Do's and Don'ts of Healthy Hair

Are those locks fried and frizzy? Dry and damaged? Here’s how to take care of your mane.


Do: Brush the right way. Spend some time brushing each morning to remove dust, dirt, and dry scalp material. But if you're untangling wet hair, use a wide-tooth comb, since a hairbrush will be too harsh. Opt for a brush with a natural bristle instead of one that's metal or plastic, Hammadi says. They're less likely to needlessly pull hair out.

[See: Beware of These Hidden Causes of Acne.]

Don't: Overwash it. Shampooing and conditioning every other day will suffice, unless your tresses are extra oily. Washing too frequently causes dryness, Hammadi says. "If you constantly overwash, it's going to become too clean," he says. "Just like when you wash your clothes too much—they fade. It pulls out too many of your natural oils, so you won't have as much shine." This is particularly a concern if you've colored your hair; red and blonde tones are especially likely to fade if you shampoo too often. Note, however, that you don't need to wash with cold water: That's just a myth. Warm water works just fine.

Do: Maintain it with regular trims. Parting ways with even half an inch can be excruciating if you're in pursuit of long, luscious locks. But it's necessary. Ideally, head to the salon every six to eight weeks, though you may be able to push it to 10 if you're trying to maintain length. Regular trims keep split ends from splitting more and more (and looking worse). Those with an intense styling routine—straightening or curling every day—typically need more frequent trims than those who sport a more natural look. One way to tell if it's time to call the salon: Inspect the bottom of your hair. If it doesn't come to a blunt end, you may be overdue.

[See: How to Protect Your Hair During the Summer.]