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    Don't Overbraid

    You may like tight braids or cornrows, but your hair and scalp may not. Regularly wearing your hair in this style can lead to a form of hair loss known as traction alopecia. “I treat many women, especially those of African descent, with thinning hairlines due to excessive tension from hairstyles associated with traction,” Alexis says.

    Get Regular Trims

    Yeager still remembers a friend she had in fourth grade, a girl with waist-length locks. The girl moved away, and then came back in sixth grade, with hair only halfway down her back. "You got your hair cut?" Yeager asked the girl. "No, Mom will never let me cut it," she replied.

    Yeager realized that the girl’s hair had simply become so ridden with split ends that it had broken off on its own. "It was really tattered and torn and brittle-looking," she says. "Split ends are nature’s way of trimming. We need regular trims, especially as we get older and our hair has gone through years of blow drying, flat irons, curling irons, and wear and tear in the sun. The maximum time between cuts should really be 8 weeks, especially if you blow-dry and go out in the sun regularly."

    Don’t Lie to Your Stylist

    "People will come in to have their hair colored, and they won’t tell us that they’ve already tried coloring at home and have been to two beauty salons," Buchanan says. "Hair is basically fabric. You can create what you want with it, but after a while the fabric gets overworked, and you have to give it a break. We can’t help you if we don’t know what you’ve been doing to your hair."