Use Hair Tools With Care
If you use a heated device like a hot comb, curling iron, or blow-dryer, choose one that’s temperature controlled and limit the time it touches your hair.
Set your curling iron to low or medium heat and leave it in place for just 1 or 2 seconds.
“Don’t melt your hair with a flat iron,” Antin says. "Use it only when your hair is properly dried and run it through your ends only."
For bouncy curls without a curling iron, try wrapping your hair in Velcro rollers. “Put the rollers in your hair for about 20 minutes and you’ll get lots of volume and a smooth wave with no heat,” says Lisa Lobosco, lead stylist at Ecru New York whose styles have walked the runway at New York Fashion Week.
If you color your hair, minimize damage by staying “on-shade” or within three shades of your natural color. When in doubt, opt for a darker color instead of lighter.
The more time between coloring, the better. Stretch touch-ups to 8 to 10 weeks or longer.
Condition your hair after every shampoo and shield it from the sun to minimize color damage. Try a leave-in conditioner with zinc oxide.
For more shine, try hair serum. Put a few drops on your hands and smooth it through your hair, avoiding your scalp. Styling products made with dimethicone can also boost shine.
Smoothing shampoos and conditioners, which contain extra conditioners, can help create a sleek look, says Melville. Moisturize regularly to curb dryness and frizz.
Your scalp has natural oils. Apply conditioner to the ends of your hair, not the scalp. Don’t shampoo more than you need to.
Your hair can break if you pull it back regularly in a tight ponytail, bun, or cornrows or wear extensions.
Pull it back loosely instead. Or try hairstyles that put less tension on the roots.
A great cut goes a long way. Melville recommends a trim every 8 weeks to keep the shape and style of shorter cuts and every 3 to 4 months for longer hair.
Pick a style that’s easy on your hair. Embrace its natural texture and color instead of fighting it with heat and processing. Be good to your hair and you'll enjoy better control and shine.