A little change can certainly be a good thing. We all get that urge to freshen up our look once in a while, especially around season-shifting time. But if you love change more than the average person, you probably know that things can get a bit messy (read: damaged) when you’re treating your locks like a never-ending painting project. So what’s a change-loving girl to do?
Here are a few hair care tips that’ll keep your tresses in shape, no matter what you throw at them:
Use Gentler Products. Think sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner (like for your hair extensions!), a boar-hair bristle brush, softer, more absorbent towels, and—wait for it—gentler dyes. Damaged or not, you should always treat your hair gently, and your products are a great place to start.
Invest in a Bonnet. Speaking of gentle products, we recommend that you cover your hair with a bonnet while you sleep to prevent damage from pillow friction. Go for one made of silk for maximum protection and comfort. The bonus is that it’ll prevent frizzing, too!
Add Supplements. The best way to achieve long-lastingly healthy hair is to take care of your body. Nutritious food and regular exercise are non-negotiable, and for an extra kick, try some hair-boosting supplements like biotin, zinc, and fish oil pills (for those omega 3s).
Try Olaplex. We’ve talked about this product before, and it’s worth a second mention. Olaplex is designed to strengthen the hair shaft and prevent damage during coloring processes. So make sure your stylist has some on them the next time you schedule a color job.
Know the Rules. Every chemical hair procedure involves some rules—namely, precautions you should take before and after an appointment. These could include: not washing your hair within 24-48 hours of your appointment (before and after), using color-safe or texture-appropriate hair care products, going in for regular touch-ups, and performing certain kinds of maintenance on the hair at home. Check in with your stylist to develop the right regimen for your process (and then stick to it).
Moisturize!!! This is so so so so SO important! Moisturizing is a priority even for people with healthy hair. So you can bet that you salon-frequenters will have extra moisturizing to do to treat damaged locks. Beyond your usual conditioner, make sure that you’re using a weekly deep-conditioner, a monthly hair mask, and/or an occasional oil treatment. If your hair is exceptionally dry or brittle, consider a leave-in conditioner, too.
Skip the Heating Tools. If you want to maintain your creative freedom and keep your hair in tip-top shape, you’re going to have to make some concessions. And by that, we mean putting away the hair dryer, curler, and straightener. Processing your hair in any way—be it coloring, perming, relaxing…you name it!—will expose your strands to damage, whether you like it or not. So why go on to damage the hair more by using heat-styling appliances? Instead, opt for heat-free styling methods like this, this, or this.
Don’t Skip a Trim. Trimming is the best way to stop hair breakage in its tracks. And, trust us, a little lost length is well worth it for smooth, healthy, beautiful hair. A good rule of thumb is to go in for a trim at the start of each new season, or to include a trim at the end of your major appointments to cut the damage immediately.
Opt for Extensions. If you’re really not into losing length for hair health, rest assured that you can get the length back with temporary or semi-permanent hair extensions. Donna Bella hair extensions are 100% Human Remy—the best grade of hair on the market—and will quickly restore the appearance of health to suffering strands. Extensions are also great for achieving new and diverse looks without causing much damage to your natural hair. We wrote a whole post about this topic, which you can read here.
Are you a girl who loves to change things up on the regular? What are your strategies for maintaining or reviving your hair? Tell us in the comments below!