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How to Stop Damaging Your Hair

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When it comes to your hair, genetics and luck play a big role–for the most part, you get what you get. There are no magic serums, shampoos or other products which can turn your hair into a different texture, thickness or make it easier to go curly or straight without some serious chemical damage. Unfortunately for many women, they get so used to over-processing and over-styling at a young age that it begins to feel “normal” when it’s not. It’s time to stop those bad habits and give your mane a break.

The good news? Wigs are becoming more mainstream, and high-quality wigs are impossible to differentiate from natural hair. They’re more affordable, too, and can fit into any budget. Whether you’re suffering from alopecia, thinning hair as you age, or you simply want to quickly and effortlessly change up your look, you won’t be alone if you reach for your wig. Even celebrities who don’t “need” wigs use them, from Beyonce to Adele–but it’s still wise to use what you’ve got, too.

The biggest offenders

Overwashing your hair is a big problem in the US. Somewhere in history, people began to think that you should wash your hair every day, but all that does is strip it of good natural oils and dry it out (which leads to breakage). At the very most, a woman should wash her hair every other day and once a week can do wonders. However, this doesn’t mean you live with the grease–instead, wet and condition your hair daily if you like, but skip the shampooing.

However, these washing efforts are moot if you have a blowout or styling tool addiction. Both device wreak havoc on hair and should be used sparingly if at all. Save it for a special event or a big night out. The best thing you can do for your hair is learn to love its natural texture because there’s someone out there who would love to swap tresses with you.

Work out your body, not your hair

Say what you will about scrunchies, but they were actually the best possible way to keep up your pony without damaging your hair. Stylists will tell you that they can tell immediately if someone is a gym rat (and it’s not by gauging their guns in a tank top). The trend for thin ponytail holders, even the supposedly “damage-free” ones, is leading to massive breakage. When at the gym, suck up your style and opt for a scrunchie-esque tool or other non-damaging item.

Otherwise, keep your hair down or wrapped when you’re not at Zumba or on the treadmill. Ponytails are easy, but they’re also damaging and likely the reason why you have straggling ends or hair that just doesn’t seem to want to grow. If you can, opt for a loose braid that will keep your tresses untangled, and any damage from an elastic will be at ends that will be trimmed soon.

Use the right products

Is there a difference between salon products and the ones at your local grocery store? Yes–just like there’s a difference between makeup at the department store and those at the grocery store. You might be able to find some gems on a budget, but don’t let the cost alone be the ruling factor. There’s no one-size-fits-all product, so play around and see what your hair responds to the best.

Finally, whenever possible let your hair air dry–hang an oversized comb in the shower, and just work out the tangles post-conditioning. Avoid brushes, be generous with conditioners, and give your hair some TLC.

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