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It’s all about the hair necessities. Hair care begins from the way we cleanse it, to the products we use to protect it, even to how we dry and tie it. If we plan on keep our flowing manes or short bobs healthy for the rest of our lives, we’ll need to take precautions to prolong your hairs elasticity, hydration, and shine.

Washing Hair: Seemingly commonsensical, but there are many do’s and don’ts of washing hair. Using lukewarm water is must, anything above 90 degrees is going to hurt your hair. Yes, hot water strips out dirt and oil in your hair, but it also removes the natural oils that are essential around the hair shaft. The excessive heat will enlarge pours on your scalp, leaving your hair extra brittle.

Shampoo and Conditioner: Super simple, condition the ends, not the roots. Shampoo the roots, not the ends. The sulfates in shampoo’s are meant to clean dirt on the scalp, so applying it to the ends, where we don’t produce oil, will give you unsightly fried tips. Alternately, conditioners are meant to coat and hydrate, the pores in your scalp will get clogged from conditioning and contribute to build up, stunting hair growth from the reduction of oxygen circulating. General tip, you should always be using sulfate free shampoos.

Drying: Always pat it dry. The twisted towel turban look is cute, but it will break your ends. The twisting of your hair will bend and break the follicles, as well as contributing to lots of knots. Solution: pat and gently squeeze your hair into a towel. Extra hair care; don’t use hair ties with metal bands because that’ll cause breakage and weaken the strands in contact with the metal. When brushing, always begin from the bottom and work up to remove knots one by one, rather than starting from the root, which creates one massive knot at the end, cue the split ends!

After you’ve patted your hair dry, take a pea sized amount of oil and work it into the ends. The damp and moistened hair will absorb and lock the oil. Downtown‘s rec? Coconut oil. Jam-packed with fatty acids your ends will feel stronger and fuller after the first use. If you’re looking for an extreme boost of hydration, use the oil as a hair mask, coating the entirety for a few hours, then rinse off. Remember to warm the oil to aid the penetration process.

Heat: Protection from the heat is vital, whether it is artificial or natural heat. Much like the sun’s penetrating UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, those same rays can damage your hair. While we can’t apply skin sunscreen on our strands, there are products aimed at hair care. Try Clarin’s Sunscreen Care Oil Spray to protect your hair from intense temp’s these next few months. As for artificial heat, heat protectant sprays should always be use prior to protect us from the 400+ temps we’re applying daily. These protectants aren’t miracles, but they can reduce the damage by acting as a barrier to limit the effects of our favorite weapons, blow driers and curling wands. Spray your hair with the protectants at least half an hour before styling to allow optimal absorption. If possible, spray when hair is wet or damp!

Our hair is an expression of who we are, it frames the face and when styled right, we feel pretty invincible. Whether it be long or short, ombré or blue, curly or straight, we all share a commonality: keeping it healthy. Once the damage is done, it’s very hard to counteract. If you take heed to everything aforementioned, in combination with finding the right products that suit your individual hair care needs, you’ll be the hair envy of all. We’ve got a lifetime with our hair, keep it protected, hydrated, and healthy with our tuesday tip: avoid a hair scare with proper hair care!

-By Yasmine Rimawi