What are some hair care tips to keep my hair looking its best?
Jonathan L. Gelfand, MD
Pulmonology, WebMD Medical Expert
- Realize that the grass is not always greener. Embrace your hair in its natural state, whether it's thin and straight or thick and curly, or somewhere in between. The more you struggle against Mother Nature, the more damage your hair will suffer.
- Get regular "checkups" for your hair. Guys and girls should get their hair trimmed regularly. Even if you are growing out your hair, get a trim at least once every two months (some recommend every six weeks). As you go through puberty, your hair might go through some drastic changes. A stylist can help you manage your hair by giving advice on products to use or by changing your hairstyle.
- Remember: Manufacturers want your money; you want healthy hair. Don't believe the magazines or the back of the conditioner bottle, especially if it says you need every product in a particular manufacturer's line of hair care products. Use only what you absolutely need. Often this can be as simple as shampoo and conditioner, and perhaps a deep conditioner to use weekly on dry or thick hair, or a detangler for tangle-prone hair.
- Beware of the brush. Even though it seems to make your hair shinier, repeated brushing can cause your hair to break and your ends to split. Of course, if you never use your brush, your mom would probably not be too happy. So use it when you need to, just not too much!
- Leave color changes to the professionals. Although do-it-yourself highlights and hair-color kits are easy and inexpensive, the results are almost always not in your best interest. Get a recommendation for a good stylist and consult with him or her (as well as your parents!) before you decide to change your hair color. There are infinite shades of "blonde," "red," "brown," or even "black." A stylist can help you pick the best one for your skin tone. Also, your current hair-color might react to certain dyes.
- Take care in braiding hair. Multiple-braid styles can look great. But do not over-twist or over-tighten braided hair. This can apply too much pressure to the hair roots and skin. Use natural oils, not multiple chemicals, on braided hair.