsh chemicals. Whenever possible, use a swimming cap to protect your hair.
9.) Black hair styles are some of the most beautiful. Some black hair styles require intense heat and harsh chemicals. I would encourage you to have these types of chemical services done by a professional. Scalp treatments and deep conditioning will help keep your hair healthy.
10.) Put some effort into finding a couple of reputable hair salons. You will be more likely to go in for regular trims, deep conditioning treatments, and professional services if you have a stylist you trust. A stylist can give you the hair styles of your dreams and keep your hair healthy at the same time.