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We are a country of people in love with hair. Men and women alike spend a fortune each year on getting and keeping great looking hair. We cut it and color it and style it and perm it and weave it and on and on. The easiest way to great looking hair is to take good care of it. Damaged, dry, over-processed hair is what we want to avoid. Here’s how:

1. Avoid heat and sun. Blow dryers and styling appliances damage your hair. They dry it out and make it brittle. Whenever possible, allow your hair to air dry instead of using a blow dryer. Have your hair cut professionally to minimize the amount of styling required to get the look you want. When you must be out in the sun, keep your hair covered if you can. Heat and UV rays from the sun will do damage to your hair. Try to stay in the shade; your hair and your skin will thank you for it.
2. Be gentle with wet hair. Your hair is most vulnerable when it is wet. It is more likely to break and cause split ends. Avoid combing or brushing wet hair. Don’t twist your hair up into a towel when it is wet. Instead, gently squeeze the hair with a towel to remove excess water.
3. Avoid styling products that contain alcohol. Alcohol will dry and damage your hair. Check the ingredients of your mousses, gels and sprays to see if they contain alcohol. Your stylist can recommend products that aren’t damaging.
4. Have your hair cut regularly. Most people will need a trim every six weeks to keep their hair shaped the way they want it. An excellent cut will go a long way towards making your hair look its very best.
5. Have chemical treatments done professionally. This means perms, straightening, and color. You will get the results you want with the least amount of damage by using a professional stylist for these services.
6. Your hair needs moisture, just like the rest of your body. Even oily hair needs occasional moisturizing. A hot oil treatment at home once a week or at least once a month will keep your hair glossy and prevent dry, split ends. Use a conditioner for your hair type on a regular basis for in between treatments.
7. Wash your hair gently. Use a gentle shampoo and about once a month, switch to a clarifying shampoo to remove residues. Using a clarifying shampoo for three to five days a month will help your regular shampoo do a better job. When you wash your hair, massage the shampoo in gently. Don’t scrub or twist the hair. Remember, it’s most vulnerable when it’s wet.

Having great hair may take more than these basics for some but all people will benefit from taking good care of their hair. The less damage you have to overcome to achieve the look you are after, the better. Keeping your hair healthy will make it less expensive to take care of, too. Be gentle, keep it moisturized, avoid heat and sun and use a haircare professional for cuts and chemical treatments. Doing these things will keep your hair as healthy as it can be.